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An introduction to the Ocean of Amrita (Ngakso Puja) a Vajrayana Tantric Mending and Purification practice

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The purpose of this introduction is to help new and experienced Vajrayana practitioners gain the most benefit from the puja. Most of this information was taken from Lama Tsultrim^s teachings given in July, 2010.1 encourage you to listen to his teachings in their entirety and to read the practice book. They are available through the Ratna Shop (

The Ocean of Amrita is one of the teachings of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) discovered by Chokgyur Lingpa (1829-70), Urgyen Tulku's great-grandfather at Danyin Khala Rong-Go (photos at It is performed monthly at the Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery in Nepal

and annually in the US. Please join us Saturday, August 27, 2011, as Urgyen Tulku's son, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche will preside as the vajra master at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde in northern California.

"During a vision of Padmasambhava, Chokyur Lingpa received this advice which is included in the famous Ngakso text, which is based on the terma treasure Tukdrub Barchey Kunsek "During this part of the dark age there is almost no Tibetan who hasn't received an empowerment for Vajrayana・ The sacred samaya

bond is what sustains the life-force of empowerment. Without observing samayas, the life-force of the empowerment vanishes, like at feather blown away in the wind, and will not bring you any benefit/ For this reason Chokyur Lingpa requested a method for regularly restoring the samayas, the tantric commitments, which he then received, based on the Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel teachings. This practice is now widely known as the Ngakso" -Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, footnote 36, Blazing Splendor.

The original Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel teaching was requested of Guru Rinpoche by his consort Yeshe Tsogyal, the king of Tibet, Trisong Deutsen, and other disciples when the king, his family, and others were in the middle shrine hall at the monastery at SamyeGuru Rinpoche taught, "The best method for clearing obstacles is to supplicate the guru properly, then the common and supreme siddhis will naturally manifest." When the king's second son, Prince

Murub, asked how to supplicate Guru Rinpoche in particular, these were the teachings he gave・ The teachings were written down by Yeshe Tsogyal, who had a photographic memory, and hidden by her as an earth terma (hidden spiritual treasure)・ Hundreds of year later, the prince reincarnated as Chokgyur Lingpa to discover the teachings. The Concise Daily Practice is also from this ter ma.

The practice book contains over 230 pages, thus the puja takes most of a day to complete. The Ocean of Amrita refers to the amrita or wisdom nectar that can transmute the poisons of the negative emotions into the wisdoms, resulting in a vast ocean of benefit. Through this practice we can accumulate virtue and purify negativity.

PART ONE: In Section One, The general preliminaries include supplication of the lineage gurus to help dispel obstacles, which include:

1) Outer obstacles: earthquakes, storms, floods and other elemental obstacles

2) Inner obstacles: illnesses due to disturbed inner winds and channels

3) Secret obstacles: the mind's grasping onto outer objects - the strongest obstacles・ We do this by visualizing in front of us in the sky: Amitabha as the Dharmakaya

Chenrezig as the Sambhogakaya Guru Rinpoche as the Nirmanakaya

surrounded by their retinues・ At the end of this section, all of these beings dissolve into light then into oneself. We then offer a torma to the spirits of the place, take refuge and arouse bodhichitta, including the Seven Branch Offering and Tonglen. As part of the extraordinary preliminaries for the vajrayana, we offer a torma to any obstructors and command them to disperse, then visualize the protection circle and call in the wisdom beings.

In the Main Practice, we "pitch the framework with the three samadhis":

1) The Samadhi of Suchness (Dharmakaya) to purify the bardo of dying, the formless realm and the view of eternalism we rest in the nature of the mind

2) The All-Illuminating Samadhi (Sambhogakaya) to purify the bardo between lives, the form realm and the view of nihilism and give rise to compassion

3) The Samadhi of the Seed Syllable - a white Hrih (Nirmanakaya) to purify the bardo of being reborn, the desire realm and the belief in a self and to realize the unity of emptiness and compassion.

We visualize ourselves as Guru Rinpoche, then invoke the Wisdom Beings, make offerings to them and recite their mantras.

In Section Two, we visualize the Special Mandala of the Peaceful And Wrathful Deities by visualizing ourselves as Guru Rinpoche with a celestial palace in his heart containing the 42 peaceful deities・ In his skull is another celestial palace with the 58 wrathful deities inside. We again invoke Wisdom Beings, make offerings and recite their mantras

In Section Three, Performing the Vase Recitation & Torma Ritual, the deities whose mantras we have recited melt into light and dissolve into the water in the vases of the empowerment, thus consecrating this water and turning it into nectar・ We make offerings to the Three Roots (lamas, yidams & dakinis) and the Dharma Protectors and remind the Dharma Protectors to guard the teachings.

In PART TWO, we perform the actual mending and purification of breaches of vows and samayas. In Section One, we apologize for infractions against the vows of individual liberation, bodhisattva vow and secret mantra samayas and retake these vows.

In Section Two, we purify the six realms of existence and the seeds of the corresponding negative emotions using wisdom fire, wisdom wind and wisdom water:

Hell Beings' Abode Anger

Hungry Ghosts' Abode Stinginess

Animals' Abode Ignorance

Human Beings' Abode Desire

Demigods' Abode Jealousy

Gods' Abode Pride

We then purify violations of body, speech and mind, cleansing degenerations of commitments through whatever we have done, spoken or thought. This section includes the beautiful "Lamenting Apology^ (pages 143-149), the Dzogchen teachings contained in the "Apology of the Expanse of the View" (pages 150-155), and the beginning of the Tsok. The Tsok or Feast Offering is a special vajrayana skilful method for accumulating merit and wisdom very quickly. We invite

all the mandala deities of the Three Roots to enjoy a lavish feast. We accumulate merit by making offerings while not being attached to them and accumulate wisdom by resting in the view while performing the Tsok. To all of the deities we apologize for any breaches and ask that the samayas with them be mended.

We then assume the wrathful form of Padma Heruka (Hayagriva) and liberate all the obstructors to the Dharma by freeing our own deluded thoughts into luminous space and dissolving their meat, blood and bones and our own anger, desire, and ignorance into the amrita, which we then offer to the mandala deities. We thus gain the Threefold Benefit: 1) we gain the life force of the negative entities and thoughts, giving us the blessing of long life, 2) the obstructors consciousnesses are liberated into a Pure Realm and we recognize the nature of the mind, and 3) the Three Roots are delighted by the offering of the remains of the obstructors and our own transformation of ignorance into wisdom

We then enter the mandala and receive the four empowerments:

1) the Vase empowerment which purifies the body defilements, allowing us to attain the fruition of nirmanakaya and see all manifestations as the mandala of the deity,

2) the Secret Empowerment, which purifies our defilements of speech, allowing us to attain the fruition of sambhogakaya and cease the concepts of past, present and future,

3) the Wisdom Knowledge Empowerment, which purifies the defilement of our mind, allowing us to attain the fruition of dharmakaya and see all phenomena as great bliss, and

4) the Word Empowerment, which purifies the defilement of habitual tendencies, introducing us to the Nature of Mind and allowing us to attain the svabhavikakaya

We also receive the special Empowerments of Body, Speech & Mind, the Empowerment of the Mending of the Ultimate View of Emptiness and the Supporting Torma Empowerment.

In Section Three, we take the pledge to maintain all the vows we have taken, offer gifts to the vajra master and promise to follow his commands・ We then enjoy the feast, remembering the food as an offering to the deities residing in our bodies. After making further offerings of song and dance, we raise butter lamps and make aspirations to attain enlightenment.

In PART THREE, we offer the residuals from the Tsok to the beings who were not able to enter the mandala and ask them to remove obstacles and increase favorable conditions・ We offer tormas to male and female protectors of the mandala and ask them to fulfill the pledges they have made to assist and

protect this lineage and us practitioners of the lineage・ We receive the siddhis from the empowerment substances as the nectar (amrita) and light rays fill us. To avoid fixating on permanence we finally dissolve the deities into ourselves, we dissolve into the seed syllable at our heart center, the seed-

syllable dissolves and we rest in the state of luminosity. In order to purify the nihilistic view, we reemerge "like a fish jumping out of water" in one instant as Guru Rinpoche with the syllables OM, AH, HUNG at our forehead, throat and heart respectively・ We are advised to "Keep the view that sights, sounds and awareness are deity, mantra and wisdom, and make all your daily activities meaningful/^ Finally we dedicate the merit of the puja.