Guru Padmasambhava on the Mani Mantra

Guru Rinpoche told King Mutig of Tibet and the close disciples, “Listen, king of Tibet, nobility and subjects! OM MANI PADME HUM is the quintessence of the Great Compassionate One, so the merit of uttering it just once is incalculable. The possible multiplication resulting from a single seed of the lotus flower lies beyond the reach of thought. But compared to that, the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once is even greater. A single sesame seed can multiply into many, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once is even greater. The four great rivers and countless other minor rivers flow into the salty ocean, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once is even greater.

All needs and wishes are granted when you supplicate the precious wish-fulfilling jewel, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once is even greater. 0M MANI PADME HUNG. It is possible to count the number of raindrops falling during twelve years of monsoon, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be counted. It is possible to count all the grains sown on the four continents, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be counted. It is possible to count the drops of water in the great ocean, one by one, but the merit Of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be counted. It is possible to count each hair on the bodies of all animals in existence, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be counted.

OM MANI PADME HUNG. The Six Syllables are the quintessence of the Great Compassionate One. It is possible to wear down a mountain of meteoric iron that is eighty thousand miles high by rubbing it Once every aeon with the softest cotton from Kashika, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be exhausted. It is possible for the merutsey insect to finish eating Mount Sumeru to the core, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be exhausted. It is possible for the tito bird to remove the sand of River Ganges with its beak, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be exhausted. It is posstble for a small breeze to scatter the earth of the four continents and Mount Sumeru, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be exhausted.

OM MANI PADME HUNG. It is possible to calculate the merit of creating a Stupa made of the seven precious substances filled with relics of the buddhas of all the world-systems and making constant offerings to it, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be calculated. It is possible to calculate the amount of merit from Offering incense, lamps, perfumes, bathing water, music, and so forth to buddhas and buddha realms in a number that equals the grains of sand found in the entire world-system, but the merit of uttering the Six Syllables just once cannot be calculated.

OM MANI PADME HUNG. These six syllables are the quintessence of the mind of noble Avalokiteshvara. If you recite this mantra 108 times a day, you will not take rebirth in the three lower realms. In the following life you will attain a human body and in actuality you will have a vision of noble Avalokiteshvara. If you recite daily the mantra correctly twenty-one times, you will be intelligent and able to retain whatever you learn. You will have a melodious voice and become adept in the meaning of all the Buddhadharma. If you recite this mantra seven times daily, all your misdeeds will be purified and all your obscurations will be Cleared away. In following lives, no matter where you take birth, you will never be separated from noble Avalokiteshvara.

When someone is afflicted by disease or an evil influence, compared to any mundane ritual of healing or of repelling obstacles, the merit Of the Six Syllables is much more effective for warding off obstacles or disease. Compared to any medical treatment or cure, the Six Syllables are the strongest remedy against sickness and evil. The virtues Of the Six Syllables are immeasurable and cannot be fully described even by the buddhas of the three times. Why is that?

It is because this mantra is the quintessence of the mind of the noble bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who continuously looks upon the six classes of sentient beings with compassion. Thus, recitation of this mantra liberates all beings from samsara.

Kings and disciples of future generations,
Take the Great Compassionate One as your yidam.
Recite the Six Syllables as the essence mantra.
Be free from the fear of going to the lower realrns.
Avalokiteshvara is the destined deity of Tibet,
so supplicate him with faith and devotion.
You will receive blessings and attainments
And be free from doubt and hesitation.
To the knowledge Of me, Padmakara,
A teaching more profound and more swift
Has never been taught by the buddhas of the three times
I, Padmasambhava, am now taking leave.
Keep this in your hearts,
Tibetan followers, kings, and disciples,
Who are present now or will appear in the future.

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Wealth comes from Giving – My Personal Experience

(Sharing from a fellow Buddhist — translated from Chinese)

Dharma brothers and sisters, after seeing that some Dharma friends are experiencing difficulties in their finances, I decided to share some of my personal experiences in the hope that it would be of use to others.

In the past, I had many difficulties financially too and often worried about money.  After my marriage and setting up a family, we had some savings initially but my husband used them for an investment. I did not work and had no income, but my uncontrolled spending soon caused us financial problems.

At that time, my in-laws were a family of average income, my mother-in-law was quite thrifty.  If I did not finish a bowl of left-over vegetables from the day before, my mother-in-law would reprimand me severely.  I felt quite aggrieved and cried secretly. (Now  I realize that I had been very petty and did not know how to appreciate my merits). When we went to restaurants, we would pick the cheaper dishes and we did not snack at home, everyone was quite thrifty.  Even for going to the movies, my husband had to bring me secretly, knowing that his mother would be angry if she found out. After our wedding, my husband revealed to me that his family was laden with debts.  When I learned this, I was shocked out of my wits.

There were many problems with my husband after our wedding, at that time I came into contact with the Ksitigarbha seven days group practice.   In my eagerness to practice, I loved to make many offerings, give to the needy and release lives. But all these giving were accompanied by a kind of expectation or wish that I would be rewarded. I only hoped that something in my situation would change. My mother who knew somewhat of my financial situation, was saddened by my straits and would often support me secretly. Each time, she would give me quite a large sum of money, which, apart from supporting household expenses, I would use for myself quite sparingly, not daring to spend too much.  I used most of the money for releasing lives, giving to benefit others etc.  I spent most on releasing lives because I loved this activity.  I released lives ceaselessly and managed to release a great many lives.

At the beginning, there was not much improvement. Until I gave birth to our first child, there were many obstacles, so I decided to start doing my Dharma homework properly. I continued to persist in giving.  As long as there were places that needed donors, that had donation boxes, or donation drives, I would give a few tens of dollars, this became a deep habit of mine.

As my homework increased, my husband’s business started to turn around. I finally did not need my mother to help me financially. My husband would give me some money every month. Besides using it for household expenses, I would use most of it for releasing lives and giving. When relatives or other Dharma friends needed help urgently, I would try my best to help. Or if my friends liked something I had, I would give it out quite naturally. I knew that I had many negative habitual tendencies and used the method of generosity to reduce my greed and attachment.

As I persisted in practicing this way slowly, and as the volume of my homework increased, my husband’s business became better and better. We even got ourselves branded cars and large mansions. All the past debts of many decades finally got repaid, we got ourselves many real-estates in many places. Many of these properties were rented out at very good rates.

All these were just the appearances but many people envied me, thinking that I was still young and yet did not need to work and could just remain at home to bring up the kids, not even needing to do much housework.  But it is due to these very same reasons that I felt that my negative karma was very heavy, as these enjoyments also used up a lot of my merits.  Therefore, when I was home, I would try to help out with the housework and do whatever work I could do myself, not allowing other people to take my place in doing these work.  This was to conserve my merits.  I also tried to participate in internet volunteering.  What is worth mentioning is that: my children are basically taken care of by me. Because the kids are young, the mother’s guidance and teachings are especially important. Even in a very well-to-do environment, we should learn to be appreciative of what we have.  We should realize that the merits that enabled us to enjoy were obtained through hard work in the past. It came through giving and generosity. It came through maintaining moral discipline and holding precepts. If the children cultivated the habits of arrogance from infancy, it would mislead them and create a great mistake. The mother should inculcate her children with such values. Nowadays, although the children are still young, when they turn on the tap to wash their hands, they would automatically open the tap only slightly so that a small volume of water flows down.  They have been trained in many such cute habits (such as conserving water) , there is no need to mention them all here.

Later on, my husband got progressively better and better.  In the year when many in the same trade could not earn any profits, my husband even managed to make a killing.  As to this, my husband feels that he has very good luck. But secretly, I knew that this was due to his past accumulated merits and also the merits accrued from the virtuous deeds I had done on his behalf by releasing lives and giving for other beneficial causes.

Some Dharma friends asked me why I don’t put some savings aside for rainy days. It is true that I never did so. I can never manage to save money, because I love to give and release lives. This has become a deep habit for me only that now I no longer expect anything much in return, it has simply become a good way of life for me.  Although I do not really worry much about money now, strange to say, every time I needed money, there would always be some coincidental way in which money makes its way into my hands.  Sometimes, the coincidence is so uncanny that it shocks me completely but I believe this to be the blessings of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

It may be because I used my husband’s wealth to make offerings and give generously that my husband also benefited. Many of my friends and relative often said, since I married into this family, the wealth of the family has prospered, they said that I brought wealth to my husband. Actually, they do not know that this is due to my strenuous effort in giving and doing my daily homework. In the same business deal, if my brother-in-law or sister’s husband went to negotiate, the clients would often refuse to accept the deal. If my husband went, he always closed the deal easily and the income would often be quite significant. My husband often commented behind their backs that my brother-in-law and sister’s husband did not do their work seriously, but I felt that this was not the true reason. I feel that this is related to one’s merits.

To summarize, when I was very poor in the past, I did not give, was thrifty, did not uphold precepts, did not practice seriously and everything was done in a superficial way. I was extremely attached to material enjoyments and had many negative emotions. Since doing Dharma practice, my family has been getting along well, my finances have improved by leaps and bounds. I know that my karmic obstacles are heavy and that my present good situation is just but an appearance.  Only if my body and mind regains its purity, my mind placed on the correct Dharma path, all my mistakes of body, speech and mind are corrected, and I am able to take as my teacher the Buddha, Precepts and Suffering (for the sake of practice) would I be able to rest satisfied that everything is done well.

My Dharma path has been very long and my karma has been very heavy but the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have been kind and merciful, not abandoning me, allowing me experience so many positive changes in my family in a very short time. Even though not everyone in my family practices Dharma, but many things are gradually changing. For instance, if we met a handicapped person on the streets, my husband would tell me to give some money. If it had been the past, if he saw me giving money, he would definitely give me an earful. Or for instance, in our family, we predominantly take vegetarian food, when we eat out, we do not order live foods, so there is no killing. My husband now spends time with me and our children, chatting, interacting and playing games. He gives the children baths, it is a great change from the past when he barely came home, and ignored us for long periods of time. Even my mother-in-law has become more accommodating and understanding, our relationship has changed from one filled with quarrels to one that is much more harmonious. The Dharma practice and Buddhas and Bodhisattvas help us in every facet of our lives.

However, one should not be attached to such little worldly merits. A teaching once said, someone who is materially well-off and had a peaceful body and mind can truly be considered a person with merits. Learning from my experience, many of my surrounding family, friends and fellow-practitioners have now started to joyfully practice generosity. Many people who used to make fun of me are now filled with admiration for me and have started the practice of generosity themselves. Many of them have already received palpable benefits from giving.

Actually, I am still young, and my practice is immature, so I do not really have the qualifications to write such an article. But seeing often that people are complaining of a lack of money, and that some people who make great efforts are still deprived of wealth, I really wish to tell them, “Wealth comes from giving, holding precepts and doing Dharma practice.”  Just look at someone like me: not working; bringing up the children; ignorant of many things; having a very simple mind and being quite stupid, when many other Dharma friends tell me something simple, I need to think about it for a long time before their meanings becomes apparent to me. Yet, I have money every month, I am able to do my Dharma practice, volunteer work, release lives, study the teachings, accompany my family and live a very joyful life.

I am grateful to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Tonight, for some strange reason, I suddenly felt like writing this article. I hope it helps those who have the karmic connection. I am quite a simple and slow person, so it is better to leave a pseudonym. Thank you all my Dharma brothers and sisters!

Pure Motivation

Pema Trinley Rinpoche

If we do not have a pure motivation and our practice is merely for ourselves. Then I’m afraid that even if you practice the Dzogchen pith instructions, Thogal or even if you do retreats, all of these acts will not have much meaning. Many of our Dharma friends here have just emerged from retreats. I rejoice in your merits sincerely. All the Dharma friends here also rejoice in your retreat. Because we rejoice in the merits of your retreat, we obtain the same exact merits. (everyone laughs) And if you are going to do future retreats, all of us would now rejoice here in advance. However, as a practitioner, you should understand why we rejoice or why we retreat. If one does not know the reasons for these or if you don’t possess a pure motivation, or if you lack true faith in the Dharma or lack Bodhichitta, then whether you retreat or rejoice, it does not have great meaning.

All our practices must never ever be just for benefitting ourselves, or have our own benefit as its sole objective. Instead, one must genuinely give rise to the wish to benefit all beings vastly. Wish that oneself and others will obtain the fruition of liberation. In this way, you practice. If you simply say that you wish to benefit all beings, that has little practical benefits. We say that we must recognize the kindness of our mothers, that we must repay the kindness of our mothers, yet how can we genuinely repay our mothers’ kindness? There isn’t the slightest use in just saying we want to benefit all beings. We know that our mothers have great kindness towards us, then wishing to benefit our mothers, we should carry out actions that fulfill this vast aspiration.

Everyone of us needs to recognize our mothers’ kindness, repay our mother’s kindness. No matter who you are, it is impossible that you have just appeared like a raindrop falling from the sky, or like flower growing out from the ground. There is not one human without parents. Our ability now to practice the Dharma, to work in our jobs, to have happy lives. All these came from our parents’ kindness. If our parents had abandoned us, we would not even have this human life, not to mention Dharma practice or jobs. If our parents did not conceive us, nurture us, give us medicine in our infancy when we were sick and healed our sicknesses, did not give us food, then we would have died when we were young. Our present pleasant bodies are able to practice the Dharma and work– all these comes from our parents’ beneficence. As our parents were very careful to look after us, we have our present healthy bodies to learn the Dharma. Truly speaking, all that we possess right now comes from our parents’ kindness. We should really recognize this fact.

There are many children who are without the care of their parents, many of them are not even able to survive, or needless to say have a happy life. Just as you now make a lot of effort to look after your kids, all your parents have made similar efforts to look after you. Due to their parents’ kindness, these children are able to grow up properly. This is a kind of karmic connection through blood.

If the children are able to perform virtues with their body, speech and mind, then these positive karma will similarly ripen on their parents. If our parents have passed away, then as children, if we are able to practice many virtues, our parents’ future lives will be very good. But if we commit negativities, these negativities will similarly land on our parents. They will end up in the three lower realms on account of our negativities. Therefore, whether from the viewpoint of yourself or benefiting your parents or others, we need to continuously perform positive deeds with body, speech and mind.

Some advice by Pema Trinley Rinpoche on abortion

Tonight, a lady came to visit Rinpoche. After becoming pregnant, her boyfriend had disappeared. She wanted to abort the baby but did not dare to, it was very painful for her. She asked Rinpoche if she could first abort and then do prayers to liberate the deceased. At first, Rinpoche said, “No idea!”

That night, after the teaching had concluded. Rinpoche spoke privately to this lady again. He said, “After abortion, whether you do practice or not, the final destination will be the hell realms. If you give birth to the child, maybe you will have difficulties, but in the end, it will be good. The heaviest of all karmas is to kill, the greatest of all virtues is to protect life. I am saying this for your own good with a pure motivation, what decision you make is up to you. “

The lady shed tears and said strongly to Rinpoche, “I will definitely keep this child.”

Rinpoche then gave her some precious blessed items and blessed her by holding her head.

(Rinpoche’s translator: This lady had first met a teacher who told her that one could first abort and then do prayers for the aborted fetus. It was truly fortunate that she met an authentic teacher who directed her on the right path before she did anything foolish.)
—–

Tonight, a lady rushed to meet Rinpoche to request for the Dzogchen pith instructions. After she had reported her meditative experiences, the translator mentioned to Rinpoche that this lady’s husband and mother-in-law had disapproved of her keeping her child, but this student insisted that she would never do an abortion and later gave birth to the child safely.

When Rinpoche heard this, he was delighted and gestured to the lady with his thumbs up. Then he said, “Isn’t it so that since you gave birth to this child, your merits and good fortune have increased more and more and your life has become better?”

The lady hesitated in thought and her face brightened up as she replied, “It is indeed so.”

Rinpoche said, “I did not say this through clairvoyance, but the law of cause-and-effect simply works this way. You would not only enjoy happiness and good fortune now, but your future will be even better. In your future lives, great results of virtuous karma awaits you. Moreover, this child will be very filial, he will grow up to be a very good person, he will treat you very well. It is not that he understands your difficulties bringing him up and decides to repay your kindness, it is simply that the force of karma will cause him to treat you very well.

“There is no worse karma than killing and no better merit than protecting lives. Not only you will enjoy good fortune, but your parents will also get by very well.”

This lady was overjoyed and interrupted Rinpoche, saying, “ Yes, it is true. Before the birth of my child, my parents were always quarrelling. After I gave birth to him, the house became very peaceful, everyone was focussed on looking after the child. My parents never quarrelled again. Now, my whole family is very happy. When I was pregnant, my mother asked me whether I will give birth to the child, I said that this was my baby, how could I not give birth to him.”

“How many people are there in your family? “ Rinpoche asked.

“My mother adopted an abandoned child, that is my little sister. “

Rinpoche joyfully praised her mother’s virtue.

“But my parents do not know how to practice Dharma although they have great faith in Buddha.”

“This is not a problem, I will teach them how to practice. Simply bring a recording of my teaching this time for them to listen. They will understand what I am saying, it will be very helpful for their practice. As for your husband and mother-in-law, their minds are too ruthless, their merits will gradually diminish. When you resisted their suggestions to abort and decided to bring up your child yourself, it may seem very tough at first but the merits of protecting life will bring you more and more wealth, you will become more and more happy. Cause-and-effect works this way. If you look at those people who do abortion, their merits will start to shrink, their lives will gradually have more and more sufferings and terrible future lives are awaiting them. ”

This lady who bore her child with great difficulties was filled with great happiness and returned to her room to meditate.

(Comments: If you have done abortion before, do not feel despair, but do many prayers for your aborted fetus and do many practices to purify your negative karma before this life ends. Apart from Pema Trinley Rinpoche, many teachers have taught about the severe consequences of abortion. But it can be purified with very diligent practice. Just as Milarepa had practiced hard to purify his karma of killing many people, you should not be negligent but practice hard, keeping in mind the negativities you have heaped up in the past. You should also resolve never to kill or do abortion again and to protect lives as much as you can.)

Pema Trinley Rinpoche is a master of the three times who has mastered dependent-origination. He is famous for his clear omniscience to see the rebirth of the mind-streams of any being in the three realms or purelands as well as the causes and effects involved.

Limitless Benefits of Mani Mantra

In a text he composed, the very learned Sera-je Geshe, Geshe Jampa Chödrag, says,

Thus, by meditating on the holy body of Compassion Buddha just once, hearing the holy name just once or memorizing it or seeing the six-syllable mantra written or just touching it by hand, one gets protected from spirits called de and spirits called za, which cause paralysis, from yamas, evil vicious animals, diseases, dangers and harm from human beings and non-human beings, and whatever wishes of this life one has—such as for long life, wealth, power and so forth—get fulfilled exactly as wished. Then the five uninterrupted negative karmas and so forth, such as extremely heavy negative karma collected during beginningless time, get purified, and one receives good rebirths in all one’s future lives. And one is able to see Compassion Buddha’s holy face and so forth.

If it is said that there are such limitless skies of benefits from remembering the qualities of Arya Compassionate-Eyed One and remembering the kindness and blessings and even just reciting the holy name, then one must attempt to practice, making offerings and requests and so forth.


In places such as Tibet, Nepal, India and Ladakh, there’s a well established tradition of doing the Compassion Buddha retreat and reciting one hundred million OM MANI PADME HUM mantras…

If you’re feeling guilt in your life, you can overcome it through the purification of attending this retreat…

Whoever attends a Mani retreat is unbelievably fortunate. Even if you can’t attend the whole retreat, you can participate for two months, one month or at least a few weeks. You can do even just one week. I especially hope that this retreat will also be established in Mongolia, since their main food is meat and so many animals are killed there every day. This practice is a great help in purifying that….

This retreat also blesses the country where it is held and brings so much peace, happiness and prosperity to the land.

Even if you know the teachings on how to meditate on bodhicitta, you still need to receive the special blessings of the deity, Compassion Buddha. You receive these by doing the meditation and recitation we practice in the maniretreat. Therefore, recitation of OM MANI PADME HUM is one way to actualize bodhicitta–to transform your mind into bodhicitta and make your meditation on bodhicitta effective…

Generally, according to my experience, in my home Solu Khumbu in the Himalayas of Nepal, there are people who live their lives chanting OM MANI PADME HUM but have no idea of the three principal aspects of the path–renunciation, bodhicitta and the right view of emptiness–not even the words.

Even though they can’t read and don’t even know the alphabet, they have great devotion to compassion and bodhicitta and live their lives reciting OM MANI PADME HUM. Such people are warm-hearted, very kind, very compassionate. This is proof from my own experience that reciting this mantra has the effect of transforming the mind into a good heart and compassion.

Without bodhicitta, you cannot cause all happiness for all sentient beings. You cannot do perfect work for all sentient beings, and you cannot achieve the complete qualities of the realizations and cessation, even for yourself…

We should especially think of death. When the thought of death comes, when we remember death, there’s nothing else that makes sense; everything else is total nonsense. When we think of death, so much of what we do in life doesn’t make sense; it’s all just nonsense. The only thing that makes sense is Dharma practice. Only Dharma will benefit us at the time of death and after death. The only thing that we can carry with us and can enjoy in our future life is Dharma—nothing else.

This practice of the meditation-recitation of the Buddha of Compassion will especially benefit us. Reciting OM MANI PADME HUM has merit as limitless as the sky. Even Buddha can never finish explaining the unbelievable purification and collection of extensive merit brought by reciting OM MANI PADME HUM.

This is a special means to develop compassion. Intellectual study alone cannot bring you the realization of compassion and bodhicitta. With the intellectual understanding, you then have to purify your mind and collect extensive merit. On the basis of those preliminary practices, you then receive this special deity’s blessings by reciting OM MANI PADME HUM. It is through this that the realizations of great compassion and bodhicitta then come.

Reciting OM MANI PADME HUM is one of the most powerful means of developing compassion and bodhicitta.

Doing specific meditation on the Buddha of Compassion and reciting the mantra are like soil and water, the conditions that together enable a seed to produce a sprout, or like the pieces that are all put together to enable a clock or watch to show time. The mind works in a similar way.

The preliminary practices and the meditation-recitation of Compassion Buddha persuade the Compassion Buddha’s holy mind. Purifying negative karmas, or obstacles, and collecting extensive merit enable us to receive the blessings of Compassion Buddha , and through these blessings we then receive realizations. And the benefits of compassion are as limitless as the sky. …

If you are able to recite six or seven million OM MANI PADME HUMs, you can become a great healer. You then have the power to heal various sicknesses, as well as the ability to make rain or to stop it. After you have done that number of mantras, if you recite mantras to bless water or some other substance or just blow with your breath, you have much power to heal.

A text by Padmasambhava explains the various problems that you can solve. If you have recited six or seven million mantras, your activities become powerful; your various activities of peace, increase, control and wrath are certain to help others. This is not the main aim of the retreat, but it comes about incidentally that you can do these things to benefit others.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche


NO GREATER PRACTICE

Every Mahayana practice exemplifies various aspects of bodhicitta—there are no exceptions—but I am convinced that there is no greater practice than Chenrezi for developing kindheartedness and compassion.

Moreover, no deity meditation is superior to Chenrezi when it comes to ensuring temporary, relative happiness here and now, and for laying the groundwork for ultimate happiness in the future.

– Maniwa Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche


Recounting a dream by Jamgon Kongtrul  The Great:

At a certain point later on, the evening after I had performed a formal empowerment for Phadampa Sang-gyé’s lineage of Manjushri for a few of my students, I dreamed of the venerable Karma Chagmé (a past Mahasiddha) as an elderly monk, who said to me,

“It would be best to use Avalokiteshvara as a deity in which to place your hopes. Then when you die, you take on the suffering of all sentient beings with your compassion, and there is the power to keep your attention from reverting to this world. If you practice the meditation of Manjushri, there is no guarantee of such power. ”

(Note: All deities are one in nature, there is no higher or lower deity/Buddha but their aspirations may have different effects on the practitioners who practice these deities.)


Nowadays, people are caught up in many activities, the main way for them to implement the Dharma in their practice is by reciting the Mani mantra. In this way, in a short time, manifold incredible benefits will arise for them.

We have very strong negative habitual tendencies, hence, there is a need to do the practice of Six-Syllable Mantra recitation often. We should do the practices while walking, standing, sitting and lying down. In this way, when we reach the age of 80 and 90, the merits accumulated will pile as high as the mountain and we will be able to see the result of our practice.

Mahasiddha Drubwang Konchok Norbu


 

Practicing the Dharma correctly

Yachen Monastery is a famous place for meditation practice, even in such a sublime place, Lama Achuk Rinpoche would always request everyone, “You should all at least recite 100 million Mani mantras.” Some people have finished 100 million, many others are still in the process of completing it.

Lama Achuk Rinpoche has himself completed 100-200 million Mani mantras at least. Therefore, as a follower, we should be like him, reciting the Mani mantra properly.

In Tibet, not to say 100 or 200 million Mani mantras, there are many people who have completed 300-400 million mantras. As for Ngondro, not to mention 3 or 4 times, many people have completed 23, 24, or even 25 times.

In Changdu region, there is an old lady who has completed more than 40 million full prostrations. She does 4000 prostrations daily, without breaking for even one day. It has been 40 over years already. She is neither a renunciant practitioner nor a monastic, but an ordinary nomadic shepherd.

In Lhasa, there is a young girl who works in a restaurant, now she is 21 years old, but whenever she has time, she will recite the Mani mantra, now she has already completed 100 million Mani mantras.

Why do I tell you these things? This is for everyone to reflect on yourself. Have I really practiced the Dharma? Did I put any sincere effort into it? To allow you to realize the faults of not accomplishing the Dharma, and for you to see the positive qualities of other peoples’ practice. To give you the chance to reflect. This is why I am telling you about these people.

If I ask you to do 10 or 20 million prostrations, you will feel it is impossible. What about 1 million or 500,000 then? If you can’t do that, what about 100,000 or 200,000 prostrations? If one does not even have the determination to complete that, then there is really no will to practice the Dharma. Do not find any excuses, if there is a will, there is a way to do it.

To practice the Ngondro once, one must at least prostrate 100,000 times, isn’t that right? If you say that you can’t even do the Ngondro once, then please do not call yourself a practitioner. We should be as courageous as those people who are so diligent, doing the practice with perseverance and no laziness. If you are unable to accomplish all of what they have done, or if 80-90% of what they have done is beyond you, then what about at least half or 10% of what they have done? Shouldn’t you at least consider this?

When death comes, we all have to travel on the same identical path, it is only that when we are alive, how much Dharma we have accomplished differs. So then, shouldn’t we make some preparations for the moment of death? Whether we have money or not, power or not, no matter how carefree you may be right now, when death comes, what everyone faces is the same thing. Whatever external conditions you may be experiencing now, please give some thought and preparations for the moment of death.

Nowadays, whether it is the Tibetan or Chinese practitioners, they give the impression that they are practicing the Dharma, but when we really examine how they practice, then we will realize that what they are practicing is impure and not in accordance to the teachings.

We should reflect clearly on the proportion of negative acts (of body, speech and mind) to positive deeds (of body, speech and mind) that we have committed in the past. Did we accomplish more positive karma or more negative karma? Think well about it! For us to be more carefree and relaxed at the point of our death, for the road to our next life to be smoother, then one has to be really cautious and throw all your energy into creating positive karma and Dharma practice.

When we are practicing the Dharma, please generate a positive motivation, practice for the sake of benefitting all mother sentient beings as vast as space. At the same time, be clear about one thing: when we practice Dharma, we are really accomplishing our own benefit.

People who do not really understand how to practice the Dharma, or who have insufficient faith in the Dharma, or who do not put in their efforts in practicing will end up thinking that the Dharma had deceived them. But whether the Dharma has deceived you or not depends on whether your practice is able to remedy the mental afflictions of desire, anger and ignorance in your mind.

Whether the Dharma deceives you or not, isn’t it so that each of us are able to feel our own pain and happiness? Isn’t the feeling of suffering and joy real to us? If we are not able to use the Dharma to tame our minds, then the Dharma will remain external to us. Even if you try to solve the problem by addressing the external circumstances, in actual fact, you neither know how to practice the Dharma, nor are you actually practicing Dharma.

Practicing Dharma is not about going outwards to change the external circumstances, it is about transforming our minds. If we know how to deal with our minds, then that is true Dharma practice. On the path of Dharma, we should first put effort in taming our minds, after that, we should try to help others through good advice, helping them to slowly transform their minds too.

If I talk too much, people will not understand. Anyway, the gist of it is that to benefit your present and future lives, it is essential to observe two points: firstly, develop the kind heart, secondly, practice the Dharma well. Whether it is the people around you like your parents, children, family, relatives or friends, one should try to benefit them. At the same time, one should give up all harmful intentions and acts towards others.

Pema Trinley Rinpoche

(Pema Trinley Rinpoche is an accomplished Dzogchen master, also a  Delog who can die temporarily to travel other realms, and see the karma of beings in the past, present and future.  He is famous for his clairvoyance to observe the fates of those who have passed away and giving advice on how to help them. )

Mani mantra – the Wish Fulfilling Jewel

If you keep focusing your mind one-pointedly on the presence of Buddha Chenrezig — or on some particular aspect of him, such as his loving-kindness or his eyes looking lovingly at us — then before long a powerful feeling of devotional energy is certain to emerge in your mindstream.  Once that happens, a heat of joy and bliss will arise in every part of your mind and body because of a mental and physical suppleness such as you have never felt before.  If you have already experienced this, it will augment the experience.

When this experience happens, you should allow the blissful heat generated by the development of loving-kindness to increase without grasping at or being attached to it.  Then the precious bodhichitta unstained by the obscurations of defiled concepts will awaken in you.  In the minds of those who follow the path of devotion, these enlightening effects will miraculously manifest before their own eyes.

~ Tulku Thondup

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A Story of a Mani-Yogini

Droril was a yogini from Rima.

Through the unchanging faith and devotion in your heart
For the supreme deity, the great treasure of nobility of heart,
And your repetition of his six-syllable heart-essence,
You revealed the heart of everything. Yogini, I bow to you!

This yogini was from Rimar in Kham. She was called Droril because her hair was whiter than a conch, and she usually bundled herself in an outer garment of white felt. Droril means “wheat-colored and round.” As she worked constantly as a shepherd, she never learned to read. However, she continuously recited the MANI with stable faith and trust, and eventually recited more than three hundred million. Her brother recited one hundred million and had a good practice.

When Droril herded her sheep in cold weather she would recite MANIs on the mountain slopes and then, imagining a fence surrounding her flock, would blow air in their direction. She would say, “Through the compassion of Arya Avalokita, they’ll be fine.” Then she would sleep through the day, without checking on the sheep even once. The sheep would never stray from the area she had blessed for them as pasture. In the evening she would imagine summoning them to her, and they would follow her home.

When the weather was fine she would circumambulate the mountain’s peak while reciting MANIs. At that time my kind guru was about ten years old, and loved to accompany her when she tended her flocks. He told me that there were several reasons for this. As she was a bodhisattva who had perfected love and compassion she was loving to all beings, including him. In addition, because she blessed her sheep they were protected from all harm, including the predation of wolves. They therefore did not require much actual shepherding, so accompanying her was free of stress. Also, although he had barely enough clothing to survive the weather, she would let him lie down to sleep inside her outer garment.

Because she used her mala so much, its cord was always breaking. He often helped her restring it with yarn. She cured the blindness of both humans and animals simply by blowing on them; her benefit of others was not inconsiderable.

It is said in authoritative sources that those who complete one hundred million MANIs will grow a new tooth even if they are advanced in age; accordingly, she grew three. They were as bright and white as a conch; everyone who saw them was amazed and inspired. I have heard from others that she passed away while sitting up with her palms joined in prayer. It is said that in these times of decadence and short lives it is better to accumulate a spark of merit than a mountain of learning. I have never heard of a source of merit greater than meditating on the single deity Avalokita and reciting the single mantra of six syllables.

Unfortunately, most people are like me; they neglect the accumulation of merit in favor of elevated, empty words about the view, meditation, and conduct while abandoning their bodies, speech, and minds to mediocrity. This is our worst problem, both for this life and for the future. I have not seen this do anyone any real good, only bring about their ruin and that of others.

Through the virtue of writing this may beings in the six states
Rely upon the six syllables, the king of mantras;
Purify the six kleshas that cause rebirth;
And reach the state of Vajradhara, the sixth buddha.

told by Khenpo Kathar Rinpoche

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His Holiness Third Dodrupchen says :

“In the Abhidharma it is said that “illness is the maturation of a violent deed, while compassion is an action totally free from violence.” That is why the Buddha of Compassion (Chenrezig) is the supreme deity (for healing). Precisely because of these points, it is said that Jowo (Atisha) was renowned for “his greatness in healing illness due to his having abandoned violence.”

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The Buddha (Shakyamuni) said:

“If you remember the Lord Avalokiteshvara…
The torments of birth, old-age, and sickness will be pacified.”

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Teachings given by Kalu Rinpoche in Sonada 1973.  
The first Kalu Rinpoche’s main practice is Chenrezig and he has recited many hundreds of millions of Mani mantras.

We should not think that Chenrezig practice is less important than others. There are other deities that require special commitments one must keep very strictly-for example, staying in retreat for months or years and keeping a vow of silence. If these commitments are broken, many obstacles and difficulties will arise. It is like the people who trade in stolen goods from Nepal: if they succeed, they make a lot of money, but if they fail, they lose everything and end up in jail. Chenrezig is an emanation of the compassion of all Buddhas and everyone–of excellent, medium, or low ability–can benefit from this practice… However, because Chenrezig is a manifestation of the compassion of all the Buddhas, no obstacles will come even though your practice is imperfect… If you practice Chenrezig well, then you will come to understand Mahamudra. Once Mahamudra is understood, either in this lifetime or the bardo, liberation will be attained.

Kalu Rinpoche Scotland, 1983

Let us trust the mantra, let us allow the body to attend to its work and the mind to its reflections leading to result, but at the same time let us recite the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM, without even being attentive. We will purify many karmic veils and finally attain awakening.

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Bokar Rinpoche

The deity and the mantra being one in essence means that one may recite the mantra without necessarily doing the visualization. The recitation still retains its effectiveness.

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His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche requested all of his Dharma centers to engage in Chenrezig practice. He has commonly said that this practice is the essence of all Buddhist practice, because Chenrezig is the embodiment of all the Buddha’s compassion. This is an especially degenerate time attracted by mental kleshas, and many people are angry, causing discomfort and war to all the world. There is no remedy for this other than compassion. Compassion is naturally possessed by every sentient being, yet you need to activate it and fertilize it – this is the practice that activates our own compassion to be more mature and one can be aware of one’s own negativities and defects. This being will perceive other beings as more pure and this will make room for love and compassion to all sentient beings. Do not wait until a problem comes – you have to be familiarized to prepare the remedy when the time comes. At least every day, one time or two times, this practice will make a difference in our lives. A great being like Kalu Rinpoche saw that this would be more helpful, so he designed this practice for all of his centers to practice. His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa always emphasized that this is the most authentic practice.

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In the Tengyur, the benefits of the Six-syllables Mani Mantra are said to have ten kinds of benefits:

  1. Averting all harm from negative spirits
  2. Purifying all broken vows and negativities
  3. Healing all kinds of cold, hot or phlegm related sicknesses
  4. Overcoming all obstacles and accomplishing the five paths and ten Bhumis
  5. Saving from the sufferings arising from the water or fire elements, weapons or armed forces
  6. By reciting 100,000, one is able to block rebirth in the lower realms
  7. One is able to attain all fortune, merits, longevity and achieve freedom from such lack
  8. Reciting 1 million, one is able to benefit sentient beings
  9. Purify the three mental poisons of attachment, aversion and ignorance
  10. By reciting 10 million and above, one is able to attain enlightenment without obstacle

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In the text describing a journey through the lower realms by a Delog, Drungpa Lodro Zangpo,  (a Delog is someone who can temporarily die to travel through other realms with his/her consciousness.  After some time, the Delog comes back to life and recounts the journey as a teaching on karma cause-and-effect.)  One of the message that this Delog brought back was from the Lord of Death, Yamaraja.  In this message, Yamaraja describes the power and efficacy of the Mani mantra.

Lord of Death Yamaraja said : “Virtuous son, the six-syllables mantra is the essence of hundreds of dharmas.  Reciting a hundred times can cleanse the negative obscurations of body, speech and mind; reciting a thousand times can cleanse the ten negative acts; reciting 10,000 times can purify broken samaya pledges; recited 100,000 times, one can even purify the negative karma associated with receiving a mountain of offerings.  Recited a million times, one eliminates the five-uninterrupted karmas. Recited 10 million times, even if one is forced, one will not fall into the hells.  Recited 100 million times, oneself and others will definitely attain Buddhahood together.  There is no need for doubt.”

 

(Note:  Although different numbers are prescribed by different authors for the Mani mantra to achieve certain effects, this is actually not a contradiction.  It is stated by many teachers that due to the degeneration of the present times, the number of mantras needed to be recited to achieve a similar effect in previous times has increased manifold.  Just as different dosages of medicine is needed for illnesses of varying severity,  one should practice accordingly without feeling discouraged.  Numbers are just a guideline and form of discipline.  The quality of the motivation, concentration and faith in the practice makes a great difference in the result it generates.  Therefore we should be paying more attention to these qualitative factors.  Then, without any doubt, as we practice the Mani mantra one-pointedly, our minds will gradually regain clarity, stability, peace, joy and the qualities of compassion and wisdom will arise naturally.  )