Archive | December 2015

Mini-Monlam of the Mani Mantra

Dear readers,

In conjunction with the coming new year 2016, I would like to invite any and all of you to make an aspiration with me to complete 100,000 Mani mantras within 50 days.

The reason for this is simple. We all need happiness and want to be free from sufferings. In this universe, there is no force stronger than unconditioned love and compassion.  This is a resource we all need to fall back upon again and again in order to face the coming challenges in the new year.

Many of us are very busy individuals, with little time to deal with long, complicated practices. Yet, no matter what kind of person we are, what we badly need is for our wisdom, compassion and merits to increase. Everyone can easily see and hear of the many problems that is surfacing in our world.  Terrorism, aviation accidents, earthquakes, wars, unrest, diseases etc.  These arise because of our collective karma so we need to make an effort collectively to purify the negative emotions of attachment and aversion and to increase and collect the positive energies of love, forgiveness and non-judgement.

The Mani mantra is easy to say, easy to accumulate in our daily life.  Even if you have just 10~20 minutes a day, you can fulfill 100,000 quite easily. Together with dedications for the rest of all beings, just a little effort on each person’s part will go a long way towards increasing the positive energies in this world, in your country, family and friends.

As Garchen Rinpoche says :
“The more Mani mantras we recite, the more love will increase in the minds of sentient beings, the more hatred will decrease. The minds of beings will become peaceful and happy, which will also help one’s country. If the minds of humans become peaceful and happy, then also the minds of spirits will become peaceful and happy. The Mani mantra practice is supreme in order to bring about peace and happiness.”

chenrezig6

Everyone who participates in this effort receives the full merits of the whole group, this is called group karma. We will keep all participants informed of the group total from time to time so that you can rejoice and make further dedications for the benefit of all beings.

  • You can participate by making an aspiration to complete ANY number although the preferred MINIMUM is 100,000
  • Do not pledge any more than you are reasonably sure you can complete.
  • The time period is 50 days from the day of reporting (Day of reporting as day 1)
  • Do not report twice for the same pledge. You do not need to inform us that you have finished.
  • If, by any chance, you truly cannot finish, it is okay to ask someone else to help recite the mantras, like divvying up the number.  But this is only in the case of direst straits, not because of laziness etc. Please do not send requests to rescind mantra counts/pledges.
  • You must do proper dedications after the recitation of the mantras each time and if you don’t know how to do dedications, please refer to this post :
    https://bodhiactivity.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/brief-notes-on-dedication-of-merits/ )
  • The mantras can be recited anytime, anywhere, with or without the use of a sadhana. All we ask is that you recite clearly (without missing any syllables) and with some sound (a whisper is okay)
  • If you need the use of a very short sadhana, we suggest this (scroll to the bottom of the following page) : https://bodhiactivity.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/benefits-of-the-mani-mantra/
  • You can use a rosary, digital counter, fingers or mental counting to record the numbers
  • You need not have received any oral transmission and need not have taken refuge to recite this mantra. There are absolutely no conditions for reciting this mantra
  • Either OM MANI PADME HUNG or OM MANI PADME HUNG HRIH is fine and can be included in the same count. If you wish to, you can even do some with HRIH and some without. It is entirely up to individuals what they are comfortable with.
  • Send all counts to vajrasattvadawn@gmail.com, stating :
  1. Name / Dharma Name (optional)
  2. Country
  3. Number of mantras pledged

Stories shared – The miraculous effects of practicing the Mani mantra

Karma Rinpoche’s teachings on the Mani Mantra

If one diligently practices the heart-mantra of Chenrezig (OM MANI PADME HUNG), it will not only help us to purify negative karma from beginningless time but will also truly help to plant the karmic seeds for merging with the mind of Chenrezig, bringing us to the level of Chenrezig and total enlightenment of the Buddha.

The miraculous effects of practicing the Mani mantra – the tooth of a hundred million recitations and foreknowledge of the time of death:

When ordinary beings are about to pass away, for many of them, what they see are only the Raksha minions of the hell realms and other ghostly entities, due to that, they give rise to great terror.  If one has taken refuge and practised the Mani mantra, when it comes to the time of dying, one will see the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and spiritual masters.  One will not take rebirth in the lower realms and will not feel afraid.  By these excellent circumstances, one will even have the opportunity to take rebirth in the pureland of Sukhavati (Amitabha’s pureland).

The six syllables mantra (OM MANI PADME HUNG) is extremely wonderful.  Through the practice of its meaning, one carries out the six paramitas:

OM : perfects the paramita of generosity

MA : perfects the paramita of discipline

NI : perfects the paramita of patience

PAD : perfects the paramita of diligence

ME : perfects the paramita of meditation

HUNG : perfects the paramita of wisdom

Normally when we practice the Mani mantra with devotion, we are accomplishing the six paramitas at the same time.  In our lineage, we recite “OM MANI PADME HUNG HRIH”, “HRIH” is a seed syllable, it contains the qualities of the body, speech, mind and all activities of Chenrezig.  It allows us to receive the great blessings of Chenrezig, and gradually transform our ordinary body, speech and mind into the enlightened body, speech and mind of Chenrezig.

The six syllable mantra can help us to seal the doors to rebirth in the six realms of samsara, preventing us from revolving continuously in the cycle of rebirth

OM : prevents rebirth in the heaven realms, and blesses the heavenly realm beings with a chance to attain liberation from samsara

MA : prevents rebirth in the Asura (demi-gods) realms, and blesses the Asura realm beings with a chance to attain liberation from samsara

NI : prevents rebirth in the human realms, and blesses the human realm beings with a chance to attain liberation from samsara

PAD : prevents rebirth in the preta (hungry-spirits) realms, and blesses the preta realm beings with a chance to attain liberation from samsara

ME : prevents rebirth in the animal realms, and blesses the animal realm beings with a chance to attain liberation from samsara

HUNG : prevents rebirth in the hell realms, and blesses the hell realm beings with a chance to attain liberation from samsara

In the Tibetan regions, many elderly people like to recite the Mani mantras and would often finish many hundreds-of-millions in their life.  In Tibet, very few of these old people would have sicknesses like dementia.  They would hold the rosary in the left hand and rotate a prayer wheel with their right hand, while their mouths would recite the Mani mantra of Chenrezig or other mantras.  If they had time, they would do full prostrations and pray in their minds to receive the blessings of Chenrezig.  This is practice with body, speech and mind in tandem. While speech is reciting Buddha’s mantra, body is also paying homage to Buddha and mind is focused on supplicating and recollecting Buddha.

If only speech is on reciting Buddha’s mantra but mind is utterly devoid of any focus on Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, then there is no real connection with Buddha.  To recite Buddha’s mantra also means that one constantly recalls and thinks of Buddha.  The motions of body, speech and mind should be performed with the awareness that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas constantly regard us (with their compassion).  We should hold this in mind and always confess our negativities with regret and accumulate virtues and positive deeds —  practising diligently.

In Tibet, there is the saying of the “Hundred-million” tooth.  Many elderly people of eighty or ninety years old would grow new teeth.  Just as if they were babies who had just grown out their baby teeth.  Many people view this as the great blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.  Generally, this is a sign of blessing when one has finished reciting a hundred million Mani mantras.  I had a Taiwanese student who was a very famous dental specialist.  I once invited him to look at my maternal grandmother’s new tooth.  He said, “This kind of tooth is not documented in the dentistry school, but one finds it alot in the Tibetan regions, it is quite amazing.” Actually, the new tooth is just one facet of the blessings, many people would also foretell when they are going to pass away and make all the preparations for it.  That was really incredible.

My maternal grandmother lived to about 89 years old.  On the day of her passing, she had already washed all her old clothes and piled them up neatly.  The new clothes were placed aside and she tasked my father to assemble all the relatives.  When they were gathered, she informed them that the old clothes have already been washed and who they should be given to.  She also made known who should receive the new clothes.  Below her pillow were some money from her relatives, she instructed that these were to be offered to the ordained monastics when they came the next day.  After that, she thanked each and every one of her relatives saying that she had given everyone much trouble during her late years.  Then, saying she needed to take a rest, she laid down.  Everyone thought she was going to take a nap.  After awhile, my aunt said, “Mother, we are going to leave first.”  But there was no response.  Upon checking, they realized that she had already passed away without any apparent suffering.

A grand-dad of (another) aunt recited the Mani mantra all his life.  He had been diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer for about one or two years when I visited him.  He was sitting at the balcony, basking in the sun and at that point, he was reaching 80 years of age.  He looked hale and hearty and was in very good spirits.  In front of him were placed some rock sugars, butter and Tsampa (dried barley).  I asked him, “Don’t you have Esophageal Cancer?  Can you still consume these foodstuff?  Other people who have this sickness have to refrain from eating (solid foods like these).”  He laughed and said, “So they say it is Esophageal Cancer but I can still eat, rock-sugars, Tsampa and butter and many more…  just do some chanting and all would be fine.”  He did not seem to feel any discomfort or pain, but continued to eat and drink until his death.”

On the day of his death, I rushed back from Chengdu.  In the afternoon, he started to ask everyone, “Is Rinpoche back yet?”  When he heard that I was on the way back, he had my cousin Ruogu Lama go to the monastery to invite all the monastics to his home.  He mentioned that it would be difficult to get money when he was dying so he arranged for the money to be offered to the monastics later on his behalf.  After all had been done, he continued to recite the Mani mantra.  That night, when I had just entered the door of my home, before I had even drunk a sip of tea, a phone-call came saying, “He has just passed on, please come to do the (customary) funeral rites for crossing him over.”  The grand-dad of my aunt had anticipated the timing of my arrival home.  After his death, his corpse had the fresh appearance of a person who was still alive.  It was very awe-inspiring.

To be free and at ease at the point of death, this is the most excellent and ultimate proof of a whole life of practice.  This experience is the old man’s legacy for later generations, everyone should have faith and devotion in this!

(More teachings on the Mani mantra :
https://bodhiactivity.wordpress.com/mani/)

Following Buddha with faith

The teachings of Buddha may be difficult to understand, beyond ordinary conception. But as a practitioner, it is important to have faith in Buddha whose teachings are based on omniscience and full comprehension of the capacity of beings, instead of constantly following one’s own interpretations which are fickle, changeable, dependent on one’s current emotion, preferences, mental afflictions and flawed intelligence.

Quote from the Medicine Buddha Sutra :

At that time the World Honored One said to Ananda, “The merit and virtue of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, which I have just extolled, is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas. It is difficult to fathom and to comprehend. Do you believe it or not?”

Ananda said, “Greatly virtuous World Honored One, I have absolutely no doubts regarding the Sutras spoken by the Tathagata. Why? Because all Buddhas’ karmas of body, speech, and mind are pure. World Honored One, the sun and moon could fall, Wonderfully High, the king of mountains, could be toppled or shaken, but the words of the Buddhas never change.”

“World Honored One, there are sentient beings deficient in faith who hear about the extremely profound practices of all Buddhas and think to themselves, ‘How could one obtain such supreme merit and benefit merely by reciting the name of a single Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata?’ Due to this lack of faith, they give rise to slander. During the long night, they lose great benefit and joy and fall into the evil destinies, where they wander ceaselessly.”

The Buddha told Ananda, “If these sentient beings hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and sincerely accept and uphold it without any doubts, they cannot possibly fall into the evil destinies.

Ananda, this is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas which is difficult to believe and to understand! You should know that your ability to accept this comes from the awesome power of the Tathagata. Ananda, all Hearers, Solitarily Enlightened Ones, and the Bodhisattvas who have not yet ascended to the Grounds are incapable of believing and understanding this Dharma as it really is. Only the Bodhisattvas who are destined in one life to attain Buddhahood, are capable of understanding.

Ananda, it is difficult to obtain a human body. It is also difficult to have faith in and to revere the Triple Jewel. It is even more difficult to be able to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Ananda, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata possesses boundless Bodhisattva practices, limitless skillful expedients, and immeasurably vast, great vows. If I were to speak extensively of those for an eon or more, the eon would soon end, but that Buddha’s practices, vows, and skillful expedients have no end!”

This entry was posted on 15151515, in Teachings.