Guide to dakini_land

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A COMMENTARY TO
THE HIGHEST YOGA TANTRA PRACTICE
OF VAjRA\OGINl

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Guide to dakini_land

  1. 1. GUIDE TO DAKINI LAND A COMMENTARY TOTHE HIGHEST YOGA TANTRA PRACTICE OF VAjRAOGINl Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Tharpa Publications London
  2. 2. Firsl published in l*"?! All righis reserved. No p.irt of thfs book ni-iv be reproduced in any furm or by .iny means except for the quotation of brief p.iss.iges for the purpose of private study, research, criticism, or review. Tharpa Pubhcations 15 Bendemeer Road London SVV15 !]X © Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and Mariushri Institute 1991 Cover painting of Buddha Vajradharma by the Tibetan artist Chatmg Jamvang Lama. Cover photo of Geshe Kelsang Cyabo by Robin Bath.Lino illustrations by .^ndy Weber and Ani Kelsang Wangmo. British Librarv Cataloguing in !ubliL,ition Data kelsang Cvatso, Gesho 19.*-- Guide toDakini Land- A Commentary to the Highest Yoga Tanira practice of V.iira ogini. I. Yoga 1. Title 181.45 StiN WBI1I16 IS 8 Designed hi Miinic.i C~hia Phototype-set in Pal.itino b> l.itype, London. Printed on jcid-tree 2,i|)-ear longlile paper .ind bound in Great Bntain by Biddies Limited. Guildford.
  3. 3. ContentsIllustrations viiAcknowledgements ixEditorial Xote xIntroduction xiPreliminary explanation 1The yogas of sleeping, rising, and experiencing nectar 26The yoga of immeasurables 39The yoga of the Guru 78The yoga of self-generation and the yoga of purifying migrators 106The yoga being blessed by Heroes and Heroines of 125The actual meditation of generation stage 150The yoga of verbal and mental recitation 159The yoga of inconceiability and the yoga of daily achons 179How outer Pure Dakini Lanii through the to attain practice of generation stage 200CompleHon stage 207Dedication 223Appendix I - Condensed meaning of the Text 225Appendix 11 - Sadhanas 237 Dakini Yoga: Vajrayogini Six-se^^inn Guru Yoga 239 Quick Path to Great Bhss; Vajrayogini Self-generation Sadhana 267 Feast ol Great Bliss: Vajrayogini Self-initiation Sadhana 329 Vajrayogini Rttreat Preliminaries 319
  4. 4. GUIDE TO DAKINI LAND Preliminary Jewel: Condensed Vajrayngini Retreat Preliminaries 427 Vajrayogini Burning Offering Sadhana 437 Vajradaka Burning Offering Sadhana 495 Samayavajra Sadhana 503Appendix III - Diagrams and Illustrations 509 Hand Gestures 511 Ritual Objects 517Glossary 525Bibliigraphy 541Studv Programmes 545Indtx 551
  5. 5. IllustrationsVajravogini xiiMandala of Vajravogini xivC(<iniiuiiliiriBuddha Vajradharma 30Vajravogini 54Narapa 92Pamtingpa 124Paldan Lama Tanpa SDnam Gyaltsan 158Dechen Nyingpo Phabongkha Dorjechang 180Losang Yeshe Trijang Dorjechang 208Dakiiii Yo<i<iGuru Vajradharma 240Losang Yeshe Trijang Dorjechang 242Vajravogini 254Quick Falh to Creel BlissGuru Vajradharma 268Hero Vajradharma 282 Vajravogini 288 Dorje Shugdan 292 Kinkara 306 Feast of Great Bliss Guru Vajradharma 330 Hero Vajradharma 346 Vajrayogini 370 Kjnkara 384 Dorje Shugdan 388
  6. 6. CUIOE TO DAKINl LANDVajrnyogiiii Retreat Prdbmnnrk-fVajrayogini 400KliancJarohi 416Prdiuinanj hwelVfljr.nogini 428Vji/ni/o^iiii Bi{niiii}i Offering SadlianaFire Deity 446Vajrayogini 458Vajrndiika Burning Offering SadhanaVajradaks 496 Sadhana5cimny(vnjrtiSomavavfljra 504Diayrniuf, ,vid II lust tnt ionsHand gestures 511Ritual objects 517
  7. 7. Acknozoledgemen tsThe instruction oi Vajrav ogini is the most protound liighestYoga Tantra teaching, Originallv gnen bv Buddha Vajradhiirawithin the Henika Tantra, it is the supreme method to purifythe enirouirLent, bod, and mind. At Manjushri Institute in IWl, out of his inehaustible greatcompassion. Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso gave a completeoral commentary of the instruction of Vajravogitii, having firstgranted the emprnverments of Heruka and Vajrayogini to thestudents present. Now, so that the blessings of Buddhii Vajra-vogini mav be received hv nianv beings throughout the world,Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has composed this book. Guiiic lo DnkhiiLand, based on his original oral commentary. For his immeasurable kindness in revealing this preciousinstruction to us and composing this supreme text, we thankthe author from the depths of our hearts. We prav that wemay gain perfect realization of this instruction by putting histeachings into practice purely and energeticallv. We also thank those who helped with the different stages allof preparing the manuscript, mcluding James Belither. JackieDevis, Daniel Smith, Ruth Lister, Mariana Libano, Michael Gar-side, Hugh Lucy James, Helens Oester, Rita Christie, and Clift,Alison Ramsay, and our special thanks go to Gelong ThubtenGyatso for reviewing and completing the final editing. Through the merits created by this work, may ail sentientbeings achieve the stale of Buddha Vajrayogini. Roy Tyson, Director Maiyushri Insttlute May 13S0
  8. 8. Editorial NoteThroughout this book, technical delaib have been kept to aminiinum, and we have adopted a simplified form of phoneticsto facilitate easv pronunciation. In rendering Sanskrit terms such as mantras into phonetics,we have not sought to follow existing conventions but, forauspiciousness and in order to preserve the blessings of thelineage, we have for the most part attempted to express them pronounced by the Lamas.as they are When ssdhana is quoted in context within the the extensivecommentary it appears in bold type. The sections in italics areintended for contemplation. The commentary occasionally refers to Tibetan letters which Drawings of these letters can be found inare to be visualized.Appendix 111.
  9. 9. IntroductionSentient beings have many different capacities for spiritualunder^itanding an.i prartice. For this reason, out of his com-passion, Buddha Shakyamuni gave teachings at many levels,just as a skilful doctor administers a great varietv of remediesto treat the many different types of sick people. For those who wish merely to attain human happiness,Buddha gave teachings revealing actions and their effects, orkarma, and he taught moral discipline as their mam practice.For those who wish to experience the permanent inner peaceof liberation, or nirvana, for themselves alone, Buddhfl gaveteachings on the faults of cyclic existence, and he taught thethree higher trainings - training in higher moral discipline,training in higher concentration, and training in higher wisdom- as their main practice. For those who wish lo attain the ulti-mate goal of foil enlightenment, Boddha gave teachings onthe development of greal compassion and bodhichitta, and hetaught the six perfections - the perfections uf giving, moraldiscipline, patience, joyous effort, mental stabilization, andwisdom - as their main practice. All these teachings are opento anyone who wishes to study and practise them. The experi-ences that are gained from practising them are called thecommon spiritual paths. Buddha also gave teachings on Besides these teachings,Tantra. These may be practised only bv those who havereceived Tantric empowerments. The experiences gained bvpractismg these teachings are called the uncommon spiritualpaths. In the Tantric teachings, Buddha revealed four classes ofTantra. The practices that are explained in this book, Guide loDakiiii Land, are included within the highest of these. HighestYoga Tantra. These practices ari; the very essence of Buddhas
  10. 10. Vii/iiji/o^iui
  11. 11. INTRODUCTION teachings. They irdiide special methods for preventing ordin.iryappearance and oidinan conceptiiin, special methods for pre-t?iUing ordinar death, intermedJate stale, and rebirth, andimcommon methods for transforming nil dailv experiences i[itohigher spiritual paths. Bv tr.insforniinf^ ordin.ir epcrionce inthis vva ue can prevent manv dailv problems and svvifth attainthe ultimate happiness of full enlightenment. The source of all the essentia] meanings contained in C.iiiih-to Diikiui bvid is lUuiiiiiitiliiif; All Hidiicii Mciiiiiiii:^ (Tib. Bc.ilinit/iii.sri/). which is a precious commentary on the practice ofHeruka and Vajrayogini Tantra composed bv Je Tsongkhapa,Through the kindness ot mv rtxil Guru, Kvabje Trijang Dorje-chang, i have haJ the opportunity to study and practise theinstructions of Heruka and Vnjravogini. Now I have writtenthis book iis a special offering, mainly for viestern practitioners. Ill order to practise the instructions contained within thisbook, special inner conditions are required. First we shouldtrain in the common spiritual paths and then receive iheempowerments of Heruka and Vajrayogini. Having receivedthese empowerments, we should strive to maintain our vowsand commitments purelv. This book should not be read as if it were a magazine, norshould it he read by tho^e harbouring disrespectful or negativethoughts towards Vajrayogini practice, or bv those who haveno faith in the instructions, or no intention of putting them intopractice. However, if we have a pure motivation and read theentire book carefully, concentrating deeply on its meaning with-out rushing to fmish it, we can achieve profound realizationsof Buddhadharma. Gcsfic Kehaii^ Ci/nt^o Tliiirpnlrnd January 1990
  12. 12. Preliminary ExplanationThe comiTientarvto the Highest Yoga Tantra practice of Vener-able Vajrayogini consists of a preliminary explanation, the maincommentary to the generation and completion stages, and thededication. The first of these, the preliminary explanation, hasseven parts: 1 Generating a correct motivation 2 The origin and lineage of these instructions 3 The benefits of these inslructions 4 Biographies of past Buddhist Masters who gained realizations through these instructions 5 The qualifications necessary for putting these instructions into practice 6 The four special causes of swift attamments 7 What are the outer and inner Pure Dakini Lands? GENERATING A CORRECT MOTIVATIONThese instructions concern the extraordinary spiritual path ofTantra, or Secret Mantra, which is the quickest and most pro-found method for attaining great enlightenment. We shouldrejoice in this precious opportunity to study these teachingswhich, if put into practice, can lead to full enlightenment wilhinone shorl human life. However, studying these instructions willbe truly meaningful only if our motivation is pure. If we readihis book merely out of intdlectua! curiosity we will not experi-ence its real meaning. To receive the maximum benefit fromthese instructions, each time we study or practise them, meshimid begin by generating pure, altruistic motivation. This ,-i
  13. 13. CUTDC TO DAKINI LAUDcan be done by reciting tlie following prayer three times whileconcentraling on its meaning: I and all sentient beings, the migrators as extensive as spate, ftom this time fortti until we reach the essence of enlightenment, Go for refuge to the glorious, sacred Gurus, Go for refuge to Ihe complete Buddhas, the Blessed Ones, Co for refuge to Ihe sacred Dharmas, Go for refuge to the superior Sanghas.Then we should recite three times: Once I have attained the state of a complete Buddha, I shall free all sentient beings from the ocean of samsaras suffering and lead them to the bliss of fullenlightenment. For this purpose I shall practise the stages of Vajrayoginis path. THE ORIGIN AND LINEAGE OF THESE INSTRUCTIONSThe two stages of the practice of Vajrayogini were originallytaught by Buddha Vajradhara. Buddha Vajradhara manifestedin the form of ieruka lo expound the Rwt Tanlni vf Henika, Iand it was in this Tantra that the practice of Vajravogini wasfirst explained. All the many lineages of instruchons on Vajra-yogini can be traced back to this original revelation. Of theselineages, most commonly practised: there are three that arethe Marokhachi), which was transmitted from Vajravogini toNaropa: the Maitrikhachti, which was transmitted from Vajra-yogini to Maitripa; and the Indrakliacho, which was transmittedfrom Vajrayogini to Indrabodhi, This commentary on thegeneration and completion stages of the Highest Yoga Tantrapractice of Vajravogini is based on the instructions of the Naro-khachii lineage.
  14. 14. PRELIMINARY EXPLANATION The origin of Henika TantraAt one time this universe was controlled by the worldly deityIshvara. His mandalas and ling.im,: existed in many places inthisworld, the most important ones being in the Iwcnty-tourHoly Places. Ishvaras followers sacrificed innumerable animalsas otterings to him, and thi^ pleased him greatly. In return bfhelped them to achieve wealth and ivorldlv success, but heinterfered with anyone who tried to achieve liberation orenlightenment. Under the influence of Ishvara, the people ofthis world slaughtered thousands of animals ever dav thinkingthat they were performing virtutius actions. In rcalit-, however,they were only creating heavy negative karma and deprivingthemselves of the opportunitv to achieve liberation. The Heroes and Heroines of the five Buddha Families wereunable to tolerate this and asked Buddha Vajradhara to inter-vene. In response, Buddha Vajradhara manifested in the formof Heruka and, through the power of his blessings, subduedIshvara and transformed Ishvaras maiidalas into his own. Theother Deities of Herukas mandala subdued Ishvaras retinueby conerting them to followers of Heruka. Heruka did not reabsorb the mandalas that he had emanatedin the Twent>--four Places but left them intact, and to this daybeings with especially pure karma are able to sec these man-dalas and the Heroes and Heroines who abide within them. Forpractitioners of Heruka and Vajrayogini, these blessed placesare particularly powerful sites for meditation. After subduing Ishvara and his retinue, Heruka expoundedhiscondensed, middling, and extensive root Tantras. Of theseonly the Cotidenscd Rod Tniilra of Hcruhi has been translatedfrom Sanskrit into Tibetan. Buddha Vajradhara also gave manyexplanatory Tantras which are commentaries to the root Tan-tras, and a number of these have been translated into Tibetan.It is in these root and explannlor Tantras, especially in theforty-seventh and forty-eighth chapters of the fifty-one chaptersof the Condensed Root Taiitra of Heruka, that Buddha Vajradharagives clear instructions on the practice of Vajrayogini.
  15. 15. GUIDE TO nAKTNl LAND The lineage of these instructionsThe firsl Guru in the lineage of tiiese instructions is BuddhaVajradharma, and the second is Buddha Vajrayogini, Vajra-mgini franMnilled Ihese instructions directly to Naropa whodiiigenltv put them into practice and, as a result, attained greatrealizations. Although Naropa had many disciples, he kept his practice ofVajrayogini secret, transmitting it only to two brothers from theNepalese town of Pamting, now called Fharping. He recognized(hat thePamhngpa brothers, Jigme Dragpa and his youngerbrotherNgawang Dragpa, had a particularly strong karniic con-nechon with these instructions. Sakya Pandila Kunga Gyaltsanand other famous Teachers have remarked on the fact that eenNaropas most famous disciple, the great Tibetan Master Marpa,did not receive these teachings. The Pamtingpa brothers passed these instructions on to theTibetan translators Lokya Sherab Tseg and Malgyur Lotsawa.It was Malgvur Lotsawa who translated the dnidtiised RootTa)ihn of tknikn from Sanskrit into Tibetan. Through his kind-ness many Tibetans in the past became great Yogis and Yoginis,and today many people have the opportunity to study andpractise Heruka and Vajravogini Tantras, Malgvur Lotsawahimself reached the supieme Llnion of Vajradhara and attainedPure Dakini Land in that life. From Malgvur Lotsaiva these instructions ^^ere passed downin unbroken succession to rhaboiigkha Rinpoche, and then tothe most Venerable Kvabje Trijang Dotjechang, Holder ot theLineage. It was from this great Master that !, the author,received ihese mstructions. from Buddha Vajradharma to Kvabje Trijang Dorjechangthere havLbeen thirtv-seven lineage Gurus. The hneage ot theseinstruction? is unliroken and the blessings passed down fromBuddha ,ijradiiarma are intact. Each lineage Guru achievedcomplete evperience of these instructions, therehv ensuring thattheir power has not decreased. These instructions are com-pletely authentic and are clearly presented. If we put theminto practice with deep conviction and jovous effort, we willdetinitelv achieve realizations.
  16. 16. PRELIMINARY EXPLANATION THE BENEFITS OF THESE INSTRUCTIONSIt is said in the Comicused Root Tniilra ofHeniku (hat the benefitsto be gained from engaging in the practice of ajr<noj;ini arelimitless, and thai a tlnmsand voices could never fully enumer-ate them. Here we shall consider ten princip.il benefits: By practising these instructions we quickly receive great and powerful blessingsWhen we practise these instructions, ve sviftlv receive greatand profound blessings from all the Buddhas. These blessingshelp us temporallv. and eventuallv thev enable us to achievethe ultimate goal of full enlightenment. These instructions are a synthesis of all essential instructionsThe instructions on the practice of Vajrayogini are a synthesis ofall the essential instructions contained in the Tantras of Heruka,Yamantaka, and Guhyasamaja, All the essential points of thestages of Secret Mantra are included within the practice ofVajrayogini. These instructions are easy to practiseThe instructions on the practice of Vajrayogini contain conciseand clearly presented meditations that are relatively easy topractise. The mantra is short and easv to recite, and thevisualizations of the mandala, the Deitv. and the bodv mandalaare simple when compared vi-ith those of other Highest YogaTantra Deities. Even those with limited abilities and littlewisdom can engage m these practices without great difficulty-
  17. 17. GUIDE TO DAKIMC LAND By practising these instructions we can swiftly achieve atUinmenlsMany great Teachers such as Kvabje Trijang Dorjechang havesaid that through tho practice of Vajravogini those with onlvmiddling fortune can attain Pure Dakini Land in one lifetime.Those with greater fortune will sttain this with ease, and even(hose with lesser fortune can attain Pure Dakini Land m theintermediate state between death and rebirth. If we continuallyrtcite Vajravoginis mantra while we are alive, we will remem-ber her mantra when we are dying. Then, as if in a dream, wewill hear Vajravogini and her rchnue of Dakinis calling us andinviting us to her Pure L^nd. In this wav Vairavogmi will guideus through death and the intermediate state and lead us to thePure Land of the Dakinis. It is said thai even those with the legist fortune ivho do notattain Pure Dakini Land in the intermediate state will be led byVajravogini to her Pure Land within seven lives. Even if suchpractitioners find IheniseKes in the deepest hell, Vajravoginiwill bless their minds and cause their previously accumulatedvirtuous actions to ripen. In this wav Ihev will be released fromhell and guided Land of the Dakinis. directly to the Pure Thus, through keeping our commitments pureiv and practis-ing these instructions sincerely, we can attain Pure Dakini Landin this lift, in the intermediate state, or certainiv within seenlives. These inslructions include a special body mandala practiceHiidy maiid.ilas are not included within all Doitv prachces. Apractice that contains a Iodv m.ind.ila is more protound thanone that does not, and the most i.^tokiund of all body mandalasIS lh.it ot .,iiraogini.
  18. 18. PRELIMINARY EXPLANATION These instructions include an uncommon yoga of inconceivabilityThe uncommon yoga of inconceivability is a special nietliod,unique to llie practice of Vajrayogini, whereby Pure DakiniLand can be attained within this life without abandoning ourpresent body- Both generation and completion stages can be practised togetherhi practices such as Yamantaka and Guhyasamaja. pratliiionerscan meditate on completion stage onlv after tbev have gainedexperience of generation stage. In the practice of Vajrayogini,however, we can train in completion stage meditations, andeven achieve certain completion stage realizations, while we arestill training in generation stage. These instructions are especially suitable for those with strong desirous attachmentIn general,it is difficult for those with strong desirous attach-ment pracHse Dharma, but this is not so with the practice of toVairayogini. Throughout this world there exist countless em-anations of Heruka and Vajrayogini manifesHng as ordinarymen and women. These emanations help pure practihonersof Vajrayogini to transform their desirous attachment into thespiritual path. Itsuch practitioners conscientiously keep theircommitments and faithfully practise the eleven vogas, eventu-ally they will meet an emanation of Vajravogini manifesting asan attraclii/e man or woman. By arousing desirous attachmentin the practitioner, that emanation will bless their channels,winds, and drops. Then, by entering into union with the em-anation, the practitioner will be able to transform his or herdesire into spontaneous great bliss. With this blissful mind thepractitioner will meditate on emptiness and eventually eradicate all delusions, including desirous aflachment. In this way they
  19. 19. GUIDE TO DAKINI LAND will swittly attdin full enlij^htenmctit. Just as fire that is pro-diiLod from wood evciituallv the wood th<il produced consumesil, so toil Tiintric bliss, which developed from desirous allach- ismenl. eventually consumes the desirous attachment that gaverise to it. This skilful method ot transforming attachment intothe spiritual path was adopted by Masters such as Ghantapaand Tilopa, The essence of Highest Yoga Tantra practice is to generate amind of spontaneous great bliss and use that blissful mind tomeditate on emptiness. The mind of spontaneous great bliss isattained by gatheinng the inner winds into the central chanrtelthrough completion stage meditation. For completion stagemeditahon lo be successful, the channels, winds, and drops ofour bodv must be blessed by Deities, This is achieved throughgfnor.ihon stage practice. These instructions are particularly appropriate for [his degenerate ageThe practice of Vajrayogini quickly brings blessings, especiallyduring this spiritually degenerate age. It is said that as thegeneral level of spiritualily decreases it becomes more difficultfor practitioners to receive the blessings of other Deities, butthe opposite is the case with Heruka and Vairavogiiii; the moretimes degenerate, the more easih practitioners can receive theirblessings. WhenevLr Vajradhara expounded a Tanlra h^ emanated themandala associated with it, but after completing the discoursehe ivoiild usuallv reabsorb the mandala. For example, when heopounded the Kint Tttilni of KaUidMkni. Va|radhara emanatedihf Kalachakra mandala and, Mhen he had tinished, he re-absorbed it. However, Vajradhara did not reabsorb the man-d.ilas of Heruka or Vajravogini, These mandalas still exist atarious places throughout this world such as in the Twentv-f.Hir Holy ilacep. Because of thi.i, human K-iiijis in this worldh.ive a special relahonship with HeruLi and VajravogLnL andcan quickly receiic theit blessings. Furthermore, in the RmlTtmlr: iV Hinikii Vajradhara promised that in the future, when
  20. 20. PRELIMINARY EXPLANATIONtimes became spiritually degenerate, Heruka and Vaiiniiginiwould bestow their blessings on ihnse with strong attaclimeni. In general, as the number of lineage Gums of <i Deitys prac-tice increases, the blessings of that Deity take longer to reachpractitioners, but tht greater the number of lineage Gurus ofHemka and Vajrayogini, the more iiuickiy practitioners receivetheir blessings. Vajrayoginis mantra has many special qualitiesIn the Root Tnntrn of Hrrukn it says that attainments can begained merely by reciting Vajrayoginis mantra, even with poorconcentration. Nowadays this is not possible when reciting themantras of other Deities. However, we need to have very strongconviction and faith in Vajravogiiii and her mantra if we are toachieve realizations bv mantra recitation alone.If we think deeply about the benefits and special qualities ofthese instructions, we will realize that wc now have a very-precious opportunity to study and practise them. We will gener-ate a feeling of great jov which will give us great confidence inthe instructions and encourage us to put them into practice. BIOGRAPHIES OF PAST BUDDHIST MASTERS WHO GAINED REALIZATIONS THROUGH THESE INSTRUCTIONSMany people have achieved the highest attainments through Of the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas of ancientVajrayogini practice.India, many gained their dttainments through the practices ofHeruka and Vajrayogini, and since the time that these Tantraswere introduced into Tibet many Tibetans have also attainedsimilar realizations.It is still possible to emulate these Mastersand gain the same attainments. There now follow brief biographies of five great practitionerswho received special caie and guidance from Vajrayogini and,as a result, reached Pure Dakini Land.
  21. 21. GLirDE TO r LuyipaLuvipa was a great Indian Mahasiddha who relied on Henjkaand Vajravogini. One day, im the tenth dav ot the month, heuent to A charnel ground to meditate, but when he arnved hesaiv a group of men and women having a picnic. A womangave him a piece of meat and, through eating it, his mindwas blessed and instantiv purified of oidinflr appearance. Heattained a vision of Heruka and Vajravogini and realised thatIhe men and women were Heroes iind Heroines. His in realilvprevious pure practice of Vajravogini had caused Vajravoginitil manifest as the woman who offeredhim the meal. In thisu-ay Vajravogini helped him to attain both outer and inner PureDakini Land. ChantapaThe VIaha^.iddh.1 Ghant.ipa hved deep in a forest m Odivishafpresent-dav Orissa), in India, where he engaged in intensivemeditation on Heruka and Vajravogini. Since he was lixmg insuch an isolated place his diet was poor and his body becameemaciated. One day the king of Odivisha was out hunting inthe forest when he came upon Ghantapa, Seeing how thin andweak he was. Ghantapa why he lived in the the king askedforest on such a poor diet. The king encouraged Ghantapa toreturn with him to the city where he would give him food andshelter. Chantapa replied that just as a great elephant could notbe led from the forest bv a fine thread, so he could not betempled to leave the forest by the riches of a king. Angered byGhciiitap.is refusal, the king returned to his palace threateningrevenge i>n him. Such was the kings .inger that he summoned a number ofwomen from the city and told them of the arrogant monk inthe forest. He offered great wealth to any one of them whoc-ould seduce the monk and force him to break his vows ofcelibacy. One woman, a wine-seller, boasted that she could dothis and Set out lor the forest to look for Ghantapa, When sheeventually found him she asked if she could become his servant, 10
  22. 22. PRELIMINARY EXPLAKATIONGhantapa had no need of a senant but !ie realized Ihat llitvhad a strong relationship from previous lives and .-^o he allowedher to stav. Gliantapa gave her spiritual instructions andempowerments and they engaj;ed earnestly in meditation. Aftertwelve ciirs they both attained the Union of No More Learninj;,full enlij;htenment. One dav, Ghantapa and the former wine-seller decided toencourage the people of the city to ciexeiop a greater interestin Dharma, Accordingly, the woman returned to the king andrepi>rted tliaf she had seduced (he monk. At first the kingdoubted the truth of her story, but when she explained thatshe and Ghantapii now had two children, a son and a daughter,the king was delighted with this news and told her to bringGhantapa to the city on a particular day. He then issued aproclamation disparaging Ghantapa and ordered his sub]ects toassemble on the appointed day to insult and humiliate themonk On the specified day, Ghantapa and the woman left the forestwith their children, the son on Ghaniapas right and the daugh-ter on his left. When cit, Ghantapa was thev arrived at thewalking as if he were drunk, holdingbowl into which the awoman poured wine. All the people who had gathered laughedand jeered, and hurled abuse and insults at him. Long ai;o,they taunted him, our king invited vou to the cit but vouarrogantly refused his invitation. Now vou come drunk andwith a wine-seller. What a bad example of a Buddhist and amonk! When they had finished, Ghantapa appeared to becomeangry and threw his bowl to the ground. The bowl sank intothe earth, splitting the ground and causing a spring of water toappear. Ghantapa immediately transformed into Heruka andthe woman transformed into Vajrayogini. The boy transformedmlo a vajra which Ghantapa held in his right hand, and thegitl transformed into a bell which he held in his left hand.Ghantapa and his consort then embraced and flew into the sky. The people were astonished and immediately developed deep regret for their disrespect. They prostrated to Ghantapa, beg- ging him and the emanation of Vajrayogini to return, Gfiantapa and his consort refused, but told the people that if their regret was sincere they should make confession to tvlahakaruna, the
  23. 23. CUIOE TO DAK1NI LANDembodinifnt of Buddhas great compassion. Through the deepremorse of tlie people of Odivisha and the force of their prayers,a statue of Mahakaruna arose from the spring water. The peopleof Odlisha became verv devoted Dharma practitioners andmanv ol them atuined realization*. The statue of Mahakarunacan shil be seen today. Because of Ghantapas pure prachcc of Heruka and Vajra-vogini in the fure?>t, Vajravosini s.iw Ihril it was the right hmefor him to receive her blessings, and so she manifested as then-ine-seller. Through living with her, Ghantapa attained thestate of Pure Dakini Land, DarikapaKing Darikapa was another of the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas,He received empowerments and instructions on Heruka andVajrayogini from Liivipa, Luyipa predicted that if Darikapawere to abandon kingdom and apply great effort in the hisprachce of Va)ravogini and Heruka, he would swiftly achievetnlightenment, Darikapa imriiediatelv left his palace and wan-dered from place to place as a beggar, practising meditation atevery opportunity. In a city in South India he met a wealthycourtesan who was an emanation of Vajravogini, This womanowned a large mansion in which he worked as her ser.ant fortwelve years. During the dav he performed menial tasks in andoiround the house and at night he practised Luvipas instruc-tions. After twelve vears he attained the fifth stage of com-pletion stage, the Union that Needs Learning. It is said thatDarikapa and the courtesansentire entourage of fourteen thou-sand all attained Pure Dakini Land. In this way Darikapareceived the guidance of Viijiayogini, KusaliA novice monk called Kusali also came under Vajrayiiginiscare. One day, while travelling along the banks of the RiverGanges, he met an old leper woman in great pain who wanted 12
  24. 24. PRELIMINARY EXPLANATIONto cross the river. Kusaiiwas overcome with compassion forthe woman. He bound her onto his back with his upper garmentand started to ford the river but, when they were halfwayacross, the leper woman transformed into Vajrayogini and ledhim to the Land of the Dakinis. Furang LotsawaPurang Lotsawa was a great Teacher who hved near Shiri Mon-astery in western Tibetand who had many spiritualh advancedstudents. When he became aware, through various signs, thathe was ready to attain Pure Dakini Land, he dug out a smallcave in a hillside where he planned to live in solitar retreat.As he entered the cave at the start of his retreat he announcedthat if he left before attaining Pure Dakini Land his throatshould be cut by the Dharma Protectors. He told his assistantto seal the entrance of his cave, leaving onlv a small holethrough which food and drink could be passed. Some time later a Tantric Yogi accompanied by eight womenarrived and asked to see Purang, The assistant turned themaway, but that evening, when he told Furang about the visitors,he was gi^en instructions not to dismiss anvone who asked tosee him. When the visitors returned the next day the assistantshowed them to the cave. Suspecting that they were not ordi-nary people, he looked for a place to hide so thai he could seewhat would happen, but by the time he had found a suitableplace the visitors had unaccountably entered the cave. Theassistant crept up to the small hole in the side of the cave andlooked in. The cave was full of radiant bght. The eight womenwere sitting in a row with the Yogi at one end and Purang at The Yogi was rolling letters of gold which he passedthe other.to the women. They in turn passed them to Purang whoappeared to be eating them. Purang became aware ot the assist-ant looking through the hole and shouted at him to go awav.He left immediately. Later, when he returned with Purangssupper, Purang wss sitting akine without any sign of the "logior the eight women. That night Purang went to the Pure Landof Vajrayogini,
  25. 25. CUIDE TO DAKINl LAVD The nt-(t morning the assistant took Piirang his breakfast butfound the cave empty Although he was convinced that Puranghad attained Pure Dakini Land he was afraid that others mightthink that he had been the cause of Purangs disappearance.To allav such suspicions hy called together a number of peopleand showed them that the seal to Purangs cave had not beenbroken. Althinigli some people were convinced and believedthat Purang had attainid Pure Dakini Land, others still sus-pected the assistant of murder. Til resolve the matter, a Tibetan translator was sent to Xepalto consult a famous Vajrayogini practitioner who had greatpowers of clairvovance. After the translator had explained whathad happened to Purang, the Nepalese practitioner replied thaton the d.iv of the disappearance, while in meditation, he hadseen through his clairvoyance that Purang had been invited tothe Pure Land iif the Dakinis by a Hero and eight Heroines,The Hero was Heruka and the eight Heroines were the eightGoddesses of the doorways of Herukas mandala. As a resultoi Puranf;s pure pr.iclicc, Heruka and Vajrayogini had come tohis cave and taken him to Pure Dakini Land,Many great masters of the Gelug tradition such as Takbu TeiipaiGvallsan, Drubchen Chii Dorje, Changkva Rolpai Dor]e, andiiianv of their disciples have attained the Pure Land of theDakinis, Such things happen even today. For evample, in recentyears there was a Tibetan la m<in called Gi>nche who lived ineastern Tibet in a place called Chairing, To all appearances hewas an evil man, always fighting and stealing and generallyengaging in many negative actions. The Chinese invasion ofTibet eventuallv forced liim to llee from his motherland. Oneda on his jouine into exile, he sa^^" a boat crossing a stretch ,of water carr ing about Ihirtv Chinese soldiers. He shot holesill the boat causing it to sink, and all the joldiers were drowned.When he finally reached the Nepalese border he joined theTibetan resistance, Some years later, as an elderly man, he travelled to Dharam-s.nla in India where he visited Trijang Rinpiiche, Trijang Rin-poche advised him to abandon all negative actions and to devotehimself to spintual practice. From that day Gonches mind 14
  26. 26. PRELIMINARY FPLAAT10>Jchanged. He developed sttont; rei;iit tor all his p.i^t h.imilulactions and promised (o practise Dliarma sincerely. Some timelater, Trijanj;Kinpoche i^ave a Va|rayogiiii empowerment to alarge group of his disciples and Giinche was among them. Trijang Rinpoche advised Goiiche to go to Nepal tu do a longretreat on Vajravogini. Receiving material assistance trom hisfamily antl spiritual advice from some local Geshes, C^oncheenlfied iiilo relieat, but diuing hi? relreat he died. At the limeof his death man people saw a rainbow alr-ove his retieat hut.Three das later he was crematecl and this time a rainbowappeared over the funeral pvre. These rainbows were seen bythe local people as welt as by the monies who had assembledto pra tor him. High Lamas ^aid later thai the rainbows vseresigns that Vajrayogini had led Gonche to her Pure Land v-hilehe ivas in the intermediate state.These accounts of the attainments of past practitioners demon-strate the great fl!ue of the practice of Vajrayogini and are asource of inspiration for our own practice. THE QUALIFICATIONS NECESSARY FOR PUTTING THESE INSTRUCTIONS INTO PRACTICEBefore we can practise the two stages, of Vajravogini Tantra wemust have certain t]ualification5. Through the sLudv and practiceof Lamrim, we should have gained at least some experience ofthe three principal aspects of the path: renunciation, bodhi-chitla, and the correct vii?w of emptiness. These are sometimesknown as the paths common to both Sutra and Tantra. Oncewe have built the foundation of experience in the commonpaths, we are qualified to enter into the special path of Tantra.The gateway to Tantric practice is empowerment. Before wecan engage in Vajrayogini practice we must receive from aqualified Tantric Master the empowerment of Heruka and theempowerment of Vajrayogini in her smdhura mandala. Theseempowerments place special, wholesome propensities on ourconsciousness which, when nurtured bv subsetjuent spiritual practice, eventually develop into the realisations of generation 15
  27. 27. GUIDF TO DAK1M LANDstagf and completion stage. During the empowerments we takecerl.iin vows and commitments which must be observed scrupu-lously. Upon this basis, if we practise Vairayoginis instructionsconlinucusly and sincerely we will receive all the benefits men-tioned above. THE FOUR SPECIAL CAUSES OF SWIFT ATTAINMEXTSTo achieve swiftly the realizations associated with Vajrayoginiprachce we need four special causes. The first Is unwaveringfaith. We should not become discouraged if after only a fewdays or months of intense effort we do not achieve any specialresults. We must Irain consistentiv with unshakeable convictionin the benefits of our practice. Our pr.ictice should be like abroad river that flows sleadilv and continuously. The second special cause is wisdom that overcomes doubtsand misgivings concerning the practice. We should have a clearundersLindinj; of the eleven vogas of generation stage and ofthe medil.Uions ol completion stage, hi general, whenever wepractise Dh.irm.i, we must first overcome all doubts about theinstructions we have received and reach clear conclusions aboutthem. By listening to and studying complete and correct instruc-tions we develop the wisdom arisen from listening, and throughthinking about the meaning ol the instructions ive deelop thewisdom arisen from contemplation. Onlv then can we proceedto meditate siii^le-poiniedlv on the conclusions we havereached. It is most important that ^vhilewe are engaged in Dharmapractice our conkC-nt ration ?hi>uld be single-pointed. If we prac-tise with a mind and do not gam realizations it is not distractedthe fault of the Dhamia, the Buddha, or our Gurus, Even whenwo are not engaged in formal meditation we should be able tofocus our mind clearh on anv virtuous ob|ect we choo>e. If ourmind coilhnually wandiT-; to a multitude ol evlraneou; objectsour prO);ress will be hampered. As we begin to control ourmind and gain the abililv to direct it at will, we shall experienceresults from our mettitalion and make i]uick progress along the
  28. 28. PRELIMINARY EXPLANATIONSpiritual path. Our mind should be like a fine, well-trainedhorse that is powerful, but easy to control and direct. Such ahorse will take a rider wherever he wishes to go, whereas anunruly horse will toilow only its own wishes and disrej^ard itsrider. Once we can direct our mind to a sf^ecific ubjecl and keep iltociised on that object, we will have a well-controlled mind ,indour life will not be wasted through distracted thoughts. Evenin worldly activities success comes onlv as a result of single-minded concentration, so how much more important is strongconcentration for successful Dharma practice? In Dharma, iveattain realizations onI- by practising with single-pointed con-centration, and this is possible only if we understand IheinstrucHons thoroughly. The third special cause of swift attainments is Ihe integrationof our spiritual training into the practice of one Deity. Je allTsongkhapa showed how all the essential practices of Tanlracan be included within the sadhana of a single Deitv, Followingle Tsongkliapas instructions, later Teachers wrote the Vaira-yogini sadhana we now practise. When we practise this sadhanawe practise the essential meaning of all Tantric Deities. Our progress towards attaining Tantric realizations will beseriously obstructed doubts and dissatisfaction cause us to ifchange continuallv from one Deitv to another. We should belike a wise blind person who relies totallv upon one trustedguide instead of attempting to follow a number of people atonce. There is a traditional Tibetan analogy that illustrates thispoint. Tibetan farmers used to allow their cows to roam freelyduring the day, mixing with the cows belonging to otherfarmers, but everv evening all the coivs would return to theright farm. If a blind person wished to go to a particular farmallhe had to do was hold on to the tail of a cow that belongedto that farm. If he did this he would definitelv reach the rightfarm, hut if he kept switching from one cow to another hewould soon be completely lost. Similarly, by following the prac- tice one particular Deit wholeheartedlv we will definitelv of attainenlightenment, but if we keep changing from one to another we will never reach our goal, no matter how much effort we make.
  29. 29. GUIDE TO DAKI^I TAJi:> During liis stay in Tibet, the Indi=5n Buddhist Master Atishamet the renownud translator Lama Rinthtn Sangpo, and wasgreatly impressed bv his knowledge of Dharma. One day Rin-chi-n Sangpo invited Atisha to visit him to discuss Dharma.Atisha realized ihat Rinthen Sangpo was a very erudite scholarand said to him, You are such a wonderful Teacher that itsi?em<! unnocosfiarv for me to stay in Tibet. Then RinchenSangpo showed Atisha his four meditation cushions and fourdifferent Tantric mandatas. Atisha asked why he had fourcushions and four mandalas. Rinchen Sangpo replied that everyday he practised in four sessions. The first session, on the firstcushion, was to accomplish the mandala of an Action TantraDeitv: the second session, on the second cushion, was toaccomplish the mandala of a Performance Tantra Deity; thethird session, on the third cushion, was to accomplish the man-dala of a Yoga Tantra Deitv; and the last session, on the fourthcushion, was to accomplish the mandala of a Highest YogaTantra Deity. Atisha asked why he did not incorporate all theseDeitv practices into one sadhana, accomplishing the mandalasof all these Deities within the mandiila of one Deity, WhenRinchen Sangpo asked how he could do this Atisha exclaimed,Yes, I do need to stav in Tibet Atisha advised Rinchen iJangpo that when he was visualizingthe mandala of his personal Deitv he should invite all the otherDeities together with their mandalas to dissolve into his per-sonal Deity and mand.ila. By maintaining the recognihon thathis personal Deitv was the synthesis of all the Deities of thefour Tantric classes he could complete the practices of all otherDeihes by completing the practice of his personal Deity. Atishaused to say, Some of vou Tibetans hace tried to accomplish ahundred Deities but have failed to achie e a single attainment,while some Indian Buddhists have achieved the attainments ofa hundred Deities bv accomplishing the practice of just one, Although we should concentrate on the practice of one par-ticular Deity, we should not neglect to practise others it wehavo .1 commitment to do «o For those pr.ictiti oners who arededicated to the practice of Vajravogini, who see it as their mainpractice, and who are striving lo achieve generahon stage andcompletion stage realizations by depending upon this practice, 18
  30. 30. PRELIMINARY EXPLAMATIONtliere is a special method to keep their i-onimitmems to oIIutDeities. Suppose that such a practitiotier, in addilion to h>daily Vajrayogini practice, has commitments to recite the longsadhanas Heruka, Yamantaka, and thihv.isamaja every day, liIII lie words of all Ihese SiKih.mas ever d.U he will recites thi-have little opportunity to do any serious meditation. His Tan trieprachce will be largely verbal, and .illhough he nnghi placemany virtuous imprints on his mindstroani he v not .uiiievegenuine nieditational eperience. For such person the real ,ipurpose 01 Delt) practice will be lost. For this reason, greatMasters such as Atisha, Phabongkha Kinpoche. and KyabjeTrijang Rinpoche advse serious Wijravognii practitioners tointegrate all their Tan trie practices mto the airavogi:ii sadliana.To do this they should realize that all Tantric Deities have lliesame nature, differing only in appearance. The essential meaning of the practices ol all Hij^hest YogaT.mtra Deities is the same - to transform ordinarv death, inter-mediate slate, and rebirth into the three bodies of a Buddha.This transformation is effected first in an imagined form bvusing the meditations and visualizations of generation stage,and then in reality by controlling the subtle i-inds, drops, andmind through completion stage meditation. All the methodsnecessar to do this are contained in the practice of ajravogini.VVith this understanding, committed "ajraogini practitionersshould apply themsehes wholeheartedly to the generation andcompletion stages of Vajrayogini, knowing that bv so doingthey are fulfilling the real purpose of all their commitments toother Deities, even if they neglect to say the words of thesadhanas of other Deities. This advice should not be used as an excuse for laziness. Itspurpose is dedicated practitioners more time to concen- to gietrate on and thereby achieve the their personal Deity practiceessential realizations of all Deitv practices. For those who arenot yet able to devote themselves wholeheartedly to the practiceof a particular Tantric Deity, it is better that they continue to recite the words of all the sadhanas to which ihev have commit- ted themselves. The fourth special cause of swift realization is to practise in secret. Ifwe do not conceal our Tantric practice from others the
  31. 31. C^UTUE TO DllKIM LANDblessings we hiive riccivtd during the empowerments will bedissip.Tlcd, T.ilklng (peniv about our niedilational experiencesis .1 fault. It ma cause us to develop attachment to beingrespected and praised bv others. Such attachment to reputationis d mara, a demonic interference that is a serious obstacle topure Dharma practice and spiritual attainment. A good repu-tation mav help us Id gain external wealth and possessions bulthese things deplete our merit and ate obstacles to gaininginternal wealth. The attainment of bodhicliilta, the attainmentot the six perfections, and the reahzations of generation andcompletion stage practice are our real wealth; w-e should notwaste our merit on external possessions. As Shantideva savs inGuide h> the Bodbisattvns Way of Life. I, who seek liberation, have no need of wealth or a good reputation For the) unlv keep me bound within cyclic existence.II is helpful to reciill these words frequently. We should remainindifferent to our reputiition while acting in accordance withthe Dharma. The i.i|uilibrium of our mind should nol be dis-turbed bv praiso or blamo, gain or loss. If we iiro atlachfd tothese things we will constantly be distracted from our spiritualpractice. We will waste energv Irving to acquire possessionsand good reputation, .ind when we fail in these endeaours awi. become overlv disheartened. For these reasons it was willthe custom ot the Kadampa Teachers and ot Je Tsongkhapa topraise others but to declare theii own faults and limitations. Talking carelessly about our msditational experiences or prac-tice allrai.ts hindrances and obstacles, iusl as talking openlyabout out wealth attracts thieves. Although we should striveassiduouslv in our practice ot T^intra we should not reveal outpiacticy lo others. Thoro .ire oolv two exceptions to this rule:wi should coiilide in our Gurus, and ^ve can discuss aspects ofour practice with friends engaged in similar practices, providedthat tlK ha e lailh and l^eep their tommitments purely.If wie create the four special causes and fulfil .ill the conditionsnecessary for successful practice that have been explained, we
  32. 32. PRELIMTNARV E^LA^ATIONwill detinitely fltt<iin realiz.itions iiiik-klv throuijli tin. pmctia ofthe instructions ot Vajrayogini. WHAT ARE THE OUTER AND INNER PUKE DAKINl LANDS?Oiilev Pure Dakini Land is beyond the world of ordinary experi-ena^. It is the Pure Land of Biiddlia air<iyLij;ini <ud BuddhaHeruka, A Pure Land is a world that is free hom true svilteriiijjs.Nowhere in samsara is without true sufferings because thesanisariiT e[iiroriment its^elf acts as a condition to LsperienccFuflerinj;. Lirdinary beings are born in samsara without choiceand continually have to experience dissatisfaction and misery,Howeyer, if ve purify our mind, we piirifv our experience ofthe world and thereby attain a Pure Land free from all suffering. There are differLMit Pure Lands associated xvith different Bud-dhas. Pure Dakini Land is similar to the Pure Lands of Tushitaand Sukhavali, except that Heruka and *ajrayoginis Pure L.indis the only one in which beings can rcceiye teachings on 1 iighest"loga Tantra and put them into practice. When, through ajravoginis j;uidance, those who are yeryold and infirm reach her Pure Land thev will no longer experi-ence the sufferings of old age and disease. All signs of thoir oldage will disappear and they will be transformed into sixteen-year-olds of great beauty and vitality, enjoying an endless life-span. All the enjoyments they wish tor will spontaneouslyappear. They will neyer be reborn in samsara again, unless theychoose to for compassionate reasons. Eyeryono who reachesthis Pure Land will receiye teachings on Highest Yoga Tantradirectly from Heruka and thereby attain enlightenment i]uickly. Outer Pure Dakmi Land can also be explained in terms ot anindiyidual prachtioners personal experience. From this pointof view, outer Pure Dakini Land is attained by completing thepractices of the generation stage of Vajrayogini, During our training in generation stage meditation, we our body visualize as the pure budv of Buddha Va)rayogini, our immediate sur- roundings as the mandala of Vajrayogini, and our world as Pure Dakini Land. If we engage in generation stage practice
  33. 33. continuously, the ordinarv, impure appearances to our mind diminish and finally cei)se altogether. Orice we "ill gMclLiiillvhave gained a firm realization of generation stage we shalleperience only pure appearances, and our world will be trans-formed into Pure Dakini Land. The great Teacher Tenpa Rabgyasaid that Pure Dakini Land is rot some far-away place, nor isit necessary to disappf^ir from this world to reach it. Pure appearances are experienced unlv bv realized prac-titioners.It is ge)ierallv accepted in both Sutra and Tantra thatthe world appears to our mind as faulty, imperfect, and unsatis-factory because our mind is impure, polluted bv the delusionsand their imprints. In Oniiimcnl Rcahz^iUon Venerable for Clear ,Maitreva savs that when the senhent beings become minds ofcompletely pure, their environment becomes & Buddhas Purel-ind, A Pure Land can be attained only h purifying the mind.Even when we li.ive attained outer Pure Dakini Land througha firm realization of generation stage, we shall still appear toothers as ordinary, impure beings. Ordinary people cannotrecogniL-e that another person is in a Pure Land because thercannot ptrceive that persons Pure Land and cannot share theireperience of it. Someone once asked Milarepa in which PureLand lu had attained eiiiightenment and Miiarepa pointed tohis cave. The c|uestioner could see only a cold, emptv cave, butfor Milarepa that cave was a Pure Land. Because the minds of ordinarv beings are impure, »hiiteverappears lo them is seen as ordinan. As ordinary beings with wo cannot cptritiice anvthing as totallyoidiii.irv .ippc aril nee.pure and perfect. Even an emanation ot Buddha appears to usto hac tiiults. Everything we ONperiencc is impure, potenliallvh.iinitui, and m the nature of sulfering It is because we haveordinarv appearance that we view ourselves and others asiiiipcrfivt. <iib)Lcl to faults ;uch as sickness and a^oiiii;. .According lo Sutra teachings, the root of samsara is self-grasping and the delusions that anse trom it. i lowever, accord-ini; Lo ^eciel Mantra le.nliiiigs, (he root of samsara is ordinaryappearances and urdmarv conceptions. The self-grasping recog-nized bv Sutra practitioners is only a gross, ordinarv conception. In this content, any living being who is not a Buddha, and
  34. 34. PRELIMINARY EXPLAMATIONany environment, enjoyment, or body that is not a Buddhas isordinary. Perceptions of these objects as ordinarv due to impureminds are ordinary appeaiances, and the minds that conceiveof objects in (his wav are ordinarv cnnceptions. According toSecret Mantra teachings, ordin^irv tippearances are obstructionsto omniscience, and ordinary conceptions are obstructions toliberation. Both ordinary appearances and ordinarv conceptionshae manv leels of subiletv. One ot the main purposes of practising generation stagemeditation overcome ordinary appearances and ordinary is toconceptions. We can overcome ordinar- appearances by gener-ating a clear appearance of being ajravogini, and we can over-come ordinarv conceptions by developing strung divine prideof being Vajravogini, Because of our ordinary perceptions and ordinary concep-tions, we experience an endless ccle of ordinarv death, ordin-ary intermediate state, and ordinary rebirth. This endless cycle,known as samsara, must be broken. Through generation stageand completion stage practice we can purify the three ordinary-states of death, intermediate stale, and rebirth, and therebyattain the three bodies of a Buddha. When we attain a full realization of the generation stage ofVajravogini, we evperieiice our environment as Pure DakiniLand, and when we attain the illusorv bodv in the aspect ofVajravogini, our bodv becomes the actual bodv of the Deitv.When we achieve enlightenment in the form of Vajravogini fullwe become a newlv-born Buddha Vajravogini, our place ofresidence becomes a nevly-deeloped mandala of Vjjrayogini,and our world becomes a newly-developed pLire Dakiui Land. With a superficial reaU?_ation of generation stage meditationwc will attain only a similitude of Pure Dakini Land. Bv gradu-ally developing the power of our generation stage meditation,this simiHtude will be strengthened and stabilized and we willmove closer to attaining the actual Pure Dakini Land. By practis-ing the generation stage and complehon stage meditations con-tinuously and enthusiastically, we will complete the spiritualpath by depending on Vajravogini. At first we may doubt the existence of Pure Dakini Land or doubt that it is possible to reach it. To overcome such doubts.
  35. 35. GUIDE TO DAKTNI LAMDwe can consider dreams. Sincere practitioners familiar withVdjrayogini prnctice may dream of rciiching a Pure Land. Intheir drearn places as pure and themselves as thev will see allVajrayogini, At they du not think they are dreaming. that time,Thev believe they are in a Pure Land and therefore experiencegreat jov and happiness. If they were to remain in that happvstate without ever waking up it wauld be valid to say that,according to their experience, they wore in Pure Dakini Land, Through studying the correct view of emptiness we canunderstand that everything is merely an appedrsnce to the mindand, tike a dream, merely imputed by conceptual thought. Thislinderstanding is extremely helpful for developing convichonin the e.xistence of Pure Lands, Clear and deep understanding Pure Dakini Land will help us to gain aof the nature of outer Through this we will practise withfirm faith in Buddh.idharma,greaterpower and enthusiasm. Inner Pure Dakini Land is meaning clear light. This isachieved only through completion stage meditation. Throughcompletion stage meditation, we develop sptintaneous greatbliss, and when this mind meditates on emptiness and gains adirect realisation it is called meaning clear light. This is thelourth oi the five stages of completion stage meditation. Whenwe alldin inner Pure Dakini Land through Vajrayogini practice,we also attain outer Pure Dakini Land. This is explained morefuUv later in this book.The wav to train in the two stages of Vajrayogini Tantra isexplained in the instructions that follow. First there is an e-planatioii of how generation stage, and then there is to train inan explanation of how completion stage. to train in The instructions on generation stage are in two parts: aneplanalion of hoiv to practise the eleven vogas of generahonstagi, Lind an iplan,itiiin ot how to ,illain outer Fuie DakiniLand through the practice of generahon stage. The eleven yogasof generahon stage are; 1 The voga of sleeping 2 The voga of rising 3 The yoga of experiencing neclar 24
  36. 36. TRELIMINARV EXPLANATION 4 The yoga of immeasu rabies 5 The yoga oi the Gum 6 Tlie voga of scll-geiieratioii 7 The yoga of puritying migrators 8 The yoga of being blessed bv Heroes and Heroines 9 The yoga ot verbal and menial recitation 10 The voga of inconceivabilitv 11 The voga o! daily actions The instructions that foljoiv lixplain hDv to practise each ofthese eleven vogns. We first need lo stiidv these instructions ensure that we understand clearlv each of Ihe vogas.carefullv toThen, when we feel readv to put them into practice, ive shouldbegin with the voga of sleeping and conhnue through to Iheeleventh oga, the voga of daily actions. If we repeal this cvcleof prachces every day all our actions will be included withinthe eleven yogas.
  37. 37. The Yogas of Sleeping, Rising, and Experiencing NectarThe first three ol the eleven yogas, the vogas ot sleepirg, nsing,anti esperienciiig nectar, are methotls for purifying out body,speech, and mind. Collectively they are known as the yogasDl three ov9i The latter or the vogas of the three purifications ,title ismore correct as it is the one given in the sadhanas oflleruka. The vogas of sleeping and rising purify our body andmind, transforming them into the body and mind of Vajra-yogini, and the yoga of experiencing nectar purifies our speech,transforming it into the speech of Vajrayogini. THE YOGA OF SLEEPINGIn general, the yoga of sleeping is included within the eleventhvoga, the voga of daily actions, along vvith the voga of eahng,and other daily activities. However, there are gi.iod reasons whythe practice of Vajrayogini begins at night, with the voga of One reason is thatsleeping considered as a separate practice.during the night the Dakinis of the Twenty -four Places visitsincere V.ijravogini practitioners and bestow their blessings. InViiiradaka Tiuilrn it sas: The Ladies of these Places Bestow siddhis upon practitioners. They always come at night. They always go at night.Hero, the Ladies of these Places are the Dakinis of the Twenty-rout I tulv Places. If ue .ire not accomplished meditators, we cannot maintainniindlulnoss and alertness during sleep. This leaves our mindunguarded and tposed to unseen influences. For example, we 26
  38. 38. THE YOGAS OF SLEEPING, RISING, AND EXPERIENCING NECTARmay fall asleep with a positive mind but wake up feeling badbecause during the night we were disturbed bv evil spirits whutook advantage of our defenceless state. Sincere practitioners ofVajrayogini, however, may find the opposite happening. Tlieymay go to bed with a mind preoccupied with the problems ofthe day, but wake up refreshed, witli a clear and positie mind.Although the external situation nia- be much the same, theyare now able to face it with a peaceful mind. Thev may also findthat obstacles to their Dharma practice inexplicablv disappearovernight. These are signs that during (he night the havebeen by Dakinis from the Twenty-four 1 kilv Places who visitedblessed their mind and subtle body. Dakinis are able to help apractitioner m this way when he or she establishes a connectionwith them through pure Vajravogini practice. Another reason for beginning the practice of Vajravogini atnight is that during sleep the clear light mind of sleep manifestsnaturally and, with training, this mind can be used to progressalong the spiritual path towards the realizahons of exampleclear light and meaning clear light. One of the main reasons forpractising Vajravogini Tantra is to attain these reali7.Uions. During the day we perceive many different things, but in thedarkness of night all these appearances vanish. The dav there-fore symbolizes conentional truth and the night svmbolizesemptiness, or ultimate truth. Beginning our practice at nightreminds us that the mam purpose of training in these instruc-tions is to develop a mind of clear light that directly realizesemptiness. Remembering this, we begin our practice of theeleven yogas of Vajrayogini with the yoga of sleeping. Othertexts present different reasons but the ones given here are themost accurate. Since we spend a large portion of our time asleep, it is allimportant that we have a method to transform sleep into thespiritual path. The states of sleeping, dreaming, and wakingare similar to death, intermediate slate, and rebirth. Throughcontinual training in the vogas of sleeping and rising we willgain the ability to purify and transform our death, intermediateslate, and rebirth into the spiritual path. This is the main pur- pose of generation stage meditation.
  39. 39. OUIDE TO DAKIM1 LAMD Briefly, theru are seven principal benefits to be gained fromengaging in tlie yoga of sleeping: 1 We accumulale great merit. and obstacles are dispelled. 2 All out liiniir,inces 3 We and guidance from will receive direct care Vajrayogini in all our future lives. 4 We will be blessed bv the Heroines of the Twentv-four Auspicious Places uf Heruka. 5 Our practice of generatiim stage meditation will be Strengthened and stabilized. 6 Wewill attain both outer and inner Pure Dakini Lands. 7 Wewill attain enlightenment i.)uickly.There are two ways to practise the yoga of sleepmg; accordingtogeneration sl.igc and atcording to compietion stage. We maychoose either method. The yoga of sleeping according to generation stageSleeping according to generation stage creates great merit andi^ a cause to attain the Form Bodv of Vajrayogini. Successfulpractice of the voga of sleepmg depends upon having gainedprof[cienc- in the sixth voga, the voga ot self-generation. When the time for sleep approaches, we should regard oursurroundings as the Pure Land of the Dakinis and our room asVfljrayoginis mandala, the phenomena- source. The phenom-ena-source is the nature of Vajravoginis wisdom. It is made ofred light in the shape of a double tetrahedron, and it should bevisualized as large as possible. Inside the phenomena-sourceive visualize a throne ot precious jewels supported bv eightsnow lions. Covering the surface of the throne is an eight-pptalled lotus, .iiid on top of this then? is either a sun cushionor a niocn cushion. When we lie down to sleep we visualizeoiirself clearly as Vajrayogini, but witlwut the usual ornamentsand hand implements. If we wish to sleep lightly and wake quickly, or if we wishto sleep with strong concentration, we visualize ourself lyingon a cool moon cushion. If we feel cold, or if we wish to sleep 2S
  40. 40. . THE YOGAS OF SLEEPING. RISING, AND EXPERIENCING NECTARdeeply, or for a long time, we visualize ourself going to sleepon warm sun cushion. Usually, however, we need a balanceil asleep. If we sleep too lightly we may wake loo readily, but ifwe sleep loo deeply we wiW be unable lo retain mindfulnessduring our dreams. To achieve a balanced .;leep we visualizeourself lying on a sun cushion, but without imagining it to bewarm We should lie facing west with our head towards the north.Facing west is auspicious because we invite the Dakinis to visitus from the land of Odivana, which is in the west. The solesof our feet should point towards the south. This is auspiciousfor a long life because it svmbolizes our wish to subdue Yama,the Lord of Death, who is said to live in the south. Our practiceisenhanced bv sleeping in this position, but if it is not practicalbecause of the shape of our room or the position of the bed,we can simply imagine that we are doing this. Directions aremerelv imputed. On the northern petal of the lotus flower wc visualize ourroot Guru in the aspect ofBuddha Vajradharma, Visualizingour Guru in the aspect of aBuddha is a practice unique toSecret Mantra. According to the Vinaya, the Guru sliould beregarded as Ukc a Buddha, but according to Secret Mantra, theGuru should be regarded us a Buddha. Although some tets state that We should visualize our Guruin the aspect of Hero Vajradharma, there are in fact three umvsin which we can vibuali/.e him: in his outer aspect, as HeroVajradharma, in his inner aspect, as Buddha ajradharma, orin his secret aspect, as Buddha Vajradharma with consort. Inessence there no difference between these three aspects of the isGuru because Hero Vajradharma, Buddha Vajradharma withoutconsort, and Buddha Vajradharma with consort arc exactly thesame nature. Whichever aspect we choose to visualize, weshould regard him as our root Guru, the synthesis of all theBuddhas. Hero Vajradharma is red. His left hand holds at the level ofhis heart a skullcup filled with nectar, his right hand is raisedholding a damaru, and his left shoulder supports a khatanga.Buddha Vajradharma looks exactly like Buddha Vajradhara,except that Buddha Vajradharma is red and adorned with six 29
  41. 41. BuiUUiii Viijrddharmn
  42. 42. THE YOGAS OF SLEEPINC, RISING, AD tXrERlEMCING MFCTARbone ornainenls ivliile Buddli.i Wiir.idli.iM is bluf .iiuH wi.irsorn,inn?iits made nf jewels. Buddha ajradKaimti is similar to Buddha Amitablia in Hialhe IS a manifestation ot the speedi of .nil the Biiddhas. It isprimarily througb receivinj; teaehinj;s Irom our (..mu that wereeeive the blessings ot Buddhas speech, so lor u^- our t.mutiinctioiis .IS thu- manJ(i";l.ition ol Busidhas speech, lo holpus develop this recognition ve isiialize our Guru as BuddhaVajradharma, When we practise the op<i of sleeping according to genera-tion stage the most important thing is lo mainlain strong divinepride that we are Wijravogini, that our room is the phenomena-source, and that our bed is a sun cushion or nioon cushion. Aswe lie on our bed we imagine that sve rest our head in GuruNajradharmas lap and then, with strong tailh in our Guru, wego to sleep. As we fall asleep we should prevent all ordinarvappearances and maintain onh pure appearances. When we wake we should immediately recollect that we areVajrayogini, that our room is the phenomena-source mandala,and that our root Guru is on the northern petal of the lotus inthe aspect of Buddha Nairadharma. The yoga of sleeping according lo completion stageIn the completion stage voga of sleeping, before we go to sleepwe imagine that the entire world system and all its inhabitantsmelt into light, and that this light dissolves into our body. Ourbody then gradually melts into light anj diminishes in size untilIt dissohes into the letter BAM at our heart. At this stage onlythe letter BAM appears our mind; nothing else is perceived. toThen the letter B,iM gradually dissolves into its head, or upperhorizontal line, the head dissolves into the crescent moon, thecrescent moon dissolves into the drop, and llie drop dissolvesinto the nada, the three-cured line at the top of the letter. Thenada then graduallv decreases in size, until finallv it dissolvesinto the clear light of emptiness. Now only emptiness appears. It is important to fee! that our mind nf clear light has become one with emptiness, like water
  43. 43. GUIDE TO DAKIFMI LANDniived Willi water. This inseparable union of our ver> subtlemind and emptiness is called the clear lighl of emptiness . Weidentify this as theDharmakaya. the Truth Body of Vajrayogini,and then we fall asleep, maintaining this recognition through-out our sleep. When we wake the next morning we immediatelyremember emptiness. This practice increases our wisdom, caus-ing us to gain experience of the dear light, and eventually toachieve the Truth Body of a Buddha. The clear light mind manifests automatically during sleep andduring death, but only those proficient in completion stagemeditation are able to retain mindfulness at these times. Mostpeople ate unable to recognize either (he clear light of sleep orthe dear light of death. Besides sleep and death, the only othertime the dear light manifests is when all the winds are deliber-ately gathered and dissolved into the central channel throughthe force of completion stage meditation. Yogis who can causethe dear tight mmd to manifest in this way are able to use thismind to meditate on emptiness. When they fall asleep theyremain mindful throughout their sleep and use the clear lightof sleep to deepen their experience of emptiness. In dtep sleepthe winds naturallv and forcefullv gather and dissolve withinthe central channel, and the clear light that manifests at thattime is purer than that which a novice completion stage med-itator can mduce through meditation alone. Therefore, sleepbecomes extremely valuable for these Yogis. Their most pro-found experience of emptiness occurs during deep sleep. Meditators who are fiimiliar with transforming the clear lightoi sleep into the spiritual path will also be able to trantilorm theclear light of death. They will remain aiv.ire throughout theirdeath process- and when the clear light of death dawns theywill be able to transform il into ulhniate example clear light.This realization directly pre ents ordinary death. For this reasontransforming sleep into the path is one of the piincip.U practicesof SecretMantra, and one of the most important methods forattaining enlightenment.
  44. 44. THE YOGAS OF SLEEPINC, RISING, AND EXFERIENCINC NECTAR THE YOGA OF RISINGThere are two ways to practise the yoga of rising dependingupon which way we practise the yoga of sleeping. If we sleepaccording to generation stage we should practise the yoga ofrising according to generation stage, and if we sleep accordingto completion stage we should practise the voga of rising accord-ing to completion stage. The yoga of rising according to generation stageImmediately upon waking wc should recall our visualization ofthe previous night and try to prevent ordinary appearances.We should develop three recognitions: that the world is PureDakini Land with our room as the phenomena-source mandala,that we are Vajrayogini, and that all other beings are Heroesand Heroines. We imagine that in the space around us Dakasand Dakinis are reciting Vajrayoginis mantra. This causes usto arise with the joyful motivation to benefit others. Throughoutthe day we regard any sound we hear as the sound of thismantra. While dressing, instead of putting on ordinary clothes, weimagine that we are offering the five ornaments, such as thecrown, and the earrings, to ourself generated as Vajravogini.Then we prostrate three limes to our root Guru on the northernpetal of the lotus. This causes our Guru to generate a jovfulwish to enter our bodv and mind. We imagine thai he meltsinto light and decreases fo the size of a small egg. He thenenters through our crown and dissolves into the letter BAM atour heart. Throughout the dav we should remember that our Guru isal our heart in the aspect of a letter BAM, We should also retainthe divine pride of our body and mind as Vajrayoginis bodyand mind, the room as the phenomena-source mandala, theworld as Pure Dakini Land, and all beings as Heroes or Hero-ines, When we are about to develop negative states of mind weshould immediately recall these recognitions. If we can maintaintliif; pure appi;arance there wjl) be no basis for delusions to 33
  45. 45. CULI>E TO DAKINI LAMParise. We should try lt> maintain these three recognitions untilwe go to sleep, when we once aj^aiii practise the yoga ofsleeping. The yoga of rising is practised continually throughout the dayand the yoga of sleeping is prachsed continually throughoutthe night. If we practise these two yogas diligently all our dailyactions become a quick path lt> enlightenment, and Buddha-hood will definitely be attained before very long. The yoga of rising according to completion stageIf we haveslept according to complehon stage >oga, absorbedin the clear light of emptiness, thenupon waking we imaginethat from that state of emptiness we arise insl.intly in the formdf Vajrayogini, just as clouds might suddenly appear in a clearsky. As in the practice of generation stage, we should recall thethree recognitions: oursell as Vajrayogini, the world as PureDakini Land with our room as the phenomena-source mandala,^ind all beings as Heroes and Heroines. The previous night wedissolved all phenomena into emptiness and our mind of clearlight was mixed inseparablv with this emptiness and identifiedas the Dharmakava, From this union of bliss and eniphness anew world now appears, arising from the substance of ourblissful mind and having the same nature as our miiid. If wethink like this it will be easy to generate pure appearance anddevelop the Ihrte recognitions, Wv shiiuld niflinlciin thf three recognitions strongb through-out the day, recalling them again and again until we go to sleep,hi order to sustain this practice we need both mindfulness andalertness. B relying on mindfulness we should maintani themolivalion and the three recognitions that we generated uponrising. From lime to time iv e should ,ippl- alertness to checkthat we .ire still holdin,^ these recognitions. It we fail to applyalertness our practice of maintaining the three recognitions willvjuicklv degenerate. We will pure appearance and revert to loseviewing oursetf as ordinar. This happens because we are soaccustomed to ordinary appearance. Whenever we find that wehave forf;otlen our initial motivation, or the three recognitions,
  46. 46. THE VOGAS OF SLEEriMG, RISING, AND EVrEREbNCING NECTARwe should recall them immedi.itolv. To m.iintiiiii pure .ippi.ir-ance we dti not need to redd words or sit on a iiisliion. Itour dailv actions are pertornied with inindlulnLss ol tlii thieorecognitions they all become melhoti tor attaining enlighlon- <imeiil c[uicklv. When we are able to maintain these three recognitions all thetime, everything we see will help us to dt^elop great bliss.Nothing appear as ugly, irritating, or disgusting. Eerv- willthing experienced b our senses vill seem altractivL and ivillstmiulate pure pleasure. Because, at this stage, we will Lx wryfamiliar wilh meditating on the union of bliss and emptiness,even our ^ense pieaaiires will remind us of omptiness. Thus,by maintaining the three recognitions all our daily experiencescan be transformed into the wisdom of great bliss and empti-ness. The practice of the three recognitions is the supreme moraldiscipline of Vajravana, THE YOGA OF EXPERIEXCING NECTARThe main purpose of practising the voj^a ot experiencing nectaris to transform our pleasures into the spiritual path. Becausewe are beings of the desire realm, we alwavs take delight inseeing attractive forms, listening to beautiful sounds, smellingfragrant scents, tasting delicious food, and touching smoothand sensuous objects. These five objects of enjoyment, knownas the five objects of desire, are usually enjoyed with a mindof attachment. Consequentiv most actions related to theseobjects are unwholesome and lead to experiences of sufferingin the future, il is only through Dharma practice, particularly the practiceof Secret Mantra, that experience of these hve objects of desirecan be transformed into a spiritual path. According to Sutrateachitjgs, atlachment to the five objects of desire is presentedby recognising their faults and avoiding contact with them. In the practice of Secret Mantra, however, our enjoyment of desir- able objects is transformed into the spiritual path. This trans- formation is one of the special attributes of Secret Mantra. The practice of transforming enjoyments is very extensive 35
  47. 47. CLIIDE TO DAKINI LAMDbecause il applies to every object of desire. One method is toregard all visust forms as being in essence Rupavajra goddesses,allsounds as Shaptsvajra goddesses, all odours as Gandhavajragoddesses, all tastes as Rasavajra goddesses, and all tactile sen-sations as Parshavajrn goddfsses. When enjoying a deliciousmeal, for example, we should overcome our ordinan appear-ance of the food by dissolving it into emptiness and then, in itsplace, visualize Kasavaira gwdclesses offering us pure nectarwhich induces spontaneous great bliss. The enjoyments of theother senses can be transformed in a similar way. Another way to transform our experience of pleasurableobjects into the spiritual path is to consider all sense objects tobo in n.iliiri. indivisible spontaneous great bliss and emptines;We shDiild regard even visual form, sound, taste, smell, andtactile object as having Ibis nature. Amongst the manv Tantric methods for transforming pleasur-able experiences into the spiritual path, the yoga of experiencingnectar is a method for transforming our enjovment of food anddrink, thereby enhancing our practice of Secret Mantra. Thereare three wavs to practise the voga of experiencing nt"tar. Oneway is to taste .ind swnllow a nectar pill that has been made inthe traditional wav, another is to taste nectar made bv dissolvinga nectar pill into inner offering, and another is to regard ourdaih food and drink as nectar. We should try to obtain a genuine nectar pill that has beenblessed by our Guru. There tire various tpes of nectar pillproduced according lo the different traditions of Tibetan Bu.i-dhism. In all traditions, the ingredients are first blessed throughmeditatiie aincintration .ind mantra recitation and then thevare made into pill^.. .A meditation simikir to that for blessing theinner ottering is then used to consecrate the pills, and themantra CM AM HUM is recited manv times with strong concen-tration until certain signs of accomplishment occur. At the beginning of the consecration, the ingredients of thepills are visualized as five me.ils and five nectars. The fivenieat^ thatare visualized are the corpses of a cow. a dog, .inelephant, a horse, and human, and the five nectars that are .1visualised are excrement, brains, semen, blood, and urine.
  48. 48. THE YOGAS Ot SLEEPING, RIFING, AND EMERlENtTNC NECTARThese b.ise itigredieiils are tlien tr<iiislormi?Li intu j.-ivciinisnect.ir. A highly realized meditalor can transform the actual fivemeats and five nectars into the substance of precious nectarpills. Wlien the tirst Panchen Lama made dcctar pills therewere Through the power of clear signs of this transformation.his concentration, fire bl.ii^ed tienoalli tho cont.iinor and theingredients boiled. onU someone of eceptional f-loeer,accomplishment can transform impure substances such as tirineand excrement into precious nectar pills; it is impossible loran untrained person of low realization to do this. It has beenknown for some practitioners to make pills from actual medlsand nectars and to distribute them, even though thev havereceived no signs (hat the ingredients have been transformed.We are warned in various Tantric texts not to accept such pitis,otherwise we may find ourselves eating excrement! Instead weshould tr toobtain pills made from medicinal herbs b a i.]uali-fied Tantric Master who is known for his accomplishment andintegrity. We can then be confident that the pills we are givenare both wholesome and genuine. If we should trv to obtain blessed pills that originate possible,from those of Losang Chogyan, the first Panchen Lama. Thesepills are known as fire-blessed nectar pills. Nowadavs it isdifficult to find pills whollv made bv the Panchen L<5ma. firstHowever, it is possible to obtain pills that have been made bvlater accomplished meditators who mixed a portion of a pillmade bv the Panchen Lama with fresh substances and con-tinued doing this with all subsequent pills so that each pillcontains part of a pill blessed by the Panchen Lama. If we obt.iinone of these pills, we can use it as the basis of our practice ofthe yoga of experiencing nectar and also for making more pills. If we are unable to make new nectar pills ourselves, weshould pour some alcohol into a skullcup, or some other small,clean container, and into this dissolve z pill blessed by a (Quali-fied Master. Everv morning we should bless this nectar as aninner offering, as explained on pages 57-63, and then taste it. Todo this, we dip our left ring finger into ttie inner offering nectar and draw a triangle on the palm of our right hand. The triangle is drawn counter-clockwise with one point towards the wrist. 37

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