INTRO TO VAJRAKILAYA PRACTICE WITH H.E. GARCHEN RINPOCHE


Intro to Vajrakilaya Practice with Garchen Rinpoche/ April 27, 2024, teaching is on Youtube.




Transcription of H.E. Garchen Rinpoche’s teaching from the English translation, by translator Ina Bieler.
With immeasurable thanks.
All copyright reserved to Garchen Institute.

[*Transcription of Medicine Buddha teachings is also still continuing on the webpage entitled “Medicine Buddha Retreat (2)]. Emaho!




INTRO TO VAJRAKILAYA PRACTICE WITH H.E. GARCHEN RINPOCHE



INTRODUCTION


Tashi Delek to all of the students, also connected with Bardor Rinpoche, and all of you who have joined us on the livestream today. So whose kindness is it in this world that the Buddhas teachings are rising like the sun? It is the kindness of the Buddha Shakyamuni, that is why now in this world, we even hear of the names of the “Buddha jewel”, the “Dharma jewel”, the “Sangha jewel”. It is the kindness of the Buddha, that is why we say, “Namo Buddhaya”, which means, “I take refuge in the Buddha,” [the true nature state]. And then we say “Namo Dharmaya” which is, “I take refuge in the Dharma”. So this is what the Buddha taught, the Buddha taught the Dharma. And so what does that really mean? What did he really say?

Buddha basically said, “Do not commit any wrong[doing], perfectly practice virtue”. So what is the harm in doing wrong, and engaging in unwholesome actions? It is that we are accumulating negative causes, for many future lifetimes. And if the cause is unwholesome, (negative), then the result will be suffering, and we wander in the six realms of samsara. We can see for example, the humans and the animals. We coexist, but we are different. Even though we both have a life, the experience of happiness and suffering is different. It is said that, “The bodies of gods and humans, arise from virtuous karma, among the six realms of samsara, and the animals belong to the three lower realms, (which all arise out of non-virtue)”. And ultimately where does non-virtue come from? It comes from a mind of ignorance, and that is the root cause of birth as an animal.



WHERE DOES IGNORANCE COME FROM?


And then… Where does ignorance come from? Ignorance comes from the mind, and regarding the mind the Buddha had said, “All sentient beings are actually Buddhas”. So if all sentient beings are Buddhas, then why does ignorance even arise? It is because we believe in a “me,” an “I,” (that does not really exist). A “self” that does not really exist. We perceive, a “self,” and “other”. In the Samantabhadra Prayer, it says, “When you see it, [the true nature], you are a Buddha”. (So, to see, “the nature of the mind”). When you see your mind [nature], there is no duality, it is like space. And even though it is like space, (we see, (we perceive), a dualistic existence, of “self” and “other”). And due to that, we develop thoughts of “attachment,” and “aversion,” and the six afflictive emotions arise. And this is how the six realms of samsara have come into existence. So that “existence” is what we call a “sentient being,” and a “Buddha,” is one who sees “selflessness,” (there is no “self”). The term “Buddha,” in Tibetan is “sang gyay,” and “sang” means, “to clear away,” (and so what is cleared away, is dualistic thinking. There is no duality in the mind), and “gyay” means “vast,” so expansive. The mind is vast like space). So that is the meaning of “sang gyay,” or “Buddha”.

And so this “self,” and “other,” (we perceive the existence of “self” and “other”), and, it is because we perceive a “self,” that, we also, then think there is an “other”. For example, I might think that, “I’m here, I’m teaching the Dharma, and they are here, listening to the Dharma”. And then, you may think that, “I’m here, I’m listening to the Dharma, and he is here, teaching the Dharma”. So there is this perception of “self,” and “other,” and because of this perception, there is an “attachment” to the “self”. But what the Buddha also said, is that… “Sentient beings are Buddhas, however they are obscured by ‘adventitious stains’,” [so the negative elements that bind an individual to saṃsāra are adventitious (āgantuka-kleśa), and merely conceal or veil the underlying pure Buddha-nature]; and so then, “adventitious”…, if you let your mind simply be, (if you just let it be), it just becomes like space naturally, because its nature is the dharmakaya.



ADVENTITIOUS STAINS


But then again momentarily this [relative mind] is adventitious. Then momentarily a thought arises, “Oh that’s me, oh that’s him,” and all of a sudden, there are all these thoughts of “self” and “other” again in the mind. But these are momentary thoughts, they have not existed […] anywhere in the past. And they don’t really exist in the future. Or they exist in a temporary sense in the future, because temporarily they lead to birth in the six realms, but ultimately they don’t exist. So these ideas of “self” and “other” are; dualistic existence, arise momentarily, (in the moment), and they don’t really exist. So inherently therefore, “self” and “other” do not exist. And one who understands that, is said to realise “the wisdom of selflessness,” – that there is no self in the mind, (that you have no real self). [And] that is what we call, realising the nature of the mind. For example, you may have hundreds of phones, and you may think that, there are all these phones, (these different phones). But not actually, not really, because they are all powered by one and the same electricity. There is only one electricity. There is not all these many different kinds. And so likewise, there may be many sentient beings, there is really only one mind.

The Omniscient Longchen Rabjam [Longchenpa] had said that, “When you realise the nature of mind, there is no higher learning than that”. Also it is said, “Appearances are one’s own mind. Or the way things appear, is one’s own mind,” (Longchen Rabjam said that in The Treasury of Pith Instructions). And so all of this, “Appearances are one’s own mind,” and so on, all of these quotes and teachings really speak about the nature of the mind. And then the Buddha with his omniscient wisdom, (that sees everything as it is), he realised selflessness. And when he realised selflessness, he saw, that it is from this perception of a “self,” that all these thoughts of “attachment” and “aversion” arise. So what that means, “grasping at a self,” basically it means, “I want happiness for me”. And so that is one thing we can recognise, (that kind of thought). Then if anything threatens that, (even a little bit), for example, if you see a mosquito, we immediately have an aversion against it. (We don’t want it, a dislike [arises]). So that is really the root of all thoughts of “attachment” and “hatred”, and so on… is this grasping at “me”. And because of all these thoughts of “attachment” and “hatred,” that arise from that [grasping at “me”], we have accumulated this self-clinging; that is just like snowflakes falling down, and as a result of this solidification, temporarily there is this appearance; of the outer universe, and the inner sentient beings. So temporarily, they exist together, there is this universe and sentient beings, (it is just like a bubble on water). So the six realms of samsara came into existence in this way.



TAMING THE AFFLICTIONS


And then as an antidote, (in order to tame these afflictions), the Buddha taught the three scriptural collections, [the three baskets, Tripitaka]. And each of these [baskets], is an antidote to one of the three poisons, the three afflictive emotions. And then, within each of these scriptural collections, (or baskets), we have endless teachings. So we speak about eighty-four thousand teachings, and then each one of them, also possesses an eighty-four thousand subdivision, and so forth. There are so many teachings because there are endless sentient beings. Even though there are so many teachings, to summarise them all, we have three paths: (i) the “Path of Individual Liberation,” (ii) the “Path of the Bodhisattvas,” and (iii) the “Path of the Vajrayana”. There are those three different paths, because there are three major kinds of mental capacity, or insight, (higher, middling, and lower). And so the beginner practitioners, they first enter the “Path of Individual Liberation”. And then after they have done some practice, they enter the “Path of the Bodhisattvas,” and finally the “Path of the Vajrayana”. The “Vajrayana Path” is for those with higher mental capacity.

And so, how have we entered one of those three different paths, depends on how much we have practiced, and trained our minds in previous lives. And so there is one example, that I myself came up with. If you follow the “Path of Individual Liberation,” it is like you are travelling on a roadway, [by road], a road where a car travels, (a normal road). And so that refers to, really most religions that people practice around the world, (in the world). And so once you have a religion, you have a spiritual path, you are on a road. You know where you are at, and you know where you are going. So you have a direction. Then the “Bodhisattva Path,” is more likened to a rail track, where a train travels on. (So a train road, not a car road). And the train can cut through mountains, and different terrains, in a much faster way, (much faster than a car). And so, in the “Bodhisattva Path,” mainly we tame self-grasping, and when there is no more self-grasping, then the other afflictive emotions, will also not arise.



MELTING THE ICE-BLOCK OF SELF-GRASPING


And so here on the “Path of the Bodhisattvas,” (which is like a train), we practice with the afflictions, we take them as the path, according to the Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices. And then third, when we enter the “Vajrayana Path,” the “Vajrayana Path,” is like travelling on an aeroplane. And that is when you know the nature of your mind. When you see the nature of your mind, you know that, your mind primordially is the Buddha. As the Buddha had said, “Therefore all beings are actually Buddhas”. So what you see is your Buddha nature, you recognise the Buddha within you. And when you recognise this, you recognise the nature of all phenomena in samsara and nirvana. And recognising this, the ice-block of self-grasping, will melt into the ocean water. But that, it like travelling on an aeroplane, you can instantly arrive at your destination. So the “Individual Liberation Path,” is like going by car. Then the “Bodhisattvas Path,” is like going by train, (so this is where we destroy the afflictions, by taking them as the path). And then the “Vajrayana Path,” is going by airplane, (like going by airport), [direct realisation of the true nature of reality]. And that is when you realise the nature of the mind, you realise the nature of all phenomena of samsara and nirvana. You realise that “self” and “other” do not inherently exist. So these examples, or analogies of those “Three Levels of the Path,” are examples I came up with.

And so how do we practice those “Three Levels of the Path?” So in the “Path of Individual Liberation,” the essence is to refrain from harming others. And so here, you want to attain liberation, and you recognise that, if I harm others, then I accumulate negative karma, so I won’t harm others. But then, still there is self-grasping, because you’re really just aspiring for liberation for yourself, and that is not enough. We need to get rid of that self, [mere concept of self-clinging in the mind]. And as an antidote to the self-grasping of, “I want to be protected,” we need altruism and that is the “Bodhisattva Path”. So the essence of the “Bodhisattva Path” is to accomplish the benefit of others entirely. And this is how self-grasping will go away, (and this is the only way). Even if you were to throw an atomic bomb on self-grasping, you won’t be able to destroy it. You can wipe out the entire world with a nuclear weapon, but you can’t destroy self-grasping with it. And even if you wipe out the world, self-grasping will accumulate, (will continue on, over and over again); we continue to wander in samsara.



THE ONLY ANTIDOTE TO THE SELF-GRASPING MIND


The only antidote to self-grasping, is bodhicitta or the altruistic mind. Therefore it is said, “The Perfect Buddhas arise, from the altruistic mind”. And that is a mind of immeasurable love and compassion. The more compassion you have for others, the more self-grasping will go away. And it is something that we can understand, (if we think about it). For example, the love between a mother and her child. The mother loves the child so much, that if the child is in trouble, then all the mother can think about is just that, (the child). She cannot think about herself at all. Her own difficulty completely disappears, she has no awareness of herself. She just sees the child, and thinks, “What can I do for my child”. And so a Bodhisattva sees all sentient beings just like that; (like a mother sees her child). And by seeing all sentient beings like your own child, self-grasping will disappear. And then when self-grasping disappears, that is then when the mind attains complete freedom. So this is the “Path of the Bodhisattvas”.

And so then, as a result, immeasurable bodhicitta arises in the mind. And so when that arises in the mind, what is the feeling, or the experience of immeasurable bodhicitta arising? It is a feeling of total selflessness and great wisdom, (great awareness arising in the mind). And the wisdom then realises that, it is because of clinging to a self that all these afflictions arise. And these afflictions have caused my mind to be like an ice-block. Actually the ice-block does not really exist, it is really water. The ice is really water, so my mind is really just like that. My mind is like a vast ocean without any boundaries. There is this quote in the Sutra of Liberation, where it says that, “The ocean is an example of the Great Vehicle, the mind of the Great Vehicle”. […] So the vast ocean, is like the mind of bodhicitta, or of love. And the vastness of it, is like the entire universe, that is pervaded by this ocean of love. So it is really water, water is very similar to this feeling of love. For example, when a tree is disconnected from water it will dry out and die. And similarly when sentient beings or people separate from love and kindness, they will only experience difficulties in this and future lifetimes.



VAJRAYANA PRACTICE


So the Buddha’s love is immeasurable, vast like an ocean, and that is the mind that the Buddha had realised. And that is the mind of the “Great Vehicle,” or the “Mahayana mind”. It is a love for all beings. And when that truly arises, the experience of it, is a feeling of complete selflessness, and as a result of this experience of selflessness, you realise that there is nothing that inherently exists within the mind. So the mind is just like space. And seeing that, is realising the “ultimate bodhicitta”. And so when you cultivate the relative bodhicitta of immeasurable love, as a result of that, the ultimate bodhicitta arises, and so this is the actual practice of the Vajrayana.

So, then in order for one to practice the Vajrayana, first we need to cultivate immeasurable love. Again, when immeasurable love is actualised, (what you see when immeasurable love arises), […] is that the nature of all phenomena is the three kayas. So you realise all of samsara and nirvana has the nature of the three kayas. And even though, temporarily sentient beings appear, fundamentally by nature, they are Buddha. And even though they are a Buddha, even though by nature samsara and nirvana is pure, temporarily there is an appearance of purity and impurity. But when you realise the mind is immeasurable love, what you see ultimately, is this mind is the dharmakaya, it is pure. (Even though, that is my ultimate nature there is still appearance). Or there is the appearance of the rainbow-like sambhogakaya, which is the pure illusory form, (or the natural manifestation of bodhicitta).



KARMA IS THE RADIANCE OF EMPTINESS


And then there is also impure manifestations, that appear from karma and dualistic thinking, (the six realms of samsara). So there is pure and impure manifestations or illusory forms. The pure illusory form is the sambhogakaya, and then there is also the appearance of the nirmanakaya, which is all a temporary manifestation. So it momentarily appears but it won’t always last. And also the experiences, sort of like the nirmanakaya or material experience in this world, won’t last. Whenever karma is completed, again we become free of a certain kind of of existence, and the mind goes on, because the mind is never born and it never dies. And so a key point of practicing this is to see that, this quote that says, “Karma is the radiance of emptiness”. So what that means is, that karma and emptiness are really not separate.

So when you see the nature of the mind, it is not that everything just becomes empty and nothing. There is also karma, but there is also emptiness. So things do appear, there is karma, but at the same time you know its true nature, (the true nature of that karmic appearance). And that is the neo quintessence of the Vajrayana practice, to see this unified state of karma and emptiness. And so that is something that many people understand. There are some that do not understand that. It is said that the Vajrayana teachings are meant for those with very sharp minds. Those with more dull minds, temporarily for now will not be able to truly comprehend it. And so that is why the Vajrayana teachings are also referred to as the “secret mantra”. Not because anything is hidden deliberately, but it is hidden naturally, because certain beings just simply cannot comprehend, (understand) it. So the Vajrayana teaching is for those with sharp minds, and this is what we are speaking about today.



ALL PHENOMENA HAVE THE NATURE OF THE THREE KAYAS


And so, as it was said, “All phenomena have the nature of the three kayas”. And so, that being said, one may wonder, (some people actually ask about that, and they have a lot of doubts about that). They ask, “If that is the case, then where do the six realms fit in? Are they also the three kayas?” And so they think that way, because they think that the six realms of samsara are an impure state. (There are the three lower realms and so forth. And there is the pure [state]). So how can we understand that? So, on the pure level we have the dharmakaya and the sambhogakaya, which are a union. How they are a union is, that the sambhogakaya is like a rainbow, (its essence is empty). But, it possesses a naturally clear awareness, (a wisdom), that is the nature of all deity forms, and all the Purelands, such as Dewachen, (and all the Purelands in the ten directions).

And those sambhogakayas, who dwell in those Purelands, or those who directly perceive these Purelands, and enjoy these Purelands; (they interact with these Purelands), while at the same time recognising; that all these perceptions, that they interact with, and enjoy are their own self-projections. They are the projection of bodhicitta, (one’s own bodhicitta), and that is the nature of any sambhogakaya Pureland. So, then on the nirmanakaya level, (or tulku nirmanakaya), we have both the pure and impure. And so what is impure, is actually that, temporarily the mind is impure, (when there are afflictive emotions in the mind). And when there are afflictive emotions in the mind, then the appearances seem as real and separate from oneself. (When in actuality, whatever appears is the projection of one’s own mind).



ALL SENTIENT BEINGS IN THE SIX REALMS ARE NIRMANAKAYAS


And that is the meaning of “tulku”. So we call someone a tulku, which is like, “a manifestation of”. And the hell beings are a tulku, or manifestation of hatred. The hungry spirits are the tulkus of stinginess. The humans are the tulkus of attachment. The gods are the tulkus of pride. The demigods are the tulkus, or manifestations of jealousy. So the sentient beings in the six realms, are the tulkus, (or manifestations of), the six realms, (or the six afflictive emotions). And so when wisdom arises and realises the mind; the nature of these emotions, they become subdued, or actualised. So this is the real purpose of the Vajrakilaya practice. It is to meet the afflictive emotions with awareness, (which is just like fire meeting wood), that is really the point of these practices, such as the Vajrakilaya, (the Vajrayana practices). It is like wood meeting with fire, (the fire of awareness). And that is also explained, especially in the Vajrakilaya consecration, and so that is the meaning of, “All sentient beings in the six realms are nirmanakayas”.

So how are they nirmanakayas? Even sentient beings in the lower realms possess Buddha nature. Even though they possess Buddha nature, they experience great suffering. Whenever they see their true nature, they will become liberated from suffering. In other words, whenever they give rise to bodhicitta; fear, confused deluded perception will go away. And so when afflictive emotions are no longer projected outwards, (no negative perceptions, or appearances, will be perceived by that being). So nothing will come to one, if nothing negative is projected outwards. So this is how all the six realms are actually the nirmanakayas. And this is what we should develop trust in, as we engage in Vajrayana practice. We recognise that all those beings, they really possess Buddha nature, but they experience much suffering.



VAJRAYANA IN UNION WITH THE BODHISATTVA PATH


So all these beings, (if you experience suffering for example, you have an experience of suffering); what is it that you need in that moment? The next time you experience suffering, what you need is bodhicitta. If you have bodhicitta, the afflictions will go away. When the afflictions go away, suffering goes away, because the afflictions are the cause of all suffering. And so, when we engage in the Vajrayana practice, we are really practicing the Vajrayana, in union with the “Bodhisattva Path”. We cultivate bodhicitta, (we don’t just do it for ourselves). So cultivate immeasurable love, bodhicitta, for all sentient beings. And when that arises, then you will understand the true purpose and meaning of the Vajrayana, (which is that all of these beings, actually possess Buddha nature). There are no real, ordinary beings that actually exist. They only appear that way temporarily, like an ice-block. It is just that they do not know, they are just ice-blocks. They believe they are stones or rocks. But the ice-block is not really a rock, it is just water. And that is realised, when you cultivate immeasurable love and compassion. So what will transform the suffering of those sentient beings. Or in other words, what will subdue them, (or transform their afflictions), is only bodhicitta. It is only fire that can melt the ice-block. So that is really the key point of the Vajrayana practice.

So, the Five-fold Path of Mahamudra speaks about five essential practices, and that is really the essence of the Vajrayana, (this Five-fold Path). [The second of these practices], is the “visualisation of the yidam deity”. It is said that, the real essence of the Vajrayana is your own body as the Yidam deity. So you visualise your own body as the Yidam; (your body is the yidam, your mind is bodhicitta, and your speech is the mantra). If you practice this, then later in the Bardo, you can arise as the rainbow-like yidam deity, at that time. Now in this body you may experience a lot of suffering. It is said in Sakya Pandita’s, Excellent Words of the Wise, “When not understood this body is like an enemy, and a vessel of suffering”. But then, although we think of our body as just this one solid thing, (it is not just you there actually). Your body is actually pervaded by countless microorganisms, (tiny little life forms). And so for example, when you eat food, you are nourishing them all. And so this is the “impure illusory body,” the state of being not yet matured. And that is what we can actually see, (the material form).



PURE ILLUSORY FORM


And then there is the “pure illusory body,” (which is the form of the deity); that appears like a rainbow in the sky; (that transcends birth and death, unlike the mortal, material body). For example, such as the rainbow-like body, just as Guru Rinpoche or Mandarava and so on, have accomplished. So this rainbow-like body is the “pure illusory form”. And so we practice the yidam, in order to arise as this form. So that is why we visualise our body as the deity and recite the mantra, and to the point where, when I ask, “Who are you?” You will say, “I am the deity. I am Vajrakumara, (Vajrakilaya)”. And so what is the benefit of seeing yourself in this way? It is because, when you see yourself as the deity, you are not thinking of me. And, if you don’t think of yourself as the deity, all you do is think, “me,” “me,” “me” all the time, and this is what we have done since beginningless time in samsara. And that is the only one who has created all these endless karmic imprints, throughout the six realms of samsara; is this “me,” (this grasping at “me”). And we cannot make an end to it, (we can’t stop it). The moment we see something, it is all about me, “… my house, my this, my that”. It accumulates like snow all the time.

So we have to practice to arise above that, and we do that, by seeing, the outer universe as a pure celestial palace, (as the deity’s mandala), and all the inner sentient beings as the deity. “I myself am Vajrakilaya,” (there is no thought of “me,” a “self”). So this is the point to understand here. When you always stay in this pure vision of the deity, (of being the deity), and you never separate from mantra, you will never freeze into ice again. It is just when this thought of “I,” “me” arises, that is how you become ice again. When you think in this way, it is like putting your mind into a freezer, and then when the mind is in the freezer, it will just always be ice. You will never find any freedom in this world. For example, some people live in countries that have no freedom at all. Where just the general public, (the people), have no freedom, (no autonomy) at all. And so that is really similar to a mind having no autonomy; being in a freezer, and nothing you can do. So that is the mind of “self-grasping,” thinking of “me,” that ice can never melt, (for as long as it is in the freezer). In order to attain freedom, you need bodhicitta. And who has bodhicitta, it is the deity. Therefore you say, “I am Vajrakumara,” or “I am Vajrasattva,” and so on. So the practice of the yidam deity, is an antidote to this thought of “me,” and so that is the real power, or the benefit of the Vajrayana practice.



VAJRAYANA “GENERATION STAGE” PRACTICE


And so when we practice the “Generation stage,” we visualise the deity. So this is how we practice; we see the outer universe as a divine palace, (a palace of the deity), and we see all sentient beings within [that], as the deity. So this is the general instruction. So then you may wonder, “How does that really work? How do I really see it that way?” And so you have to look at the true condition, (the true nature of the world), and so that is, (Lord Jigten Sumgon, said in the Gongchig), that the “Generation Stage” is inherently established, meaning that it is already the fundamental nature of things. So for example, this world, this world seems this solid thing, but really its a ball flying through space, (in the middle of space). And that is something that science also knows. And it will just collapse eventually, and it may collapse all of a sudden. But when you see the true condition, (state of the world), what it actually is; you see it instantly, that compounded phenomena are impermanent by nature. So, right now when we don’t see that. For example, we hear that a house collapsed, we are so shocked about it. But when you know this, (that is the nature of things, they collapse); you still know, that the mind will never collapse, (it will never disappear). Even if the whole world comes to an end, the mind does not. So that is what the Buddha taught. The Buddha taught that compounded phenomena are impermanent. We don’t know when the world will collapse. Even if it collapses, the mind does not collapse. The mind transcends birth and death.

So this is how you see it, when you see how things really are. So you see the true nature of the four elements, and how they actually hover, (flying in space). You see their true nature, (their empty nature); and that is the essence of the “completion stage”. So the “completion stage,” is really related to impermanence; that ultimately nothing lasts, (nothing truly exists). Everything is actually empty, and so this is how we practice the “generation” and “completion” simultaneously. And we need to practice it continuously. And, if it is a continuous state of your mind, then all fear of the world coming to an end, and so on; (all fear will go away), because, you realise all appearances in this world as “illusory” by nature. And you see, what really is; is the dharmakaya, (that is just like space); and the sambhogakaya, (which is like a rainbow); and all the Purelands, (which are like rainbows). The material world that we see, are like nirmanakaya forms, (the six realms of samsara); that is the “appearance,” or the “generation stage”. And so we replace that, by seeing the sambhogakaya. And then the sambhogakaya, how does the sambhogakaya deity benefit beings? It is through, as it says in the visualisation, “By sending out light rays, and gathering them back”. What is actually happening here, is the sending out of love, (the rays of love). If the rays of love, (which is like heat, or warmth); if the warm rays of love, do not meet an ice-block, the ice-block cannot melt.



THE “THREE POWERS& THE “FOUR NAILS”


And so this is how we become ice-blocks, (if there is a lack of love). When love is present, you know that feeling. You know the feeling for example, of a loving friend. When you have a friend that loves you, you feel that, and you want to be close to them. If your friend doesn’t love you, if your friend hates you, then you feel that too, and you can’t stay close to them, (you go, and there will be arguments and so on). This is something that we can relate to, so we need to cultivate the “Power of Love”. There are these “Three Powers”. First, there is the (1) “Power of Your Own Love, (you need to have that first). And then if you have that, you will have the second power, which is, (2) “The Power of All the Buddhas Love”. And then, there is the third power, which is the (3) “Power of Dharmadhatu,” (and that is then all sentient beings). All sentient beings possess Buddha nature; there are infinite sentient beings, and so when you cultivate your own “Power of Love;” then as a result, finally that will pervade all sentient beings. And so that is the meaning of, “Sending out light rays, and gathering them back”. So you are sending out those light rays of love that pervade all sentient beings.

In the Vajrayana practice we also speak about the, “Four Nails”. They are called the “Four Nails that Secure the Life Force”. There is the (i) “Nail of the Unchanging Wisdom Mind” [intention], the (ii) “Nail of the Appearance of the Deity,” the [(iii) “Nail of the Sound of Mantra”], and then there is the (iv) “Nail of the Sending Forth and Gathering Back of the Light Rays”. And so here, principally, the (ii) “Nail of the Deity,” and the (iii) “Nail of the Sound of Mantra;” are essential for the “generation stage” practice. So you see yourself as the “pure illusory form” of the deity, and you recite the deity’s mantra. And, as we go through the “generation stage” of the deity yoga; there are three levels to “deity yoga” practice. There is the: (1) Approach, (2) Accomplishment, (3) Activity (application). So first in the (1) “Approach stage,” […] you just visualise the mantra garland. And then the mantra garland, (once it appears clearly in your mind), then, it slowly begins to turn. And then when that is clear [in your mind], it accelerates, and it turns faster and faster, until it becomes as fast as the engine of a jet plane, (so imperceptible to the naked eye). And when it becomes so fast that it is imperceptible, that is then when those rays are sent forth.



THE NATURE OF THE DEITY


So then the light rays of love are sent out in the form of the resounding sound of mantra, that pervades all sentient beings. Then think that, these light rays have the power to destroy all the self-grasping in the minds of all sentient beings that they touch. And you must have conviction, (real trust), that this is really being accomplished. You feel that, “Oh before, I just didn’t know that. Before I just didn’t understand the Vajrayana, but now I can clearly see”. And so this is really the point of the nature, (that Guru Rinpoche, for instance, and others had realised); this is the realisation of the deity’s power, (of the Vajrayana practice). And so for that, you need to sustain a clear vision of the deity, and a single-pointed focus on the mantra, and the mantra garland. And so then, from this union, (of the deity and the mantra), when that becomes firm; from that, then fourth, the light rays emanate. The light rays of love, which pervade all sentient beings, (and you have to trust that this is really being accomplished). So this is part of the practice that we refer to as, the “Four Nails that Secure the Life Force”. So then by practicing those “Four Nails” you will be able to become a Buddha yourself, and then as that, [a Buddha], you will have an ability to also guide others. So in this way, the purpose of others and yourself is accomplished simultaneously, (together). This is how we should understand the real meaning of the Vajrayana practice. If you just practice a single session with this understanding, you will accomplish your own happiness, and you will be able to benefit others through bodhicitta. So practice the yidam deity in the Vajrayana in this way.

And all over the world we have different dharma centers and they are very important. It is important to practice at those dharma centers, because it is said that, “If only four sangha members, (who have taken the refuge vows), come together, we have a community, (or a division of the sangha). And wherever you have a community of sangha, all the Buddhas come there. So it is important to practice at such a place. And then, the main point of practice is to cultivate a mind of non-distraction, (and that is essentially really the essence of the Vajrakilaya practice). So when Guru Rinpoche practiced Vajrakilaya in the practice cave, this is what he cultivated. Also Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok has mentioned that extensively, (many of you have heard about it). He referred to it, “… as the root practice of Vajrakilaya”. So what is the root really, of Vajrakilaya, (the root practice)? So most important, or the main kila or phurba is the “wisdom awareness phurba”. And that is the mind of all the buddhas. It is said that, “Within the mind, (within the expanse of primordial awareness), all the Buddhas are one”.



PRIMORDIAL AWARENESS


So when you understand this awareness, (“primordial awareness”), you will understand Vajrakilaya. No matter what tantric tradition that you belong to, (old and newer tantras), whatever class of tantra, it is the same. Within the expanse of primordial wisdom all the Buddhas are one. So in the Vajrakilaya practice, it says, “… so Vajrakilaya, (Vajrakumara) is that wrathful form, the deity that unifies the activities of all the buddhas of the ten directions, and all the three times as one”. So the deity, is the one that embodies the enlightened activity, and the compassion of all the Buddhas. And that is the primordial awareness, wherein all Buddhas are one. And it is realised, when you realise selflessness. When you realise there is no self, and you see the mind is like space, that is when you see “primordial awareness”. And it is called that, “primordial,” because it has been there since beginningless time; and “awareness,” as it is a wisdom that sees, (is aware of), what has been there since beginningless time. And so therefore, seeing that, you see all samsara and nirvana. You understand all, the nature of all.

So this is, in the context of “phurba” and “Vajrakilaya practice,” referred to as the “wisdom awareness phurba”. Then, there is also the “phurba of immeasurable compassion”. And so once you have seen this “primordial awareness,” you also see that, there are those sentient beings who have not seen that, (who have not realised that). And because they have not seen that, they experience real suffering, and therefore you feel immeasurable compassion for them. So these are really the main “phurbas”. And the main, main “phurba” is the “phurba of primordial awareness,” (or “wisdom awareness”). Within that, all the Buddhas are one.



UNDISTRACTED MINDFUL STATE


And so in order to see it, you have to practice mindfulness continuously. For example you can practice the “OM AH HUNG” vajra recitation. But all these different practices are for this one purpose, and that is to sustain a state of non-distraction. Because, when you are in this undistracted state, you see how all Buddhas are one, within the state of “primordial awareness”. So ultimately it all comes down to non-distraction. This is really the purpose of all these practices. And that state, the “undistracted mindful state,” that is what we call “Vajradhara,” or “Vajrakumara,” (Vajrakilaya). So, “Vajrakumara,” “kumara” means the “youthful one”. The “youthful one,” because this nature, transcends birth and death. (There is no aging, there is no dying). So all these deities, they may have different names, but their nature is one and the same. So with this Tashi Delek. It is very important to engage in a dharma center, there are many, (various), dharma centers. And so, when you practice in a dharma center, that becomes like a commemoration of all the Buddhas who have appeared in the past; and it also become a long life practice for all the masters, (the Buddhas existing in the present, starting with the Root Guru). So it is very important to practice at a dharma center.



CONFESSION OF ROOT DOWNFALLS


So for all the Vajrayana practitioners, there is also one practice that is quite important to practice on a regular, ongoing basis, and that is the “Recitation of the Confession,” from the “Fourteen Vajrayana Root Downfalls”. And we added that, at the end of this practice, (after the “Feast Offering,” (after the “Tsog Offering”)). And it is really something we should bring to mind throughout the “three periods of the day,” and the “three periods of the night”. So it should not, just be something that we recite verbally, (but it should be something that really comes from deep within us, (that we really mean)). So if you practice that, in this way, really sincerely, (that “Confession of the Fourteen Tantric Root Downfalls”), there will be great results. Really the essence of all practice, is actually included within that “Supplication,” or that “Confession”. So therefore, I also advise you to keep that in mind, and practice it. And I wish you a long life and Tashi Delek!

And so with this, “Confession of the Fourteen Tantric Root Downfalls,” there are several, (there are many), different practices. But there is one, that is really most important with that, and that is number three, which says that, “… to be angry with a “vajra brother” or “[vajra] sister” is the third fault pointed out”. So, from the point of samaya, people often think that keeping your samaya, just means, “I have to keep my samaya with the guru,” but that is not the case. It is not just you, and the guru. It is not that, if you keep your samaya with the guru, you’re good, but you also have to keep your samaya, in particular, with the other disciples, (your “vajra siblings”). And so that is the continuum of bodhicitta that we need to have, if we want to keep our samaya. And that is what we have to hold onto, if we want to experience any happiness temporarily, and ultimately attain Enlightenment; (that is the way to attain Enlightenment ultimately). So it is all up to our own love, and the worst breach, (or the worst way of losing our love), is when we lose it, by getting angry with a “vajra sibling”. And so, that happens, and when that happens, we actually break the samaya.



REPAIRING BROKEN SAMAYA


However we can also repair it. It is said that, “The samaya, (or the “Bodhisattva Vow”), this bodhicitta, can easily be broken, but it can also be easily fixed, (just like a golden chain)”. We can break, but we can link it back in, so we can fix it. And we fix it, if we immediately confess, (if we perform a “confession”), then it is repaired. But of course, if we just let it linger, and we don’t see that, then we will encounter difficulty. Then we will continue to have this fixation, (this grasping), in our mind. And so, the most important thing that we need to hold onto, is love, and in particular the love for our “vajra brothers” and “[vajra] sisters”. This is what we need, from now until we attain Enlightenment, and this is really kind of your money, (your wealth), that you have from now until Enlightenment. All the worldly money that you put into your bank, is really empty. And when, once you put your money in your bank, it is not so true, whether you actually have it, or will really always own it.

But the Bodhicitta that you put in the Buddhas bank, that is what you will definitely have until you attain Enlightenment; because the Buddhas, they won’t take it from you, they won’t destroy it, (or they won’t waste it). If you don’t waste it, the Buddhas won’t waste it. So it is just up to you, to engage in practice. And so this is really what I wanted to say last, because this is really the most important thing I have to say at all, and that is, that particular samaya with the “vajra brothers” and “[vajra] sisters”. So to be angry with a “vajra brother” and “[vajra] sister” is a “Root Downfall”. And so please do not hold these in your mind. Do not hold any anger towards your “vajra siblings” in [your] mind, that is really very important, (that is the most important thing). […]







(to be continued…)


Immeasurable joy to receive these most precious teachings.
(Any errors are the transcriber’s).