~ His Holiness Penor Rinpoche
Concerning the yidam (deity), all deities can be condensed into one deity, and one deity can emanate as countless deities. For instance, if one takes Guru Rinpoche who is the embodiment of all the Buddhas as your practice, then doing the practice of Guru Rinpoche is the same as doing the practices of all other yidams.
If one has the ability to do so, one can also do the practice of each yidam separately. Each yidam has very great power, this is of course very good.
For instance, in the practice of Hayagriva, before the signs of accomplishments arise, one should do the practice diligently. How would the signs manifest? One holds some butter and recites the mantra, when this piece of butter is put into boiling water, the butter does not melt. This means that the mantra has some strength to it.
When a rope has been blessed by mantras, and it is placed on an iron surface and hacked with an axe, or placed on a red-hot iron surface, this rope will neither be burnt nor damaged. This is a sign of accomplishing the mantra.
If one wishes to genuinely practice, one has to be very diligent before the signs of accomplishing the mantra appear. This power of accomplishment does not arise simply because you have recited the mantra some tens of million or even hundred million times. But some people even feel that just reciting the mantra a hundred or a thousand times will produce some power. Unfortunately, things are not quite so simple.
The mantra’s strength, in general, arises in dependence on the correct method of practice. Only then can its power be accomplished. If one simply practices in a sloppy or perfunctory manner and wishes to gain accomplishment, it would be quite difficult to do so.
However, many disciples have a wrong concept of practice. After doing practice, if the mantra does not produce any effect, they will criticize the yidam. If one is not practicing correctly and afterwards say that the yidam does not possess blessings, can this attitude be right? Whether it is Tara, Chenrezig, Vajrakilaya, or any other yidam, if one approaches the practice in the correct manner, the signs of accomplishments are sure to appear.
If one practices in a slip-shod manner, then this (accomplishment) will not happen. Whether one is practicing correctly, we should observe and check. If one practices correctly, the deity can appear in front of one’s eyes.
If there isn’t a lot of time to do practices of various yidams, then to only practice Guru Rinpoche and one-pointedly pray to him while practicing correctly according to the instructions will also be enough. When practicing Guru Rinpoche, supplicate him with single-minded focus. All the Buddhas’ blessings and accomplishments are contained therein.
Corresponding to one’s ability and diligence, if one prays to Guru Rinpoche with complete focus, then all the necessities such as wealth, enjoyments, freedom from illness, good health and other worldly benefits will be obtained. In terms of future lives, we will be able to attain liberation and Buddhahood with perfect omniscience.
Whether Guru Rinpoche has such an effect depends on one’s sincere faith and longing aspirations. Whichever yidam you practice, one’s mind must be completely firm, stable, unwavering, without any doubt. You should not be distracted or hesitant, all these (attitudes) are of no benefit whatsoever.
Whether yidam practice can succeed and whether one can encounter the yidam depends on oneself. Of course, we should understand that our karmic obscurations are very heavy. When these obscurations are purified, then the yidam practice will definitely yield accomplishments. Without purifying the karmic obscurations, it is very difficult to accomplish the yidam. Therefore, one must possess faith, pure perception, and a yearning mind. If this is the case, then the yidam practice will definitely produce fruit.