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Vajrasattva Purification Practice

From Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Vajrasattva Purification Practice

Prostrate thee times, then sit on your cushion. Bring your mind to a quiet state.

The Power of Reliance

We rely upon a doctor when we are sick and whose medicine we take to heal. To purify our deluded actions, we rely upon th Buddha. We also rely upon others beings, the very beings we have harmed, so we must generate a sense of compassion for them and make the wish to purify for their sake. Develop a sense of going for refuge to the Buddha Vajrasattva.

Above the crown of your head, seated cross-legged upon a lotus and moon cushion, visualize Guru Vajrasattva. He is your root guru manifesting in this aspect for your benefit. He is made of radiant, blissful white light. His face is radiant and beautiful. His eyes are long and peaceful and full of love and compassion for us. His mouth is red and very sweet. His hair is black and held up in a top knot. His arms are crossed at his heart, left underneath the right. In his left hand he holds a bell, which represents wisdom. In his right hand, he holds a vajra, which represents the indestructability of compassion. Their being crossed represents the union of these two and symbolizes enlightenment itself: the development of infinite wisdom and infinite compassion. The main thing is to really feel the presence of this enlightened energy above your head and to imagine that it is a mirror image of your own potential.

Imagine that you lead all sentient beings as you take refuge:

    I forever take refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
    And in all the three vehicles,
    In the dakinis of secret mantra yoga, in the heroes and heroines,
    In the empowering goddesses and the bodhisattvas.
    But most of all, I take refuge in my holy Guru forever. (3x)

Now visualize that light goes from Guru Vajrasattva’s heart to all the ten directions and hooks the energy of the body, speech and mind of all the enlightened beings ini the universe. This light comes back and dissolves into the heart of Guru Vajrasattva, who now embodies all this energy. He is even more brilliant and blissful than before.

The Power of Regret

First recall the definition of negative karma: any action that results in suffering, usually an action motivated by ignorance, attachment or aversion. Think in this way:

Almost every action I do, twenty four hours a day, is motivated by worldly concern, attachment to the comfort of this life. It is like this from birth to death in this life and has been like that through beginingless rebirths. Nearly every action I have ever created has been non-virtuous, the cause of suffering.

Not only that, but continuously I have also been breaking my pratimoksha, bodhisattva, and tantric vows. Worst of all, I have created the heaviest of negative karmas in relation to my virtuous friends: getting angry at them, generating wrong views, having non-devotional thoughts towards them, harming their holy body, and disobeying their advice.

Having these negative imprints on my mental continuum is unbearable. It’s as if I’ve swallowed a lethal poison. I must practice the antidote right away and purify all this negative karma immediately, without a second’s delay.

In this way, generate strong feelings of urgency and regret.

Remembering Impermanence and Death

Many people my age or younger have died. It’s a miracle that I’m still alive and have this incredible opportunity to purify my negative karma. Death is certain but its time is most uncertain. If I were to die right now, I would definitely be born in the lower realms. Because I could not practice Dharma there I would remain in the lower realms for countless eons. Therefore, how unbelievably fortunate I am to be able to purify my negative karma right now, without even a second’s delay, by practicing the Vajrasattva meditation-recitation.

Generating Bodhichitta

But I am not practicing this Vajrasattva purification for myself alone. The purpose of my life is to release all hell beings, pretas, animals, humans, asuras, suras, and intermediate state beings from all their suffering and its causes and lead them to unsurpassed enlightenment. In order to do this I must first reach enlightenment myself. Therefore, I must purify all my negative karma immediately by practicing the Vajrasattva meditation-recitation. In this way, your mind is transformed into Guru devotion – the root of all blessings and realizations of the path to enlightenment.

The Power of The Remedy

    Visualization and Mantra Recitation

    On a moon disk at Vajrasattva’s heart stands a HUM encircled by a garland of the hundred syllable mantra.

    Purification of Body

Visualize that white blissful kundalini energy flows down from Vajrasattva into your central channel. It spreads throughout your nervous system, flowing very strongly like water coming from a hose or like a very powerful shower, and flushes out all negativities of your body, speech and mind through the openings and pores of the lower part of your body. All this negative energy is expelled in the form of snakes, scorpions and ants or as black tar or dirty black oil. Recite the mantra as you visualize this.

Feel that you are completely purified, clean clear, especially your gross negativities, and overcome with blissful energy. Feel so happy that your negativity of body is purified. Really imagine now that it is impossible that your body could do anything but benefit others; no way can it harm. Really want that.

Purification of Speech

The blissful kundalini energy slowly fills your body starting from below. As the level of amrita rises, your negativities start to rise as well, floating on top of the nectar, like oil floating on water. Your negativities and defilements are slowly pushed upward by the pure amrita kundalini energy; it gradually overflows out of your body through all your upper orifices and your crown chakra. You experience great bliss. Recite the mantra as you visualize this.

  • Again, feel so happy that your speech is now completely purified and that no way could you do anything but say something beneficial, useful, appropriate or kind to others. Really want that.

Purification of Mind

The Power of Restraint

The fourth step in the purification process is the determination to not harm with our body, speech and mind again. Without this, we keep doing the same old rubbish! Determination to not harm again is like a beacon that guides our body, speech and mind in new directions. If you can actually vow to not do certain actions again for the rest of your life, fantastic.

But be realistic. If you can, vow not to do them again for a year, a month, a day, even a minute – whatever is realistic. Then in general vow to make the effort to avoid the others. This determination not to do again is what gives us the strength to turn ourselves around.

Before Guru Vajrasattva, I vow never again to commit those negative actions from which I can easily abstain and not to commit for a day, an hour or at least a few seconds those negative actions from which I find it difficult to abstain.


Guru Vajrasattva is extremely pleased with your pledge. Vajrasattva melts into light and dissolves into you. Your body, speech and mind become inseparably one with Guru Vajrasattva’s holy body, speech and mind.

Meditation on Emptiness

In emptiness, there is no I, creator of negative karma; there is no action of creating negative karma; there is no negative karma created. Place your mind in that emptiness for a little while. In this way, look at all phenomena as empty – they do not exist from their own side.

With this awareness of emptiness, dedicate the merits.


Due to all the merits of the three times collected by all the buddhas, bodhisattvas, myself, and all other sentient beings (which appear to be real, from their own side, but which are empty), may I (who appears to be real, but is empty) achieve Guru Vajrasattva’s enlightenment (which appears to be real, but is empty) and lead all sentient beings (who appear to be real, but are totally empty) to that enlightenment (which appears to be real, but is empty) by myself alone (who appears to be real, but is also totally empty, non-existent from my own side).

May the precious bodhichitta, the source of all happiness and success for myself and all other sentient beings, be generated within my own mind and in the minds of all sentient beings without even a second’s delay; and may that which has been generated be increased.

May I and all other sentient beings have Lama Tsong Khapa as our direct Guru in all our lifetimes, never be separated for even a second from the pure path that is greatly praised by the conqueror buddhas, and actualize the complete path – the three principal paths and the two stages of Highest Yoga Tantra – the root of which is Guru devotion, within our minds as quickly as possible.

Just as the brave Manjushri and Samantabhadra realized things as they are, I dedicate all these virtues in the best way, that I may follow after them.

Whatever dedication the three time victorious ones gone to bliss have admired as best, in the same way, I also perfectly dedicate all these roots of virtue so that I may perform good works.

Due to the merits of these virtuous actions,
May I quickly attain the state of guru Vajrasattva
And lead all living beings, without exception,
Into that enlightened state.

May the supreme jewel bodhichitta
That has not arisen, arise and grow;
And may that which has arisen, not diminish,
But increase more and more.