Esoteric Teachings of the Tibetan Tantra by C.A. Musés
Seven Initiation Rituals
And The Six Yogas Of Nāropā
In Tsong-Kha-Pa's Commentary,
Translated By Chang Chen Chi,
Former Lecturer At
The Kong-Ka Lamasery,
Meinya, East Tibet
C. A. MUSES, M. A., PhD.
The Falcon's Wing Press [Indiana Hills, Colorado]
Scanned, proofed and formatted at sacred-texts.com, December 2009. This text is in the public domain in the United States because it was neither registered nor renewed at the US Copyright Office as required by law at the time.
This book contains three separate, and very important, works detailing Tibetan Tantric Buddhist thought and practice: Seven Initiation Rituals of the Tibetan Tantra, The Six Yogas of Naropa, and The Vow of Mahamudra. These were translated and edited by Musés assisted by exiled Tibetan monks from manuscripts in the Library of Congress.
There are some very strange passages here. There is the mysterious prophecy of Mi-Gyur-Dorje found in one of the manuscripts among the initiation rituals, which tells of a far future time when Tibet will be shattered and perscuted by demons. Naropa relates the Yoga of Entering Another's Body (which can be used to reanimate a corpse!). Naropa also discusses at some length what we call lucid dreaming, but which he calls The Practice of the Illusory Body. Of course, these are all pretty advanced studies, but it is fascinating to learn what the Tibetan monks were up to, firsthand. If all you have read about Tibetan Tantra is western descriptions, you owe it to yourself to take a look at these primary texts.
Production Notes: This is one of the few modern books with translations of Tibetan Buddhist texts which we know of in the public domain. In fact, we checked using Thompson Compumark, and there was no record of a renewal or registration of this work at the US copyright office, which was required by law at the time. There were a large number of typographical errors in this book, which we have corrected in the usual fashion. We also merged the author's errata into this etext (some of which we found ourselves during the spell check).--J.B. Hare, December 10th, 2009.
- 1 Part I: Seven Initiation Rituals of the Tibetan Tantra
- 1.1 Chapter One: The Initiation Ritual Of The Fierce Guru
- 1.2 Chapter Two: From the Treasury of Consciousness This IsThe Initiation Ritual Of The Fierce Guru With Phurba
- 1.3 Chapter Three: The Initiation Ritual Of The All-Merciful One
- 1.4 Chapter Four: The Initiation Ritual Of Hayagriva BuddhaThe Green Rta-Mgrin's Initiation Ceremony From The Treasury Of Percipience
- 1.5 Chapter Five: Of the Heart Treasury of Heavenly Dharma, Among the Oceanlike Teachings in the Whisper Succession, This isThe Initiation Ritual Of The Red Gshin-Rje
- 1.6 Chapter Six: From the Treasury of Heaven This isThe Superb Initiation Ritual Of Ahm Gtsug Vajrapāṇi
- 1.7 Chapter Seven: A Compendium of the Initiation Rituals of Performance or All-Accomplishing Wisdom Presided Over by Amoghasiddhi
- 1.7.1 FOLIO 1
- 1.7.2 FOLIO 2
- 1.7.3 FOLIO 3
- 1.7.4 FOLIO 4
- 1.7.5 FOLIO 10
- 1.7.6 FOLIO 11
- 1.7.7 FOLIOS 12–13
- 1.7.8 FOLIOS 14–15
- 1.7.9 FOLIO 16
- 1.7.10 FOLIO 17
- 1.7.11 FOLIO 18
- 1.7.12 FOLIO 19
- 1.7.13 FOLIOS 20-21
- 1.7.14 FOLIO 22
- 1.7.15 FOLIO 23
- 1.7.16 FOLIO 24
- 1.7.17 FOLIO 25
- 1.7.18 FOLIO 42
- 1.7.19 Folio 43
- 2 PART II: The Six Yogas Of Naropa(In Tsong-Kha-Pa's Commentary)Entering The Profound Path Through The Successive Teaching Of The Six Yogas Of Naropa, Which Is Named The Book Of The Three Faiths.
- 2.1 Prologue
- 2.2 Chapter One: Introduction
- 2.3 Chapter Two: Special Preparations
- 2.4 Chapter Three: The Arising And Perfecting Yoga
- 2.5 Chapter Four: The Steps Of Practice In The Path
- 2.6 Chapter Five: The entering, the remaining, and the dissolving process in the Central Channel: The Art Of Gtum-Mo or Heat Yoga
- 2.7 Chapter Six: The Practice Of The Illusory Body Or Dream Yoga, Depending On Foregoing Heat Yoga
- 2.8 Chapter Seven: On The Bardo Realm
- 2.9 Chapter Eight: The Yoga Of The Light
- 2.10 Chapter Nine :The Transformation Yoga
- 2.11 Chapter Ten: How To Improve The Practice in The Path
- 2.12 Chapter Eleven: Tsong Khopa's Summary Of Sources
- 2.13 Epilogue
- 3 Appendix
Part I: Seven Initiation Rituals of the Tibetan Tantra
The Initiation Ritual Of The Fierce Guru
From the Treasury of Consciousness of the Heavenly Dharma, and among the profound Teachings of the Whisper Succession, this is the Initiation of the Fierce Guru, the most secret of the secret, the Four Inner Teachings condensed in one initiation ritual.
Red in color, with one face and two arms.
In his right hand, he holds a vajra,
His right arm embraces the Great Red Mother,
And he sits on the cushion of the Sun-Lotus, which is covered with the corpse of a demon.
After they have shone on all sentient beings and blessed them,
Has one face and two arms.
All the wrathful adornments are complete on him.
And in his heart-center stand the five gods with armor bright.
In his arms, he holds the Red Mother.
In his heart-center appears a thunderbolt-grasping Buddha,
Also holding the Heavenly-Iron-Made wheel of many spokes.
For this one should render offerings, obeisance, and praise.
(And then repeat the foregoing prayer once more.)
Au Hūṃ Pai
With three faces and six arms.
The right face is white, the left blue.
In his hands, he also holds the sword and the stick.
His body glows red as the burning flame.
The Six Ornaments adorn him.
He stretches one foot and bends the other;
The two feet are spread wide apart.
His left arm hugs the Blue Mother-Buddha.
From her heart the seed-word radiates beams of light,
Standing in a black-red blazing flame.
Now, I am going to relate to you a brief history of this initiation. In the Pure Land of Aog-min resided the Buddha All-Perfect with the five Divisional Buddhas and infinite Bodhisattvas encircling him. Before Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Buddha All-Perfect urged Buddha Amida to preach the Tantra of the Fierce Guru, called the Origin of the Light, and to preach also the Tantra of Expelling the Spirit of the Prideful One. Immediately all the devils of disease, non-men demons, and MaSran demons became fiercely angry. They raised the Eight-Divisional Demonic Forces as a sweeping storm. Thereupon Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara went before the Lotus-Born Guru (Padmasambhava) and urged him, saying:
(By his saying this all demons were conquered.)
"After the subjugation—Samaya Hūṃ Pai!"
"I am the combined body of all Buddhas, the Wrathful One!
Who else is more powerful than I?
All the potentialities of the Tathagatas converge in me.
I am the most powerful of the forceful ones.
What I desire is the hearts of the Eight-Divisional Demons!
What I like to eat and drink is their flesh and blood!"
After saying this, he ate all the hearts of the Eight Divisional Demons who had committed sinful deeds. At the time of eclipse, he collected all the sinful flesh and blood of the demons into a huge heap as a sacrificial food to benefit the scorpions and ate them all. Thereupon, the Eight-Divisional Demons called for help and begged for forgiveness. Then he agreed that at every eclipse time he would provide blood and flesh to the Eight-Divisional demons in the Three Regions, and thereby prohibited them from killing sentient beings. In order to prevent them from further slaughter, he gave them the Krum Ga, the Chief Mandala's food (Note the personification of the mandala). Whoever among the demons should break the rules, he declared, would be punished and offered as sacrificial food to the numerous scorpions.
Thereupon, all demons assembled together to witness the flesh-adornment. Those who had broken the rules were sent as sacrificial food to the scorpions. The offenders all cried and begged for mercy, but to no avail. They became frenzied and howled loudly; but they had no choice but to walk toward their destiny. The Eight-Divisional Demons then brought the moonlight, presented it to the fire by holding Dagiratsa fast, and then offered it to the Krum-Ga Principal Mandala as sacrificial food to the assembly.
He then looked at the faces of the demons; those who had cheated him, he tore apart. He uttered the Main Incantation of Hayagriva and wielded his mental power of Thunderbolt Holder (Vajrahetu) to cut the demons into pieces and to put all the demons who had damaged the Buddhist religion into the Fire Sacrifice as an offering to be burned. The troublemakers and those who had impeded the cause of Dharma—these he made living sacrificial food for the scorpions. As for all those who afflicted the servants of the temple, he used his Wheel to cut them up and his weapons to chop them into pieces. All the sinful demons who had harmed sentient beings became food for the scorpions. Thus he subdued all the Eight Divisions of Demons. He bound them to the precepts, admonished them not to harm any Buddhist and not to incite any kind of trouble. He also ordered them to assist the servants of the temples: on the tenth of every month, they should come before the Fierce Guru and attend the Congregation of the Sacred Offering, help to set in motion the Wheel of Dharma; and for the benefit of sentient beings they should fight against those demons who make harm.
The Fierce Guru then said:
This is stated in the Tantra of the Blood-Drinking Wrathful One, Drag-b’o-g’rag-atung-rol-b’ah-rgyud. Though there are many different Treasures (sacred or revealed books) and lineages of the teaching of the Fierce Guru, this one belongs to the Whisper Succession of the Heavenly Dharma Treasury.
"The Bodhisattvas, the perfect Bodhisattvas, are able to procure abundant hidden teachings from the walls, woods, caves, and from Heaven Circles, even at a time when Buddha is no longer in the world."
The Incarnation of Buddha (in the Tibetan youth) Mi-gyur-rdo-rje was a demon-subduer; this was prophesied in many Treasury Dharmas. When he was thirteen years old, in the Black month of the Fowl year, he saw the Fierce Guru appear in the forest many times. The Fierce Guru himself conferred the Tantra instructions and practice, together with the various teachings necessary to the Incarnation of Buddha. Therefore this teaching has the advantage of being a near-succession one and of possessing an unusual benevolent power (grace). In comparison with other teachings, the teaching of the Fierce Guru is an easier and faster way to attain the Siddhis (yogic accomplishments) and Signs, as said in the Tantra of the Fierce Act (Drag-b’o prang-lashi-rgyud):
"This teaching is greater than others; the Accomplishments and Signs are also greater. If one practices this teaching for seven days, no doubt he will attain both the Common and Superior Accomplishments."
If one recites ten thousand times the Main Incantations' Inner Narration, he will be immune from sickness; if one recites it only one hundred times, he will subdue the Ghost; if one recites it two hundred thousand times, he will become a gem-like Brgyal-bseng, enlightened Master. For those well-gifted ones, only one hundred recitations will bring all the Eight Kinds of Demons to bow before them; they shall wear the war dress and subjugate all evils; they shall have faith and practice devotions continually. These various accomplishments are pledged as stated in the aforementioned Tantra.
It is also stated in this same Tantra:
In the Fierce Instruction, Padmasambhava said:
"If one continuously recites the incantation, his sins will gradually be cleansed and his obstacles removed; he shall never separate from his Guru; the Buddhas in the Three Times will assemble around him like the gathering clouds; the devas and angels will all circle around him. His power will be great enough to spellbind the ghosts and demons; the Eight Kinds of Demons will serve him as slaves; the ocean-like Guards of Dharma (Samaya-Holders) will give him the knowledge of things to come, and also will instruct him and preach to him. They will also tell him both the good and bad outcomes. All the ghosts and spirits will become his messengers. He can destroy his enemies and conquer hindrances if he wishes. With one thought he can subjugate heretics. His accomplishments are beyond measure and words. In the future life he will be born in the Pure Land of Ao-rgyng (the Pure Land of Padmasambhava). The Father and Mother Guru will protect him as their own son. The merits of this teaching are indeed inconceivable. As from all directions the clouds gather, the rain of accomplishments will fall upon him. Is there any teaching more profound than this? To subjugate the enemy, this is the sharpest; to annihilate obstacles, this is the quickest. It is the nearest way to accomplishments; the precepts are easier. The preparations for offering are simple, the power is great, and the merits are many.
"If one possesses this treasure, the devas and ghosts will offer him their lives and hearts. He will influence and charm people; his merits will become great; prosperity and good omens always follow him; all his wishes will be granted; the signs of Siddhis and performance will come fast; his power will be as great as Herugas, great enough to subdue the male and female spirits. The accomplishment is easier and the incantation more effective. There is no question about the profoundness of this teaching; even those evil-possessed monks who practice this teaching will (overcome themselves and attain the accomplishment of Mahamudra. Such a profound teaching one can hardly find anywhere else. If you do not believe what I say, you may look for yourself.
"Hard it is to find an easy yet powerful teaching like this! Hard it is to find an immaculate teaching like this! Hard it is to find a teaching without a defect; one which can bestow the transcendental accomplishments and bring forth the great powers. This teaching is the treasury of both the mundane and transcendental accomplishments; it is a teaching for those easy-going, leisure-pursuing seekers who are lovers of pleasure. It is a teaching and practice for lustful seekers; and also for those who have compassion and yearnings for serving sentient beings; for those who want to practice Dharma as well as for those who want power. It is a helpful teaching for lustful and fame-desiring monks to practice; it is also a teaching for faithful and sincere disciples; for congregation-attendants; for unrestrained and passionate yogis to practice; a helpful teaching for credulous and enemy-despising yogis to practice; and also for those people you should consider as brothers in Dharma, the protectors of the Treasury.
"Yet you should spread this teaching with great caution. It should be kept secret from both sinful and Dam Med persons; from sophisticated and foulmouthed persons. This teaching should not be given to skeptical and defamatory persons; it should not be bestowed upon heretical and insincere persons. It should not be given to the thief of Dharma or to those disciples who do not observe the precepts. Keeping this sacred teaching from such persons is a rule you should observe. You should not be idle but should cooperate with your brothers in the Vajrayana." So the Guru says.
"I take refuge in the Three Precious Ones;
I confess all my sins and evil deeds.
I offer my sympathetic joy for all virtues of sentient beings.
I pray the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to protect me and remember me.
From now until the day of my attainment of Buddhahood,
I submit myself completely to the care of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
For the sake of benefiting self and others,
I now take the Vow of Bodhisattva.
As a servant I render my service to all sentient beings;
For the good of all beings I hope the day of Enlightenment will come soon!"
Three faces, six arms; the right face is white, the left blue.
The last two arms hold the sword and the rod.
Adorned with all the fierce elements he stands,
One foot stretching, the other curved.
In the Beyond-Measure Palace on his head
Also adorned with various silk ornaments.
In the center of the Golden Circle in the throat
In the center of the Weapon Circle in the heart
With adornments over his body.
In the six-edged center of the Dharma-producing Chakra in the navel
Sits a yellow Padmasambhava with one face, his two hands holding a rope.
In the center of the black triangle in the secret parts
His left arm embraces the Mother, green in color with
One face, her two arms holding the curved knife with all fierce adornments.
From her heart the seed-word (Śri) radiates a great light;
And, entering your body, they dissolve in you.
Pray come down and bless us!
Pray dispel the evil-persuaders and smash the hindrances to longevity.
In response to this prayer, the Buddhas in front of you all send forth from their bodies the Outer, Inner, Secret, and Most Secret Fierce Gurus in large and small forms, and they all enter into you and unite with you. Thus should you visualize:
He Has three faces and six arms.
I now put his image on you, on the disciple's head;
He has three faces and four arms.
I now put his image on your, the disciple's, head;
I now put this image on your, the disciple's, head;
(Thereupon throw the flowers.)
He is reddish-black, with his three fierce eyes wide open.
After attaining the Outer, Inner, Secret, and Most Secret Initiations (the four lower tantric initiations), one should ask for the Initiation of Vase. The disciples are to recite the following prayers:
This Vase, in its outer symbolic aspect, is made of invaluable gems; in its inner aspect it symbolizes the Beyond-Measure Palace made of Gnam-lchags; it is infinitely spacious. In this Beyond-Measure Palace sit numerous Outer, Inner, Secret, and Most Secret Fierce Buddhas. From their bodies flow out the streams of nectar which enter your body through the Divine Gate of the head. The Great Bliss-Wheel (Chakra) of the Head, the Dharma-Wheel of the Heart, the Transformation-Wheel of the Navel (related respectively to the Sambhogakaya, Dharmakaya, and Nirmanakaya, higher bodies of the buddha-state), and all parts of the body from the crown of the head down to the soles of the feet are full of the blessing nectar. You should regard it thus (as the initiating guru holding the ritual Vase speaks):
Hūṃ! This is the Gnam-lchags made in the Beyond-Measure Palace
Where the Fierce Guru abides.
I now enact this for you, and place them (these streams of nectar) on your head.
Oh! by the force of this initiation, your four hindrances are cleared and Four Initiations obtained; you also have attained the capability of practicing the Four Paths, the capacity of realizing the Four Bodies… The nectar continues to flow and enter your body, until the nectar is so overflowing that it gushes out of your head and becomes an image of Buddha Amida, which remains on the top of your head as an adornment.
He is reddish-black…
(Recite the prayer of benediction as before.)
Hūṃ Gu Rum Gu Phi!
This Thunderbolt has nine perfections; the fire of wisdom burns within it. By obtaining the Initiation of this Vajra, the eight-four-thousand kleśas will all be destroyed. No one will be able to harm you if you attain this Initiation. You will achieve the stability (of meditation). You shall therefore contemplate the Vajra Principle; the transcendental Wisdom of the Voidness.
The Gnam-lchags-made Thunderbolt!
I now place it on your head;
(Thereupon the Guru holds the sword.)
I now place it on your head;
Now another Hand Symbol of the Fierce Guru, the Gnam-lchags-made Curved Knife. This, the wild thunderbolt, symbolizes the Five Wisdoms of Buddha. It has a five-ribbed thunderbolt handle. Because the nature of being is away from playwords the center part of the knife is broad; to elucidate the sole oneness (of the absolute truth) it has one sharp blade. By merely attaining the Initiation of this Symbol, one is able to realize the nature of being which is away from playwords; thus he attains the Five Wisdoms of Buddha and is able to annihilate the eighty-four thousand kleśas. Thus should you think.
The Thunderbolt curved-knife.
I now place it on your head;
Now, another Hand Symbol of the Fierce Guru, the transformed Gnam-lchags-made scorpion. It has nine heads, nine mouths, nine eyes, nine stings. The right sting touches the top of the universe, the left one touches the bottom of the earth. The body flames with the fire of hell.
By merely touching the scorpion to your head, all the sins, obstacles, mishaps, and demon-enemies of your body, mouth, and mind are all hungrily swallowed by this scorpion. From now on, all the demons and enemies who attempt to afflict you will only re-afflict themselves. They will all be subdued by you. Thus should you think.
The heaven-made scorpion with nine heads,
I now place it on your head;
This is another symbol of the Fierce Guru, the Wisdom-Ga-ba-la (human skull) with the adorned metal cover (adornment) on it. This skull is filled with the cardinal heart-blood of the just-slaughtered Four Demons. By attaining this Initiation of Skull, you will be able to realize the truth of the Wisdom of Non-Existence; the Five Poisons will naturally be dissolved into the universal essence (Dharmadatu); the blood-ocean of Saṃsara will thus be dried up. You should now think of these merits.
The heaven-made Human Skull.
Moved by your sincere prayers, the Father and Mother Fierce Guru bring forth a sound of agreement, by which all the Buddhas and the Three Pillars are invited to descend here. They all enter into your mouth and become the nectar-like Bodhi Heart (absorbed in you). By embracing this Ga-ba-la (skull) and touching it with your head you cause the nectar to flow out from it; the stream of nectar enters into your body from the divine head-opening until the nectar fills every part of your body. By the power of this nectar, a burning-like blissful feeling and warmth is generated within you; thus the Initiation of Wisdom is attained by you. You should meditate on this teaching. Thus you will attain also the Precious Initiation of Longevity. (Thereupon, the Guru holds the Nectar (in the skull) in his hand.)
I now place it on your head;
Hoping that with little effort you will attain the
(Throw the flowers.)
He is reddish black—
(Recite the prayer of benediction as before.)
Now, although the main section of the Initiation is completed, a Gtor-ma initiation still is to be given; because it is said that if the Initiation of the Gtor-ma is not received, there will be delay and difficulties in attaining the Mundane (or lesser) Siddhis.
Though you have attained the main Initiation, however, if you do not have the Initiation of the Gtor-ma, the mundane accomplishment will be delayed, therefore we should perform the Initiation of the Gtor-ma.
This Gtor-ma is identical with the Fierce Guru and all Outer, Inner, and Secret Buddhas. They all assemble here like the gathering storms, with great power and roaring sounds. By dint of my sincere prayer they all vaporize (melt into light) and enter into the body through the divine Head-opening. The Fierce Guru's body, mouth, and mind become one with yours. In this mood, you should repose your mind in the non-active and relaxed state. (This is the essence of the Teaching of Mahamudra.)
I pray the Dharmakaya Buddha Amida, the Sambhogakaya the All-Merciful One, the Nirmanakaya Padmasambhava. I pray the Outer, Inner, Secret, and Most Sacred Fierce Mother and Father Gurus. I pray the Sow-Mother of the Three Lineages; I pray the Fierce Manjuśri, the great Yama, the Lord of the Fierce Hayagriva, the Powerful Vajrapani, the transformation body of the Mother of Music: the Fierce Black Mother, the Accomplishments-bestower, the Burning Fierce Afflicter white and black, the dragon subduer Great Eagle, the Fierce Vajra, the Fierce Jewels, the Fierce Lotus, the Fierce Accomplishments, the upper Fierce Hūṃ Gara, the east Fierce Victors, the southeast Fierce Blue Club Holder, the north Fierce Yama, the southwest Fierce Fire Refuge, the west Fierce King Hayagriva, the northwest Fierce Inconquerable, the north Fierce Demon Holder, the northeast Fierce Three Kingdom Winner, the lower Great-Power-Fierce One, the Four Great Guards of the Gate, the Illumination Holder Fierce Gurus and all Deities—to all of you I pray. I pray you to bestow the initiations to these disciples and to grant them your grace. I pray you to protect them from the detriment of Chal Sen, Dam Si, and Eight-Divisional Demons; also protect them from injury, nervous malady, madness, ulcers, and all illness and diseases. I pray you to expel the damaging power of wicked ghosts, the inducements of the Misleader, and possible harms done by evil spirits. I pray you to protect these disciples’ body, mouth, and mind; grant them shelter, and hide them.
Oṃ Ah Hūṃ Shri Ahtsiga Netsiga Namo Baghawade Hūṃ Hūṃ Pai Ah Hūṃ Hūṃ Pai Ba-tsa Hūṃ Hūṃ Pai Ba-tsa Hūṃ Yaga Hūṃ Ragsha Hūṃ Oṃ Ahtsiga Nitsiga Namo Bagawade Hūṃ Ah Pai Ba-tsa Hūṃ Yacha Hūṃ Racha Hūṃ Oṃ Ahrtsiga Netsiga Namo Bhagawade Hūṃ Ah Hūṃ Pai Gaya Waga Tsida Ba-tsa Racha, Racha!
(Throw the flowers.)
May all the accomplishments be granted to us. May all the tutelary deities fulfill all our wishes.
These are the Outer, Inner, Secret, and Most Secret Initiations of the Fierce Guru given one by one in a concise manner. This initiation is a profound yet symbolic one. Though it is not very clear in the distinction of the Four Successive Initiations, it has the implied meaning of the Four Initiations. Therefore you may consider that by it you have obtained all of the four initiations.
The teaching of the Fierce Guru in other sects than this one is generally perilous, for, if one does not practice the Peaceful Incantation of Padmasambhava for a long period, or does not recite it in a great amount, one will be liable to excite the enmities and troubles and see many frightening visions. However, this teaching is different. Because the Outer Practice and Secret Practice of this teaching are amalgamated with each other, it is safe yet powerful; even beginners can practice it.
As for the advantages of reciting the invocation of the Fierce Guru, the Guru Padmasambhava himself said: "If one wants to receive the special grace from Buddha and achieve the accomplishments fast, he should then practice the meditation of the Fierce Guru. I have all the merits that the Buddhas have. The outer and inner incantations of the Fierce Buddha, the blessing and siddhi of all male and female Sky-Travelers, the jewel-like virtues and benefits are all found in me. If one merely practices my meditation and prays to me, he will see all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; he will achieve all the Outer and Inner accomplishments of Tantra; he will be able to give the blessing of initiation and accomplishments to others; the female Guards will gather around him; all the protectors of Dharma will serve him as ushers; his orders will be obeyed; his instructions will be carried out by the Guards. Solely by practicing this teaching and meditating on me one will attain all the merits and accomplishments. By prayer and meditation on me, one will achieve his wishes."
It is blessed by all the Buddhas,
If one recites the incantation one hundred times,
If one recites the incantation one thousand times,
He will be delivered from the outer and inner obstacles.
If one recites the incantation ten thousand times,
He will dominate the Eight-Divisional Demons.
If one recites the incantation one hundred thousand times,
He will be protected from the evil spirits.
Whatever the admonishments our master has given to us,
We will follow and obey and practice.
From this moment on, please, always remember us!
I offer you my whole being and all my possessions,
Samaya Cha Cha Cha Chawa Gudaya!
The foregoing initiation practice was given by the incarnation lama, Mi-rgyur-rdo-rje, the Immutable Vajra. When he was thirteen years old, on the tenth day of the Black Month of the Fowl Year, he actually appeared (before the eyes of the people) as the Fierce Guru Padmasambhava himself, with all adornments and dressings. The Outer, Inner, Secret, and Most Secret Initiations are usually to be given separately and practiced separately; however, it is said, in some special occasion the Guru may put all four initiations into a condensed one. This teaching is revealed from the treasury after a well-prepared sacrificial ceremony.
If there is any mistake or error in this work, I beg the forgiveness and pardon from the Guards and Deities. By the merits of carrying out this work, I hope that the tradition of the Treasury Finding will be growing, that the Treasury Finders will have no obstacles, and that all sentient beings will gain great benefits and happiness.
From the Treasury of Consciousness This Is
The Initiation Ritual Of The Fierce Guru With Phurba
Before the execution of the Initiation Ritual of the Fierce Guru with Phurba, the preparation of Vase, Gtor-ma, etc., should all be arranged as instructed in the foregoing ritual. The Taking-in-Refuge Prayers and the Arising of Bodhi Heart should be practiced first, and so forth. (Note: The reference here is to standard ritual.) And instantaneously one should think that the Samaya Buddha is identified with the Wisdom Buddha. The Visualization process is thus completed.
The garland of mantras evolves swiftly,
Glowing with infinite beams of light,
Attracting numerous Fierce Gurus to come down here.
"Think yourself become the Fierce Guru;
Recite the chief incantation; then recite the following incantation:
(Samaya Chia Chia Chia. Ka Tam Gu Haya Chia Mum Gana Ta!)
Padmasambhava himself said,
In the Snow Country of Tibet,
I display my power and perform miracles
And help all the faithful ones by leading them to the path.
And restrained under oath.
My real being is absorbed in the plane of Universal Quintessence.
I am the Treasury of Tantras and Instructions.
Bemala Medra and Darna, the Rambu Guha Shan Dhava,
The Secret Buddha Goamadhi,
The Holy Being Dhawa Draba,
Madi Tsidar Dhava Zun and Gub Dha—
They are actually one being.
I am the one who has all perfections,
I am omnipresent and absorbed in all.
Do not be confused that sometimes I manifest many faces and arms,
and sometimes I manifest few.
After all, what difference does the number of faces and arms make?
You should remember that I manifest all!
Will fill every corner of the world!
Although I appear myself before every man,
They do not see me,
Though apparently I am in the Northwestern Land,
None will get a faster response in praying to other Buddhas than in praying to me.
If a good wish cannot be accomplished by peaceful means,
I will use the powerful one!
I will bestow all the Siddhis like rainfall upon my followers.
He should look to me.
If one wants to help others, he should appeal to me.
If one wants longevity and prosperity, he should pray to me.
If one wants power, I grant that to him.
If one wills to conquer the proud enemy,
I will fulfill his wishes.
I give the Siddhis of the Four Performances,
The desirable Lotus of Wish-Granting also comes from me.
I am the one who fulfills all wishes without delay.
When one beholds the frightful scenes
And hears the terrible voices,
I elucidate the Pith-meaning of the radiant Dharmakaya.
By merely hearing my name,
(The Guru says:)
Again, you should know that the Father and Mother Guru are embodied in the P’urbu-dagger. Today's initiation is called the Initiation of the Ao-rgyng Yabyum embodied in the Buddha Rdo-rje-gyoun-nu, or the Teaching of Elimination of Evil through the Fierce Guru with Phurba.
"In the time of sinful, soiled, and corrupt custom—in the future—
The demons and spirits of the Planets will infest the world.
At that time, the Demon King Pehar will be very powerful and dominant (his teachings will spread afar)."
- Folios 6 verso and 7 recto (Muses MS, vol. I) showing the major portion, in the cursive "headless" Tibetan script, of the unique prophecy of Padmasambhava in his role as "The Fierce Guru with Phurba" voiced through the lama prodigy Mi-gyur-rdorje, inspired at the age of 13, as the manuscript relates. The prophecy foretells a time of utter disaster for Tibet, when it will be conquered and decimated by evil and deranged, demon-like men.
Thus he said. Because of the powerful influence of the Demon King Pehar, the cases of insanity (Tib. smyo) and nervous disturbance (abog) will be many, the cases of violent death will also be great in number.
(This remarkable prophecy is now explained further:)
In ancient times, there was an Indian scholar who was very fond of gold. He had devoted his lifetime to practicing the worship of Yamantaka and was about to achieve the Siddhis. But he raised dispute and became very angry; then the Black Yamantaka put him to death. Whereupon he became the Black King Demon called Hala. Later he came to Tibet and enslaved half of the Tibetan population.
Maji Lab Dran (the greatest woman philosopher of Tibet) in her previous life was the Indian scholar Rin-Chin-Drab who subdued and converted many heretic philosophers of India. Among them there was a scholar who became very angry and revengeful after his defeat in debating with Rin-Chin-Drab. He then made a malignant vow and immediately flew away to a cave and died by committing suicide.
By the power of his malignant vow and hate (joined to all other evil), he became a plague-spreading gnome, the one who appeared in the form of life-and-vow-destroyer. He appeared both in the East and in the West. He spread all kinds of disease and made people insane and mentally disturbed. Furthermore, the King Demon Pehar then gathered all the breath of the oath-breakers and made them his retinues, filling many countries like husks scattered by the wind pervading a whole valley.
This was prophesied (also by Padmasambhava):
At that time half of the populations (of all nations) will become insane; most of the people will cut short their own lives by themselves (suicide); and at that time China will become a dark land. Powerful men and wealth will follow the steps of the evil spirits and their three cousins; all Tibet will be broken into small pieces. At that time, here in the Snow Country, the life and breath of the lamas, the officials, the teachers, the kings, the high officers, and those who follow the Buddhist teachings will be taken away (and persecuted). All the good teachers and virtuous persons will be cut in the middle by the evil demons. People will suffer excessively.
Thinking of benefitting the world (later on) at this miserable time, on the evening of the fifth lunar day—a significant date—in the year of Rooster, the Fierce Guru with Phurba himself (red and with one face) appeared before the Living Buddha, Mi-rgyur-rdo-rje, when he was thirteen years old, and imparted to him this initiation and teaching. Therefore this teaching is a very near one (to the original source), and has great power and blessing. If one attains this initiation and practices it many times, he may certainly cure the illness of Life-Prana and the pain of fainting.
"I pray the Three Pillars and all Deities,
I pray the Fierce Guru and his retinues,
Considering my sincere prayer and earnest request,
Please grant me the Initiation of the Vase.
I take refuge in the Three Precious Ones.
I confess all the sins and evil doings that I have committed.
I shall view all the good deeds and merits of sentient beings with sympathetic joy.
I pray that all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas ceaselessly remember me in their minds.
From now until the time of attaining the perfect Buddhahood,
I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
For the benefit of self and others
I raise the incomparable Heart for Bodhi.
When this prime vow of the Heart for Bodhi is made,
I shall render my services to all sentient beings.
I hope the day I attain Buddhahood will come soon!"
Recite this prayer not less than three times.
The Guru says:
If you break your oath or violate the precepts,
It will become a great fire and burn you to ashes.
If you observe the precepts and keep your oath
It will bring you all Siddhis and accomplishments.
Now, follow me in reciting this prayer;
In you, I take refuge.
In you I find shelter.
I look forward to you—to ferry me to the safe shore!
Now, you disciples should think that nothing any more exists; there is only a vast void. Suddenly from this great voidness you become the Fierce Guru with Phurba, four faces all looking in one direction, for this is the manner of conquering and subduing all devils and demons. His first hand holds the thunderbolt with knife; the other hand holds the scorpion. The lower hand holds the symbolic staff, Khadramga, and at the lower part of his body stands the powerful Phurba with grooves, the weapon that kills the evils, agonizing and tormenting them.
From the three places, the three words radiate beams of light to the Golden Pure Land in the northwestern direction, and enter the heart of Guru Padmasambhava, who sits on the summit of the hill in the Pure Land. Instantaneously, with great vibration and thundering sound, the Fierce Guru with Phurba descends here. He enters into your body and mind and unites with you.
(Play all musical instruments)
I pray you to come here and bless me!
"Di Char Ba-tsa!" (Thus the Initiation of Vases is given.)
The Guru then holds the sword in his hand and says:
Then recite the main incantation (not given here Ed.) up to (the words) Dike Ahbi.
Recite the main incantation and add Rag Cha Ah Bi.
Recite the main incantation and add Dre Shu La Ahi.
"Hūṃ! This is the fruit of great value.
I now place it on your throat,
I now grant you all the Secret Initiation of the Fierce Guru with Phurba.
Ah Gei Ha Ge Ge Ge Ge Be Ge Na Savha Ga Ye Ga Ye Hehi Heye Hagadi Gagadi!"
The Guru holds the shell in hand and says:
I now place it on your heart and bless you,
I wish you to attain the powerful initiation of the Fierce
The Guru holds the wand in his hand and says:
I now place this wand upon your head
I now place it on your head
O all ye holy beings!
Please at this very moment cure my disciples’ Sickness-of-Life-Prana.
Please protect my disciples from the injuries of the Male Demon, King-Ghost, Gon-po Demon, Nine Devils of Bun, white and black devils, the old and new demons, the poisonous devils, evil spirits and all the malignant ghosts.
Ma Nyan Da Ya Ga Dim Hu, Hasayale Sayaselege Lei Lei Sya Deyataya Hūṃ Haya, Oṃ Ah Hūṃ Ahtsi Netriga Namo Bhagavade Ba-tsa Gi Li Gi La Ya Hūṃ Pai, Ba-tsa Sa Sa Nan, Ba-tsa Ragcha Nan, Homlan Nan, Bala Dana Nan, Gu Haya Di La Nan, Ba-tsa Da Di Nan, Di La Di La Nan, Ba-tsa Ba-tsa Ha Jun Rag Cha Rag Cha, Sidi U Su Nan, Ratsa Ah Mu Ga, Tsi Da Be, Mam Sa Be, Ra Dah Be, Gi Ni Ra Di Be, Go Re Tsa Na Be, Ba Su Da Be, Tsida Jun, Tsida Duob, Ahdi Labi Dhide Savha!"
Now you have obtained the initiation of the Fierce Guru with Phurba. From now on you should always identify yourself with the Fierce Guru, and think that you yourself are the Fierce Guru inflamed with fire, no evil spirits can harm you.
You should think that no evil spirits can harm you—
In such a manner should you practice.
Now follow me in reciting this incantation:
Then offer the Mandala.
This is a very strict, powerful, and dangerous initiation. It cannot be given to many people. If a proficient Yogi, who has achieved to some extent the Siddhis of Mantra, cannot overcome the illness of life-prana and the mental disturbances caused by the King-Demons, and nothing can cure him: for such an extreme case, this initiation ritual should be practiced, in front of the sick Yogi, one thousand times. It will definitely cure him. The ordinary person, who has not practiced meditation or Mantra, or is merely a beginner, will be much easier to cure. Usually, reciting the Mantra for one or two rotations of the rosary (the Tibetan rosary of 108 beads. Ed.) will be quite sufficient to cure him. It is a rare case that a few recitations of Mantra cannot help… Occasionally, when the spittle comes up, the Yogi should carefully observe whether the patient has also been affected by the Mantra. In case a great many Mantras have been practiced, but without help, the Yogi should then practice the Visualization with Action and also apply the Frightening Acts together with the recitation of the Mantra. This will definitely help.
If one is not affected by King-Demons’ Disease, but merely feels minor mental disturbance because of the time element (at certain times the King-Demons and evil spirits are very active and powerful), he should meditate on this teaching for a little while to protect himself; and reciting the Mantra a few times will certainly help.
The King-Demons (the makers of mental disturbances) are numerous, forming many diabolic families and ranks. Whichever King-Demon harms you, you should visualize that the sharp tip of the Purbu is stabbed into the joiningpart of the white and black part of the demon's heart, torturing him. Absorb yourself in this visualization to recite the Mantra.
The foregoing initiation ritual is one of the instructions from the Heavenly Dharma, which includes not only the initiation ritual itself but also explanations. This ritual was written and arranged by the monk named Brtson-agrus, the Diligent One. If I have ever committed the sin of expressing too obviously and clearly the esoteric teachings which are supposed to be kept secret, I beg forgiveness from the Shelter Berha, the Protector and his retinues. If any merits have accrued to me through writing down this ritual, I dedicate them to all the demon-afflicted sentient beings to pacify them and calm their disturbed minds. I also wish them to attain happiness of body and mind.
Good wishes to all.
The Initiation Ritual Of The All-Merciful One
Obeisance to Guru Devadike.
The Mandala should be arranged as before. The Gtor-ma should be made as the pomegranate in shape and placed in the center of the Mandala. On the right side a glass rosary is placed; on the left side three fossil shells; in the front many precious ornaments; on the west side a white vase bound with ribbons. On the top of the Gtor-ma, the Tsag’li is installed.
(The aforesaid articles are arranged in preparation for the ceremony. At the time of performing the Initiation, the Vase Ritual and Gtor-ma Ritual may be performed according to the general rules. In the preparation practice for the Initiation, the guru should meditate on the proceeding once: visualize the Self, Front, and Vase as all instantaneously united with the Wisdom Ones, and recite the incantation not less than one hundred times. If one wants to practice a more comprehensive and elaborate ceremony, he should perform the Three Purifications.)
One should visualize as follows:
He is white in color with four arms and one face.
He folds his two palms together with his central arms.
The two outer arms hold separately the lotus and the rosary.
He sits solemnly on the cushion of the Lotus-Moon.
Sa Ma Ya, Jia Jia Jia!
Recite and visualize as follows:
In the heart-center of the Vase-Buddha before me, there is a white word, Śri standing straight on the moon disc and encircling the Śhri clockwise are the Six Words. From these Words emanate rays of light shining into the ten directions. Among all the Bodhisattvas, the rays of light choose the All-Merciful One and entreat him, with all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, to descend here. Because the All-Merciful One, Avalokiteśvara, is extremely compassionate. He is the special tutelary Buddha of Tibet. Practicing his meditation makes it easier to attain the grace of bliss. He is nearer to us than other Buddhas. Padmasambhava said, "In the time of defilements, Avalokiteshvara is the most compassionate one. Especially to us, the Kham Pa, the Six Words of Incantation are most beneficial and appropriate. The All-Merciful One, His Holiness Avalokiteśvara, is the intimate patron deity of the Snow Country. His Dharma, especially, has a close affinity to the people of Kham. Therefore, in the region of Kham, one sees that men and women alike all recite the Six Words Incantation diligently." This was prophesied by Padmasambhava himself.
About the benefits of remembering and meditating on the All-Merciful One, The Thousand-Arms-and-Thousand-Eyes-True-Words Tantra says, "If one takes the initiation and recites the incantation of Avalakiteśvara, his sins will all be cleansed and his obstacles removed. He will obtain the infinite merits; after his death he will go to the Pure Land (of Buddha Amida)." In The Sutra of the Ten Countenances, one reads, "The All-Merciful One himself said, 'If one think of me and call my name, whatever his wishes may be, all will be granted. All injuries to him will be prevented, sins and hindrances will be obliterated; all his fears will be conquered. This man is liberated from the evils and obstacles, and well protected under my shelter. His merits and talents will be promoted. He is hid from all ominous signs and afflictions.'"
In The Various-Winds-and-Waters Sutra (Chu-rlung-snga-tsogs-mdo) it is also said, "In the future time, any good man or good woman who has heard the merits of the All-Merciful One will gradually exhaust his or her kleśas; the Great Five Unceasing Sins and their like will be exhausted. If one has nothing in his mind but the All-Merciful One and meditates on the merits of Avalokiteśvara for only one month, he will be able to see the All-Merciful One as well as Buddha Amida face to face. He will thus never regress on the Path of Bodhi. He will recollect his lives in the past, follow the teachings he has heard, and wherever he is born will corn across Dharma. He will never depart from Buddhism, and will attain great wealth and enjoy great happiness. Wherever he stays no demons nor illness can seriously harm him."
The Magnificent Casket Sutra states: "Gotama Buddha says, 'Whoever thinks of Avalokiteshvara will attain to happiness; he will be freed from the sufferings of birth, age, illness, and death. He will go to the happy Pure Land to see Buddha Amida. Those devoted to the All-Merciful One will have no Samsaric sufferings in their bodies, no leśas in their minds; hunger and thirst cannot threaten them, nor will they undergo ordeal in the womb. With sincere devotion growing in their hearts, they will then be born in the lotus. Those relying on the Victorious Master Avalokiteshvara to be their tutelary Buddha will always be able to go to Buddha's paradise and remain there.'"
The benefits and profit of the Six Sacred Words are thus stated in The Sutra of the Hundred-and-Eight Symbols: "Tathagata Buddha says, 'Those good men and good women who contemplate Avalokiteshvara and recite the Six Sacred Words: Oṃ Mani Padme Hūṃ, will never fall into the lower Lokas or the Unceasing Hell. Whoever takes this incantation in his mind and recites it with sound, his body becomes immune from leprosy, ulcer, Bra Gyan and Bas Lhag diseases, tuberculosis, asthma, and all kinds of disease. Immediately after death, he will be born in the Happy Pure Land. Wherever he is born he will never be separated from the All-Merciful One.'"
Again, The Magnificent Casket Sutra states: "The Majestic Red Buddha says, 'That good man or good woman who recites these Six Sacred Words will attain the following benefits: his valor and spirit will never diminish, his wisdom will grow, he will become a man with great compassion and kindness, he will complete the Six Paramitas in his everyday activity. He will become the King of Turning-the-Mystic-Holding-Wheel. He will become a Bodhisattva of Non-Regression. He will eventually attain the perfect, peerless Buddhahood.'"
This initiation practice was revealed by Buddha Amida to His Holiness Mi-rgyur-rdo-rje in the (year of the) Fire Monkey, Dragon Month, when he was twelve years old. This initiation was bestowed upon me (the original lama-scribe. Ed.) by two Living Buddhas; therefore it is a very recent late and close one with great blessing power. Dakinis vowed to give special protection to this instruction. Therefore, together with sincerity and respect you should feel happiness and joy for this opportunity.
Especially I pray to the All-Merciful One!
I pray thee to grant me the invaluable Initiation!
I confess to you all the sinful deeds I have done.
I devote and submit myself, my whole being, to all Buddhas!
For the sake of benefiting self and others,
His four arms are poised in the following manner:
The palms of the two center arms are folded together.
One arm holds a rosary, and one holds a lotus branch.
The rare ornaments adorn his body.
Arrayed in silks, he sits solemnly on the cushion of the Sun-Moon-Lotus.
Because of inviting the Wisdom-Buddha to come here,
As snow falling, they all descend here.
They enter your body like the rainfall and penetrate deep in you."
(Play all musical instruments. All chant in rhythm.)
With retinues and assemblies they descend here.
Well dressed is the crown of the head,
Accompanied with music and dance, you come here.
Without any closefistedness, you grant us the Siddhis.
From the great place full of wonder,
I pray thee with my utmost sincerity and yearning
Grant me your grace and blessing!
Pray thee, embrace me in your care under your boundless compassion!
Pray look after me and bestow on me the Siddhis.
Come here, thou gracious one!
Safeguard me, you compassionate one!
May all the wishes of ours be granted!
Di Tsha Be Tsa!
(Hold the vase in hand and read the following words.)
Hūṃ! the Beyond-Measure Palace
Where the All-Merciful One and his retinue abide,
Whereby the Four Initiations of Vase I wish to attain.
(Place the symbol on disciple's head.)
Are now completely being given!
I pray the twenty-eight followers and one-hundred-and-one Treasure Finders,
Pray forever close the gate of Sanmara and Lower Path for them!
(Recite this incantation three times. Hold the image in hand and read.)
(Place the image on the disciple's head.)
Among the ocean-like teachings in the Mind-Treasury of Heavenly Dharma in the Whisper-Succession there are forty initiation teachings. This one, the Initiation of Avalokiteshvara with Six Sacred Words, is one of them. From now on you should always submit yourself to your tutelary Buddha, the All-Merciful One, and recite the Six Sacred Words regularly; therefore follow me in taking this oath.
The Initiation Ritual Of Hayagriva Buddha
The Green Rta-Mgrin's Initiation Ceremony From The Treasury Of Percipience
Obeisance to all Gurus!
And adorn it with a colored scarf and the proper jewel ornaments.
The (Buddha) in the Vase, the Buddha on the offering's Gtor-ma, and I, we three become instantaneously Vajra, the Horsehead, green in color, with two arms and all the adornments of the wrathful deity. One hand holds a human skull. Above the crowned head of Hayagriva a horsehead appears. From the three places shine the three words, and the green Śri word standing on the Sun Disc with the rosary of invocation arranged from left to right (clockwise) encircling the (main seed-word) Śri. From all these words glorious rays of light shine forth in the ten directions. Immediately an innumerable host of green Hayagrivas descend, like rainfall, from the Pure Land of all the Buddhas to this place (of ritual), entering my body and merging with me fully. They also enter into and merge with the symbolic Hayagriva in the Front Vase. By this the Wisdom Buddha is assimilated with (the symbolic) Buddha; the preparation of the guru for the initiation is completed. From the Perfect Buddha's body flows forth a stream of nectar, filling the whole Vase.
This invocation would be recited not less than one hundred times.
I render my obeisance and praise!
Now is the time to grant you the initiation of the Green Hayagriva. In the time long past when the Great Bliss-Beyond-Effort, the Lotus Dancing-Master, the Lord Buddha Amida was staying in the Heaven of Aog-min, a vicious demon named Dregs Byod Tshogs Sprul (prideful actor multitude-conjurer) roamed the worlds (of the Cosmos), committing various evils and doing grievous harm to all sentient beings. Therefore the Lord conjured the Mandala of the Green Hayagriva, and by this subjugated the demon. Whereupon the great Mandala of Hayagriva was elaborated, the Tantra of Hayagriva preached. This caused the king of all demons great distress. In a furious mood, he raised his five burning poisons and deranged the Three Kingdoms. He brought contagious diseases, famine, and war to the world. He destroyed the crops and showered various weapons of destruction upon the earth. At his instigation all the demons displayed dreadful forms; plagues raged, fields were scorched, and great floods covered the corners of the earth. Evil burned continually like furious fire; both the Path of Virtue and the Paths of Liberation were cut; the minds of the people were oppressed; and all the sentient beings throughout the Six Lokas were thrown into immeasurable misery. Thereupon, the Bhagavan (Amida), from his heart center, sent forth the Mandala of the Wrathful Hayagriva, whereby the demon king was subjugated and bound to observe the Precepts.
By the end of the Kasyapa Buddha's time in this Kalpa, the demon king Matram Rutras afflicted all the sentient beings, killing them and eating their corpses. Whereupon the Bhagavan again sent forth the Mandala of Hayagriva, transformed in blue, and plunged it into the chest of the demon, cutting him to pieces. After the extinction of the demon, his demon-body became the abode of Hayagriva. Then he was bound by the Precepts and became known as Mahagala, the Guardian of Dharma. At that time, the Tantra of the Manifestation of the Superb Horse was preached. Later on, the Nirmanakaya Buddha, Gotama, preached the Seven Hundred Stanzas of the Enlightenment of Hayagriva.
This, now, is the history of Hayagriva quoted from the Treasury of Percipience:
When the Living Buddha Mi-rgyur-rdo-rje (Immutable Vajra), was eleven years old, he captured entirely by intuition thirteen volumes of the Treasury of Dharma from Heavenly Sources within three years. Afterward he also received this one volume of the Treasury of Percipience. Although there was an indication that he might have captured another one hundred volumes from the Treasury of Earth, he did not receive any due to unfavourable influences. His external life was ill-omened. By the age of seventeen, he had completed his work on the Treasury of Percipience. In one of his books of Initiation, this volume was found. As said in the Sutra of the Emerging of Pure Dharma, Chos-yan-dag-par-sbjun pahi-mdo:
"There will come a few Bodhisattvas of pure mind and heart who, merely through the observation of their own consciousness, will obtain the inner teachings and the principles of Dharma (the law or nature of reality); from them these inner teachings of Dharma will thence be imparted to the people."
Furthermore, the Dharma from Treasury is deeper and more profound than the Dharma from Mouth (preaching). The Treasury from Heaven is more profound than the Treasury from Earth. Again, the Treasury of Percipience is more profound than the Treasury From Heaven.
"To the superb Initiation of the Fierce Hayagriva
And the victorious Tantra of great value!
If one surely beholds the initiation and has a fancy for it, he will be emancipated from fear and all diseases.
Those who practice the Yoga of Hayagriva, their patron Buddha,
Will be immune for seven hundred births from falling into the lower path and hell.
Those who have the faith and the pure realization constantly,
Will in their future life be born in the Pure Land.
If one recites each word of incantation 100,000 times,
Right in this life he shall see the face of Hayagriva.
Even in offering a part of the offerings to the Lord,
He will influence his surroundings and his neighbors.
Those who merely recite the incantation frequently
Will be free from the afflictions caused by evil spirits."
So it is said in this Sutra.
"Those who practice the Yoga of Hayagriva will attain the Common and the Eight Superb Accomplishments. They will also obtain the Four Accomplishments of the Illumination-Holding (Yogi). He who does this will likewise attain the Three Bodies, the Four Bodies, the Five Bodies, and so on. He will also attain the Accomplishment of Mahamudra."
"When it comes near to the Ending-Time
The Tantric Yogis who desire to perform the inner invocation practice
Will be able to protect themselves from disease and harm
If they invoke this profound ritual.
Whatever intention they have in mind,
Whatever act they wish to perform,
If they visualize the body of Hayagriva clearly,
No one will be able to oppose or afflict them.
For the armor of Śūnyatā is unparalleled,
This is the King of all Protections."
The Precious One, Padma Sambhava, also said:
"Whoever has obtained the complete initiation
At the time of death, when he enters into the state of Bardo,
From the Palace-beyond-Measure of the great burning bliss
Will come his patron Buddha and lead him into paradise."
"Whoever, including even the insects, has heard the name and incantation of Hayagriva only one time will never again fall into the lower paths. Therefore, to those who have taken the Bodhisattva's Vow and obtained the Initiation, to them have accrued merits extremely great. Thus you disciples who have come here for the profound initiation should follow my reading and repeat:
(Repeat this stanza three times.)
I shall render my services to all the sentient beings.
I shall treat them as my friends and kinsmen.
From the Emptiness, you, the one who seeks the initiation, and the Front-Arising-Buddha from whom the initiation is given, together with the other Gtor-mas, all immediately become the holy word Śri. This Śri word is seated on a resplendent Sun Disc supported by a lotus with eight leaves. From the Śri word spring beams whose rays touch the Heavens and render homage to all the Buddhas, and again the rays shine forth upon all the worlds to relieve the sufferings of sentient creatures and to benefit all beings. Finally all the beams contract into the Śri word.
This Śri word now transforms itself into an emerald, in color like the green Hayagriva's body; above, his face, red and wrathful, with three widely opened eyes, stares fiercely as if looking on all obstacles and demons. All the hairs of his head stand up in the midst of a cluster of flames burning vehemently as though blazing in a strong wind. All-radiant, the vigorous horse-face glows green. With the terrible voice of the horse, he yells with such fury that all the universe is shaken.
On his head Hayagriva wears a crown made of five human skulls, the top of each skull adorned with five glowing jewels. His mouth opens wide, exposing his tongue and his four canine teeth that symbolize the subjugation of the four demons. His eyebrows and beard burn with fire. A new moon stands at his side. In his right hand, he grasps a curved knife with a cross-shaped vajra as its handle. In his left hand, he holds a human skull filled with blood. Large of body, sturdy of limb, he stands posturing on a corpse of the demon enemy which lies above the Sun-Lotus-Disc. Blood-drops, the great ash-bundle, six ornaments of bone, and the snake-tassel adorn his sun-like figure, clothed with elephant skins and wearing the tiger-skin apron. He possesses all the adornments of the wrathful one.
He is posturing in a flame as great in fury as the fire of this Kalpa's ending. On his forehead lies a white Oṃ, on his throat a red Ah, on his heart a blue Hūṃ. In his heart center stands a green Śri. From all these words rays of light in many colors reach out unto the Pure Land. By this light the Buddhas in the Pure Land are invited to descend. From the Palace-beyond-Measure of the Great Bliss Master Wrathful One, the green Hayagrivas descend in numbers countless as snowflakes falling—some large as Mount Sumeru, others tiny as seeds of mustard. All of them enter into your body and dissolve in you. You should attentively visualize like this.
(The trumpet is blown and musical instruments played.)
(The Guru reads as follows:)
Pray come here and grant us your blessing!
Please bestow the initiation to these faithful and well-endowed ones;
Pray dispel the obstacles to our longevity.
(Recite three or seven times; adjust the Vajra Head.)
Dee Chr Ba-Tsa!
Having obtained the complete Initiation of Vase,
Also they will achieve the Four Accomplishments.
The disciples receive the initiation as rays of light. Thereupon the bodies of the disciples are filled with nectar, and all their sins are purified. The nectar received from Hayagriva is so much that the body cannot hold it all. The superfluous nectar swarms up out of the head to form a horsehead. It utters the yell of the horse three times. According to this description, visualize. (The Guru sprinkles water with the holy grass.)
Especially to the green Hayagriva
I pray you to grant me the Accomplishments and the
Then think that from the forehead of the Front-Arising-Buddha emanate innumerable small wrathful Hayagrivas white as a white shell. Visualize these entering into your forehead and penetrating fully all parts of your body.
I pray to that great fierce one to come here.
May the horse-yelling-laughing-body bring us propitiousness!
Again, disciples, you should visualize that from the throat of the Front-Arising-Buddha emanate numerous Speech-Hayagrivas, red as rubies. These figures are tiny but fully formed. They all enter into your throat and these fierce red Hayagrivas fill your entire body.
I pray the great Fierce One to come here.
The seed of the Speech of Buddha is thus planted. Again, you should think that from the Front-Arising-Buddha's heart emanate infinitely small Hayagrivas, blue as sapphires, and fully formed of limb. They all enter into your heart, and thus the fierce blue Hayagrivas fill your body.
I pray the great fierce one to come here.
Although your mind-essence never moves nor wavers
Nor departs from the immutable quietude,
For the sake of subduing the vicious enemy and obstacles
Again you should think that from the navel of the Front-Arising-Buddha emanate infinite fierce Hayagrivas of the Merits, yellow in color like hemp. These are tiny but completely formed. They all enter into the navel of your body. Thus the fierce yellow Hayagrivas fill your body completely.
Hūṃ! The one who…
I pray the…
I pray you to grant me…
Also bestow me the power of Showing…
Thereby I pray that my power and might will be greatly augmented.
Having been born from the lineage of non-craving,
With your flame blazing furiously like the fire of the Ending-Time,
Again think that from the place of generation of the Front-Arising-Buddha emanate numerous emerald golden coloured Hayagrivas and enter into the place of generation in your body; thus the golden Hayagrivas fill your body (thus impregnated by the Buddha) .
Hūṃ! The one who…
I pray the…
I pray you to grant me…
Also bestow on me the power…
I pray you to grant me the Initiation of Performance
May prosperity and propitiousness be bestowed upon us.
Thus the Initiation of Performance is attained, the Obstacle to OmniscienceObstacle to Omniscience: Another translation is the Hindrance of Knowing. To attain Nirvana, one must annihilate the Hindrance of kleśa, which is the direct cause of Saṃsāra. But to attain the Non-Abiding Nirvana (Mahayana's view of the perfect Nirvana), one must also annihilate the Hindrance of Knowing, or the Obstacle to Omniscience. Since the Bodhisattvas aspire not merely to liberation but also to Perfection, the extermination of the Hindrance is necessary in attaining the perfect Buddhahood. cleared away. All hindrances to things desired are subdued. And planted is the seed of benefitting sentient beings in all actions.
Think that the Gtor-ma itself becomes the green Hayagriva with all adornments as described previously. Also visualize the Succession of Gurus sitting on his head. See one after another come quickly to the top of your head like clouds gathering together. Think: Whatever I pray to them, the wish is granted; the wave of grace and the various Siddhis are bestowed on me. Then see all the Gurus vaporized into a great light and see all enter your body as beams of light and merge with you.
Hūṃ! I pray the…
I pray you to grant me…
Also grant me the power of Showing…
Encompass and contain the quintessence of all goodness.
I pray you, Hayagriva, grant me all accomplishments in this very moment!
To those Keepers of the Tantra, the Succession-Gurus, I pray.
I pray the Hayagriva of the Performance-Lineage,
I pray that you all grant me the Wave of Grace, I pray you to grant me the Initiations.
May all these misfortunes be conquered.
Now I am going to grant you the Superb Green Hayagriva's rosary; follow me and repeat:
I pray the perfect Buddha to look after me,
Pray make me your servant.
Repeat the incantation three times:
Pray make me your servant.
Whatever the admonishments our master has given to us,
We will follow and obey and practice.
From this moment on, please always remember us!
I offer you my whole being and all my possessions,
If, in my account of this ritual, there is any mistake or discrepancy, pray all Buddhas to forgive me in my ignorance. I hope that, through the good deeds of this work, all sentient beings will find peace and happiness. Wherever this book is presented, may propitiousness come to that place.
Of the Heart Treasury of Heavenly Dharma, Among the Oceanlike Teachings in the Whisper Succession, This is
The Initiation Ritual Of The Red Gshin-Rje
If one wants to practice the Three Pillars Red Gshin-rje, he should arrange the Mandala as in that of the foregoing rituals. He should prepare a hill-shaped Gtor-ma. At the back of the Gtor-ma, a vase with red decorations on its brim should be placed.
Both the preparation for the initiation by the Guru and the actual initiation ritual (by the deity) require only the general Gtor-ma and offerings. Before the initiation ceremony takes place, the teacher should perform and meditate at least once on the following prayers, which include the Self-Front-Arising Yoga, confession, and other prayers. If one wants to perform a very comprehensive ritual, he may elaborate by reciting the prayers of the Three Pillars as well as the Bodhisattva's Vow and the like. After these practices the Guru should follow the instructions given below:
I, myself, become the Red Gshin-rje;
Three faces, six arms, and four legs, stretched apart.
The right face is blue; the left, black; and the center, red.
The three arms on the right side hold the club, Vajra, and knife.
The three arms on the left side hold the bloodskull, bell, and stick.
Also adorning him are the complete ornaments of a Fierce Buddha.
He (I) sits on the cushion of the Sun-Moon-Lotus Wheel.
(By reciting this incantation the Red Gshin-rje is consolidated).
Sa Ma Yu Chia Chia Chia!
"Sa Ma Yu Chia Chia Chia!"
In front of me is the Buddha of the Vase,
Around this Hūṃ circle the words of this incantation in a clock-wise order.
Thus should one meditate, also reciting the incantation as much as he can. Then the disciples should gather near the Mandala and offer flowers and food. If conditions permit, it is desirable to conduct a complete performance, including the preparation ritual with offerings, confessions, consecration, and exorcising.
"If one repeatedly calls the names of numerous Buddhas as numerous as the total number of sands in the sixty-two Ganges rivers—his merits are great; but if he calls the name of Mañjuśri only once, his merits are even greater." Hence it is obvious that if one attains the Initiation of Mañjuśri, his merits should be greater than the merits of those who attain the initiations of Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. Among the Four Divisions of Tantra, this initiation belongs to the most profound Tantra, namely, the Highest Division Tantra (Anuttara Tantra). Of the two forms of Mañjuśri, this is the fierce one. Among all the Fierce Buddhas, this one is most powerful and effective. As said in a Tantra:
Furthermore, we, all the scientist beings, are going to see the Gshin-rje, for he is the King of Death for everyone. No one in this world is immortal; therefore everyone is destined to see the Gshin-rje one day.
As said in the Sutra:
"From the Buddhas of the three times
All should be wise to keep good relations with the
This Deva Yama is conjured by Bodhisattva Mañjuśri. If one attains the initiation of this Deva, all the retinues of Yama will not harm him. He is freed from the Untimely Death. He will also be immune from illness and sufferings at the moment of his death. The hostile demons, such as Dur-mi, Dun-zur, She-yi, and She-ga never harm him. This Deva Yama is an extremely formidable one; therefore, keep on good terms with him."
Thus the Sutra says.
This initiation of Deva Yama, extremely powerful and dynamic, yet easy to practice and to accomplish, was given by the All-Perfect Buddha to my first Guru, Mi-jyur-rdo-rje (The Immutable Vajra), early one morning in the Dragon Month of the Monkey Year when he was twelve years old. I obtained this initiation from him, the Adi-Buddha like Illumination-Possessor, directly. Hence, this teaching has a very close and warm succession—the conduit through which the grace-waves are transmitted. Therefore, you should all join the initiation ceremony with great reverence and high spirits. You should now think that I and all the initiation symbols are identical with the Red Yama himself.
I pray to all the Buddhas in the three times,
I especially pray to the Red Yama,
I pray Thee to grant me the Initiation.
I confess all the sins that I have committed.
For the sake of benefitting others and self,
I will serve all sentient beings as their servant.
I offer my heart in the pursuit of Bodhi-Fruit.
You all, each of you instantaneously, become the Red Yama,
Three faces, six arms, and four feet extending apart.
The right face, blue; the left, black; and the center, red.
The three right arms hold club, Vajra, and knife.
The three left arms hold blood-skull, bell, and long club.
You become completely adorned with all the Fierce ornaments
And sit on the Lotus-cushion of the Sun-Moon disc.
In this manner you should visualize yourself as the Red Yama. See a white Oṃ placed at your forehead, a red Ah at your throat, a blue Hūṃ at your heart. From them emanate infinite rays of light reaching to the Buddha's Pure Land and also the Land of Self-Nature inviting all the Buddhas and the Red Yama together with infinite incantation, tantric symbols and seeds to come here, and they all enter and are absorbed in you as the rain falls into the ocean and merges with it.
(Play all musical instruments.)
I pray you to come down here and to bless these faithful and gifted disciples!
Thus they may eschew temptations and not go astray,
Di Cha Ben Tsa!
Thereupon the Guru holds the vase in his hand and says:
This is the vase in which the Red Yama resides; I now place it on your head,
(He places the Vase on the heads of the disciples and baptizes them.)
By him, the Four Initiations are given to you.
Pray! that you will attain all the accomplishments of the Four Initiations.
I pray the Dharmakaya, the All-Perfect Buddha; I pray the Sambhogakaya, the Buddha Amida; I pray the Nirmanakaya, the Guru Padmasambhava; I pray Dakini Yeshes-mtsho-rgyal; the twenty-five disciples; the hundred-and-eight Treasury Finders; and all the Ocean-like Illumination-Holders. I pray the peaceful and wrathful tutelary deities. I pray the Red Yama and the Ocean-like Dakinis, Guardians. Pray all of you to bless my disciples. I pray you to grant your grace-wave to them, and to bestow the initiations upon them. I pray you to protect them from the afflictions of the self-demon, others-demon; the demon of Dun-zur, Drug-drum, Gshed-bzhe; the demon of illness, death; the demon-afflictor of Mdung-bsu, Rjes-rgyal—in short, all the three-hundred-and-sixty different demons. I pray you to protect them from the eighteen different kinds of untimely death. I pray you to grant them the one hundred Siddhis, the Four Performances, the mundane and transcendental accomplishments. I pray you to give them these accomplishments without delay!
(Recite this incantation three times.)
Thereupon, all should throw flowers and recite the auspicious wishes and prayers. Among the Ocean-like Teachings in the Whisper Succession, this is the Initiation of the Red Yama of "The Heavenly Dharma Treasury of Heart," in which one may find forty different Initiations at the concluding section. This Initiation of Yama which has just been given to you is one of them. From now on, you will be protected and be taken care of by the Red Yama. Therefore, let us all recite this prayer:
Whatever you have admonished us, we shall all obey and practice.
From now on you are my master,
Pray consider and remember me as your disciple,
Pray bless me and grant me the superlative Siddhis.
This initiation belongs to the teachings of the Heaven Dharma. It is based on the sayings of Buddha in its ritual and arrangement. No alterations or modifications were made. If, however, I have made any mistake in recording it, I pray that the Buddhas and all the Guardians of Dharma will forgive me and allow me to make apology.
Good wishes to all sentient beings.
From the Treasury of Heaven This is
The Superb Initiation Ritual Of Ahm Gtsug Vajrapāṇi
Obeisance to Vajrapani!
The yogi should think that both he and the front Gtor-ma instantaneously become Vajrapani, whose hair is as white as a shell, appearing in a form of Drang Strong. His right hand lifts up in a threatening manner of conquering all the hindrances, and his left hand holds the bell in front of his breast as a sign of attracting and increasing longevity, merits, and prosperities.
He wears a tiger-skin apron at the lower part of his body.
He stretches the left leg and bends the right.
Vajrapani stands vividly on the lotus-moon.
The nectar in the vase now is overflowing.
Now, I am going to impart to you the initiation of Vajrapani, the Son of Buddha Samantabhadra. In fact, Vajrapani is identical in essence with Buddha Samantabhadra, who is considered to be the First Buddha or The Buddha, who came into being before all other Buddhas. Vajrapani has different forms, as clearly stated in the Tantra of One-Hundred-and-Eight Praisings. These different forms can be classified as the Wrathful Ones, the Peaceful Ones, and the Wrathful-Peaceful Ones. This initiation belongs to the Wrathful-Peaceful form. According to the Heart Treasury of the Heavenly Dharma, Vajrapani has thirteen different forms; this Vajrapani is the one appearing in the form of Ahm Gtsug. He is not known heretofore on earth.
At one time, Vajrapani transformed himself as a sage deity (Tib. Drang Srong) named Gon-b’a-skyes, and engaged himself in deep Samadhi at the west side of Mount Sumeru. At that time Buddha Rnam-gzigs came to this world. When he was about to manifest the manner of realizing the Perfect Enlightenment, numerous demons, together with their great armies, came to afflict him. They threw myriads of weapons like rain to hurt the Buddha. The Buddha then waved his Dharma-rope as the eagle flaps its wings, and said:
As soon as Buddha had spoken, from the west side of Mount Sumeru the deity Gon-b’a-skyes, holding a nine-spoked thunderbolt in his hand, with his whole body enveloped in great flames, descended from the sky and conquered all demons. The numerous Buddhas and Bodhisattvas were much pleased. Thereupon they blessed Vajrapani and named him the Thunderbolt-Holder, the Master of the Cosmos, and handed him the thunderbolt as the symbol of initiation. Then Vajrapani said to the Buddha, "O my Lord Bhaghavan! I am the protector of all Buddhas in the three times; I was the protector of the seven Buddhas in the past; I am the protector of the present Buddha and will be the protector of the nine-hundred-and-ninety-two Buddhas in the future. I shall be their protectors until all of the one thousand Buddhas in this Kalpa have completed their missions. I shall protect them from all hindrances. I have besought the Buddhas in the past to preach the Dharma, and shall beseech the Buddhas in the future to preach the Dharma; also I shall beseech all the present Buddhas to preach the Dharma. I pray you, the Perfect One, grant me your blessings."
Then said the Buddha, "You have been blessed as both Bodhisattva and Wrathful Deity by all the Buddhas in the past. The Buddhas-to-come will also bless you in both of these two forms. Now, I shall also bless you. You will become the master of all the great devas. You should emancipate all sentient beings from Saṃsāra and from miseries."
So this is the story of the origination of Vajrapani of Drang Srong form. His Mantra is unique and superb. Oṃ symbolizes the Five Buddhas and Five Wisdoms. Batsa pani nama means "pay homage to Vajrapani". Hūṃ is the word that destroys all the sufferings. Says the Tantra of the Supreme Origination of Vajrapani:
"If the disciple renders one obeisance to Vajrapani, he attains more merits than he would have secured through rendering numerous obeisances to myriads of Buddhas as many as the total grains of sands in ninety-two million Ganges Rivers. Thus, we know if he recites the mantra of Vajrapani with faith once only, he attains more merit than he will attain through paying homage to Buddhas as many as the total grains of sand in millions of Ganges Rivers. If he relies on Vajrapani as his Yidam Buddha and recites the Mantra, he will surely be protected by Vajrapani from all hindrances. No demons can hurt him, all illness will be cured, his merits will be increased and prosperity augmented. All his wishes will be fulfilled. Thus, the benefits of practicing this ritual are beyond description, nothing can afflict those who practise it.
The practitioner of this ritual will also accomplish all the four performances, namely, the Performance of Subduing, of Increasing, of Attraction, and of Conquering. He will encounter no obstacles. Therefore, one should always rely on Vajrapani, take him as one's shelter and refuge. Also, those who have chronic diseases will be cured through reciting the Mantra of Vajrapani.
Especially, I pray Vajrapani.
Please grant me the superb initiation."
(Recite this prayer three times.)
"I take refuge in the Three Precious Ones.
I confess all my sinful doings and transgressions
To all virtuous deeds of sentient beings,
I raise the sympathetic joys.
I devote my heart to Buddhas and to the Enlightenment.
Till the day of my final enlightenment,
I take refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.
For the sake of benefiting self and others I aspire to Bodhi.
From now on I will serve all sentient beings;
And practice all Actions of Bodhi with earnestness and joy.
For the sake of benefiting all beings,
May I come to the realization of Perfect Enlightenment."
Holding in his hand the skull;
His braided hair is as white as the seashell.
His right hand holds the thunderbolt upflung toward the sky;
On the lower part of his body
He wears an apron made of tiger-skin.
He stretches his left leg and bends his right leg.
Vividly and distinctly he stands on the lotus-moon disc.
Thus, the beyond-number-Vajrapanis all come down here,
They all enter into you and unite with you.
(The guru says:)
Recite the main incantation:
Recite this incantation many times, and play the musical instrument.
Déé Tsha Ba-tsa!
The guru then holds the Vase in his hand and says:
"This is the Vase of Initiation; adorning its surface are the precious stones; its body is light, its neck long; it is full of the sacred water. It is decorated with the heavenly clothes; a blue silk scarf is also fastened on its neck. In the inner part of the Vase stands the Buddha Vajrapani in his Beyond-Measure Palace. From the body of Buddha Vajrapani gush out streams of nectar flowing into your body through the Gate of Heaven in your head. Thus the defilements of your body are purified, and all the four hindrances of mouth are cleansed. Therefore, you should understand that you have now received the four initiations and also attained the capability of realizing the Buddha's body (in future time).
Hūṃ, this Vase itself is the Beyond-Measure-Palace!
Now, I put it upon your head
Also recite "O, the Braided-Hair Vajrapani… till… (text obscure and broken here)
You have now attained the Body Initiation of Vajrapani; all the hindrances of sickness and demonic afflictions of your body are thus purified. From now on you will be able to meditate on the Body of Vajrapani, and you will have the capability of attaining the supreme body of Vajrapani with its perfection of the Thirty-two Signs and Eighty Beatifications.
Then the guru holds the white shell in his hand and says:
Through which the eighty-four thousand Dharmas were introduced.
It also has the eight signs of auspiciousness.
I now put it upon your throat
"From the Heart-Center of Vajrapani emanate infinite beams of light shining upon Buddha's Pure Land in the ten directions and attracting numerous thunderbolts with five spokes, which symbolize the wisdom of Buddha, to come down here. All these thunderbolts then enter into your heart and unite with you.
Possessing all qualities of Buddha's wisdom.
I now put it upon your heart
"This picture clearly represents Buddha Vajrapani himself. From it emanate infinite beams of light shining upon the Pure Lands in the ten directions, and attracting numerous Vajrapanis from the eternal Heaven Aog-min and also from the Pure Land of the North to come down here. These Vajrapanis are in different sizes and numerous forms: the large ones are as big as Mount Sumeru, and the small ones are as tiny as mustard seeds. Now you should think that all these Vajrapanis enter into you and merge with you.
I now put it upon your head
Also recite the main prayer:
This Gtor-ma itself is Vajrapani; from it emanate infinite beams of light in white, yellow, red, and green, shining upon you and merged with you. Thus, from now on you will be able to perform the Four Acts without any difficulties or hindrances.
I now put it in your hands,
And impart to you the Initiation of Performances.
This Gtor-ma itself is identical with Buddha Vajrapani, the Master of the Esoteric Teachings. From it emanate infinite beams of light shining upon Buddha's Pure Lands in the ten directions, attracting hundreds of thousands of Buddha Vajrapanis, large and small, from the Aog-min Heaven and also from the north side of Mount Sumeru, together with infinite Garlands of Mantra and five-spoked thunderbolts to come down here. They all enter into your heart, and eventually they are transformed into lights and merge with you.
I beseech all of you!
I pray you bless my disciples!
"We shall obey all your instructions and follow all your admonishments."
A Compendium of the Initiation Rituals of Performance or All-Accomplishing Wisdom Presided Over by Amoghasiddhi
Or that consciousness makes everything,
Picture: Very unclear; presumably it is the robe which Buddha wears.
But following the fashion of sentient beings—
Needing this and needing that—
Putting on this Buddha's robe, you will become resplendent:
Ahdi Sabuya Svaha.
Picture: The Tiger-skin apron and ornaments for the Fierce Buddha.
You should think that you offer the Tiger-skin apron and ornaments to the Fierce One.
He wears these terrifying ornaments
By your wearing this Tiger-skin apron and fierce ornaments,
You will be immune to the cold and heat-torments of Hell;
Du Da Ha Da Ha Sarwa Nara Gade Heru Hūṃ Pai!
(see note, Folios 26-41)
Picture: The Five Wheels.
May you attain the Initiation of the Five Wheels.
SECOND FOLIO 10
(as marked in Tibetan on the folio. Ed.)
Picture: The Thunderbolt.
The Initiation of Head-Adornment is the subduing of the Pride-poison.
(Use the water vase.)
Sar Rana Jarna Sobhawa Ahbi Yitsa Mum!
(Use the thunderbolt.)
Da Di Cha Ah Bu Di Jana Sadna Batsa Ahbi Yi Tsa Mum!
(Use the bell.)
Oṃ Dar Tri Da Ma Di Ahme Jaha Batsa Ahbi Yi Tsa Mum!
O, well-destined disciples: You should not think that the so-called Yab-Yum Adi Buddha is other than the Alaya Bodhi Heart of your own mind. Oh! the aware thinker at this very moment, bright, radiantly aware, transparent, itself is the absolute body of Adi Buddha, the original, the primordial Immutable Shelter.
The awareness of your own mind, devoid of any characteristics and substantialities, the lightning awareness itself is the Mother Adi Buddha: its over-flowing manifestation and play. The versatile actor itself is the Father Adi Buddha: Now, recognize it and become acquainted with it!
Picture: The Five Buddhas.
(The Guru blesses as follows:)
(The Guru now executes the Pointing-Out Practice.)
O well-gifted disciples: The so called Five Buddhas are nothing else but your own Five Skandhas. The non-extinct but purified (natures) of your own Five Skandhas are the Five Buddhas themselves:—The non-extinct but all-manifest Form, clear and vivid, is the Buddha of All Manifestations. (Tib. Rnam-b’ar-snang-mdzad; Skt. Vairochana). The non-extinct but all-manifest Feeling (Tib. Rin-chen-byun-gnas; Skt. Ratnasambhava) clear and vivid, is the Buddha of Treasury. The non-extinct but all-manifest Conception (Tib. Adushes), clear and vivid, is the Buddha of Infinite Light. The non-extinct but all-manifest Volition, clear and vivid, is the Buddha of All-Performance. The non-extinct but all-manifest Consciousness, clear and vivid, is the Buddha of the Diamond-Mind. This, you should understand.
Picture: The Five Mother-Buddhas or the Five Goddesses.
I now impart the Initiation of the Five Mother-Buddhas.
May you this attain this Initiation of the Five Mother-Buddhas.
Mum Lam Mam Syam Tayam Ahbi Aitsa Ah!
(The Guru now bestows a wish as follows:)
(The Pointing-Out Practice follows.)
O well-gifted disciples, the so-called Five Mother-Buddhas are nothing else but your own five inner and outer elements. The non-extinct but purified five elements are the Five Mother-Buddhas themselves. The manifested earth-element is the Mother-Buddha Spyng-ma. The manifested water-element is the Mother-Buddha Ma-ma-ge. The manifested fire-element is the Mother-Buddha Gos-dg’ar-mo. The manifested air-element is the Mother-Buddha Dam-tsig-sgrol-ma. The manifested space-element is the nature of the Mother-Buddha Dbyings-pyug-ma.
Picture: The Eight Boddhisattvas.
(The Guru makes a wish as follows.)
O well-gifted disciples, through the attainment of this Initiation your eight consciousnesses are purified. Thus having attained the Initiation of the Eight Bodhisattvas, you will act as the Eight Bodhisattvas to carry out the great career—to further the welfare of all sentient beings.
The Pointing-Out Practice:
O, well-gifted disciples, the so-called Eight Bodhisattvas are nothing else but your own eight consciousnesses. The non-extinct but brightened eight consciousnesses of one's self are the Eight Bodhisattvas themselves. The eye-consciousness, aware and non-extinct, is the Bodhisattva Earth-Essence. The ear-consciousness, the one that hears, is the Bodhisattva Space-Essence. The nose-consciousness, the one that smells, is the Bodhisattva Self-Seeing. The tongue-consciousness, the one that tastes, is the Bodhisattva Thunderbolt-Holder. The body-consciousness, the one that penetrates all, the illumined wisdom, is the Bodhisattva Purger-of-Obstacles. The kleśa-bound Mind-Consciousness, the one that perpetuates the ego, is the Bodhisattva (called) All-Merits. The base-of-all consciousness, the all-pervading and illumined, is the Bodhisattva (called) Meritorious Youth.
Picture: The Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas.
The Initiation of the Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas:
I now impart the Initiation of the Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas.
May you obtain the Initiation of the Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas.
Ahbi Yitsa Ah!
(The Guru makes a wish as follows:)
O, well-gifted disciples, through the attainment of this Initiation of the Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas, the eight objects are purified but not abandoned. Thus, you will act as the Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas to further the welfare of sentient beings.
(The Pointing-Out Practice.)
O, well-gifted disciples, the so-called Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas are nothing else but the purification of the thought of the eight objects. The eye-object, the appearance of form, in its purity, is the Consort-Bodhisattva La-ser-Dkar-mo. Likewise, the Ear-object, the sound in its purity, is the Consort-Bodhisattva Ma-le-ser-mo. The nose-object, the odor in its purity, is the Consort-Bodhisattva Ge-di-mar-mo. The tongue-object, the taste in its purity, is the Consort-Bodhisattva Ni-ti-ljang-gu. The purification of thought in the past is the Consort-Bodhisattva Su-si-dkar-mo. The purification of thought in the present is the Consort-Bodhisattva Dub-se-ser-mo. The purification of thought in the future is Bodhisattva Ah-loga-mar-mo. The insubstantial, the not-definite nature of the elements, the purification of phenomena, are the Consort-Bodhisattva Green Gha-ne. This you should understand.
(The Guru makes a wish as follows:)
O, well-gifted disciples, through the attainment of this Initiation of the Six Nirmanakaya Buddhas, the Six Poisons—five kleśas and stinginess—are purified. Thus may you be able to transform numerous bodies to further the welfare of sentient beings in the Six Lokas.
(The Pointing-Out Practice:)
(Continues the text of Folio 22.)
the purification of envy is the Buddha of Asura Tag Zang-ris; the purification of lust is the Buddha of Human beings, Shakyamuni; the purification of Blindness is the Buddha of Animals, Sen-ge-rab-brteng; the purification of stinginess is the Buddha of Hungry Ghost, G’a-abar-ma; the purification of Hate is the Buddha of Hell, Chos-gyri-rgyal-b’o.
I now impart the Initiation of the Four Meanings.
O well-gifted disciples, through the attainment of this Initiation of Four Meanings, the Realistic and Nihilistic Four Extremes are purified. May you be able to benefit sentient beings through the power of the Four Great Performances without the slightest hindrance.
(The Pointing-Out Practice:)
O, well-gifted disciples, the Buddhas of Four Meanings are not something else—the purification of the Realistic View is the Buddha Victor (Rnam-b’ar-rgyal-wa); the purification of the Nihilistic View is the Buddha of Death. Gshin-rje-gshed-b’o; the purification of the Ego-View is the Buddha of Horse (-Head) (Rta-mgrin); the purification of the Form-View is the Buddha of Nectar-Flowing.
May you attain the Initiation of the Four Performances.
Now you, the disciples have attained the Initiation of the Four Female Deities. Thus, the gates of the Four Births will be shut off, the four Infinities will arise from your heart—the four great performances through which you will be able to benefit sentient beings without the slightest hindrances. Thus you will accomplish the career of benefiting others. May you attain all these merits and powers! (The Pointing-Out Practice:)
O well-destined disciples, the Four Female Buddhas are but the natural purification of the Thought of the Four Births. The birth from metamorphosis is the Iron-Chain Goddess; the natural purification of the thought of birth from the womb is the Rope Female Buddha. The natural purification of the thought of birth from eggs is the Iron-Fetter Female Buddha. The natural purification of the thought of the warmth-wetness is the Bell Goddess. From the very beginning they are identical! O well-gifted ones! You should definitely know these truths—as they are unmistakably true—and bear this conviction with you. FOLIOS 26-41
Are not of first importance to initiation per se or are ideationally repetitious and hence have not been translated. Ed.
The Pointing-Out demonstration for the complete (company of) Fierce Buddhas
O well-gifted disciples, these sixty Blood-Drinking Deities are not something else, they are one's own kleśas-group, purified but not abandoned. The insubstantial or the perceiver that is devoid of any self-nature awareness manifests itself as the sixty Blood-Drinking Deities. As illustrated, in the Palace-Beyond-Measure in one's skull-brain, a group of Blood-Drinking Deities now actually and vividly dwell. The forty-two Peaceful Deities with their illuminate bodies, all now dwell in the Dharma Chakra in the heart center. Furthermore, all the hairs over your body are identical with the nature of Db’a-wo (Brave Deities). All the Pranas are the nature of Dakinis, all the White-Drops manifest in the form of the infinite Peaceful and Wrathful Sambhogakaya of the Father Buddhas. All the Red Drops (Ragda) manifest in the form of the infinite Peaceful and Wrathful Sambhogakaya of the Mother Buddhas. The numerous nadis of the body are the Dakinis. Therefore, your very body itself is the nature of the Mandala of the Peaceful and Wrathful Buddhas. Hence, you should never despise, abuse, or injure your body, nor should you overstrain your body, practice asceticism, or commit suicide. When you eat or drink you should think that this is the Tantric Sacrament and duly make the offering. If you remain without attachment, you may always wear fire and lovely clothes and adorn yourself as a manner of
(Continuing the text of Folio 42.)
practicing Tantric offerings. At the time of death, the Peaceful and Wrathful Buddhas will come out of your body, extending over all space; thereupon the Bardo visions will begin. Remember! At that time do not be frightened or terrified by the thundering voices and the Three Lights! You should remember that all these Buddhas are your tutelary Buddhas whose initiations I am right now giving to you! You should remember and recognize them. As soon as you recognize them, you will be instantaneously emancipated!
Thus the Pointing-Out demonstration is extensively given to the disciples.
- The number 5, entering Mahayana Buddhism via Hindu Tantric forms of the Sāṇkhya doctrine, pervades Tibetan Buddhism. This detail, depicting the five Dhyāni Buddhas, is from a tanka of the sambhogakāya aspect of the Buddha Amitābha. (Reproduced here by courtesy of the Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey.)
The Mandala-Offering practice is to be done (now.)
For the unwise disciples,
The Vajrasattava gives the Skull-Initiation,
To elucidate the symbolic teachings.
The Secret Initiation will elucidate the self-experience.
(The text written on the reverse side of Folio 43.)
"The Initiation tells the disciples whether the Outer Objects in the material world and Inner Essence within oneself are existent or non-existent, and in what sense they do or do not exist, by giving many symbols and explanations, such as the Sumeru Mountain, the Four Continents and the Vase Buddhas. In the Wisdom Initiation, the Thunderbolt, the Precious Wheel, the Cross-Thunderbolt, the Three-Pointed Knife, the Purba Dagger, the bow and arrows, the mirror, the forms and colors—these things are shown to the disciples, to give them a sagacious view, by the Guru in the Initiation ritual." Thus states the Tantra.
The Tantra explains the Extreme Rite-Free Initiation in the terms of the Secret Initiations; its objective is to elucidate self-Illumination—if one knows himself, he has attained the Secret Initiation.
The Tantra also says:
"If one knows one thing he knows all.
O, marvelous is the Nature of Equality!
If existent—Equality from the beginning!
If non-existent—Equality from the beginning!
If abstract—Equality from the beginning!
If concrete—still Equality from the beginning!
If one realizes the Nature of Equality,
He has attained the Secret Initiation!
Oh, marvelous is the Nature of Equality!"
Now, the ultimate-Rite-Free Initiation:
As said in the Tantra: "Through the Words-Initiation the Non-ego truth is elucidated to the disciples: Wherever there is ego, there are always confusions (Saṃsāra). The word of no words is the highest initiation. Without I, without ego, none sinks into Saṃsāra!"
Now, the Great Vase Initiation with Rite, the Rite-Free Initiation, the Extreme Rite-Free Initiation, and the Ultimate Rite-Free Initiation are all given to you; thus the sins, hindrances, and habitual thoughts of your body, mouth, and mind are all cleansed and actually become the Four Bodies of Buddha. Hereafter, you will benefit sentient beings in a natural way, without any strenuous effort.
To obtain pardon and give thanks, the Mandala should be offered; the assemblage should be entertained and exalted with dancing and singing. What remains after the festival should be given away as charity.
Samaya Chia Chia Chia!
Blessings to all!
The Six Yogas Of Naropa
(In Tsong-Kha-Pa's Commentary)
Entering The Profound Path Through The Successive Teaching Of The Six Yogas Of Naropa, Which Is Named
The Book Of The Three Faiths.
He who grants all wishes (of ours),
It is known as the Six Yogas of Naropa,
Are led to the plane of the saviours!
Through a careful and continuous study
I now elucidate for you the way to liberation!
It is the intention of the author to relate the secret, yet famous teachings of the profound Six Yogas of Naropa in two steps. First, the preparatory practice. Second, the main practice of the teaching itself.
The first step includes two groups of teachings, the ordinary preparatory works of Mahayana Buddhism, and the extraordinary preparations for the Supreme Vehicle. About the first group two questions must be answered: (1) Why is it necessary to make an effort in the ordinary practice of Mahayana Buddhism? (2) How should one actually practice them? Let us discuss the first point. It is absolutely necessary to work step by step on the preparations both for the Paramita Vehicle and the True Word Vehicle. As admonished by Lama Rngog-pa, the one who held the traditional way of preaching of Marpa (he quoted from the Tantra of Two Forms):
The disciple must first give and offer … till…
After that, he is to be given
Both schools (exoteric and esoteric) of Mahayana Buddhism exhort the disciples to observe the basic practices and teachings of Buddha, there is no exception, even in Tantra. The Jetsun Milarepa also said that if one wants to know how to liberate oneself in Bardo, one should first practice the prayer of Taking the Three Refuges, then bring forth the Bodhi Heart of Vow and the Bodhi Heart of Performance (see note 15). Even then it should be known the misfortune-bringer always turns out to be one's close friend. The fallers in the abyss are the men who follow the cattle.
Thus, if anyone does not observe the precepts strictly after having taken the oath of Tantra, both he and his guru will fall into danger. It is also said that by merely hearing the advantages of the esoteric teachings one may apply (the initiations) in an easy-going manner which is very dangerous and often leads to disasters. The Jetsun Mila was blessed by the Goddess for having preached the Bardo preparation in such a manner. Thus we know that the fundamental teachings of Buddha are essential and necessary to all schools. His holiness Gampopa also urged in his Commentary on the Four Dharmas that all Buddhists should follow the Three Gradual Paths of Lam-rim in the beginning stage of his way to Buddhahood.
Some disciples may raise the question: Why did not Jet-sun Pag-mo-grubpa and other great masters mention any of these preparations in their books on the Six Yogas? This is simply because the preparatory teachings had already been given, and the teachings of the Six Yogas were to be given to those who had already completed the preparatory practice. In their admonishments to the monastic orders, the masters clearly emphasized the importance of the preparatory practices. If one follows these instructions one will be freed from partiality. This is the vital point of both esoteric and exoteric Buddhism; the reader should especially note it.
Now the second question. How should one actually practice the preparatory teaching? According to the Great Jetsun (Adisha), the disciple should first find a qualified guru of Mahayana Buddhism, think of his teachings and practice them under his instructions wholeheartedly.
After this, he should then follow the guru's instruction to contemplate the difficulties of attaining this present precious and meaningful human birth. Thus he fervently determines to make right use of this human body; he also learns that to make the most of it is to enter the path of Mahayana in which the first step is to awaken the Heart-for-Bodhi. If the Heart-for-Bodhi is actually awakened in one's heart, he is then able to practice Mahayana Buddhism truly and naturally, otherwise his Malayana will merely be a word. Therefore, the wise Buddhist must strive step by step to put an end to the wrong thoughts adverse to the Heart-for-Bodhi.
If he does not completely give up thoughts concerned with the wordly affairs of this life, he will encounter many difficulties in the practice of both Hinayana and Mahayana. Always he should remind himself that this life is short. Always he should think of his inevitable death and warn himself of the possibility of falling into a lower birth after his departure from this world. Furthermore, he should realize that to strive for a happier birth in his next life is still of no avail, for everything in Saṃsara is transient and untenable. Rather he should exert himself to attain Liberation, he should continuously make an effort to widen his compassion and kindness as these qualities are the roots of the Heart-for-Bodhi. He should try to reach a state in which the compassionate Bodhi-Heart arises spontaneously without effort.
With a desire for learning the way of the Bodhisattva's actions, he should gladly undertake the Bodhisattvas’ responsibilities and compassionate deeds. With this in mind, he is to observe the precepts of the Bodhisattva and study and practice the Six Paramitas in general. He should particularly pay attention to the preparatory works for Dhayana, namely, the fitness and readiness of his mind for meditation. He should also study and practice the teachings of the Prajana Paramita, contemplating on the magic-like and space-like nature of all beings. Thereafter, if he is capable of taking the Tantric precepts on himself, he should study the Guru's Fifty Stanza and follow its instructions to serve his guru. In this manner, he should set about the practices of Tantra.
If he has not undergone these preparatory works step by step, he can never conquer the craving of this life. Thus he has no chance to become a steady and unwavering devotee. By no means then shall he possess unfeigned faith, or an absolute devotion in his heart. He is uncertain about the law of Karma, and he will become an unscrupulous Buddhist who observes no precepts whatsoever. He will have no abomination for Saṃsara. There will be no tranquility in his mind; therefore, his striving for liberation is merely a talking with no meaning at all. Since kindness and compassion cannot grow within him, he has no chance of developing the spontaneous Wish-for-Heart-of-Bodhi. At most he is a nominal Mahayana Buddhist. He lacks a strong desire to learn the actions of a Bodhisattva so that the peacefulness of abiding-in-goodness will never come to him. A steadfast understanding of Meditation and Wisdom will never come to him; he will always be confused at the delicate discriminations on Samadhis. Nor is there a chance for him to attain, an unwavering understanding of the non-Ego truth. If one wants to avoid the aforementioned dangers, he should work hard on the preparatory practices for Mahayana. This is clearly advocated and elucidated by His Holiness Adisha, who received the teaching from the Maitreya-Asanga lineage and also the teachings from the Manjuśri Nagra-juna-Ziwala lineage, and put them together as if to combine the three rivers into one to show that preparatory works are necessary both to the Paramita Path and to the Diamond Path.
The Jetsün Milarepa also said in his song:
"Good and evil do never fail
To bring about corresponding fruits;
Hence, one should be extremely careful to avoid evil deeds.
Even petty misbehaviours, one must forbid;
For the law of retribution never fails,
And the misery in the Lower Paths is hard to bear!
If anyone realizes not the faults of desire
And the consequences of pleasure,
He can never resign ardent longings!
Then, from the Samsaric Prison he has no way to escape.
One should therefore remind oneself:
All these desires are delusions!
Bearing this understanding in mind
One may work on the cure of the kleśas!"
If one remembers not the gratitude one owes
To the father- and mother-like sentient beings in the Six Paths,
One is liable to fall down to the Small Vehicle, (Hinayana).
Therefore one should foster great compassion,
And learn to nourish the Bodhi-Heart."
Milarepa said in another song:
"I am so much afraid of the Eight Non-Freedoms
That I continuously think of the faults of Saṃsara
And the transiency of beings!
I submit myself completely to the care of the Three Precious Ones!
I strictly discipline myself in all karmic doings.
By repeatedly practising the Heart-for-Bodhi,
I dispel the enduring shadow of Habitual-Thinking,
Realizing that all the manifestations are delusory magic
Of the Three Miserable Paths, I have no fear nor alarm!"
In view of these admonishments (by the celebrated masters), one ought to work hard in the preparatory practices until one's mind is consolidated. One should bear in mind that to complete a perfect journey, a clear knowledge is needed of the route and what is required for the journey. This is not a light matter. In fact, the most important and crucial of all the teachings is the preparation work, or the "Common Foundation of All Practice."
In the second group of teachings, the extraordinary preparations for the Supreme Vehicle, there are also two types of preparations, the general and the special. The general preparation for the Supreme Vehicle means to attain a complete initiation, and to observe the precepts of Tantra. I want to expound the attainment of initiation first.
According to the tradition of the Marpa lineage, as demonstrated by Me-sdon and Ngo-sdon, whoever aspires to the practice of the Arising Yoga and of the Secret Doctrine Perfect Yoga must first obtain the complete Four Initiations. When Milarepa first saw Gambopa, he asked Gambopa whether he had obtained the complete initiations before importing to him the teachings of the Six Yogas. Gambopa said, "Like a fine copper utensil ready for filling with butter, I am quite ready." Thereupon, Milarepa bestowed upon him the teachings and Pith Instructions. Milarepa also urged Gambopa to encourage the Bari Translator to come for initiations. Many instances like this have been told.
- Folio 46 recto (Muses MS, Vol. II) Buddha-Guardians of the Law: Past Present and Future.
The great master Pag-mo-grub-pa also considered the attainment of the Four Initiations was necessary for the disciples. In accordance with the teachings of these great masters of the Marpa Lineage in the past, a disciple must have the complete Four Initiations before the bestowal of Tantric teachings. This point is emphasized in many Tantras; for instance, the Second Ti-Li of the Mahāmudra Tantra says:
"When the disciple starts to learn the teaching,
He should first try to obtain an initiation.
After the attainment of initiation,
He will then become a candidate
Capable of receiving the grand esoteric teachings!
"Without Initiations there will be no accomplishment!
If he grinds sand, no butter will ever come out of it.
If he has obtained no initiation
And unscrupulously relates the teaching of Tantra,
Both he and his disciples will go to hell immediately after their deaths,
Even if they are accomplished beings!
Therefore, all diligent persons should look for a Guru for Initiation."
The Second Tantra of Rdor-bred says:
"The most important matter is initiation;
All the accomplishments depend on it.
I now tell you this essential truth;
To it, you should pay first attention.
When one intends to be a follower of Tantra,
One should first attain a perfect initiation.
Having attained this initiation, one is thus
Capable of practicing the Perfecting Yoga!
If a disciple has all knowledge about Tantra
But never attained the initiation,
Both he and his followers will fall into the great hell!"
Both the acquisition of the Pith-Instructions, and (the transformation from common capacity to) the competency-in-Tantra depend on initiation. Therefore, initiation is the root of all accomplishments. Without initiation, no matter how diligently one may strive, he will achieve no accomplishments whatsoever. Also, there is a definite danger that both the guru and disciples are liable to fall into hell.
"If a Tantric Yogi who desires to practice a certain
Yoga, has never seen the Mandala,
All his efforts will be in vain,
As a man trying to beat the sky with his fist,
Or a fool taking the mirage for water."
According to these sayings, the disciples should first be sent into the Mandala and given the complete Water and Crown Initiations. This is necessary, for if one depends on the Partial Initiation, such as the consecration from one particular Buddha and the fragmentary performance of initiation, it can only be considered a preparatory work preceding the "real, complete Initiation." Although there is no fault in depending on the Partial or Concise Initiation, it is by no means sufficient. A great and complete Initiation is necessary, as admonished in many Tantras and by many learned and accomplished teachers.
Having attained the Initiation of Hevajra, if one can also obtain the initiation of Bde-mchog, it will be very useful to him, because these two teachings are very closely connected with each other.
During the ceremony when the Guru and all the Buddhas’ Sons imparted the initiation to the disciple, the disciple had sworn to observe the precepts and to follow all the admonishments. Having been shown how the precepts should be observed in the initiation ceremony, he was made fully aware of his responsibilities. He should observe the precepts accordingly. As said in the basic Tantra of Bde-mchog:
"The experts in Dhyana, the advanced Yogis,
Should always observe their precepts carefully.
Whoever violates the Tantric precepts
Will never accomplish anything in Mandala,
He will attain no Siddhis whatsoever."
It is clearly stated that if the disciple has not entered the Mandala and obtained the initiation, or if he does not observe the precepts and know the teaching of the Two Steps of the Arising Yoga thoroughly, he will never attain any accomplishments—even if he practises a long time.
If he has attained the teachings of the Highest Division of Tantra and claims to be a Tantric Yogi, he must know the Fundamental and Secondary Precepts of Tantricism. Therefore, he should discipline himself well and observe the precepts carefully.
After these general preparations we now consider special preparations, which are the supreme preparation practice. After the disciple has learned the necessary supreme preparation practices such as the general virtuous deeds, the attainment of Initiation, and the observation of Tantric Precepts, he should then begin the essential Tantric practice: the Guru Yoga, Vajrasattva Yoga, and the Mandala Offering Performance. Based upon the traditional sayings of the Gurus in the past, the explanation of the Vajrasattva Yoga and the Guru Yoga follows:
Vajrasattva Yoga is designed for cleansing the sins and removing the obstacles of the disciples, while the Guru Yoga is designed for the bestowal of blessing and grace on the disciples. First, the Vajrasattva Yoga:
He should earnestly devote himself to taking refuge in the Three Precious Ones like a hunted prey. He should also think of his fellow men, the infinite sentient beings, who are drowned in the ocean of suffering with him. As a matter of fact, they were all once his own mothers. Hence he should remind himself of the immense debt of gratitude that he owes them—think how much work has to be done by a mother to bring up a child; think how a mother protects her child from dangers, illness, hunger. By constantly bearing such thoughts in mind, a resolute will to benefit the mother-like sentient beings will arise in one's heart. Then he should think further that all the seeming pleasures they may enjoy in Saṃsara will end in vanity and pain, and he should make a fervent oath: "I will bring all happiness by all possible means to sentient beings. I will set them free from all sufferings and unhappiness." He realizes that to materialize this wish there is no other way but to look for attainment of Buddhahood; thus a genuine Heart-for-Bodhi may arise within him. He fully understands that it is for the sake of sentient beings that he hopes for the Supreme Enlightenment and practices the Yoga of this Tutelary Buddha—Vajrasattva. The Tantra of the Essence of Adornment says:
"He (Vajrasattva), who is the body of all Buddhas,
Sits on the Moon Wheel upon the white lotus
Holding the Thunderbolt and Bell with all ornaments.
A devotee should visualize the Vajrasattva in this manner.
He should also practice the Incantation of the Hundred Words
For twenty times in one performance.
By doing this, even the sinful ones will be blessed."
Those accomplished masters also said:
This means if he practices the Hundred Words Incantation of Vajrasattva twenty-one times in the interval of meditation periods, his transgressional sins in the Yoga practice will not grow; if he recites the incantation one hundred thousand times, his sins will all be cleansed. Thus one should practice this Yoga according to the following procedure.
Visualize a white lotus on the top of your head. In the center of the lotus is an Ah word which is transformed into a Moon Wheel. Upon the Moon Wheel stands a Hūṃ word, which transforms into a Thunderbolt, and from this Thunderbolt's lower part a Hūṃ word radiates infinite beams of light (by which the Two Acts are performed). It shines forth reaching to the Buddha's Pure Land and renders offerings and services. Then it returns and shines downwards into the lower Lokas to relieve the sufferings of the sentient beings. Then the light retracts to the Hūṃ word and instantaneously becomes the Buddha Vajrasattva—his body is white, his right hand holds a Thunderbolt, and his left hand holds a bell. He also holds the Mother Buddha, the White Mother of Elegance. She has all the ornaments adorning her body and holds the Curved Knife and Human Skull. Her beauty and elegance are beyond description. She sits in a Lotus Posture and her body bears the thirty-two glorified marks and eight subsidiary signs of Buddha's body. In the Mother's heart lies a moon, upon which the white Hūṃ word radiates infinite light to the Buddha's land inviting the Wisdom Buddha to come down. When the Wisdom Buddha descends, remember to perform the Five Offerings and say Tsa Hūṃ Boṃ Hoo—to consolidate the Buddha. And, from the Mother's heart, the light again emanates to invite all the Buddhas in the universe to come down. You should earnestly pray them to grant you the Initiation. Then think that from all the nectar-filled vases held in the hands of all the Mother Buddhas, there begins to flow out the nectar to fill your body. Thus the Initiation is given to you. Meanwhile you should recite: Aum Sarwa Da Ta Ga Da Ah Bi Ke Gada Samaya Shir Ye Hūṃ! After the initiation, the over-flowing nectar gathers over your head and crystallizes into an image of the immutable Buddha (Me Gy Ba) to adorn your head. Thereupon, with the greatest sincerity of your body, mouth, and mind, you should pray as follows:
Moved by your sincere prayer, Buddha Vajrasattva radiates beams of light from his heart, which shine upon the bodies of all sentient beings in the cosmos; thereby, their sins and hindrances are cleared. The light again shines forth to the Buddha's Pure Land, rendering service and offerings, and finally collecting the merits of Buddha's body, mouth, mind, virtue, and performance before retracting to the Hūṃ word. Having been enforced by the merits of all the Buddhas, the Vajrasattva becomes more grandiose, powerful, and compassionate. Circling the Hūṃ word in his heart-center is the following sacred incantation:
Oṃ Ba-tsa Heruga Samaya Manubabaya Heruga Delobaditsa Dri Dor Mabawa Sudokayo Mabawa Subodayo Mabawa Ah Hu Rado Mabawa Sarwa Sidhi Mebaryatsa Sarwagarma Su Tsame Tse Dar Shirya Guru Hūṃ Ha Ha Ha Ha Ho Bhagavan Bentsa Heruga Mamemutssa Heruga Bava Mahasamaya Satta Ah Um Pai!
When reciting the incantation, you should visualize the incantation-circle rotating on and on. As the speed of the rotation steadily increases, beams of light emanate from this incantation-spin and shine upon the bodies of all sentient beings, cleansing their sins and removing obstacles. The light again travels to the myriads of Buddha's Pure Land, rendering offerings to the Buddhas and gathering the wave of grace from Buddha's body, mouth, and mind before returning to the incantation letters. (Through this inspiration) a stream of pure nectar begins to flow out from the body of Vajrasattva. It flows into your body through the Pure Gate on the top of the head, until the whole body is full of nectar. At the same time, this incoming stream of nectar washes away all filthy and putrid matters—which symbolizes the sins. One should think that through the pores over all the body the filthy matters, representing the sins and kleśas, are squeezed out and washed away. The body is filled with nothing but the pure and clean nectar. Thereupon, with a confidence of benefiting others and self, you should recite the incantation. When the recitation is finished, the devotee should apply the principle of the Four Mighty Ways to confess all his sins and wrong doings to Buddha. Then he should think that all his sins of the Three Wheels—the sin, sinner, and the act of sin—are cleansed thereby.
"O my protector! Because of my ignorance and desires
I have committed certain transgressions and evil deeds.
My Guru, my refuge! Save me and protect me!
O my lord, the one who holds the immutable Vajra!
Thou art the essence of great kindness and compassion!
The supreme lord of all, in whom I take refuge!"
After reciting this prayer, Buddha Vajrasattva smiles at him and says, "Good man, your sins, transgressions, and hindrances are all cleared." Then the Buddha Vajrasattva transforms himself into great light and enters into the body of the disciple. Then the disciple should think that his body, mouth, and mind are united and identified with the Buddha Vajrasattva. At the end of this meditation, the disciple should dedicate the merits and make an expression of good wishes toward all sentient beings.
2. To serve and revere the Guru.
1. The disciple should think that in the firmament in front of him there is a lion-shaped seat of gems with lotus-moon cushions upon it. On this sits his own Guru, who is the embodiment of the Thunderbolt-Holder, the Great Rdo-rje-chang, the Primordial Buddha of the Six Buddhas. His blue body has one face and two arms. His right hand holds the Thunderbolt and his left hand holds the bell. With heavenly clothes and jewels adorning his body, he embraces the Mother Buddha in a Lotus-Sitting posture. From his body radiates resplendently the five-colored aura. On his forehead is a moon and a white Oṃ word, at his throat there is a lotus and a red Ah word, in his heart there is a sun and a blue Hūṃ word. From these three words emanate beams of light shining forth to the Buddha's Pure Land and inviting the great Rdo-rje-chang and all the Gurus in the lineage to descend here. They all enter the disciple's body and become unified with the disciple.
As said in the Tantra of Sdom-abpung: "Guru is the Buddha, Guru is the Dharma, Guru is also the Sangha…" One should thus regard his own Guru as the embodiment of the Three Refuges. The Five Steps Tantra also says:
"The self-born Bhagavan
He who is the supreme heaven of all.
He gives the teaching and Pith-Instructions.
But there is one who is superior even to the Bhagavan,
He is the actual teacher, one's own Guru of Vajrayana."
This convinces us that whenever we serve the Pith-Instruction-Giver, our Guru, all the Buddhas will embody themselves in him to accept the offerings and to purify the disciples’ sins. In the ordinary practice when one renders the offerings to Buddha, no doubt he attains the due merits of serving the Buddhas; however, he cannot be assured that the Buddha will actually come and accept his offerings. Therefore, we know that the very best Merit-Field is one's own Guru. Thus, we should regard the Guru as the embodiment of all Tathagatas, possessing all the merits. In this manner, a pure faith toward one's Guru will grow. If a disciple thinks ill of his Guru or is faultfinding towards his Guru, he is sure to encounter the hindrances in his quest for enlightenment. If a disciple esteems and pays homage to his Guru, he will soon attain the enlightenment. With this and other right manners and considerations, one should think much of the gratitude that he owes to his Guru and faithfully respect and venerate him.
"He should give up all other services and offerings
And concentrate on serving and offering to the Guru alone.
If his Guru is pleased,
The disciple will soon attain the All-Knowing Wisdom.
If the disciple serves and offers to his Guru
As he offers and serves the real Buddha,
What accomplishments and merits cannot he attain then?
What easier way to enlightenment can he find?"
One should know that among all the offerings and services, these made to one's Guru are the best. Hence, with great faith, one ought to make the best effort to serve one's Guru. The practice of Mandala (a ritual of offering) is briefly expounded as follows: The Mandal, of clay or gems, should be smeared with incense and the Five Nectars. The Yogi then recite the invocation: Oṃ Ba-tsa Bume Ah Hūṃ! By reciting this invocation the great iron wall is laid up. Within the enclosure of the great iron wall are spread clusters of gorgeous flowers, from which emanate the fragrance of perfume and the agreeable odor of the Five Nectars. In the center of the earth looms the great Sumeru Mountain; encircling the Sumeru Mountain are the Four Continents—the East, South, West, and North; and between the continents are scattered small islands. East of the Four Continents is a sacred elephant (The Precious One); in the South, a sacred Family Overseer; in the West, a sacred Supreme Horse; in the North, a sacred Girl Rinbochi; in the Northeast, a sacred Warrior; in the Southwest, the precious Wheel; in the Northwest, the precious Jewel; in the Southeast, a great treasury. In the farther inner circle the sun, moon, planets, and stars are situated in their respective locations.
"This great Mandal, which includes the entire wealth of the cosmos, is now visualized clearly by my mind. Now I offer it in its entirety together with all the pleasures, merits, and happiness of mine and others in past, present, and future to the Gurus and Deities. I pray you to pity me, to accept my offer, and to grant me your blessing." Thus the yogi should pray. He should also render the Outer Offerings, the flowers and so on; the Inner Offerings, the offerings of nectars; and the Secret Offerings. Thus he should praise Buddha and take Tantric precepts, both general and special, before his Guru. He should pray with earnestness and respect to his Guru to grant him a speedy arising of the understanding and realization of the Mundane and Transcendental Siddhis, to keep him apart from obstacles and bring him to agreeable conditions for his practice. Moved by this sincere prayer, the Guru is pleased. Therefore, he radiates successively from the Three Words (Oṃ Ah Hūṃ) the white, red, and blue lights which enter into the Three Places (forehead, throat, and heart) of the Yogi in order and eventually fill his body wholly. The defilements and sins of body, speech, and mind are thus cleansed, and the Vase Secret and Wisdom Initiations are attained.
The Yogi should also think that he has attained the accomplishments of the Three Vajras. Thereupon, from the Three Places of the Guru simultaneously emanate the Three Lights. They enter into the body through all the gates. By means of these lights, the subtle defilements of the body, speech and mind are cleansed; the fourth initiation is thus attained by the Yogi. The Yogi should think that he has attained the Accomplishment of the Identity of the Three Vajras.
The Three Words (Oṃ Ah Hūṃ) are the symbol of the Three Vajras, having the ability to cleanse the defilements of the three gates. Therefore, it is permissible to consider that the three initiations are attained by this practice. And inasmuch as the thought of attaining the Absolute Fourth Initiation (Identity of the Three Vajras) is able to cleanse the Subtle Defilements, thereby the Fourth Initiation is attained. However, these so-called initiations are merely accepted for convenience and are by no means the actual initiations.
"Thereupon, the Guru above and before me descends upon my head, enters my body, and becomes one with me. Thus the Guru's body, speech and mind are identical with mine." Thus the Yogi should think; and then he should recite the Mantra of One Hundred Words to consolidate this unification. This practice should be performed at the beginning and end of the meditation, especially at the beginning.
We have heard some ignorant sayings from schools in Tibet that the Arising Yoga is necessary only for the Mundane Accomplishments. Nevertheless, according to the Mes-mds’ur and Rngog schools of the Marpa lineage, the teaching of the Arising Yoga is given first. Milarepa said:
Many great teachers of the past said that to practice both the Arising Yoga and Perfecting Yoga is necessary. Therefore, to dispense with the Arising Yoga is against the teaching of Tantra and its authoritative commentaries. It is also against the teaching of their own (i.e. the ignorant objectors’) schools; hence, before the practice of Perfecting Yoga, we must study and practice the Arising Yoga. As said in the Tantra of G’ye-rdo-rje:
"If one says the two Yogas are equal,
It is a Tantra-infant's preaching."
The same Tantra also says:
"Through practising the Arising Yoga,
The Tantric Yogi first practices the Yoga of Forms
Knowing the Yoga of Forms is dreamlike
The Yoga of Form itself eventually becomes the Yoga of Non-Form."
The Holy Nagarjuna says:
"First one should master the Arising Yoga,
Then one should aspire to the Perfecting Yoga,
This is the teaching given by the Perfect Buddha,
It is like a ladder with rungs."
Thus in many sutras we find stated the necessity for practising the Arising Yoga first. The main reason for this necessity is that the Arising Yoga will lay a good foundation for the Perfecting Yoga, and will ripen and produce in the Yogi's heart the complete enlightenment experience of the Perfecting Yoga.
If the disciple has attained a stable Samadhi of Arising Yoga, he can then begin practicing the Perfecting Yoga. In the course of this practice, he first meditates solely on either the Father or the Mother tutelary deity for the sake of convenience and ease. In such case he may not be wrong. However, to think that this process can also be adopted by the beginner is certainly against the principle of Tantra. Then, how should one practice? According to those who retain the traditions and principles of this teaching, the foundation of the teaching of the Six Yogas is the Heat Yoga. This view is based mainly on the doctrine of Hevajra, in which it is stated that any one of the four castes can be led to practice this teaching.
Those revered masters in the past who devoted themselves mainly to practicing this teaching acquired their Pith instructions from the Tantra of Bde-mchog. From Gambopa, through the transmission of Ladak and Mar, the Bde-mchog teaching of Ladak was transmitted. In his youth, the Glorious Pag-mo-grub-pa practiced the Bde-mchog teaching from Mar-do. Transmissions were derived from the Bde-mchog Mandala of Sixty-two Tutelaries of the Lu-I-Pa School. Although there are two such different transmissions, they both (provide the methods of) producing bliss and joy; therefore the practice of either one will do. One should thus practice the Yoga of Four Periods which will lead to the unfoldment of the Mandalas from the feet—the Five Buddhas and Bells—to the head.
At first, (the yogi) should visualize the tutelary deity through the gradual steps till the whole body of the tutelary is completed. If the tutelary deity visualized has many faces and arms, the yogi may disregard the others and concentrate on visualizing the two main arms and the main face. There are two ways of visualizing the tutelary one's body: the upward process from the feet to the head, and the downward process from the head to the feet.
The tutelary-body should be envisioned as a whole, clearly and vividly. At first, however, the yogi should visualize the body not in specific detail but the body at once complete; then softly and loosely hold onto the visualization without any distraction. If any disturbing or diversified thought arises liable to cause the meditator to follow it, the meditator should beware, and bring his mind back to the object of meditation. If the visualization (mind-picture) becomes unclear, the yogi should freshen it by seeing it vividly until it becomes clear again. In the process of his meditation, the yogi will have the following experiences; that part of the tutelary-body he intensifies will appear clearly and vividly, the part to which he pays no attention will never appear in his mind-picture. Finally, the mind-picture will become so clear that he will think that not even the actual eye could see it better.
Having mastered the above-mentioned "sketchy visualization", the yogi should then visualize the other faces, arms, adornments etc., until all the details are complete and perfect. Thereafter the Mother tutelary deity should be visualized, then the other deities. Eventually the yogi is able to picture clearly and vividly all the deities (in the Mandala) and the objects in the complete Beyond-Measure Palace, general and specific, all at once in perfect concentration. The yogi is required to reach this stage.
The yogi should raise the Tutelary Pride and think to himself, "I am the Buddha so-and-so," and concentrate on this. If the vision becomes unclear, the yogi should freshen it again. In the beginning, this meditation-with-effort-and-stress is needed. Later on, the yogi will be able to maintain a stable feeling of the Tutelary Pride after the meditation period in his daily activities. When he reaches this stage, his mental power of retaining the visualization will be strong enough to withstand the fluctuating circumstances, and he will maintain the Tutelary Pride in between meditation periods. The Visualization Practice and Tutelary Pride Practice should be exercised alternately. Working on this superb meditation, consisting of both deities and their dwellings, will eventually prevent the arising of the Samsaric visions; only the Superb Visions will appear in the yogi's mind. The spontaneous Tutelary Pride—capable of maintaining itself in all fluctuating circumstances—is the cure which purifies the vulgar (or Saṃsaric) attachments in the yogi's mind.
When the yogi arises from his meditation, whatever he sees—living beings or the material world—he should think of as Buddhas and Buddhas' dwelling-places. If he can stabilize this feeling, he can attain the steadfast Samadhi. When he reaches this stage, he is admitted to have purified the Common Visions through the practice of the Arising Yoga.
It is said in the Tantra of Sdom-abyung:
The saintly Apags-b’a-Iha said, "If you understand that the myriad manifestations are the Mandala itself, how would it be possible for your mind to become confused?" This understanding is applicable to both the Arising and the Perfecting Yoga. According to the principle of Vajrayana, all manisfestations are the Mandala of Heaven; all feelings and experiences are the Great Bliss; all thoughts are the Untreated. To follow and to identify this principle is the main function of the Arising Yogi. In the Arising Yoga, the Great Bliss of Perfecting Yoga—produced by the entering of Life Prana into the Central Channel—is not found. Nevertheless, since the practicer has attained a very stable and clear visualization of Yab-Yum Buddha, he is able to unify wisdom and skill, to stop wavering and fluctuating Bodhi-heart, as symbolized in the Pad word; and he will experience a variety of blisses in Arising Yoga.
In short, the main objective and function of the Arising Yoga—the practice of visualizing the Mandala—is to ripen the yogi, to bring his consciousness forth to the realization of the identity of Buddha and sentient beings.
In the first part there are two divisions:
For the sake of exposing the principles behind the complete practices, the first exposition is introduced. For the sake of explaining the points in the body with respect to which the visualization should be carried out, the second exposition is introduced.
"The mind, the perceiver, is formless in its essence.
There is no sound and no hearer, no smell and no smeller,
no taste and no taster, no touch and no feeler.
Likewise there are no mind and mind-functions."
"One should understand that the organs, the outer-objects,
and the consciousnesses of the organs
Are all the Goddesses.
Thus, the eighteen dhatus are preached.
From the very beginning, their essence is uncreated—never did they come into being.
They are neither false nor real;
Therefore, they are like the moon's reflection in the water.
Thus should you understand the Dakinis."
The (visual) form, sound, smell, taste, and (touch) stimuli are the five outer objects, from the seer to the feeler are the five senses, from the eye to the body are the five organs. In the terms of Skandhas, they all belong to the Aggregation of Form. In the terms of Ayatana they belong to the ten Ayatanas of form; the Nonself-nature of them is thus pointed out by the stanza. The so-called mind (Sems) is the Aggregation of Consciousness, or the Ayatana of Consciousness. The so-called mind-function is the Aggregation of Feelings, Perceptions, and Emotions. The above stanza explains the Non-self-nature of sense-data or the Ayatana of Dharma. The form-seer and the sound-hearer mentioned in the stanza denote the egotistic conception of beings. In short, this stanza illustrates both the Clinging of Ego and the Clinging of Dharma.
The stanza says that the non-existence of essence means the absence or the non-existence of self-nature in all Dharmas and living beings. These sayings are the philosophy of the great master Mds’o-sg’yes as mentioned in his commentary. They imply the Voidness or non-existence of the self-nature or the non-existence of the definable nature of being—the self-being as expressed in many other sources.
This truth of the non-existence of self-nature, or the nonexistence of essence, or the never-come-into-being-self-nature, is by no means previously untrue but intentionally and subsequently verified through human reason and the holy edifications. This truth exists from the very beginning, as said in the stanza "to understand the truth as it is"; this clearly demonstrates the aspect of the "Originally true".
"On the bank of the Ganges river in the East,
Through the grace of the great Medrepa,
I fully realized the original reality of the never-come-into-being.
This enlightenment kindles the void-nature of mind.
Clearly I beheld the original essence—the truth devoid of play-words,
And clearly saw the Three Bodies,
Whereby all the conceptualistic ideas in my mind were forever cleared up."
Thus Marpa's understanding of Mahamudra was procured mainly from the great master Medrepa, who, in this connection, particularly referred to the Thatness among the Ten Solenesses. As he said in a stanza: "It is neither with form nor without form." By this he meant the Soleness of the Originally True, not the Soleness With Form nor the Soleness Without Form. His disciple Lhan-j’ig-sg’yes-pai-rdor-rjes gave the exposition to this stanza in his commentary:
"Without-Form means the doctrine of the Sutra School. These terms also imply the True Form or Illusory Form of Yogachara, as favored by the School of Yogachara of True Form and the School of Yogachara of Illusory Form. This is also applicable to the Madhyamika Yogachara School—its doctrine allows the mind-only philosophy, either With Form or Without Form, of Yogachara in the field of mundane truth.
(The printing is not clear in the two first lines.)
"Buddha says that all do exist.
But, in the category of Transcendental Truth,
There are no hindrances and even no Buddha.
There is no meditator nor meditation.
There is no practice nor experiences.
Neither is there any Buddha-body nor Buddha-wisdom—
Therefore there is no Nirvana.
All such terms are merely names and conceptions."
According to the Middle-Way doctrine of Nagrajuna, Aryadeva, Zla-wa-grags-b’a, the very nature of causation itself is Soleness. So this stanza implies that only these sages’ doctrine is acceptable. Nagrajuna and Aryadeva, the Savior and the Holy One, were both middle-wayists after the Sutra period. Subsequent to the period of these two sages, there were many people who talked about Middle-Way philosophy, but these people can only nominally be regarded as middle-wayists. The superb being, Master Medrepa, and the meritorious Dhawadrapa were two outstanding sages who really held Nagrajuna's and Arydeva's view in a correct manner. Furthermore the Treatise of the Ten Solenesses says: "Without the adornment of pith-instructions from one's Guru, one can be considered only a mediocre follower of the middle way.
Zla-wa-zhaba said that, if a teacher has no pith-instruction as if an adornment for himself, he can be only a mediocre follower of the middle way. This right explanation of the ultimate truth by Zla-wa-zhaba should be rightly followed.
Now, the explanations of "neither true nor false."
"The beings that depend on and are caused by other beings,
Their nature is insubstantial like the moon's reflection in water.
All the stable and unstable living beings in Saṃsara
Are originally unborn and non-existent.
There is no fundamental truth nor Innate Wisdom,
There is neither Karma nor the effects of Karma.
Therefore, the Saṃsara never existed—even its name is meaningless!
O, the absolute truth is like this!"
"Alas, if there is no sentient being,
From where have the Buddhas in the Three Times come?
If there are no causes there will be no effects.
In the sense of Mundane Truth
Both Saṃsara and Nirvana exist.
This is said by Buddha Shakyamuni himself.
The existence and the non-existence,
The entities and the emptiness,
The manifestations and the reality,
Are identical and of one taste.
In essence there is no difference between them at all.
There is no self-awareness nor other-awareness,
All and all are absorbed in the great two-in-one.
The sages who have realized this truth
See no consciousness but wisdom.
The sages who have realized this truth
See no sentient beings but Buddhas,
See no Dharma Form but Dharma Essence.
They are neither true nor false
One should not fall into these views."
Sentient beings and materials are all produced through respective causes and conditions; they are consolidated through conceptualization; therefore, they are not real, nor have they any substantiality. In other words, all beings are void in their self-nature in the sense of the actual existence of self-essence. If there were an independently-solid self-nature in beings there would be no need for depending on any cause or conditions (to form the beings themselves). Thus there never existed even an atom of sense-data (outer-object) upon which the Clinging of Existence arises.
This very truth does not impair the order and functions of the causation-bound events in Saṃsara and Nirvana; as dream, magic, and shadow, all the transpiring events manifest. Based on this view, one should know that those who claim the Voidness as the non-existence of the horn-of a-rabbit (i.e. the non-existence of false notions Ed.) are mistaken. One should also know that those who claim nonexistence of the delusory snake-perception arising from the rope, are also wrong. Thus, one should know that this absolute non-existence of the sensedata upon which the Clinging of Existence arises is the correct understanding of Sunyata. Without such a horse-of-right-understanding, even if one rides on a horse-of-Buddha, one will not be able to cross the stream of Saṃsara.
Says the Tantra of Rdo-rje-bgur:
This means that in order to destroy the Clinging of Ego and the Clinging of Dharma, Buddhas have preached the philosophy of the Voidness. Though the principle of the Transcendental Truth is as mentioned above, even in the category of Mundane Truth, if one decisively or unalterably identifies existent things with dreams, magic, and illusory visions, one will eventually come to the point of the Nothingness which is not allowed in my school. If one follows the wrong views of other schools one is liable to fall into endless dangers.
Some hold that all manifestations are magic-like, and accept the existence of all happenings in Saṃsara and Nirvana—such as the attainment of Buddhahood. They also claim that all manifestations are merely names and words denominated and conceptualized by human beings, that the manifested beings in the causations are identical in essence with the Voidness of non self-nature, that the existence and the non-existence have never separated from each other. They further claim that this is the special teaching given by the great masters in the past, and that it is not necessary to follow the Two-Truths System of the Middle Way doctrine. This kind of saying is not right; it is against the teachings of the Buddhas and the exposition of them by sages. Not only that, these sayings contradict their own doctrine, for on the one hand they deny the Two-Fold Truth and on the other hand they accept the principle of the identity of bliss and voidness. In short, one should definitely search for the understanding of Voidness which is briefly explained above.
In the center of the Transformation-Wheel (Chakra) at the navel and the other main Wheels in the body is pivoted the Central Channel; the upper end and the lower end of it, together with other points of the Wheels, are the most important centers. These centers are viewed as vital points and are emphasized in the Skill-in-Yoga-Teachings of Tantra.
According to the pith-instructions of Marpa, one should put emphasis on the Heart and Throat Centers during sleeping, and should know the critical teachings on the Navel and Forehead Centers during the practice of Heat Yoga and Karma Yoga in the awakening stage. This is because during these different times the Thig-le upon which the consciousness relies concentrates at these four different centers. According to the teaching of Dus-akor (Kalachakra) the Head Center and Navel Center produce the Thig-le in the awakening stage; the Throat and the Secret Center produce the Thig-le in dreaming stage; the Heart and the Precious Center produce the Thig-le in the deep-dreaming stage. This agrees approximately with the saying that at the end of the navel and genital center, the Thig-le is produced in the four different times.
At the time of falling into sleep, the pranas will gather at the Heart Center and the Precious Center. When they are heavily concentrated, one will fall into sleep; thereafter, the pranas in these two parts gradually become thinner and thinner. When (most of) the pranas come to the Secret Center and Throat Center the fleeting dreams will appear; when the pranas have gathered in these two parts for some time the actual dreams (or steady dreams) will arise. When the pranas rise up to the Center Head and Navel Centers, one will awake. From the Head Center the Thig-le drops to the end of the precious organ; as it reaches the different centers as mentioned above it will produce the various blisses (or so-called Four Blisses).
This is the meaning of the four times:
Through the power of the prana the Yogi manipulates in exercise, the Downward-Bliss produces the Dim Innate when it reaches the center of the navel; when it reaches the end of the precious organ the Bright Innate is produced.
That these four centers are very important in the meritorious exercises of dream and sleep by no means implies that they are not essential points upon which the exercises of mental concentration should be carried out during the daytime. Among all the centers in the body, the Navel Center is the one upon which the Yogi should begin. One should also know that to concentrate upon the different centers will produce different effects and specific advantages.
The Steps Of Practice In The Path
First, the preparatory exercises of Akrul-akor and Stong-ra are given; second, the process of the actual practice.
Some in the Marpa School say that with the protection-practice of the Hūṃ word during the inhaling, exhaling, and holding periods of breathing, or with the moderate wrathful deities as protection, or with the practice of the Guru Yoga to accumulate the merits, the Yogi may do without the practice of Akrul-akor and Stong-ra. This kind of saying is given by the later followers; but His Holiness Milarepa and Gampopa never so declared in the old days.
The practice of Akrul-akor has two aspects: First, the practice of Taking the Refuges and Arousing the Bodhi Heart; and second, meditation on the Guru who sits upon one's own head and sincerely praying to him. These practices are definitely in accordance with the teachings of Tantra. The Yogi should first vividly visualize himself as the Father-Mother Patron Buddha.
1. Making the body full like a vase.
2. Turning like a wheel.
3. Bending like a hook.
4. With the Vajra Mudra shooting the sky and tightening the lower part.
6. Shaking the head and body, and stretching the limbs.
These are the famous Six Exercises of Naropa.
1. Making the body full like a vase: The Yogi should sit on a comfortable seat in a lotus posture, his body and spine erect; put his two palms on his two knees; inhale the air with the right nostril, and then look to the left and exhale all the air very slowly and gently. Take in the air with the right nostril and look toward the right, and slowly, gently, let all the breath out. Then take in the air with the left nostril and look toward the left; gently let the breath out as before. Next take in the air with both nostrils and let the breath out while the body remains sitting in a normal position. Repeat this manner of breathing three times. Altogether nine repetitions are required to expel all the defiled air within the body. During the inhaling and exhaling, the mouth should not be opened. The yogi should keep his body straight and turn his two fists inward. Then he should inhale very gently and slowly and send the air down below the navel. Meantime he should gulp down the air without any sound, using the diaphragm to press the Upper Prana down and to gently pull up the Lower Prana. Thus, the Upper and Lower Prana meet and unite. The mind should concentrate on the center of the navel Chakra, and one should hold the breath as long as he can as if holding the air in a vase to its fullness. During this breath-holding period, all the body movements should be carried out. Although not a real Akrul-akor exercise, this exercise is called a form of Akrul-akor. At the moment when the yogi cannot hold the breath longer, he should very gently let the air out through the nostrils, but never through the mouth. While doing this, the mind should not think of anything.
2. Turning like a Wheel: Sitting in the Lotus posture, use the fingers of the right hand to hold the large toe of the right foot and those of the left hand to hold the large toe of the left foot. Hold the body erect, and turn the waist and stomach clockwise three times; turn them counterclockwise three times. Next bend the body from left to right and from right to left three times; then bend the body forward and reverse it to the looking-up position. Repeat the body-bending three times.
3. Bending like a Hook: Put the two fists, in the vajra-fist manner, upon the Heart Center and stretch them forward with great force, then stretch both arms forward. Use the right fist to make a circle around the head from left to right. As the arm and fist come down, use the elbow to strike the side of the chest. Do the same movement with the left arm from the opposite direction. Then holding the Vajra-fists and putting them on the Heart Center, again stretch them forward with force. Next, stretch both arms to the right, as before, and strike the side of the chest.
4. With the Vajra Mudra shooting the sky and tightening the lower part: Cross the two knees and hold the body erect. Join the fingers of both hands and massage the body from the lower part up to the head; then use the fingers to support the whole body and lift it up. Then suddenly loosen the fingers, and let the body drop down vehemently.
5. Like a dog vomiting, shaking the body: Cross the knees and keep the body straight. Put the two hands on the ground, and then successively lift up the body and the head. As the hands release the support and the body drops down, the whole body should be waved and shaken as though trembling. At the same time exhale the air and utter a prolonged Ha sound, turning round at the waist. Repeat three times.
6. Shaking the head and body and stretching the limbs: Put the right hand on the left knee and the left hand on the right knee. Use the fingers of both hands to pull up the knees, then shake the head and body.
The yogi who practices these exercises must be acquainted with the art of holding the breath. He must be at ease and gentle. The best time to practice these exercises is before eating, or some time after the meal when the stomach is not too full. These exercises should be practised until the body becomes very flexible and energetic.
The Practice of the Visualization of the Stong-ra
(the Empty Body)
The Yogi should visualize the image of the patron Buddha as before, but now he should especially visualize the interior of the body as clear and transparent, like crystal, from the top of the head to the soles of the feet. In this manner, the yogi should try to stabilize the visualization. The practice of mental visualization and the physical exercises should be carried out alternatively.
The Stong-ra practice is to visualize the body without the slightest shadow or obstruction as if one were seeing a clear rainbow. Although one's body cannot at this stage actually become (a body of rainbow), the stabilization of this visualization will enable the yogi to overcome the hazards—the nerve pains and prana pains—which he may encounter during his practice. Because of this Stong-ra practice, the greater pains or hazards will not arise; even if these pains do arise they can be subdued by the practice of Stong-ra visualization. This is the special advantage of practicing Stong-ra as well as the physical exercises.
Although there are a number of different statements and arrangements of the Stong-ra practice, the teaching of Pag-mo-grub-b’a says no more than the instruction given above; therefore, one should know that to follow this instruction is quite sufficient.
Though one may not find many accounts of the Stong-ra and physical exercises in the main Tantras, these are the pith-instructions taught by the masters. Furthermore, in the practice on Rtsa and prana it is sometimes difficult to attain Samadhi through the gentle or soft practice; therefore, the radical or strong practice is needed. In that case it is believed that these preparatory practices will minimize hazards and obstacles.
The Actual Successive Practice of the Path
There are different ways to classify this teaching—some divide it into two groups; some, into three, four, six, or ten. However, from the viewpoint of befitting the different dispositions or capacities of human beings, the teachings can be classified in three groups. First, the teaching that enables one to become the perfect Buddha in this very life; second, the teaching that enables one to become Buddha in the Bardo state; third, the teaching that enables one to become Buddha in future lives. From the viewpoint of the nature of the practice, the teaching can be divided into the ordinary Perfecting Yoga, and the outstanding betterment practice of the Perfecting Yoga The latter is not usually found in the teachings of the masters of this school (Kar-gyupa), who mainly depend on the pith-instructions alone.
"From the great master Naropa, the guard,
I have heard the profound Tantra of Hevajra
I also received the pith-instruction of joining, transformation and unification
(Bsre, rpo, nrtsams-sbyor).
Especially have I learned the teaching of Heat Yoga and Karmayoga.
Thus, for me, was the essence of the teachings of the Whisper Succession illustrated."
Thus, Marpa said, was illustrated for him the joining and transformation practice of the Whisper Succession. In particular, he relied on the practice of the Heat Yoga of the Vajra, which produces the four blisses. Later on, through the practices of Karmayoga, the four blisses were also raised within him. From this we know that, in the teaching of Hevajra, he relied mainly on the Heat Yoga and Karma-yoga.
Again Marpa said:
"In the city of Lagkedar, in the west,
I bowed down at the feet of the holy
From him I heard the teaching of
Gsun-wa-adus-b’a of the Father Tantra.
And also received the pith-instructions
Of the Illusory Body and Great Light.
Thus have I learned the teaching of the
Path of the Five Steps."
According to Naropa there are four outstanding Tantras from which the superb pith-instructions are derived; one of them is the teaching of the Path of the Five Steps of Gsun-wa-adus-b’a. Thus Marpa learned the teaching of the Illusory Body and Great Light of Gsun-wa-adus-b’a from both Ye-shes-snying-po and Naropa. As for the teaching of Transformation Yoga and Yoga of Entrance, he mainly derived them from the masterly Gdan-bzhi Tantra.
According to the classification of the Six Yogas of Naropa, the yogas are: Heat Yoga, Yoga of Illusory Body, Light Yoga, Transformation Yoga, Yoga of Entrance and Bardo Yoga. Both the Dream Yoga and Bardo Yoga are ramifications of the Yoga of Illusory Body. It is better to appropriate the Light-of-Sleep to the Yoga of Illusory Body; also it is more convenient to classify the Transformation Yoga and the Yoga of Entrance as one. The pith-instruction of Milarepa stated:
"…This teaching contains the Arising Yoga, Head Yoga, Karmayoga, the Knowledge of Reality, the Symbolic Light in the Path, and the Symbolic Illusory Body and Dream in the Path. These six teachings are the heart-like pith-instruction of Marpa, the final teachings of the Whisper Succession. No other teachings of any Path-with-Form can be found superior in essence to these. There is no other temporary or final instruction that does not belong to this teaching. The teaching of the Six Yogas is itself the Perfecting Yoga."
Those who follow and hold the traditional instructions of the Marpa School all hold this opinion. Those who declare that there are other teachings more profound than the Six Yogas of Naropa, speak nonsense.
Here it is proper to point out that, in general, the highest Perfecting Yoga must first provide the method of inducing the (prana) of the Roma and R-kyang, to enter the Central Channel. This teaching is indispensable, though there are a great many different methods given by accomplished yogis who relied on different Tantras. In this teaching (of Six Yogas), the method of meditating on the (gTummo) or the short. Ah at the Transformation Center of the navel is used to gather the Live-Dynamic Prana into the Central Channel. Through the entrance of the air into the Central Channel, the four blisses are produced, and finally, the Mahamudra Innate Wisdom. In this profound Teaching of Skillfulness is not relied on, but, instead, the practice of the Samadhi of Absolute-No-Thought, the Yogi will reach the state of Mind-Consolidation in which bliss, illumination, and non-thought are experienced. This state of Mind-Consolidation, however, is a common stage: Hinayana, Mahayana, Paramitayana, and Vajrayana all have the k now ledge and experiences of it. It is by no means special; therefore, it is of great importance that one should not confuse the teaching of this Mind-Consolidation state with the special Tantric Skillful Path. This view can be verified by the instance of Gampopa's (Sgam-po-pa) meeting with Milarepa. When Gampopa first met Milarepa, he told Milarepa that he was able to remain in Samadhi with perfect concentration for many days in a single period. But Milarepa told him that no butter can be produced by squeezing the sand; moreover, the Samadhi he had engaged in was by no means enough. Milarepa then told him that he should practice the Small Ah of Life-Energy of the Heat Yoga. One should well understand this important point.
We have always heard it said that the teaching of Heat Yoga of the Kargyutpa is the very best; however, this should only be understood to the effect that the primordial and fundamental principle of the Perfecting Yoga is to make the life-prana enter into the Central Channel to produce the Innate Great Bliss. Consequently, as the prime goal is reached, there is no need to pursue any other teachings of the Perfecting Yoga. By the practice of the meditation on the Dumo fire, the air enters into the Central Channel and goes through the progressive process of entering, remaining, and dissolving. By means of this power the Bodhi-Heart is brought under control. No more leakage of the Bodhi-Heart will occur; therefore the Yogi is able to practice the Karmayoga which provides favorable conditions for producing the Four Innate Blisses. The teaching of Heat Yoga and Karmayoga is mainly needed for the purpose of producing the Innate Bliss. Relying on this Innate Blissful-Emptiness while awake, the Yoga of Illusory Body should he practiced in the daytime. At time of sleep in the night, exercise on the Illusory Body of the dream state should be stressed. To practice this, one should first exercise the Light Yoga; then one is able to enter into (and master) the dream. In order to be capable of holding the prana during the time of (the unfoldment of) the Light-of-Sleeping State, one must first have the ability to gather the pranas during the waking state. For both of these practices, the best preparation is Heat Yoga.
The Yogi must first completely master the Dream State. After that he is able to recognize the Bardo State; for this the Heat Yoga is also the best preparation. Also because of the Heat Yoga these three practices converge into the Yoga of Illusory Body.
In the art of mastering the special Transformation Yoga and the Entrance Yoga, one must first be able to gather all the pranas into the Central Channel. Practicing Heat Yoga is the best method to accomplish this.
If he knows the different ways of allocating these teachings, he will have no difficulty in understanding the various ways of classifying them. If he possesses sound understanding of them, he may arrange them in any manner.
The Successive Steps of the Teachings in the Path
This will be expounded in two categories: first, the basic teachings in the path; second, the teaching of improvement. In the first category lie (1) the principle of the Path and (2) the ramification teachings of the path-Transformation Yoga and the Entrance Yoga. In the former there also lie two divisions: (1) The exposition of the gathering of prana in the Central Channel and the manner of the arising of the four blisses. (2) Relying on the foregoing experience, instruction on practicing the Illusory Yoga and Light Yoga. Of the first there are also two divisions: (1) The inner practice of Heat Yoga. (2) The outer practice of Karmayoga. The first again has two divisions; (1) Through the practice of Dumo the prana is led to the Central Channel. (2) By means of the entrance of the prana the manner of the arising of the four blisses. The first, again has two divisions: (1) How to practice Dumo. (2) The manner of the entrance, remaining, and dissolving of the prana in the Central Channel resulting from the Dumo practice. The first is divided into three groups: (1) Meditation on the Three Pillars. (2) Meditation on the Clear Words. (3) The practice of Vase-Breathing.
Meditation on the Three Pillars: Visualize clearly that sitting in the front sky are the Chief Gurus and the Succession Gurus, together with the Goddess and the Brave ones. To them render the comprehensive offerings without the slightest regard for one's own possessions. Then pray to them in general terms many times; especially on this occasion one should pray fervently for the arising of the two-in-one bliss-voidness experience and realization. Also one should think that it is for the purpose of enabling all the mother-like sentient beings to become the perfect Buddha Rdo-rje-chang that he now practices the Heat Yoga. One should put all one's heart into thinking of the Bodhi-Heart. Then visualize, clearly and vividly, the image of the self-Buddha. Thus the foundation of Samadhi is laid.
The Yogi should put on the meditation-belt, cross his legs (in the sitting posture), hold his spine erect, slightly bend his chin, and rest naturally the eyes. The tongue slightly touches the upper palate, the teeth and lips rest naturally as they are. Alert the body and mind; thrust the chest forward; put one hand on top of the other and poise them below the navel. Clearly visualize the three channels. Then think of the Dumo situated about four fingers’ distance from the navel, close to the spine. More explicitly, the Dumo is situated in the Central Channel at the joining point of the three channels—namely the Central, Right, and Left Channels. They are situated in a parallel position, and the Central Channel extends from the place below the navel up to the top of the head, as the supporting pillar of the four Chakras.
The reason for meditating in such a manner is to lead the pranas to enter into the Central Channel. Three different ways of practice were suggested. Some say that the three Channels all end at the place four fingers’ distance below the navel. Some say that the Right and Left Channels do not end there, but extend down to the end of the precious organ. In the upper part, some claim, the Central Channel extends up to Smin-mds’ams, the center of the two eyebrows, and the Right and Left Channels extend down to the nostrils. Through correct practice, the Right and Left Channels which encircle the Central Channels in the center of the four chakras will eventually be straightened. As for the diameter of the Channels, there are no definite rules. Meditate on various diameters. When the Dumo is meditated upon, the color of the Central Channel should be visualized as the color of the oil lamps’ flame. This whisper-given pith-instruction is found in the Tantras of Mkaspyol; however, before reaching this stage, the color of the Right Channel should be visualized as red, and the Left Channel as white, and the Central as blue.
Then the four Chakras should be meditated upon. First the Transformation Chakra of the Navel Center: its outer shape is triangular and has forty-two red nerve-leaves (Rts’adabs) extending upwards. This is a general way of meditating on these nerve-leaves. Though it is not specific, it is quite sufficient to serve the purpose. Second, the Dharma Chakra in the Heart Center; its outer shape is round, like the shape of the Boṃ word. It has eight white nerve-leaves extending downward. Third in the Throat Center lies the Chakra of Reward. Its outer shape is rounded like the Boṃ word. It has sixteen red nerve-leaves extending downward. The Yogi should understand that the last two Chakras symbolize Wisdom and Skill, and duly meditate upon them.
- 1. Seeing the Channels vividly, or forming a clear picture in the mind.
- 2. Holding on to this picture.
The mind should concentrate in the Central Channel at the point where the three channels join. This is very important. Then, one should proceed to visualize all the nerve-leaves, complete in number, of the different Chakras. Keep on with this practice; the nerve-leaves will become clearer and clearer in the mental picture.
If one has made every effort to visualize the nerve-leaves, but cannot get a clear picture of them in mind, one should concentrate on visualizing the three Channels, putting emphasis on picturing the portion above the Heart Center. If the mind concentrates without a slight rest for a long period, it will incur great hazards and hindrances. In that case, one should only meditate on the point where the three Channels join. According to this teaching, it is said, the yogi will experience two different stages: the emergence of a very clear and durable picture of the nerves, and the emergence of an obscure picture of the nerves. Whichever the case, it is advisable to follow the above instructions. This is verified by the teachings on visualization of nerves given by the accomplished yogi, the great Lawabi.
During this visualizing practice, if the yogi wants also to practice the breath-holding exercise, he may do so as instructed before. The way of alternately practicing the visualization, body movement, and Stong-ra will be expounded later.
The Practice of Visualizing Words
In Heat-Yoga, a teaching of meditating on different words in the three Channels and four Chakras is provided. This teaching is found in both the fundamental Tantra of Hevajra and the Expounding Tantra of Sambhuda. Many great accomplished yogis, such as the Black Practitioner (Nagbo-Spyod-pa), taught this teaching.
The practice of visualizing words includes two ways—the comprehensive way and the simple. The comprehensive way is to meditate on the words both at the center of the Chakra and at each different nerve-leaf. But in this teaching (of the Six Yogas), we find no clear instructions on this. The simple way is to meditate only on the words in the center of the four Chakras. This is clearly stated in the Expounding Tantra and the teachings of the great accomplished beings. Reflecting on this principle, one finds that merely meditating on the small Ah word in the Navel Center and the Hūṃ word in the Head Center is not sufficient nor desirable. To meditate on the words in the Heart Center and Throat Center is also necessary. It is of great importance.
To meditate on the words, one should follow the aforementioned instructions on keeping posture. Visualize the small Ah word at the center of the Transformation Chakra of the navel, or in the center in the Central Channel, which is close to the core of the spine. The Yogi should concentrate only at this point.
The visualization procedure is as follows:
To locate the visualization in the Heart Center, the yogi should see the word at the center of the eight nerve-leaves of the Dharma Chakra of the Heart Center near the central point between the two breasts.. He should meditate only on the point in the Central Channel that is near the spine. Visualize a blue Hūṃ word standing on a moon-wheel, head face down, the Bodhi-Heart like snow about to melt.
To locate the visualized word at the Throat Center, the yogi should visualize only the center-point of the sixteen nerve-leaves of the Throat Center in the Central Channel near the spinal column. Visualize at this point a red Oṃ word, its head facing up, standing on the moon-wheel.
To locate the word at the Head Center, the yogi should visualize the word at the center of the nerve-leaves of the Head Center in the Central Channel near the spinal column. Visualize at the point a white Haṃ word, facing down, standing on the moon-wheel.
It is of great importance that the yogi should visualize the points in the center of the Central Channel, entwined by the knot of the Right and Left channels, at the cross sections of the four Chakras.
Says the Expounding Tantra Sambhoda:
"The lotus that reaches the inner part of the heart
Is the principal one, which has eight nerve-leaves.
The nerve that reaches the inside of it is like a lamp.
In shape, it resembles the plantain flower,
Leaves opened and facing downward.
The god who dwells within it
Is as small as the mustard seed.
The indestructible seed—the Hūṃ,
Trembles like the snow about to melt…" (cf. the Upanisadic and the gotra teaching.)
The nerve that reaches the inner part of the heart is the principal nerve, which implies the Central Channel; the Hūṃ world should be visualized in it. The other words in the other three Chakras should be visualized as well.
Although there are many different teachings on the word-visualization in the four Chakras, the essential point is to visualize these words in the center of the Central Channel. Nevertheless, this point is not clearly stated in some teachings. If it is not clearly understood, one will not be able to gather the pranas at the Central Channel; consequently one will miss the essence of the pith-instruction.
Although the Sambhodra Tantra does not mention it, the small word Ah should be visualized with a head. According to the pith-instruction given in the Tantra of Bde-mchog, all the four words should be visualized with the half-moon head, the Thig-le and Na-da melting like the female Bodhisattva about to weep. This teaching is important because it produces and will enhance the Great Bliss.
When any visualized object is meditated upon, the yogi should put all his mind into the subtle object as if his mind (or rather his whole being) enters into the object. He should never visualize the object as if he merely sees it before him. For the correct practice, mind and object become as one; thus the experience of the unification of mind and Thig-le will come to pass, and, the gathering of the prana will become easy. In the practice of this meditation one should neither overstrain nor be too lax in his effort. Overstrain or laziness will bring drowsiness and distractions; therefore, the yogi should avoid both extremes.
The beginner should not meditate on the three words above the heart center for too long; he should meditate on them for only a short while, and devote most of this time to concentrating on the small Ah. If he finds it difficult to concentrate on the minute object, he should visualize it a little larger. When a larger picture can be stabilized in the mind, the yogi will then be able to visualize smaller or more subtle objects.
The purpose of practicing the Heat Yoga is to produce the Four Blisses. When the Bodhi-Heart in the nerves begins melting and the two pranas start gathering at the head Chakra, the (first) Bliss (ananda) begins to arise. Thereafter, the Bodhi-Heart begins to disperse into the nerves. When the Bodhi-Heart gathers at the Throat Center the (second) Extreme-Bliss (paramananda) arises; then the Bodhi-Heart disperses again through the different nerves, and when it is gathered at the Heart Center, the (third) Superb Bliss (viramananda) arises. Again, the Bodhi-Hearth disperses through the nerves, and when it is gathered at the Navel Center, the (fourth) Innate Bliss (sahajananda) arises. Following this if one meditates upon the words in the center of the Central Channel in the four Chakras, the mind-prana will be easily gathered at the four centers; thus, the Four Blisses will arise from the four centers. It is necessary for the Yogi to recognize these Four Blisses in experience.
When the Bodhi-Hearth begins to melt and drop down from the upper center to the lower centers, if the Bodhi-Heart cannot remain at each center for a longer period, it will be extremely difficult for the yogi to recognize the differences between the Four Blisses. Especially will it be difficult to recognize the Innate Bliss. Thus one should know that if the mind can concentrate a long period on the four Chakras, the melted Bodhi-Heart will also remain at the different centers for a longer period. This is a very important point. If the Haṃ word at the Head Center that is the center of the white Bodhi-Heart can be stabilized, the white element will be greatly enhanced and multiplied. If the word at the Throat Center, the place through which the Right Channel multiplies the blood-element, can be stabilized, the secretion of the Dumo which comes from the Navel Center will produce great power. Consequently, it will promote and improve the practice of Dream Yoga. The Heart Center is the center of light. If the Hūṃ word at the heart center is stabilized the great light will unfold. Meditation on the Heart Center will help the emergence of the light in both the waking and the sleeping states.
The small Ah word should also be stabilized at the Navel Center, since through it the Left Channel multiplies the fluid. From the Navel Center the White-Bodhi-Heart revitalizes the whole body. Furthermore, this center is the special place where the Dumo resides. It is well known that the Navel Center is the place where the fire, that melts the Bodhi-Heart, is kindled.
It is of great importance that the yogi should acquaint himself with the teaching of the meditation on the Chakras and their words. Until all the words in the different Chakras appear vividly in the mind, the yogi should continue his effort.
The Practice of Vase-Breathing
Following the preceding instructions, the yogi should first clearly visualize the nerve (nadi = Tib. rtsa. Ed.) system in general, then concentrate on the center of the Central Channel at the cross section of the three channels. Next, the yogi should meditate on the four words in the different nerves; especially should he concentrate on the small Ah word in the Central Channel at the Navel Center. If this mind-holding object can be stabilized, the mind and prana will converge to it. Thus the mind reaches the state of concentration and the pranas are collected. This is stated in the Tantra of Bde-Mchog and the Expounding Tantra Sambhodra of Hevajra.
During the practice of Vase-Breathing, the yogi should also meditate on the four words in the four Chakras. This is taught by the great accomplished yogis the Black-Practitioner, Lawaba, and Ocean-Born, as well as in many holy scriptures, especially in those important pith-instructions of the Perfecting Yoga given in the Tantras. But that the four words should all be visualized, is not given, even in the instruction of Vase-Breathing Practice in the Whisper Teaching.
The Yogi should well acquaint himself with the meditation procedure as given in the preceding instructions. Through this practice the pranas will enter into the Central Channel and by the power of the fire of Dumo the Bodhi-Heart will be melted—thus the Four Blisses will definitely arise. But there are many Tibetan teachers who give the teaching of Dumo in a manner which combines all the practices of nerve (Rtsa), word, and Vase-Breathing at one time and declares that it is for the sake of promptly producing the Dumo experience that the combined practice is given.
"The taking-in, the filling-up, the dissolving,
And the shooting like the arrow are the four steps."
This stanza shows the four special steps of the Vase-Breathing practice that was found in the pith-instructions of the gurus in the past and favored by them. There is a certain commentary which says that "the four" means the four bases; this is a mistake, however, that was made through overlooking the text of the Tantras.
The physical preparations for the breathing exercise are the same as given before. The best time to practice this breathing exercise, according to the instructions of the accomplished Yogi Pag-mo-grub-pa is the time when the breathing runs equally (in both nostrils).
Pag-mo-grub-pa adds: "Although many gurus say that the best time to practice this breathing exercise is the time when the air runs equally (through both nostrils), (in the light of serious meditation) the breathing practice should be carried on day and night." In order to make the proper time explicit, this instruction is given first.
In general, the prana is the essence of the expression of the Buddhas. In this practice the exercise should be carried out when most of the Lotus-Shelter-Air ascends. This is stated in the Lotus Commentary of the Dorn Tyun Tantra.
Filling-up the air: After taking in the air, press it down and hold it. As the yogi inhales, he should think that the air comes in through the two nostrils and enters into the Right and Left Channels, filling them up (like breath inflating balloons made of entrails.)
At this time the yogi should swallow the spittle in the mouth and press the upper air down and pull the lower air up from both the lower gates to the small Ah word. Then the yogi should concentrate on his visualizations and hold his breath as long as he can. The holy Pag-mo-grub-pa said in his instructions-stanza: "From the Right and Left Channels the air enters into the Central Channel and fills it. When the breath can be held no longer, the yogi should release it for a very short time—the duration of snapping one's finger. The air left in the body should be used for the dissolving practice."
Though this instruction is somewhat contradictory on two points with the instruction given before, except the fourth step (the dissolving step), the other three (taking-in, holding, and exhaling the air) are expounded. The filling-up practice means inhaling the air that fills the Right and Left Channels, and the dissolving practice means the departure of the air from the two channels and its entrance into the Central Channel; thereby the Central Channel is filled with air, but the air in the Right and Left Channel is dissolved or emptied.
As to the manner of practicing the Vase-Breathing at the Navel Center, some claim that the lower air should not be pulled up, merely pressing the upper air down will do; others say that the yogi should press the air down at first, then, after a while, pull up the lower air three times. These sayings are wrongfully given through ignorance of the essence of Vase-Breathing practice. The right practice is to combine the Live-Prana above the navel with the Tur Sel Prana below the navel. As the Dom Gyun Tantra says:
This stanza explains the way of practicing the Vase-Breathing by combining or uniting the up-going and down-going prana. Thus we know that the up-going and down-going air should be combined and that they should not be pulled up simultaneously, but one after another. If there is no special reason for a particular meditation, the up-going air should be drawn and pressed first; afterwards, pull up the down-going air. It is not necessary to pull the down-going air three times.
"Shooting the air like the arrow." This illustrates the manner of expelling the air from the body. When the yogi exhales the air, he should visualize it arising through the Central Channel freely, like gas through a pipe. One should not visualize the air going out of the body through the crown of the head.
About the practice of drawing the up-going and the down-going air together at the Navel Center, one important point should be mentioned: some say the yogi should visualize the whole body full of Prana; some say the Prana should be visualized only full above the Heart Center or above the Throat Center. These instructions are unsound—because the true and sound teaching is to visualize the small Ah word whereupon the two pranas unite. There are two reasons for this. First, through leading the Prana into the Central Channel, the Life-Prana and the down-going prana are unified. Second, through visualizing words, the essential mental concentration process is automatically completed. Furthermore, whenever the mouth of Ro-ma and Rkyang-ma are open, the mouth of the Central Channel is closed and vice versa.
Through the practice of Vase-Breathing, the out-going breathing from the Ro-ma and Rkyang-ma is stopped; and through visualizing the air entering into the Central Channel, the yogi eventually will be able actually to lead the incoming air into the Central Channel.
The manner and the duration of holding the breath are explained by Pag-mo-grub-pa as follows: In the beginning stage, practice on taming the nerves is emphasized. The yogi should not hold his breath to the point of strain. The yogi should hold the breath easily and not for too long. Gradually, he should increase the duration of the holding period. Until the breath becomes very smooth and submissive, he should not engage in the stronger breathing practices, such as shaking the upper part of the body and forcibly pulling up the prana. He should release his breath before he feels uncomfortable, and not try to hold it too long. Even if he tries to do so, it will not help the gathering of pranas in the Central Channel, for the prana will remain in the Transformation Wheel only a moment and then go outside. Although to hold the prana outside the Wheel Center for a long period will produce a little warmness and bliss, it does not help the prana to enter into the Central Channel.
In the practice of visualization, the yogi tries to visualize the subject clearly, but a clear image appears in his mind for only a short moment. To visualize a steady picture is difficult. In the after-meditation period, however, he will sometimes experience the appearance of a steady picture in his mind clearly, without any effort. In the same way he will learn that natural and easy breath-holding cannot come without practice and effort. Therefore, until the natural breath-holding or breath-remaining comes to pass, he should try to prolong the breath-holding exercise gently. Even if he exerts himself in holding the breath for a long period the prana will not remain at the place desired. Furthermore, too much exertion will cause many troubles and do little good, so, until the prana can be easily and naturally placed in the Navel Center, the yogi should gently prolong the breath-holding exercise. If one knows how to practice this exercise proficiently, one will be able to know whether the prana naturally remains and whether the prana can be led to the desired place.
The best time to practice Vase Breathing is neither just before nor just after eating, but when the stomach is neither too full nor too empty. The practice should be carried out without interruption, yet not for too long a period. At times the yogi should rest for a while.
During the Vase Breathing, word-visualization should also be practiced. The yogi should clearly visualize the four words—Ah, Hūṃ, Oṃ, Haṃ—at the four respective centers of navel, heart, throat and head that are knotted (by the nerves) as mentioned before.
Thereupon, the yogi should visualize an Ah word, the essence of fire and Dumo, blazing with brightness. This word-of-fire is then fanned and stimulated by the wind from the Privy Wheel, and its heat rises up and ascends to the Hūṃ, Oṃ and Haṃ words. The three words begin to melt, and the melted drops all fall to the Ah word and unite with it, becoming one. This one drop is the self-nature of the Innate Bliss, whereupon the yogi should concentrate. In this process of holding mind to the subject, the yogi should visualize the Dumo-Ti-Le burning with the tiny fire-tongue.
The yogi should visualize the melting Bodhi-Heart begin to drop from the respective Wheels and fill up the Ah word, and then concentrate on visualizing the Ah word until the signs of a stable visualization appear.
If the visualization becomes stable, the light of Dumo will shine. The body, both inside and out, and the things in the house can all be seen clearly as one sees the olive fruit in one's own palm. Thus it is important to visualize the Ah word shining with its burning tongue, clearly and vividly. Through this practice the brightness-aspect of Samadhi will increase, and a perfect Samadhi will be obtained.
The entering, the remaining, and the dissolving process in the Central Channel:
The Art Of Gtum-Mo or Heat Yoga
Through the above-mentioned three practices, prana will enter into the Central Channel, but in this connection one may ask what are the unmistakable signs of the prana entering into the Central Channel? (In other words, what are the right signs one should expect to experience if the pranas are on the point of entering into the Central Channel?) This is an extremely important question; there is a great number of different answers. Among them the definite and unmistakable sign is the following experience. After the meditation period, the yogi identifies the particular nostril from which the breathing (or most of the exhaled air) runs. Then he applies the mental and bodily practices as before. In a very short time, the breath running through both nostrils becomes even, and it should not alter within one or two breaths. If there is no other hindrance, the breath should remain even in both nostrils; the strength of both nostrils should be equal. If the yogi is able to do this, he may be considered as having a little strength in leading the prana into the Central Channel. However, this does not mean that, by doing this practice once (attaining even runs of the breath in the two nostrils), the ordinary breathing-process, which unequally stresses the two nostrils, will be forever stopped.
In accordance with the teachings, the yogi carries on his practice and carefully observes the manner of the breath running in the nostrils. Gradually the breath will become more and more subtle, and finally it will stop. The Jetsun Milarepa said:
As to the subtle breathing, for some it is difficult and for some it is easy. If the yogi finds it difficult to absorb the air, lie will in a few minutes feel it filling up his entire belly, but then it begins to dissolve. Immediately after the dissolving, he will feel an extraordinary warmness taking place in the fire-place of the Navel Center and Secret Center; thereafter, the Melting Bliss will take place.
A cessation of the subtle running breath will tend to accumulate the subtle distractions, whence great distractions often occur. In this connection those who do not know how to concentrate on the central point of the Wheels, and who engage themselves in various kinds of Vase-Breathing exercises, will neither help the prana to enter nor remain inside (the Central Channel), because these practices can not tame the pranas and make them gather in the Central Channel. Consequently, neither the entering into nor the remaining in the Central Channel will come to pass; therefore, one must discriminate carefully.
As to the length or the duration of holding the Vase-Breathing, the Dom Jun Tantra says:
"Knowing the way of practicing Vase Breathing as instructed before,
The yogi then sits in a lotus posture.
One hand rubs the other three times,
And then he snaps his fingers six times.
The duration of thirty-six snappings
Is the length of time of Vase Breathing.
The best are (able to hold on) three times as long;
The length of more than one hundred snappings."
The left hand is supinely placed on the knee and is rubbed by the right hand three times; then six snaps are made with the fingers. This is one complete process. If one is able to hold the breath for 108 times of such duration, it is the best; to hold seventy-two times is the medium, and thirty-six times is the minimum. It is also said that whoever holds the breath for any of these three durations will be able to conquer death.
Now, the second:
Of this, three expositions are given:
- 1. The appearance of the signs.
- 2. The manner of the firing of Dumo
- 3. The melting of the Bodhi-Heart.
The manner of the arising of the Four Blisses that are produced by the melting of the Bodhi-Heart will be discussed, and also the practice on the meditation of the Innate-Born-Wisdom. Now, the first: Through concentration on the central point of the Navel Center, the live prana enters into the Central Channel, whereupon signs will appear. These signs are explained by the accomplished Yogi Lawaba:
"The first sign is like the bewildered animals.
The second sign is the smoke.
The third sign is like the light of the firefly.
The fourth sign is like the lamplight.
The fifth sign is without any form,
It appears like the clear firmament without any clouds."
The first sign—the bewildered animals—means the phantasm. That is, in comparison with the other four signs, which are successively brighter one by one, the first sign is hazy and unclear like the phantasm (seen by bewildered animals in the distance). Some say this stanza cannot be interpreted literally, that the signs do not appear as the stanza relates. Some say it merely symbolizes the stability of the sign-appearing-consciousness, whether the experiences are stable or wavering. Some say the signs are like smoke. Of these three opinions, the last one is best. The intensiveness and stability (of the smoke and light) will depend on the alternation of the strong and weak wind; they cannot be uniform all the time.
There are two possible ways through which the sign of smoke can be experienced: first, the special skillful (Tantric) teachings through which the pranas are gathered into the Central Channel, as here instructed; second, the practice of the non-thought meditation through which the sign of smoke will also be experienced. The yogi should be extremely careful in discriminating between these two.
The signs experienced through the Tantric teachings are subject to the disturbance caused by the wicked earthly wind. The disturbance (or the retrogression of signs) can be differentiated in three degrees—the things of retrogression, the little retrogression, and the definite retrogression. The extreme outgoing winds from the different organs are being checked (by the practice) and turned inward. When a small portion of the outgoing winds