More Teachings on the Mani

Pema Trinley Rinpoche 
(A present-day Mahasiddha, Delog and Dzogchen adept)

Today since we are talking about the main practice, I will teach everyone a way to practice. For instance, if we are reciting the Mani mantra, when reciting, we should visualize Chenrezig in front of us.  During this visualization, do not be distracted by other thoughts or emotions, visualize Chenrezig clearly.  At the same time, continue to recite the Mani mantra properly.  If we practice this well, we can attain Buddhahood.

I have told you that on the basis of having a kind heart, one should visualize Chenrezig well and recite the Mani mantra, when I say this, all of you would think, “Today Guru is teaching us such a basic and simple teaching, he is not teaching anything about Dzogchen (highest teaching on the realization of mind-nature in Tibetan Buddhism).  Literally all of you are thinking this way.

But in fact, this practice that I have taught you today actually contains the generation stage, the completion stage, shamatha (stilling the mind) and vipassana (ultimate insight), it is also Trekcho, it is Togal too.  All are contained within.

(Trekcho and Togal are the practices of Dzogchen)

When we visualize Chenrezig, we should try our best to visualize him clearly, this is the generation stage.

When we visualize Chenrezig clearly, while holding his clear visualization in our minds, we are able to keep all other thoughts from arising, and mind is quietly resting on the image of Chenrezig, this is Shamatha.

If you keep your mind resting quietly on Shamatha, at this moment if your attachments are naturally liberated, then this contains Vipassana.

Even though we do not use these terms overtly, but if mind is truly able to rest on the image of Chenrezig, and one is able to completely release all dualistic grasping, then this completely contains Dzogchen.

If one is able to be free from dualistic fixation, then we can also call it Trekcho.  While resting in the state where dualistic clinging is naturally liberated, Chenrezig nevertheless clearly manifests in one’s mind, this is called Togal.


His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche:

If even those Rishis or celestial beings who have some imperfect attainments can bestow mantras that work effectively, how could it be possible that mantras given by Buddhas will deceive sentient beings?  Even if it is said that (the mantra can) cause fire to be ignited in water, it will certainly be possible as the Buddhas will never deceive us.

Just as ordinary mantras have all kinds of abilities, those mantras spoken by Buddha would definitely have unsurpassable qualities.  All kinds of sutric and tantric mantras spoken by Buddha are manifested from the expanse of their wisdom and have profound and perfect blessings.  In the same way, the teachings of the Buddhas have unsurpassable virtues, it is unlike those treatises composed by ordinary beings or sages.

For instance, when we recite the Mani mantra, if we are able to pray one-pointedly and supplicate, then this will cause all sorts of large obstacles to be dispelled.  If when one is reciting, one does not visualize seriously, or do not have sufficient faith, this kind of recitation may still have some virtue, but it would not bring about the efficacious signs and experiences in a short time.

When the causes are present, the result will definitely manifest.  The deity’s mantra is completely infallible.  In our pujas, even though our sadhanas are simple but if one does not even experience the slightest signs of effectiveness of the practice, then it goes to show that the visualization has not been sufficiently cultivated or that one has not been diligent in recitation, it shows that one’s mind has been highly distracted.  There are even some people who fail to complete the requisite numbers of mantras in the practice, then one can only blame oneself, it is not that the deity did not grant blessings.  Therefore, during each puja, I hope everyone will rely on a strong devotion and practice recitation with diligence.

Method to Heal the Eyes

After reciting many Mani mantras, it is good to blow on your own eyes by cupping your both hands over your mouth to direct air upwards, or overlaying your lower lip over the upper one to blow the air upwards. It heals the eyes. Lama Achuk Rinpoche enjoyed good eyesight and healthy eyes his whole life by doing this simple practice daily.

Garchen Rinpoche
The Benefits of Mantra Recitation

The first we should understand is that the mantra is the deity. Thus, with each mantra recitation, we are accomplishing the deity. It is through calling the name of the wisdom deity that the deity will come.
His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya:

“Some very diligent people have been able to recite 100 million Om Mani Padme Hung in one lifetime.  Benefiting from that merit they demonstrate achievement and calmness, gain the power to heal and help others, and have no concern about death… In Tibetan Buddhism reciting mantras is one of the most effective ways in which a person can actively create a peaceful, relaxed, and happy state of mind.”

Ah Song Tulku Rinpoche:

Achuk Lama had a deceased relative, when he was alive, he had finished reciting 100 million Mani mantras.  When he died, he was in the middle of talking.  Just before he died, he told others, “A white deity is often present smiling at me.  This must be the Chenrezig that I am often praying to who is here to guide me after my death.”  Due to his genuine practice of Dharma, this old man was filled with joy and peace when he faced death.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche:

Each of the six syllables has much benefit and much power. It would take time to explain each one, so I will give a rough outline. The six syllables of this mantra have the power to close the door to birth in the six realms. Another way of saying it is that the syllables have the power to cease the continuity of taking birth in the six realms.

For example, the syllable OM has the power to cease the continuity of birth in the sura realm. The MA has the power to stop birth in the asura realm. The NI has the power to stop birth in the human realm. The rest have the power to stop birth in the animal, hungry ghost, and hell realms.

When you recite this six-syllable mantra, the six syllables have the power to destroy the continuity of the six root delusions: ignorance, anger, attachment, pride, doubt, and wrong view.

Reciting the six-syllable mantra qualifies your mind to practice and to complete the bodhisattva’s path of the six paramitas: charity, morality, patience, energy, concentration, wisdom.

Reciting the six-syllable mantra enables you to achieve the sublime realization of mahamudra, which means you can achieve enlightenment in one life. There are also many other general realizations, such as being able to see the past and future, to become invisible, to see distant things, to grant any material possession, to fly, or to walk very fast. By walking for two or three hours you can reach a place that would normally take eight months to reach. With a small glance you can see billions of people and with just a small movement of your hands, you can defeat many billions of people without needing any weapons. There are many other general realizations, but there is no need to mention them.

OM enables you to achieve the sublime realization and MA the general realizations. NI enables you to achieve the pacifying realization, pacifying delusions and disease, which arises from delusion and karma. PAD enables you to achieve the increasing realization, increasing four things: life, knowledge, realizations, and intellectual understanding of the meaning of the words. ME enables you to achieve the controlling realization, so that you easily receive any food, clothing, or other material possession that you need to benefit other sentient beings. HUM enables you achieve the wrathful realization, which gives you the power to destroy the maras, or evil-doers, who harm sentient beings and disturb the teachings. These wrathful powers are needed to benefit other sentient beings.

It also enables you to achieve the infinite qualities of Avalokiteshvara’s holy body, holy speech, and holy mind. It enables you to achieve all Avalokiteshvara’s knowledge and to perform Avalokiteshvara’s holy actions, which are unimaginable. These holy actions cannot be comprehended by even arhats, but only by buddhas. Avalokiteshvara performs unimaginable holy actions for other sentient being. The holy body transforms into many billions of different manifestations, the holy speech transforms into billions of different forms, and the holy mind also transforms into many billions of different forms to guide sentient beings.

There are five Mahayana paths to enlightenment: the path of merit, the path of preparation, the path of seeing, the path of meditation, and the path of no more learning. Reciting the six-syllable mantra, OM MANI PADME HUM, also enables you to achieve these five paths. The last one is omniscient mind, or enlightenment.

In this way, even each syllable has much benefit and power.

Even if you have collected many heavy negative karmas, such as avoiding Dharma, again this is the best method to purify them.

One lama in Tibet wanted to go to the pure realm of Avalokiteshvara, Potala. Somebody close to the lama, perhaps a benefactor, said to him, “Could you also take me?”

The lama then asked Avalokiteshvara whether or not he could take that person with him to the pure realm. I think the lama must have been a great yogi who could see and communicate with Avalokiteshvara.

Avalokiteshvara mentioned that the benefactor had sold a Dharma text, the Prajnaparamita in eight thousand verses. This text, which contains explanations of emptiness, has been translated into English. Avalokiteshvara said to the lama, “He has sold this text, so he cannot come to the pure realm. He will be reborn in hell.”

The lama then asked Avalokiteshvara, “What should he do?” Avalokiteshvara answered, “Meditate on and recite my mantra, the six-syllable mantra.”

Even someone who has created a very heavy negative karma of avoiding Dharma like this can purify it by reciting this mantra, because Avalokiteshvara himself said to recite it.

Reciting this mantra is a most powerful method, able to purify even the negative karma of a full monk who has lost his ordination by breaking the four root vows. In previous times,one pandit4, having degenerated all his precepts, was born in the hells but he didn’t have experience the suffering there. The moment he was born in hell, as he was right in front of the Yamas, the karmically created protectors, Avalokiteshvara and other deities saved him from the hands of the Yamas because he had recited this mantra during his life. Because of the power of that, Avalokiteshvara and the other deities saved him.

Right after he was saved by Avalokiteshvara, Hayagriva, and other deities, his consciousness re-entered his dead body, which was about to be burned, and he came back to life.

This mantra also has the power to purify the five unceasing negative karmas. I’m not sure whether this story happened in India or Tibet—maybe in India. A couple destroyed a statue of a pandit and made medicine out of the materials used to make the statue. After they had done it, they somehow knew that they had created heavy negative karma. Feeling much repentance, they did much meditation on the Avalokiteshvara yoga method and recited this mantra a lot. So, in that life, with the same bodies and without needing to experience death, both the husband and wife went to the pure realm of Avalokiteshvara.

There are many stories about how powerful this mantra is for purification.

At one time in Lhasa, there was an old woman who lived in the streets, begging, and she often recited this mantra. When she died in the street, her body was full of beams, and white light radiated from her body. Everybody was very surprised. She was just a beggar who recited this mantra all the time. She died in the street, not in a comfortable bed in a good apartment, but the light coming from her body was a sign that she had left for the pure realm.

There is also an Avalokiteshvara yoga method that cures eye disease. In the upper region of Tibet, one woman became blind; she then concentrated on and prayed to Avalokiteshvara all the time and recited many mantras. After some time, early one morning, she suddenly regained her sight. This happened without any treatment, without any doctors. There are many similar stories of blind people who regained their sight through praying to Avalokiteshvara and reciting the mantra.

Just recently here in Solu Khumbu, an old man who used to carve the Avalokiteshvara mantra on stones died. He and his wife lived somewhere down below here; they were very poor, very simple people. The old man had a generous mind, a good heart, and always recited the Avalokiteshvara mantra. When the husband died and his body was burned, the forehead bone sprang out of the fire into space and dropped to the ground. When they checked the bone, they found that white OM MANI PADME HUM mantras had spontaneously appeared on the bone.

At that time other incredible, unexpected things happened. Even though other people did not think that he was a good person and that he would be guided by Avalokiteshvara, very surprising things happened at the time of his death.

I think the bone was offered to Gomchen-la, an ascetic monk who is recognized as the embodiment of a yogi called [Tang pa gepa]. This yogi is usually drawn with a very big stomach. I think the bone was taken by the wife, but she wanted to offer it to Gomchen-la. Gomchen-la told me I should keep that bone with the mantras here. I also definitely believe in the benefits of this. I have also had my own experiences of the power of the mantra, though I’m not saying that I have any realizations.

If you have devotion in the benefits of this mantra, then recite it and blow on other people’s bodies or on water that you then give to other people, it benefits. Last year there was a woman who had so much pain in her eyes that she couldn’t sleep at night. When she came to a puja here a year ago, I gave her some mantra water and red cloth. I told her to put the water on her eyes with the red cloth, then wipe it off. I also told her to recite the mantra herself. When I saw her the next day, the pain she had had for a year had gone. There are many similar stories.

If you have faith in the benefits of the mantra and a good heart, even something simple like blowing your breath on water after reciting the mantra benefits. Reciting this mantra is one of the most powerful methods for the happiness of all future lives.

That is a brief explanation of the benefits of the mantra.

If one recites one thousand every day then when the body is burned, at the death time when the body is burned, even the smoke that goes away, whomever it touches, whoever smells, whomever it touches, those sentient beings, their negative karma to be reborn in the lower realms gets purified.

So there are fifteen major benefits, this is the same thing for long mantra and short mantra. Fifteen important benefits. There are so many benefits but if one can remember these fifteen benefits, if one able to remember these, then this is many important things. Besides all the healing, all the disease can be, that one can be healed or one get protected from many harms, all these things, besides all these things. So one receives fifteen virtue, benefits.

1) In all the lifetimes, one meets a virtuous king, religious king, virtuous king. So like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, so forth. Also, there happened others, virtuous leader, virtuous king. So by meeting, so, that by being in such a place then one has much opportunity to practice Dharma. There’s reasons like that.

2) So, all the time one get reborn in the virtuous place, where there is lot of, place where there’s a lot of Dharma practice. So where there, like where there’s a lot of temples, where you can make a lot of, where there’s a lot of holy objects, statues, stupas, many holy objects. And that by having many holy objects, and by having many people, by having people, so many people in the city doing practice, so they inspire you also to practice Dharma, cause of happiness. By having all these holy objects, then it makes you to, it gives you opportunity to practice Dharma, to create the cause of happiness, to accumulate merit.

3) Then, one is, all the time meets good time, fortunate time, all the time one has fortunate time. The conditions, good conditions, which helps your Dharma practice. Always many good things happening, which inspires you to practice Dharma, which makes you to practice Dharma, to receive teachings, to meditate, many things.

4) So then, always one is able to meet a virtuous friend. That is one.

5) Then always one receives a perfect human body.

6) Then, the mind become familiar with the path, then, in virtue, in the path.

7) Then, one doesn’t degenerate vow, morality.

8) Then one is able to remember, the surrounding people become kind to you, they become harmonious to you, with the people, family or Dharma students or people in the office, whatever, they become harmonious to you.

9) Then you always have wealth, means of living.

10) Always you are protected, always you are served by others.

11) Wealth that you have doesn’t get stolen, doesn’t get taken away by others.

12) Whatever you wish, get succeed.

13) You are always protected by the nagas, the virtuous nagas and devas.

14) Then in all the lifetimes, you see Buddha and able to hear Dharma.

15) By listening pure Dharma, then you are able to actualize the profound meaning, emptiness.

So it is said in the teachings that deva, human being, anybody who recites this mantra with compassion, compassionate thought, then that person will receive these five virtues. So there are so many benefits but these I mentioned, these five, these fifteen, were important, integrated, integrated in fifteen important outlines.

Then, mention a little bit the meaning, then we’ll stop there, okay.

The Compassion Buddha, in the form of mantra, with the speech, the form of mantra, then leading us to enlightenment. This, that’s what it is, by reciting OM MANI PADME HUM. So there’s the holy body of Compassion Buddha that we make offerings, we accumulate merits, we purify, we meditate, but then, the other thing is that, manifesting in the form of mantra, then purify our negative karma and causing us to actualize the whole path, from guru devotion and the renunciation, bodhicitta, emptiness, the whole path, the two stages of tantra, however, the whole path to enlightenment within us. So that then able to bring all sentient beings to enlightenment. This is what the mantra is benefiting us. So this is the action of Compassion Buddha’s holy speech, benefiting us.

So, by manifesting OM MANI PADME HUM, then there’s also prayer wheel, then the prayer wheel practice, with the OM MANI PADME HUM written, then that way also purifying, also very powerful practice that, it becomes unbelievable purification, the prayer wheel, OM MANI PADME HUM, turning the prayer wheel. And then by one time turning, it accumulate that, merit like sky, that if there’s a million mantras inside the prayer wheel, then by turning one time, you accumulate merit same as you have recited one million times OM MANI PADME HUM, so many. So like that, there are many ways Compassion Buddha, Compassion Buddha is guiding us to enlightenment in so many different ways. So it’s unbelievable how Compassion Buddha is, how is doing work for us, guiding us to enlightenment.

So now OM MANI PADME HUM. So MANI PADME, MANI is method and PADME is wisdom. So MANI PADME, there is method and wisdom, Buddha revealed the Lesser Vehicle teaching, Mahayana Paramitayana teachings, the Mahayana Vajrayana teachings, so now there is a method and wisdom of the Lesser Vehicle teachings, there is a method and wisdom in the Mahayana Paramitayana teachings, and there is a method and wisdom in Mahayana Vajrayana teachings. So MANI PADME contains everything. MANI PADME contains the Hinayana, the Lesser Vehicle teaching’s method and wisdom, the Mahayana Paramitayana method and wisdom, the sutra, then Mahayana Vajrayana method and wisdom. So MANI PADME, by practicing together the method and wisdom signified by MANI PADME and then purifies stains of body, speech and mind, which is signified by the OM, the AH, U, MA – OM. The three sounds makes OM. By integrating the three sounds then it becomes OM, AH, U, MA – OM. So that signifies the vajra holy body, holy speech and holy mind of Buddha. So, by practicing the method and wisdom signified by MANI PADME together, then purifies one’s own ordinary body, speech and mind, the stains, in other words, the stains of body, speech and mind, purify, and then transformed or it became inseparable with Buddha’s vajra holy body, holy speech and holy mind. So, the AH, U, MA – OM, OM signifies the three vajras. So like that.

Then that, and also that this MANI PADME, OM MANI PADME HUM, MANI PADME it signifies the maha-anuttara yoga tantra path. What I have explained before is general, now more specific. That, by depending on the path, the method that which the profound secret mantra, which makes the mind to be ripened, that which is the generation stage, and what makes the mind to be liberated, what liberates the mind, so that is the completion stage. So by practicing these two things, then you stop, you cease the circle of the ordinary suffering, rebirth, death, intermediate stage.

You stop, you cease. Then you achieve path-time, so the previous one is the base-time, ordinary the base-time birth, death, intermediate stage, so then actualize path-time dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, nirmanakaya, and achieve the result-time dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, nirmanakaya. So achieving these three kayas which are inseparable. So this is, achieving these three, purifying those three and achieving these three are signified by the OM – AH, U, MA – OM.

Then another meaning MANI PADME, PADME is lotus, MANI is jewel and PADME is lotus. So the lotus is unstained, it grew from the mud but it’s unstained by mud. So like this, the Compassion Buddha holding, the reason why Compassionate Buddha is holding the lotus, it signifies that the Compassionate Buddha has completely purified, has completely abandoned the root of samsara, the concept of true existence, ignorance. Not only that, even the subtle imprint, subtle obscuration is completely purified, by the wisdom, by the great wisdom directly perceiving emptiness.

So, therefore, not abiding, the Compassion Buddha is not abiding even in the lower nirvana, the extreme of samsara, the lower nirvana. Not abiding, not being bound in that blissful state of peace.

So free from that. That’s why holding the white lotus.

So the reason why Compassion Buddha is holding a jewel in the hand, which is in Sanskrit, the jewel’s name is MANI. The Compassion Buddha himself, himself or herself whichever way manifest, even he or herself achieved the highest peerless peace, the great enlightenment, but because the Compassion Buddha’s holy mind is bound with great compassion, so therefore stopped abiding, only abiding in the peace, in the state of peace, holy mind abiding in the state of peace. You see, and not manifesting, not working for other sentient beings, just only abiding in the state of peace. So stopped that, because the holy mind is bound by great compassion. So because of that, then manifest out in the form whatever it fits to the different sentient beings who have different characteristics of mind. In that way then reveal various skillful means whatever it can fit to then sentient beings, then like a wish-granting jewel, Compassion Buddha eliminate every single problem, every single suffering of us the sentient beings, and grants every single benefit, happiness, of us sentient beings, temporary happiness, ultimate happiness, benefits. So fulfills wishes of us all sentient beings. For that reason, then the two hands put together and holding jewel, so this mudra is done. Because of this, then Compassion Buddha is called “Lotus in the Hand,” by this reason. “Lotus in the Hand,” that is the name of the Compassion Buddha.

Now the meaning of HUM. Maybe the HUM we do next time. Maybe next new year – I’m joking, anyway.

The HUM is mentioned in the root tantra Dorje Tsemo, Tip of the Vajra. I’m going to explain what is the meaning of the HUM. It is a verse from that text. It destroys the, it cuts the suffering, HUM cuts the suffering, and destroys the suffering. It kills the evil beings by the mantra, means the HUNG, so those who harm so many sentient beings, and those who harm, destroy the teaching of Buddha, which is the source of all sentient beings’ happiness, so the evil beings. So the HUM, it take off the life of the evil being by the mantra, and it cuts the lasso of the samsara, lasso, the lasso is something that you tie, like animal you tie to the stick, or something, whatever it is, post or hook or something. So attachment, so the lasso of the samsara is attachment, what ties us, what hooks us or what ties us to samsara, what ties us to samsara, lasso. So HUM cuts the lasso of the samsara. Therefore, remember the HUM is the supreme, HUM, therefore, remember the HUM is the supreme one.

So HUM, the MANI PADME is Chenrezig’s holy name, that is Chenrezig’s, Compassion Buddha’s holy name, so MANI PADME is like calling, Mum!, mother or father. The MANI PADME is just like calling father or mum. Then HUM that persuades the Compassion Buddha’s holy mind. It’s a imperative, imperative word that the blessings of your holy mind, the great compassion, make it to enter in my heart. So that is the meaning of HUM. The blessings of the great compassion, the blessings of your holy mind, the great compassion, make it to enter in my heart, in my mental continuum. So that is the essential meaning of the HUM, OM MANI PADME HUM.

Other than this, is that the MANI PADME, that MANI, dependent arising, the truth for the all-obscuring mind. The two truths, all existence are condensed into two truths, truth for all-obscuring mind, the dependent arising, MANI signifies that, and PADME is the truth for the absolute wisdom, the emptiness. Then HUM is the unification of dependent arising and emptiness. Then also MANI, appearance. We label I, first our mind label I, then there is appearance of the I, then the I appears to us as if it is independent, as it exists from its own side, unlabeled. So the MANI signifies the appearance, appearance of samsara, nirvana, appearance whatever we have here now in this room, in this hall, yourself, others, the house, everything. All these appearances that which appeared as existing from its own side, not labeled by the mind, not merely labeled by the mind. Then, PADME signifies emptiness. So, these, including I, action, object, samsara, nirvana, all these things what are appearing, the way it is appearing to us is existing from its own side, not merely labeled by the mind. Therefore, that one is completely empty right there, doesn’t exist at all, the slightest even atom right there. Because everything what exist is being merely labeled by the mind, so therefore everything is empty. So MANI, appearance, PADME, seeing all these appearances are empty, empty of true existence. HUM then inseparability of emptiness and appearance.

(Lama Zopa quotation, credits: :


Refuge, Mani Mantra and Mother Sentient Beings

Image result for Drubwang rinpoche
Teaching by Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche to a group of monks
June 2000

For more on Drubwang Rinpoche:

Firstly, we must understand what is refuge, whether you are of the superior, middling or lower capacity, you must understand the meaning of refuge. When you are undertaking any matter, large or small, you should recite the refuge prayer before beginning and pray to the Triple Gems. “The Triple Gems are undeceiving and infallible, the law of karma or cause-and-effect is unequivocally true.” We are all Buddhists, so from the moment we become Buddhists, we should guard our conduct according to cause-and-effect like protecting our eyes.

There are countless Dharma teachings in Buddhism but can sentient beings understand all these teachings? The essence of Dharma is encapsulated in the six syllables Mani mantra. We must be clear about this point. The Dharma for sentient beings in samsara is the Mani mantra, if we can recite this, we will gain independence or control over ourselves. After death, we will not fall into the hells and will be able to enter the pureland. This depends on each person. Besides this, no-one can have control (over the outcome), no-one will escape death. This is the simplest and yet most profound Dharma. With this, one need not beg others for help, there is also no need to beat (drums), blow (trumpets), clash (cymbals) or clap (referring to the rituals). In the age of five degenerations when Dharma is at its weakest moment, if the person has the merits to do so, no matter where I go, there are those who are 60 or 70 of age who will recite 20,000 mantras daily at maximum, the middling quantity is 10,000 and the minimum would be 5000 mantras daily.

This Mani mantra has been practiced in 100 million Mani recitation pujas in many places in the Himalayas such as Nisha, Kunnu, Ladahk, etc. This is beneficial to the Buddhadharma and all sentient beings in samsara. It will also be helpful to reduce the obstacles faced by Tibetans in terms of the propagation of Buddhadharma in Tibet.

Firstly, we visualize the refuge of Triple Gems, then we can perform all kinds of large or small positive actions. But what should we do here? We should recite the Mani mantra of Chenrezig, in this way we will purify all the negative karmas of this life. We can purify all the negative karmas accumulated since beginningless time.

In samsara, what kind of negative karmas do we accumulate? The five poisons (desire, anger, ignorance, pride and jealousy), the three kleshas, thoughts, three obscurations etc. Due to this, we remain in samsara… Actually, one’s mind is Buddha, and all sentient beings are Buddhas, but being obscured by defilements, we need to purify that to attain Buddhahood. Without purifying, the five mental poisons and negative emotions prevents us from recognising that our mind is Buddha; once the defilements are purified, one will see that one’s mind is Buddha. All beings have the Buddha nature, all beings are Buddhas…

In our past lives, how much negative karma we have created, in the previous past lives, and in lives before that, from beginningless time in samsara, we have created (enormous) bad karma like we did in this life itself. But if we recite the Mani mantra that counteracts the defilements, we will purify these negative karmas. If we do not recite, then these negative karmas will not be removed. By reciting, we can attain the common and supreme accomplishments, and reach an irreversible stage through the common and supreme accomplishments. We can be liberated from samsara. Samsara is like an ocean of suffering, isn’t it so? Constantly creating negative karmas, we continue cycling in samsara endlessly. 100 years on Earth is suffering in hell for one day. How much more suffering must we go through? All the lineage masters said that we should not waste this precious human life. When we are in the negative age of five degenerations, Buddhists who obtain this precious human life are as rare as the stars in daytime. We should recite the Mani mantra seriously all the time. Don’t lose this chance. When we face death, there are only the white and black paths, there is no other path. There is no way we can avoid facing the King of Death, Yama. In his mirror that reflects the karma of beings, all the good and bad deeds we have done will be shown clearly. There is no way to give excuses, debate or lie.

While we have the ability now, in this degenerated age when beings can enter the Dharma, if we are able to practice Dharma and create positive deeds, the benefit is inconceivable… everyone must practice Dharma… you must think of death and impermanence to turn your mind towards Dharma. No-one will not die. You must all think of the four thoughts that turn your mind towards Dharma. The four thoughts are to make one think of death. Without thinking of death, you will not wish to recite the Mani mantra. When you think of death, you will wish to recite Mani. The main thing is to think of death and impermanence…

Do you have control over your life? No. The mara of death is like a sentry at the top of the mountain. He will not tell one to come or not to come. When we wake up every morning, who knows if we will be able to go to bed tonight. This is impermanence. When we sleep at night, would we be able to wake the next morning? Just as the teachings say, “The time of death is not certain, the cause of death is not certain.” You are all students of the Buddhadharma, thinking of these points, if you should do more positive deeds and recite the Mani, your obstacles will be purified…

Young people should not lose your culture. Think well. Young people must regard parents as the main point when observing cause-and-effect. Quarreling with parents, hurting parents’ feelings, criticizing parents, abandoning their parents. There are many such people. This kind of person will not have a good day in their life. Cause-and-effect will not fail. There will be retribution for such karma. You must remember that parents have kindness to us. We are all Buddhists. Just as it is said that the parents’ kindness is equal to that of the Triple Gems. Parents take much effort to bring us up, one does not take birth effortlessly. When mothers have us in their wombs, they have to consider us carefully, afraid to harm the foetus, not able to eat anything they wish. After 9 months and 10 days, when the baby is born, the baby has no control over his life or death, with no ability to discriminate, the parents have to take care of one, all the phlegm and snot, parents have to clean, even using their mouth, isn’t the kindness of the parents great?

If entering the Buddhist path upon obtaining a precious human birth, we are not fearful of karma, causing grief to our parents, mistreating our parents, taking the best for ourselves, this is not permissible. A good child will first offer food to parents, offer the best clothes to parents, and finally make aspirations and strong wishes to repay the kindness of parents. Children should observe cause-and-effect. We are not Buddhists who are careless and negligent of karma, we should understand these principles. If we do not know this, we are like animals.

Whatever the situation, the Triple Gems are undeceiving and infallible, if we meet with all kinds of obstacles, we should pray to the Triple Gems, there is nothing more superior to this method for liberating one from the obstacles.

In all your actions, walking, standing, sitting and lying down, you should recall the law of cause-and-effect. Mainly, one should think of our parents. If we have domestic animals, we should consider them too. All sentient beings have been our parents. There is no sentient being who is born in samsara without relying on parents… knowing this one should develop kindness and compassion, not to harm mother sentient beings, treat all sentient beings as our parents with love and compassion… Sentient beings in samsara wish for happiness but do not know how to create the causes for happiness. They do things in a contradictory way, bringing opposite results through ignorance, just like a blind person stranded in the middle of a vast plain. All mother sentient beings in the six realms are truly pitiful. This kind of compassion is based on sentient beings, contemplate this way. The best is for one to stop eating meat. These are the meat of our parents. All sentient beings are our parents. You are killing them to eat their meat. At least, one should be vegetarian every month on the lunar 15th ,30th and 8th etc. In short, adopting virtue and avoiding non-virtue should be done in a very clear-cut manner…

There is no such thing as remaining a long time in this world so we should contemplate on impermanence and death from the bottom of our hearts. The Mani mantra cannot be accumulated in large numbers in a short time. One has to start reciting when one is young, and by the time one is old, one would have accumulated a large number of recitations. No matter what, positive and negative deeds will never disappear or be discarded, this point must be clearly understood.

Everyone looks down on the recitation of Mani, thinking that it is for people who don’t know anything much else. Such kind of thinking is pure ignorance. The Mani mantra is very very precious. Please recite the Mani well, safe-guard your own culture and have faith in the Buddhadharma.

More Mani Mantra related teachings at :

The Tibetan tradition of offering a kathag 

Kathag, the Tibetan word for the white scarf that is often wrapped around the offering one gives to the lama, is not an empty gesture; it’s not just done mechanically. In Tibetan culture it is the way of exemplifying all of that merit and virtue one is dedicating at that point with that offering. That simple little scarf in that moment exemplifies, for  the person who understands, the symbolism that all of that virtue and merit accumulated throughout the three times, by ordinary beings, by buddhas, and bodhisattvas, is being offered. And again, we begin realistically with a sense of emulation, understanding that this sense of dedication is something that grows through practice and through our own realization and understanding. We begin with the attitude, “Just as buddhas and bodhisattvas of the three times and the ten directions have dedicated, dedicate and will dedicate the virtue and merit of attainments for the benefit of beings, so too do I now, at this moment, using this act of virtue as the model, dedicate the virtue and merit of all of my activities in the past, present, and future for the benefit of all beings.” We begin with that sense of emulation.

~Lingtrul Rinpoche

Mipham Treatise on the Modes of Being

Very useful teaching with which one can reflect upon oneself.  Dharma is not just about mumbling mantras and going about in our usual habitual patterns.  But it takes introspection and quietude to really assess our own minds and change it.

Some nice quotes :

Let me explain the reason for this [being plagued by misfortune]:
Their previous merit is weak,
Like Chinese tea sifted through a filter.
They have bad mind and lose what is good.
Because they do little to repay the kindness
Of their parents, teachers, elders, and benefactors
The protective deities and divinities become disenchanted with them,
And they become like a corpse with no allies.
With little concern for disgrace in this and future lives and with little heed for
the law of cause and effect,
Whatever they say and whatever they swear,
They never follow through on a single thing.
This is why the strict and honest protectors become disenchanted with them.

Mistaking benefit for harm, they get pulled in all directions and fall sway to
their temporary situations.
If they could they would even treat the sublime refuge objects
as their servants,

They have little respect or confidence in the Three Jewels,
They do not act the same in front of your face as they do when you are
not looking,
And their earlier actions and later actions are inconsistent.
This deeply saddens the awakened heart-minds of the samaya-bearing
They indulge carelessly in food and money
That was garnered from false accusations, disgraceful actions,
and swearing oaths.
They heedlessly indulge in gossip and slander.
Thus, protective gods and guardian spirits fade away into the sky.

When they see the fulfillment, glory, and prosperity of others,
Painful jealousy rises up uselessly.
Since they willingly disgrace themselves in front of everyone,
The capacity of the protectors and refuge deities is exhausted.
Because of these and other such causes and conditions,
They sabotage their own perfect conditions.
It is like they are sitting in a pool of feces:
Even if they call out to hundreds of deities and thousands of nagas,
It is extremely unlikely that these divine beings will congregate before them.

At that time, they say,
“Alas, even though I have done all this puja and practice,
Nothing in my life is working out and nothing is successful,
And these practices have not benefited me in the slightest.”
Beings in these degenerate times have such weak merit!
Right away, you must recognize that it is these unwise behaviors
That are to blame [for your misfortune].
And you should turn away from these actions!

Credits and thanks to Ari Bhod:

The file is available free for download on their site but I include a copy here for download in case the link changes in future:

Mipham treatise for download here (right click)

Passport to Liberation

Narrated by Khenpo Sherab Zangpo:
(Translated from Chinese)

This practitioner Tsewang Trinley was my Vajra sibling.  He was from Ganzi, Rongpatsa.  Once, we were together with the accomplished master Khenpo Tsewang Jigme receiving teachings on the “Six Bardo Teachings of Padmasambhava” and “Choying Dzod (Treasury of Dharmadhatu)”.  We got along very well and would often joke with each other.

When His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok came to Rongpatsa, Tsewang also approached His Holiness for teachings.  In his life, Tsewang recited a total of 100 million Guru Rinpoche mantras, he also recited more than 100,000 repetitions of the 35 Buddhas Confession Prayer, 1.1 million times of the 21 Tara Praises, undertook the Eight Precepts (editor: may have been the 2-days fasting ritual Nyungnay – not clear from the text) for 200 times, and made more than 1.4 million prostrations.  Through his prostrations, the board beneath was worn out by his blood and flesh.  It could be said that his life was solely devoted to Dharma practice.

Later, when Achuk Lama Rinpoche came to Rongpatsa, Tsewang supplicated Lama Rinpoche to ascertain his meditative realisations in Dzogchen.  After having examined him, Achuk Lama Rinpoche was delighted and said that he had completely realized Dzogchen.  Tsewang then told his disciples, “If I were to die now, I would not feel any fear, instead I would experience great joy; this is because I now possess complete confidence.”

Later, Tsewang had a messenger inform a disciple who was out travelling to quickly return to his hometown, he said, “This disciple wishes very much to travel to foreign countries, I have a passport to give him.”  Actually Tsewang had no ‘passport’ at all and everyone was mystified at his words.  Looking at his robust state of health, no-one imagined that he was going to pass on soon.

It took that disciple several months to return, and he finally came home on 26 February 1995.

Tsewang then told his disciple to write a biography detailing how he (Tsewang) had relied on his Guru and did Dharma practice.  He explained, “When practitioners read this in the future, there would definitely be some benefit.”  Having entrusted this task, he went on as usual to have his dinner, perform his customary recitations and nothing out of the ordinary occurred.  The next day, at noon, he suddenly felt some discomfort and at 6pm, he had his disciples help him remove his extra clothing and then sat in Vajra posture facing west.  When his disciples came again to check on him, he had already entered parinirvana.   His body remained in meditation for 21 days and his skin took on a fair radiance far beyond his usual complexion when he was alive.

On March 21, when the monastery arranged for his cremation, the sky was cloudless and a white vulture came from the sky and circumambulated clockwise.  Everyone present saw this.

People then began to understand what he meant by ‘going abroad’ and ‘passport’.  His notion of ‘passport’ was to record how he had practiced in his life.  I believe Tsewang wanted to tell us that someone who wished to attain liberation should practice with the same diligence as he did, so that when death came, we would be able to travel to liberation with this ‘passport’ just as he did.

I am telling everyone this story because I wish you to understand that all your efforts in doing Dharma practice in this life will definitely not be wasted.  Only someone who practices diligently need not fear death and he would be able to attain the joy of liberation.

After completing Ngondro and Guru Yoga, one’s mind-stream would definitely experience changes, at that time, one can rely on a qualified teacher to request the teachings and empowerments related to Dzogchen.

Dudjom Rinpoche on 7 Lines Prayer

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche (Jikdral Yeshe Dorje) Teaching On The Seven Lines Prayer

Extract of His Holiness’ teaching on Guru Pema Trötengsel Paris 1984

…Then we come to the invocation prayer known as “The Seven Line Prayer”, because it has seven lines.

This prayer appears a lot and will come again and again as an invocation. The reason why this prayer comes so often is because at the very moment Guru Rinpoche was conceived, in a lake in the North-West corner of Uddiyana, realization was achieved simultaneously. When this happened many millions upon millions of dakinis sang this praise in one voice as a praise to the Lotus-born Guru. These dakinis sang from three most sacred places. Therefore, it has great blessings.

To go just briefly through these lines, it says that: ‘being born in the North-West corner of the country of Uddiyana, in a heart-center of a lotus, endowed with the most marvelous attainments, you are known as The Lotus-Born Guru, surrounded by many hosts of dakinis countless in number, I will follow in your footsteps’. This is basically what it means.

This Seven Line Prayer should not be considered as just another supplication or invocation prayer. Instead it should be understood to be the principal prayer calling for Guru Rinpoche which itself carries tremendous blessings. Due to the power of the essence of this prayer and the blessings it holds, when you have obstacles or hindrances, if you recite it with confidence 100,000 times, normally these can be immediately removed. Moreover, when I was young, I did this practice several times and found that you can do 10,000 recitations a day, which means that you can complete 100,000 recitations in ten days. Since countless millions of dakinis have uttered this profound prayer it has remarkable blessings. So, we should consider this not only as an invocation but also a means to bring about the essential blessings of Guru Rinpoche himself.

Rinpoche’s root-teacher Gyurme Nyedun Wangpo, (otherwise known as, Podpong Tulku or Zapong Tulku because he was coming from Za region), would give this Seven Line Prayer practice to all his students and disciples to do. He would even give it to the mothers and children. Whoever came to him to ask for teachings, he would simply say: “Just recite this and have devotion while reciting this prayer. Recite this, that is enough”. Therefore, His Holiness’ root-teacher himself essentialized all practice down to this Seven Line Prayer. So, there is no need to get bogged down in the complexities of the kyerim and things like that which we don’t really understand. Simply doing this practice alone is sufficient.

See also: