Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche – the Drigung Kagyu Fivefold Path of Mahamudra – Part 2: Yidam deity practice – TMC May 2012

Maybe you know about this better than I do. (Laughter)  (Start with) our body as the yidam deity, like Chenrizig, Tara, Manjushuri, Chakasamvara, Hevajra, and Kalachakra.   Any (yidam) you have bring that to mind, thinking “I am in that deity state.”  Your ordinary body dissolves into that nature, which is the nature of the bodhichitta. This is one of the VERY significant points in the Buddhist tantra practice. The bodhichitta MUST be there as a ground. (We must start with) a foundation on reality nature. Then, we can notice that deity practice we are doing.

We are not meditating on someone we were not in the first place. We are not making something new, creating something. The five skandhas, elements- 18 dhatus – field- 12 ayatanas – of all sentient beings are primordially the five Buddhas. Because we have Buddha nature, we can become Buddha. The five Buddhas and the five goddesses, the five female Buddhas. All the peaceful deities are the very nature.

Shri Sambhiti tantra-

  1. Form is the nature of Variochana  
  2.  Feeling is the nature of ratnasamvhabva
  3.  Conceptions is the nature of Amitabha
  4. Mental formations is the nature of amohigasiddhi
  5. Consciousness is the nature of akshobya

Five aggregates are the nature of these five Buddhas.  If we can recognize ourselves. “The vajra increase field is the supreme mandala of the Bodhisattva.”  The 12 increasing fields, or ayatanas, are nature of bodhisattvas.

  • The Earth element is Buddha Lochana.   A female Buddha.
  • The Water element is Mamaki;   
  • The Fire element is Pundarika;
  • The Wind element is Tara.

Space, the vajra dhatu, is Dorje Ying Chuma

If we can recognize, these are the nature of all the Buddhas. In fact, the five aggregates are the mandala of all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, peaceful and wrathful.

One’s body is primordially perfect and completely Buddha, yet one fails to recognize this fact, hold ordinary views, and thus cannot manifest the Buddha’s activities… ” This is Vajrayana. You have received so many empowerments – Chenrizig, Tara, Chakasamvara, Hevajra, and Vajrayogini.  I’m sure you got instruction.  You are introduced to yourself in the enlightened state. That is the reality nature, yet one failed to recognize. Through the delusions, we fail to recognize. In our mind, we hold ordinary views, that we are flesh, bone, and blood. That we are easy to hurt, easy to get sick, and thus can’t manifest Buddha activities because of mental delusions, attachment, ignorance, and anger.

For example, “just as a precious jewel in a filthy swamp cannot perform its function.” – Though it is dirty and covered in mud, in the first place, taught to recognize it’s a precious jewel. When we fail to recognize this, it doesn’t perform these activities.  As soon as one realizes that it is a precious jewel, picks it out of the mud and polishes it, it manifests its activities. Likewise, great enlightened beings introduce us (to our enlightened nature). We can’t recognize selves in enlightened nature, when in reality we are the enlightened nature.

“One realizes by the lama’s instruction that the aggregate, elements, and increasing fields are Buddha. Their nature is Shri Heruka, the Nonduality of father and mother, the wisdom body.” This is Sanskrit for “the Nonduality of wisdom and compassion”, or father- mother- yabyum – important to have very clear understanding.

First, as (I) said the other day briefly – to study, practice Vajrayana successfully; we need strong renunciation and sincere refuge. Then, have received in order the Vinaya vows- five, 8, 10 or all the precepts, after being established on that, then, fully cultivate bodhichitta, our whole being into bodhichitta. Once we have established, understood, and then understanding of interdependence, then in this emptiness, all the deities are manifest. So you see the yidams are nothing but nature of enlightenment. Emptiness manifests within the mandala and dissolves into emptiness. Inseparable nature.  Within that, not any place to maintain mental delusions – desire, attachments, anger, and fear- all in the pure nature.  So that gives us such great opportunity to exercise the optimal mental capacities through which all the subtle obscurations have no place to remain.

So, here father and mother, or yabyum, is the special attributes expression of the complete exhaustion of the mental duality, afflictions. Appearance and emptiness are inseparable. So therefore, Buddhas’ manifestation has no limit. Like sun rises in the east. The sun can manifest in millions of pools and lakes.  Likewise, Buddha’s ability is like this. This is tantra practice, otherwise, there is misunderstanding. People try to do tantra with delusions. In this way, instead of being cause to free from samsara, tantra becomes cause of delusions.  Buddha taught to free all being from samsara, not get in.

One should visualize the color of the body, the hand symbols, and the ornaments and attributes of the major and minor marks.” Each color has significance as an expression of perfect qualities of the Buddhas.

The hand symbols, such as the vajra, sword, mala, lotus and skullcups. Each has their own significance, as do the ornaments and attributes and major and minor marks. This is sambhogakaya. This is the state that great bodhisattvas have all the opportunity to see, receive. Their obscurations are purified so much.  Through seeing sambhogakaya Buddhas, they get to see all the Buddhas’ excellent qualities.  All the Buddha fields manifest in that sambhogakaya. They manifests to all other Buddha fields without expectation.

“Thus clearly seeing the body of the yidam deity, through bodhichitta one will quickly we achieve all the excellent qualities.”  When we purify delusions, make mind more peaceful, space where no negative thing can exist, then all the inner qualities will manifest.

All appearances transform by the blessings of that yidam’s body.” whole world transform s into yidam deities-

Because of this… will get opportunity to benefit oneself and all sentient beings.

Therefore, one should stabilize the confidence which always recognizes that one’s body is the yidam deity.”  Meditate that we have confidence that “I am not creating this; I am recognizing who I am.” This Confidence is called vajra pride.

“Clearly meditate on the form and attributes of the ornaments.” Learn the significance of the ornaments. Some I explained in pearl rosary about the 10 deities explained in basic tantra system. Also other texts. If you read the Vajrayogini I translated, has some of the significance of attribute.

“Some say that one’s own body, which actually abides as the perfect, complete Buddha, is a product of unclean material and contains obscurations.”  Some scholars say that one’s own body is an unclean body, contained obscurations. From that, we bring enlightenment beings in. We practice the yidam deity as something good, and expect Buddhahood will come from outside. Enlightened beings out there, and I am unclean, I am meditating that the unclean me may become Buddha: this is duality mind.

“Thus holding ourselves as ordinary, we fall into hope and fear.”  This Fear is that I am unclean, obscured, and hope enlightened beings will come from outside. This is not the case. If we could recognize ourselves as Buddha. We fail at that, that is samsara.

The Shri Sambhuti Tantra states:

Buddha abides within one’s own body; he is not outside. Seeing the Buddha as separate from the body, one is obscured by ignorance.

One is obscured if thinking the deity comes from outside.This Is showing here that samsara and nirvana are two sides of same hand. As soon as you recognize, you are the deity, you are the Buddha. As soon as you forgot, you are the samsara.  When we chant OM AH HUM. If we purify and see that, our very body is the nature of Buddha.  When you are being Chenrizig, Tara, Chakasamvara, Hevajra, (whichever deity it is), as soon as you get in your mind “I am that deity”, at that moment, your whole being is into that state. Your ordinary body is gone. Where has it gone? Under the ground? Exit the door? (Laughter)  Where did the enlightened state come from? The window? Mahamudra- no coming, no going. The deities come from nowhere but as soon as you reflect, you are that nature your ordinary body has gone nowhere but because of habit of samsara, we forgot our nature, the deity has gone nowhere our ordinary body has gone.

This is called illusory nature. Yet, within that, one causes the cause of all the suffering, and one is the cause of reality nature. This is Howe it works. This is skillful method. Look at how precious it is. This is called profound. Now you understand more about renunciation. Renounce the causes of suffering, the nature of delusions, and then replace with enlightened nature. We get this opportunity at this moment, in this place the capability, ability to do this. Look at this, appreciate. Meditate.


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Filed under Dharma teachings, Drikung Kagyu

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