Teachings on the Vajra Guru Mantra

by Garchen Rinpoche

(Video Link : www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3hHy8tKqMM)

Introduction

Om Ah Hung.

First, I would like to say “Tashi Delek” to all my Dharma friends around the world.

We are very fortunate, for we are now within the month of miracles ,The first through the fifteenth day (of the first Tibetan month) commemorate the time when, – after having conquered the four mara-demons, the Lord Buddha performed various miracles.

About Guru Rinpoche

During this month, the effects of positive actions are said to be multiplied a hundred thousand times; thus, the first Tibetan month is very important. During the age of degeneration, the Buddha Shakyamuni appeared directly in the form of the second Buddha Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). There are a thousand million further emanations of Guru Rinpoche so there are countless emanations of Guru Rinpoche all around the world. This is how Lord Buddha (appears to beings) In the degenerate age.

During the degenerate age, sentient beings’ afflictions run unrestrained, which makes them difficult to tame. For this reason, Guru Rinpoche turned the wheel of the Secret Mantra and bestowed the teachings on self-liberation, which show how the afflictions are self-liberated without needing to be abandoned. Guru Rinpoche’s emanations have been sent down continuously.

Guru Rinpoche & Buddha’s Compassion as well as sentient being’s faith

In the Seven Chapter Supplication it says: “For the sake of sentient beings, you come riding the sunlight’s brilliant rays.” He has actually appeared all over the world in as many forms as there are rays of the sun. Emanations of Guru Rinpoche appear every day, uninterruptedly. His emanations protect beings whether they have faith in him or not, the Buddha’s love is the same even for beings who do not have faith. If one has faith, though, the power of the blessings is even greater, and it is even easier to feel the blessings. Even if one does not have faith, one is still held by the Buddha’s compassion. It is just a question of time.

About Guru Rinpoche retreat

All of this is why our center holds a Guru Rinpoche retreat every year during the month of miracles. Due to my travel schedule, I have not been able to attend this retreat every year. This year, for health reasons, the Vajra Guru retreat held during the month of miracles, will be conducted in your homes. All the centers have planned to hold practices via the internet. for the sake of protecting the (health of) the general public and without having to endure many hardships. So in order to engage in the Vajra Guru retreat from your homes, and especially at Gar Monastery, we first engage in the practice of the Heart-Essence of Great Bliss Mind-Accomplishment (Thug-drub Dechen Nyingpo).

Confusion of practices

Although there are three thousand mind-accomplishment practices of the guru within a single drubchen, the quintessence of the three thousand practices is included.

Sadhanas often say of themselves, “I am the principal one,” or “He is the principal one.” Due to this, some people develop doubts.

(For example, in the Heart-Essence of Great Bliss Mind-Accomplishment (thug-drub dechen nyingpo) the small print says: “There are three thousand mind-accomplishment practices of me, Padmasambhava, but only this is the heart’s blood of them all.” This is also said in the Dispeller of all Obstacles (Bar-che Kun Sel). Some people get confused. They develop doubts and wonder: “ So then, what is the quintessence of all supposed to be?” But really, it is not like that. What Guru Rinpoche is really saying is that, though there are many mind-accomplishment practices in the world, all mind-accomplishment practices are included within one practice- just as the Buddha said that within a single Buddha, all the buddhas of the three times are complete. A single Sangha member’s form is the Sangha, his speech is the holy Dharma, and his mind is the Buddha; thus, you have to see that the Three Jewels of the three times are complete within a single Sangha member.

To know this is to understand the Buddhist view. (Otherwise, through) a lack of understanding, a mistake understanding, or an incomplete understanding, (you will label) one as good and another as bad, or (you think): “This is the new tantric tradition (Sarma) and that is the old tantric tradition (Nyingma),” and so on. This causes your faith and abilities – as well as your potential to become liberated – to become constrained. This mind is either in bondage or free, and ‘ Whatever constrains you is bondage. “ And when you are in bondage, your mind is not at ease. Thoughts of, “this is how it is” and “this is not how it is “ will tie you down. (Therefore, you should) think: “The Buddha-dharma (is one): all of the buddhas, including Guru Rinpoche and the Buddha Shakyamuni, are the same. Moreover, all the buddhas of the three times are one in their endeavor to bring about the benefit and happiness of all sentient beings. There are no Three Jewels other than that.” Unbiased faith and an unbiased pure view arises from this. And all sentient beings possess buddha-nature; thus, not a single real, ordinary sentient being exists!

The Buddha has already said that “All sentient beings are buddhas. They are only obscured by adventitious stains.”
So what does the Secret Mantra say regarding this? It is said “The universe and beings are an infinite expanse of purity, and there is not the slightest difference between these words and the words of the Buddha.” (Everything) is inherently pure on the ground: Dzogchen calls it “originally pure” while Mahamudra refers to it as “primordially pure”. This purity is emptiness, and if you understand it, (you understand) the Buddhist (View). (Still) according to the relative truth, even though (things are) pure, you (need to) abandon your own dualistic grasping at self and other. You need to abandon your own afflictive emotions. And the demon of self-grasping, of this holding on to the self to truly-existing self, is tamed by the altruistic mind.

Purpose of Sadhanas

The purpose of all sadhanas is only this. In particular, the practice of the Heart-Essence of Great Bliss Mind-Accomplishment (thug-drub Dechen nyingpo) practiced in our monastery is a terma of Lho Nuden Dorje. But there is another (guru) sadhana from the Northern Treasures. Even though there are many different guru sadhanas, all (guru) sadhanas are really sadhanas of one single guru so although there are different sadhanas, you should think of them like they are guru wearing different clothes or different hats. For this retreat, there is a new and important instruction.

Copper-Colored Glorious Mountain (Pure Land)

The Vidyadhara Nuden Dorje travelled in actuality to the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain (Pure land) and when he received teachings on the mind accomplishment at the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain he heard the sound of a gyaling.

(Later) he told: “This is how I heard it at the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain.” (The sound) of that gyaling is now played in all our Drikung monasteries. So he said that he heard that the gyaling of the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain. Now we are making recordings of it, but the hands of myself, an old man, are not very good but in order for the lineage to not become interrupted, the gyaling playing has been recorded – though I’m not sure if I am playing it well. It will be made available for everyone to hear.

So the Vidyadhara Nuden Dorje said that the gyaling is played like this at the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain, and it was in this way, it was transmitted to the disciples. The name of the gyaling is the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain One, and nowadays, some of the newer monks play this gyaling, though they don’t know its name. They play the gyaling in all sorts of ways. So the name of this gyaling is the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain One.

*Playing of gyaling*

After playing of gyaling

Together with the gyaling there is also a mantra melody, As for the Vajra Guru mantra melody, (It is chanted) in various distinct ways throughout the world. In any case, the mantra melody according to this sadhana by Lho Nuden Dorje is as follows. So think that this is how (the mantra) is chanted at the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain.
However, since I’m already too old, my voice doesn’t come out that nicely. Sorry about that! But I will chant it to the best of my abilities.

Benefits of chanting Mantras in melody

Guru Rinpoche taught about the benefits of (chanting the mantra in) melody.

“It is more beneficial to chant the mantra (slowly) in melody than to recite many mantras (quickly). Reciting mantras purely makes a hundred-fold difference. Reciting them in melody makes a hundred thousand-fold difference.” Thus, chanting it in melody multiplies (the power) of mantra.

And why is its power multiplied? It is because to the extent that you focus on the meaning of each word in the mantra, that much greater will be the blessings that enter your mind-stream.

Some people think about the numbers of mantras accumulated, and of course, there is benefit from (accumulating) a number of mantras. (it is said that) “The recitation should be neither too fast nor too slow, neither too strong nor too soft. The elements of each syllable should (be pronounced) without deterioration.” Most important for mantra or any other recitation is that the elements of each syllable are (pronounced) without deterioration.


Mantra: Outer, Inner and secret qualities

This is important. (Pronouncing) without deterioration has outer, inner and secret qualities.

The outer quality is that (it is good for one’s) physical health. By moving your tongue, stomach-related illnesses will be cured, and the circulation of your blood through your veins will be stimulated . This is an outer quality of clear sound.

Regarding the inner quality, through chanting in melody, you contemplate the meaning of the recitation); therefore, you connect to the omniscient wisdom of all Buddhas. You connect to their compassion as you chant, and you also reflect on their enlightened activities as you chant. The chanting makes a great difference to your giving rise to faith and devotion. So this is the inner quality of the melody.

As for the secret quality, the two words “Secret Mantra” are very meaningful.

So what is the secret quality?

“BENDZA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG” “BENDZA” means vajra. Regarding the meaning (of vajra), it is not a vajra made of brass or gold – rather, it is the ultimate vajra that is emptiness. So the ultimate vajra is emptiness.

(And as for)PEMA SIDDHI Hung, what does PEMA (or lotus) represent?

It symbolizes that, through the lotus grows from mud, inside it remains untarnished by the mud. In the same way, through yogins live in samsara they remain untarnished by samsaric attachment. They are free from attachment; thus the lotus is a symbol of being free from attachment.

PEMA SIDDHI HUNG… so taken all together it means: “Ultimate vajra that is emptiness, please grant the siddhi of freedom from clinging and attachment!” The ultimate attachment is the attachment to the self.

Garchen Rinpoche on attachment to self – “I”

This is the self that grasps at its own inherent existence , thinking: “I exist.” Why are we attached to this “I”? It is because of our dualistic perception of self and other. The actual nature of mind is like space, in which there is no duality – this is the ultimate truth. So why is there a duality? (It arises) due to the dualistic perception of self and other, due to the grasping at a concrete existence and to conceptual structures. In the Samantabhadra Prayer it says that many coarse and subtle imprints (grow stronger) day and night: this is what creates samsara.

The outer world is created by collective karma, while the inner sentient beings in the six realms of samsara are created by the personal karma of individual beings. So they are manifestations of their own afflictive emotions.
Lord Jigten Sumgon on “Cause and Effect”.

Lord Jigten Sumgon said, “Cause and effect, is the natural expression of moment-by-moment thoughts.” What is cause and effect? The ultimate vajra is emptiness, which is the ultimate protection from cause. And what is the ultimate vajra that is emptiness? Vajra means that it destroys everything ; It destroys everything, but nothing can destroy it.

Emptiness

“Emptiness” means devoid of self-grasping, devoid of self and other.

To understand that self and other are non-dual – this is emptiness. We can talk about outer emptiness, inner emptiness, the eighteen emptinesses, but if you do not empty self-grasping, you haven’t been able to empty anything. Once you empty self-grasping, there will be no others: others will naturally disappear. The mind becomes like space, and no one can move or change space. Space is unobstructed within itself; from itself, there is nothing not embraced by space, by emptiness.

Thus, “Ultimate vajra that is emptiness, destroy dualistic attachment!”  or “Please help me to be able to destroy dualistic attachment!”

SIDDHI HUNG means “Grant your blessings.”

So this is the meaning of the Vajra Guru(Mantra) and this meaning is very profound.

(This is the meaning of) the words of this secret mantra BENDZA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG.

As for BENZA GURU, GURU is the lama. And what is the connection between the guru and the vajra? The body of guru is human, but this here is referring to the lama’s mind. It is emptiness, emptiness… It is said that if there is no dualistic grasping at self and other, this is emptiness. When you realize emptiness, you understand that within the mind, self and other are non-dual. This is the realization of emptiness, and emptiness is the ultimate guru. So the actual guru is the vajra, the mind. The body is the lama. The body is the nirmanakaya , the speech is the sambhogakaya since he shows the meaning mantra, of secret mantra; so the speech is the sambhogakaya, and the mind is the dharmakaya.
The mind is the dharmakaya means that the guru’s mind and the mind you, the disciple, are devoid of self and other.

Lord Jigten Sumgon said that to recognize this is to see that the guru , your own mind, and the Buddha are one.
(He said,) “I, a yogin, realized that the guru, my mind, and the Buddha are identical. Thus, I have no need for fabricated devotion.” But until you understand this, until you know that the guru and your own mind are indivisible, you have to walk (the path) of fabricated devotion.

Regarding the knowledge that the guru and your own mind are indivisible, when you think: “Oh, there are no self and other,” then the guru and yourself are also indivisible.

Compassion and self-grasping

But until you understand this, according to the relative truth, (You have to) sustain a continuum of love and compassion. Whichever practice you engage in, ((it should have) the nature of love and compassion. Love and compassion are like the sun, and self-grasping has to melt. How does it work? Self-grasping is like ice, and the Buddhas are like an ocean; therefore, the ice (has to) melt. Think about it: is ice water, or is it stone?

Lord Buddha said that in the beginning: “Sentient beings are actually Buddhas.” How are sentient beings Buddhas? Even though sentient beings are Buddhas, they still suffer in their various forms in the six realms of samsara. They are like ice, and ice is like stone. Think about this well. Ice is like stone. If you hit someone over the head with it, they will bleed, right?

How did that happen? It is due to the dualistic perception of self and other – mainly, due to thinking that “I exist” – that we are in bondage. So when we talk about there being no self, don’t say (about someone else) that “Well, he has self-grasping, he has afflictive emotions.”

Instead, you should recognize your own self-grasping. Recognize your own self grasping, because when your sense of a self has collapsed, at that point you can also melt others. For example, if you melt an ice-block with hot water, that hot water can melt all blocks of ice. Otherwise, one might find fault with sentient beings, thinking: “Oh, these sentient beings of the degenerate age are so afflicted.”

A person who perceives sentient beings is perceiving a duality between self and others: such a person has not understood that sentient beings do not actually exist. This person cannot melt others, as someone who understands that self and other are not dual is able to melt all sentient beings. The body is the nirmanakaya, the speech is the sambhogakaya, and the mind is the dharmakaya , and within the guru’s mind there is no dualistic grasping. Thus , when you realize non-duality, that is the svabhavikakaya. “Oh, (this is) my mind and nothing else.” Je Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche said: “My own mind is Buddha, but I never realize this. Discursive thoughts are dharmakaya, but I do not realize this.” This is the unfabricated, innate natural state, but I cannot keep to this. This is how things really are in their natural state, but I have no conviction in this.” The way things really are in their natural state that is Samantabhdra, is the dharmakaya, is Vajradhara. When you understand this, (you understand) that the Vajra Guru mantra is the heart-essence of all mantras. It is that precious. So then you chant it in melody.

In general, in the world, there are secret mantras and there are retainer, or dharani, mantras This is a secret mantra, so you have to think that by reciting this one mantra, you are reciting all mantras, that by practicing one deity, you are practicing all deities, and that by following one guru, you are following all gurus. So chant the mantra in melody, the mantra melody that the Vidyadhara Nuden Dorje actually heard when he went to the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain. He said that this is the melody he heard at the Copper-colored Glorious Mountain, and though I don’t have a good voice, since my Dharma friends have great love for me, I, an old man, shall teach you this melody today.

Chanting the melody and visualization

As you chant in melody, imagine that the entire space is pervaded by Buddha and that all beings and that all beings in the universe are dakas and dakinis: all men are dakas and all women are dakinis. All men are Avalokiteshvara and all women are Tara- think in this way. (The Buddha said that “Beings are) only obscured by adventitious stains. “ Thus, think that all sentient beings possess the cause of Buddhahood: then there will be no division. Chant the mantra within a state of “(pure) sights, sounds, and thoughts,” as the old tantric tradition calls it.

*Garchen Rinpoche chants the mantra*

So now, in your own home, wherever you are in the world, engage in the mantra recitation for however much time you have, whether it is for five minutes, ten minutes, or just for a moment. Think that the universe is filled with dakas and dakinis. Think that all of space is pervaded by buddhas and bodhisattvas , and that the heart-essence of them all, their regent is Guru Rinpoche dwelling in large form in space.

Is there a difference between Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche?

If you have faith in the Buddha Shakyamuni , there is no difference. There is not the slightest difference between the Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche: only their outer form is different. (Regarding) their inner mind (it is said), “All buddhas are one within the expanse of primordial awareness.”

Jigten Sumgon said: “On the level of Buddhahood there is no division between the two truths.” All buddhas are the same. And it is the same regarding gurus: only their outer bodies are separate. Their inner mind – a mind of only wishing to benefit others, a mind of bodhicitta – is the same. The Seven Chapters Supplication to Guru Rinpoche, which is widely-known, speaks about these (pure) sights, sounds, and thoughts:

“Outer and inner, the universe and all beings – all things – whilst seeing them, they appear, remain without grasping at a self. This freedom from a subject-object duality is the very form of the deity, luminous and empty. I supplicate to this guru – the self-liberation of desire!”

Do this toward all that you hear: all sounds, grasped as sweet or harsh, whilst hearing them, remain empty without after-thought. This empty sound, with no beginning and no end, is the speech of the victorious ones. I supplicate to this empty sound, the speech of all the buddhas! Do this toward all stirs in the mind: whatever thoughts and afflictive emotions of the five poisons arse, do not invite them, do not chase after them, do not let mind fabricate and contrive: simply allowing them to settle in the state of their own arising, is liberation into the dharmakaya. I supplicate to this guru – the natural liberation of intrinsic awareness!

The Four Applications of Mindfulness, as taught in the Sutra Path, have a great connection to this as well. The (first) application is “Do not grasp at your body,” (Which is the application of mindfulness of the body. Then) “Do not conceptualize what you see. Do not grasp at the sounds you hear,” which is the application of mindfulness of feelings. (Then it says,) “In your mind, do not follow your thoughts,” which is the application of mindfulness of the mind.

Then there is the application of mindfulness of phenomena, (which is the mindfulness that) all phenomena of samsara and nirvana (are created) by thoughts. Confusion concerning (the concepts of) samsara and nirvana occur due to (the discursive mind). When you rest evenly within these (four applications of mindfulness), “All objects that appear as outer are pure.” So do not think at all about outer appearing objects; then, when you look at your mind, whatever appears will appear like a reflection in a mirror. This is the mirror-like wisdom.

(Then it says in the Seven Chapters):
“May the inner grasping mind be liberated.”

Whatever appears in a mirror will not stain or harm the mirror. For example, as long as a yogin doesn’t grasp (at sound(, merely hearing something does not harm him. If he sees people and does not grasp at them, there is no harm. And what is the method for non-grasping? Look at your mind: Whatever appears to your mind, appears like in a mirror. And as you keep looking at the clear and empty mind directly, (appearances) will naturally appear as if lacking any inherent existence within the primordial vajra expanse. Therefore, since (appearances) do not inherently exist, holding them to be truly existing is confusion. So having understood cause and effect, reflect again and again upon the impermanence of all compounded things. Do not knowingly hold on to the true existence of something that doesn’t actually exist. The moment you think of something, remember: “This does not inherently exist. This is just like an illusion. Though I can see it now, the next moment it is gone.” When you understand the illusory nature of things, you will recognize your own luminosity in the bardo; then the mind will abide in it natural state, like space. So you will recognize luminosity in the bardo if you do not grasp at any outer forms or sounds and instead you continue to look within, at your mind the mind that is clear and empty like space.

As I mentioned before, the scriptures and reasoning refer to this as view of the Middle way. When you meditate, there is nothing really to meditate upon. What is the view of the Middle way? When you look at the nature of your mind, what is your mind? There is only one single awareness that knows the nature of mind. If you always remain within this single awareness, it becomes like space. This is what It means to be present in the actual nature of mind: It is to remain mindfully present in the true and pure nature of your mind. This is what we call “meditation.” It doesn’t mean to assume an outer (composure of) meditation all the time, but rather to always remain within the true face of pure natural state of mind. Then, naturally, you will not freeze, and the ice will melt. Thus, it says: “I supplicate to this guru the natural liberation of intrinsic awareness!” (In the Seven Chapters), it then says: “By the self-recognition of luminosity in the bardo, may the compassion of all the sugatas bless me with self-liberation.”

Everyone first needs to liberate themselves; only once you have liberated yourself can you liberate others. Liberation means to become liberated from dualistic grasping, or the thought that self and other exist. This Is false, since there is no self and other in the mind. Only bodies is there a duality: It is like one tree with many branches, which are like the phenomena of samsara. Think in this way. So “the self-recognition of luminosity” (refers to pure) sights, sounds and thoughts. All appearances are the deity, all sound is mantra. Empty appearances are the deity, empty sounds are mantra, and empty awareness is the vajra of the mind. When outer sounds and forms become empty, awareness becomes empty: empty awareness, the vajra of mind. Awareness (rik) means to clearly know your own mind. And clear awareness is what knows (itself). Within this nature, self and other, samsara and nirvana – none of it truly exists; it is all empty. (This is referred to as) “the naked primordial wisdom of empty awareness.”

Many billions of buddhas are one and the same within primordial awareness. Thus, it is said that “Within the expanse of primordial awareness, all the buddhas are one.” This is the vajra mind: empty awareness. “Within the expanse of primordial awareness, all the buddhas are one” – this is the meaning of primordial awareness. Je Milarepa said, “I do not see consciousness. I see primordial awareness.” Once he understood consciousness, (he said) , “I do not see sentient beings. I see buddhas.” How did Milarepa see sentient beings as buddhas? There is no one who doesn’t have a consciousness, and since one has consciousness, when one has understood the essence of consciousness, this is Buddha. This is the one that creates all happiness and suffering, He is the one who can throw it all away.

This is important, Dharma friends. Next, meditate for however much time you have, even if it is only for five minutes or ten minutes. There is no separate retreat of body and speech; (you can practice) at any time, day and night. At night, medicate – even if you only sit up and meditate for one minute. This is the vajra of mind: empty awareness. After the mantra recitation, meditate in this way. Meditate on the indivisibility of the guru’s mind and your own. As Lord Jigten Sumgon said, “I, a yogin, realized that the guru, my mind, and Buddha are identical. Thus, I have no need for fabricated devotion.” So please meditate in this way, Dharma friends. Many people want to come here, but they cannot due to the current measure the country has put in place for the well-being of the people. And actually, this is better. It is the body that comes to this place, but it is not good to consider the body as most important. You must consider the mind as the most important, because it is with out minds we see forms and we hear sounds.

The mind is actually just like electric energy. Even though there are a hundred phones, they are powered by the same electric energy; likewise , if in your mind you think of one another with love and compassion, you have established a connection with each other. This is love and trust, and the essence of faith is love and trust. If you have them, there is no distance. Then we will never separate – not in this life, the next life, or in the bardo. There is nowhere to go where there is no space: this is how it is. Thus, “Bless me that I may never be separate from the guru!” When you realize the nature of mind, you can separate (from the guru), even if you want to. In the Yamantaka practice it says: “I prostrate from within a state that is without meeting and parting – the ultimate prostration. The natural expression of primordial awareness is my offering.”

Those of you who practice Yamantaka, remember the meaning of these words clearly and engage in practice. Actually, now is the best opportunity for practice, and it is also a way for us to cultivate compassion for sentient beings. Many people in this world are losing their wealth and sentient beings experience various kinds of suffering now. Think about the suffering in the world and give rise to compassion. Now is when we have to cultivate compassion. Through taking your own suffering as an example, really think about beings’ suffering; think that this kind of suffering is experienced all over the world. Don’t just think about your own suffering.

Through the holy Dharma we can transform all faults into positive qualities, And now, temporarily, We can transform the epidemic disease into a positive quality by thinking, “This is an incredible opportunity to practice, an incredible opportunity to cultivate compassion.” School students have an opportunity to study and acquire more learning, and you have an opportunity to stay at home as well. If you think of this as an excellent opportunity, your mind will become happy. And when the inner mind becomes happy, outer illnesses will be healed. In this way, everyone engage in the practice of the Vajra Guru mantra retreat. You should think that our minds are together, as the mind is non-dual.

(Thus,) “I prostrate from within a state that is without meeting and parting – the ultimate prostration.” If you know that we are without meeting and parting, (you know that) the guru and your own mind are one.

Tashi Delek!

Also, you should buy many prayer wheels. The virtues of body, speech and mind are complete within you while you are spinning a prayer wheel. It is a continuous offering to buddhas, a continuous attainment of siddhis for yourself , and a continuous purification of sentient beings’ obscurations. These are the three continuations.

Guru Rinpoche said: “This samadhi is profound. In this world, it is not(something that) has originated, it is not (something that( originates (now), and it is not (something that) will originate (in some future).

Further, the benefits of visualizing the mantra wheel also arise from spinning a prayer wheel. It combines the virtues of body, speech and mind into one, and it is easy to do but very meaningful. Thus, there is nothing more important than spinning a prayer wheel. This is my heart advice. The liberation-by-seeing (mantra) is also a great protection – it is a supreme protection.

Many Tashi Delek! Also, use the cream from Gyanagma prayer wheel , and please eat the Mani Blessing pills

(Credits to a Dharma brother SM for his transcription.)

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.

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. )