poniedziałek, 29 września 2014

The Vajra Guru Mantra

Although at present we do not have the good fortune to see Guru Rinpoche's face or to hear his voice, we have his mantra, which he blessed with his wisdom, loving-kindness, and strength to be identical with him. This mantra is not composed of ordinary syllables, but has the power to dispel all obstacles and confer all the qualities of wisdom. The scriptures tell us there is no mantra that carries more benefit than the Vajra Guru mantra. Its twelve syllables are the essence of the twelve branches of Lord Buddha's teachings. Bearing in mind the inconceivable benefit of reading the whole Tripitaka, if the twelve-syllable mantra is its essence, we can begin to appreciate the sheer power of its blessings. Then, our ceaseless wandering in samsara is due to the interplay of the Twelve Links of Interdependent Origination, which arise from ignorance and culminate in our taking rebirth over and over again. By reciting the twelve-syllable mantra, these twelve interdependent links are purified, re leasing us at last from samsara. The Vajra Guru mantra can be explained in many ways, and in particular in terms of nine levels related to the Nine Vehicles. Such explanations can be found in a terma revealed by Karma Lingpa, in the writings of Dodrupchen Jikme Tenpe Nyima, and in other scriptures.

The first three syllables of the mantra represent the three kayas, as well as the vajra body, speech, and mind of all the buddhas. OM corresponds to the dharmakaya, the nature of Buddha Amitabha; AH corresponds to the sambhogakaya, and the Lord of Compassion, Avalokitesvara; HUM corresponds to the nirmanakaya, manifesting as the Lotus-born Guru, Padmasambhava.

The vajra (dorje in Tibetan) refers to the diamond, the hardest and most precious of all stones. A diamond can cut through all other substances, yet cannot itself be cut by any of them. This symbolizes the unchanging, non-dual wisdom of the buddhas, which cannot be affected or destroyed by ignorance, but cuts right through all delusions and obscurations. It indicates too that the qualities and activities of the body, speech, and mind of the buddhas can benefit all sentient beings, without hindrance from negative forces. Like a diamond, the vajra is free from all defects. Its indestructible strength comes from the realization of the dharmakaya nature, the nature of Buddha Amitabha.

As we have seen, the word" guru" in Sanskrit means "weighty," or "heavy." Just as gold is the heaviest and most precious of metals, the guru is the most weighty and most precious of all beings, because of his inconceivable and flawless qualities. Here the guru corresponds, on the sambhogakaya level, to Avalokitesvara, who is endowed with the seven branches of union.

Padma, meaning "lotus" in Sanskrit, indicates the padma family from the five buddha-families. These five families - buddha, vajra, ratna, padma, and karma - are represented The Vajra Guru Matra by the five buddhas: Vairocana, Aksobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, and Amoghasiddhi, respectively. Guru Rinpoche is the nirmanakaya emanation of Amitabha, who corresponds to the lotus family and the speech aspect of the buddhas. It is stated in the sutras that simply by uttering the name of Buddha Amitabha, you will be reborn in Sukhavati, the Paradise of Great Bliss, never to be reborn again in lower realms. In the same way, reciting the name of the Lotus-born Guru will bring us every kind of realization.

The incomparable qualities of the six-syllable mantra, the Mani, are also described in all the scriptures as being able to bring us to the realization of the bodhisattva levels, or bhumis. The Mani mantra of Avalokitesvara is the sambhogakaya aspect of the Vajra Guru mantra, and also corresponds to the great Vairocana Buddha. This buddha, who is the size of the whole universe, holds a begging bowl in his two hands in the mudra of equanimity. It is said that within this begging bowl is a lotus with twenty-five rows of petals arranged one upon the other. These rows correspond to the various aspects of the body, speech, mind, qualities, and activity of the buddhas. For example, the body alone has five subdivisions: body-body, body-speech, body-mind, body-qualities, and body-activity. The present nirmanakaya paradise of the Buddha Sakyamuni is said to rest at the level of the heart, and corresponds to the row of the mind-mind subdivision, this being the reason why in this paradise the precious teachings of the Secret Mantrayana - the Vajrayana - could be taught and spread.

The word siddhi means "true accomplishment." By remembering and praying to the body, speech, mind, qualities, and activity of Guru Rinpoche, both ordinary and supreme accomplishments will be ours. Ordinary accomplishments include freedom from sickness and endowments such as wealth and prosperity; the supreme accomplishment is to attain the complete realization of Guru Rinpoche himself.

Reciting the syllable HUM is like requesting or invoking the guru to come and to bless us with all the siddhis, ordinary and supreme. Our master, Guru Rinpoche, and the mantra are inseparable. So when we utter thee of the guru by reciting the mantra, it's as if we are calling out repeatedly to someone who simply cannot fail to reply. The guru cannot but tum his compassion towards us, and so, if we pray one-pointedly like this, there is absolutely no doubt that Guru Rinpoche will come at once to grant us his blessings. When rain falls on the earth, it falls evenly everywhere, but only the good seeds will germinate, not the rotten ones. In the same manner, the compassion of Guru Rinpoche is unbiased; it is directed universally to all beings, and yet his blessings will be swifter for those who have devotion and faith.

It is only through the blessings of a buddha that we can achieve realization. So a prayer  like this, one that invokes Guru Rinpoche's very name, must go out from the marrow of our bones, from the core of our heart; then gradually our devotion will become spontaneous and unceasing. Remember that without faith, there will be no accomplishment. At the time of the Lord Buddha, for example, there were those who could see and hear him in person, and still had no faith in him. Some of the heretical teachers even tried to poison him. Similarly, when Guru Rinpoche went to Tibet, the evil ministers plotted and schemed to kill him. For people such as these, spiritual accomplishment is out of the question.

This shows how important it is to have a faith that is very pure and genuine. And so, as a support, we visualize our outer environment as Zangdopalri, the beings around us as dakas and dakinis, ourselves as Yeshe Tsogyal, and above our head Guru Rinpoche, surrounded by his retinue. Then we pray, reciting the prayer in seven branches and the other prayers in the practice, with the confidence and trust that by so doing, accomplishment will surely blossom.

~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche - "Guru Yoga": The Vajra Guru Mantra

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