If you keep focusing your mind one-pointedly on the presence of Buddha Chenrezig — or on some particular aspect of him, such as his loving-kindness or his eyes looking lovingly at us — then before long a powerful feeling of devotional energy is certain to emerge in your mindstream. Once that happens, a heat of joy and bliss will arise in every part of your mind and body because of a mental and physical suppleness such as you have never felt before. If you have already experienced this, it will augment the experience.
When this experience happens, you should allow the blissful heat generated by the development of loving-kindness to increase without grasping at or being attached to it. Then the precious bodhichitta unstained by the obscurations of defiled concepts will awaken in you. In the minds of those who follow the path of devotion, these enlightening effects will miraculously manifest before their own eyes.
~ Tulku Thondup
A Story of a Mani-Yogini
Droril was a yogini from Rima.
Through the unchanging faith and devotion in your heart
For the supreme deity, the great treasure of nobility of heart,
And your repetition of his six-syllable heart-essence,
You revealed the heart of everything. Yogini, I bow to you!
This yogini was from Rimar in Kham. She was called Droril because her hair was whiter than a conch, and she usually bundled herself in an outer garment of white felt. Droril means “wheat-colored and round.” As she worked constantly as a shepherd, she never learned to read. However, she continuously recited the MANI with stable faith and trust, and eventually recited more than three hundred million. Her brother recited one hundred million and had a good practice.
When Droril herded her sheep in cold weather she would recite MANIs on the mountain slopes and then, imagining a fence surrounding her flock, would blow air in their direction. She would say, “Through the compassion of Arya Avalokita, they’ll be fine.” Then she would sleep through the day, without checking on the sheep even once. The sheep would never stray from the area she had blessed for them as pasture. In the evening she would imagine summoning them to her, and they would follow her home.
When the weather was fine she would circumambulate the mountain’s peak while reciting MANIs. At that time my kind guru was about ten years old, and loved to accompany her when she tended her flocks. He told me that there were several reasons for this. As she was a bodhisattva who had perfected love and compassion she was loving to all beings, including him. In addition, because she blessed her sheep they were protected from all harm, including the predation of wolves. They therefore did not require much actual shepherding, so accompanying her was free of stress. Also, although he had barely enough clothing to survive the weather, she would let him lie down to sleep inside her outer garment.
Because she used her mala so much, its cord was always breaking. He often helped her restring it with yarn. She cured the blindness of both humans and animals simply by blowing on them; her benefit of others was not inconsiderable.
It is said in authoritative sources that those who complete one hundred million MANIs will grow a new tooth even if they are advanced in age; accordingly, she grew three. They were as bright and white as a conch; everyone who saw them was amazed and inspired. I have heard from others that she passed away while sitting up with her palms joined in prayer. It is said that in these times of decadence and short lives it is better to accumulate a spark of merit than a mountain of learning. I have never heard of a source of merit greater than meditating on the single deity Avalokita and reciting the single mantra of six syllables.
Unfortunately, most people are like me; they neglect the accumulation of merit in favor of elevated, empty words about the view, meditation, and conduct while abandoning their bodies, speech, and minds to mediocrity. This is our worst problem, both for this life and for the future. I have not seen this do anyone any real good, only bring about their ruin and that of others.
Through the virtue of writing this may beings in the six states
Rely upon the six syllables, the king of mantras;
Purify the six kleshas that cause rebirth;
And reach the state of Vajradhara, the sixth buddha.
told by Khenpo Kathar Rinpoche
His Holiness Third Dodrupchen says :
“In the Abhidharma it is said that “illness is the maturation of a violent deed, while compassion is an action totally free from violence.” That is why the Buddha of Compassion (Chenrezig) is the supreme deity (for healing). Precisely because of these points, it is said that Jowo (Atisha) was renowned for “his greatness in healing illness due to his having abandoned violence.”
The Buddha (Shakyamuni) said:
“If you remember the Lord Avalokiteshvara…
The torments of birth, old-age, and sickness will be pacified.”
Teachings given by Kalu Rinpoche in Sonada 1973.
The first Kalu Rinpoche’s main practice is Chenrezig and he has recited many hundreds of millions of Mani mantras.
We should not think that Chenrezig practice is less important than others. There are other deities that require special commitments one must keep very strictly-for example, staying in retreat for months or years and keeping a vow of silence. If these commitments are broken, many obstacles and difficulties will arise. It is like the people who trade in stolen goods from Nepal: if they succeed, they make a lot of money, but if they fail, they lose everything and end up in jail. Chenrezig is an emanation of the compassion of all Buddhas and everyone–of excellent, medium, or low ability–can benefit from this practice… However, because Chenrezig is a manifestation of the compassion of all the Buddhas, no obstacles will come even though your practice is imperfect… If you practice Chenrezig well, then you will come to understand Mahamudra. Once Mahamudra is understood, either in this lifetime or the bardo, liberation will be attained.
Kalu Rinpoche Scotland, 1983
Let us trust the mantra, let us allow the body to attend to its work and the mind to its reflections leading to result, but at the same time let us recite the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM, without even being attentive. We will purify many karmic veils and finally attain awakening.
The deity and the mantra being one in essence means that one may recite the mantra without necessarily doing the visualization. The recitation still retains its effectiveness.
His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche requested all of his Dharma centers to engage in Chenrezig practice. He has commonly said that this practice is the essence of all Buddhist practice, because Chenrezig is the embodiment of all the Buddha’s compassion. This is an especially degenerate time attracted by mental kleshas, and many people are angry, causing discomfort and war to all the world. There is no remedy for this other than compassion. Compassion is naturally possessed by every sentient being, yet you need to activate it and fertilize it – this is the practice that activates our own compassion to be more mature and one can be aware of one’s own negativities and defects. This being will perceive other beings as more pure and this will make room for love and compassion to all sentient beings. Do not wait until a problem comes – you have to be familiarized to prepare the remedy when the time comes. At least every day, one time or two times, this practice will make a difference in our lives. A great being like Kalu Rinpoche saw that this would be more helpful, so he designed this practice for all of his centers to practice. His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa always emphasized that this is the most authentic practice.
In the Tengyur, the benefits of the Six-syllables Mani Mantra are said to have ten kinds of benefits:
- Averting all harm from negative spirits
- Purifying all broken vows and negativities
- Healing all kinds of cold, hot or phlegm related sicknesses
- Overcoming all obstacles and accomplishing the five paths and ten Bhumis
- Saving from the sufferings arising from the water or fire elements, weapons or armed forces
- By reciting 100,000, one is able to block rebirth in the lower realms
- One is able to attain all fortune, merits, longevity and achieve freedom from such lack
- Reciting 1 million, one is able to benefit sentient beings
- Purify the three mental poisons of attachment, aversion and ignorance
- By reciting 10 million and above, one is able to attain enlightenment without obstacle
In the text describing a journey through the lower realms by a Delog, Drungpa Lodro Zangpo, (a Delog is someone who can temporarily die to travel through other realms with his/her consciousness. After some time, the Delog comes back to life and recounts the journey as a teaching on karma cause-and-effect.) One of the message that this Delog brought back was from the Lord of Death, Yamaraja. In this message, Yamaraja describes the power and efficacy of the Mani mantra.
Lord of Death Yamaraja said : “Virtuous son, the six-syllables mantra is the essence of hundreds of dharmas. Reciting a hundred times can cleanse the negative obscurations of body, speech and mind; reciting a thousand times can cleanse the ten negative acts; reciting 10,000 times can purify broken samaya pledges; recited 100,000 times, one can even purify the negative karma associated with receiving a mountain of offerings. Recited a million times, one eliminates the five-uninterrupted karmas. Recited 10 million times, even if one is forced, one will not fall into the hells. Recited 100 million times, oneself and others will definitely attain Buddhahood together. There is no need for doubt.”
(Note: Although different numbers are prescribed by different authors for the Mani mantra to achieve certain effects, this is actually not a contradiction. It is stated by many teachers that due to the degeneration of the present times, the number of mantras needed to be recited to achieve a similar effect in previous times has increased manifold. Just as different dosages of medicine is needed for illnesses of varying severity, one should practice accordingly without feeling discouraged. Numbers are just a guideline and form of discipline. The quality of the motivation, concentration and faith in the practice makes a great difference in the result it generates. Therefore we should be paying more attention to these qualitative factors. Then, without any doubt, as we practice the Mani mantra one-pointedly, our minds will gradually regain clarity, stability, peace, joy and the qualities of compassion and wisdom will arise naturally. )