vajrayana

Vajrayana (Devanagari: वज्रयान; Oriya: ବଜ୍ରଯାନ, Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་ཐེག་པ་, rdo rje theg pa; Mongolian: Очирт хөлгөн, Ochirt Hölgön, Chinese: 密宗, mì zōng) is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and the Diamond Vehicle. Vajrayana is a complex and multifaceted system of Buddhist thought and practice which evolved over several centuries.

According to Vajrayana scriptures Vajrayana refers to one of three vehicles or routes to enlightenment, the other two being the Theravada and Mahayana.

Its main scriptures are called TantrasA d. istinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is the use of rituals, which are Skillful Means (Upaya). They are being used as a substitute or alternative for the earlier abstract meditations.

Prayer of Solemn Commitment

Milarepa (1052 – 1135)

Lord Naropa’s lineage son of the freedom path
Please bless this beggar to stay in mountain retreats
With the demon of worldly distraction not distracting
May meditative concentration grow
Without getting caught in attachment to shamatha’s pool
May vipashyana’s flowers burst into open bloom
With elaboration’s stress and strain not stirring
May the foliage of simplicity spread its leaves
With no germ of double mind in my retreat
May the fruit – experience and realization – mature
With the demon family powerless to obstruct
May I gain final certainty understanding my mind
On the path of skillful means uncurbed by doubts
May the son find a way to follow in his father’s footsteps
Compassionate master, the essence of Akshobhya
Please bless this beggar to stay in mountain retreats

Lose all differentiation between yourselves and others

Milarepa (1052 – 1135)

If you lose all differentiation between yourselves and others,
fit to serve others you will be.
And when in serving others you will win success,
then shall you meet with me;
And finding me, you shall attain to Buddhahood.

Upon this earth, the land of the Victorious Ones

Milarepa (1052 – 1135)

Upon this earth, the land of the Victorious Ones,
Once lived a Saint, known as the second Buddha;
His fame was heard in all the Ten Directions.
To Him, the Jewel a’top the eternal Banner of Dharma
I pay homage and give offerings.
Is He not the holy Master, the great Midripa?

Upon the Lotus-seat of Midripa
My Father Guru places his reliance;
He drinks heavenly nectar
With the supreme view of Mahamudra;
He has realized the innate Truth in utter freedom.
He is the supreme one, Jetsun Marpa.
Undefiled by faults or vices,
He is the Transformation Body of Buddha.

He says: “Before Enlightenment,
All things in the outer world
Are deceptive and confusing;
Clinging to outer forms,
One is ever thus entangled.
After Enlightenment, one sees all things and objects
As but magic shadow-plays,
And all objective things
Become his helpful friends.
In the uncreated Dharmakaya all are pure;
Nothing has ever manifested
In the Realm of Ultimate Truth.”

He says: “Before Enlightenment,
The ever-running Mind-consciousness within
Is shut in a confusing blindness
Which is the source of passions, actions, and desires.
After Enlightenment, it becomes the
Self-illuminating Wisdom –
All merits and virtues spring from it.
In Ultimate Truth there is not even Wisdom;
Here one enters the Realm where Dharma is exhausted.”

The coproreal form
Is built of the Four Elements;
Before one attains Enlightenment,
All illness and all suffering come from it.
After Enlightenment, it becomes the two-in-one Body
Of Buddha clear as the cloudless firmament!
Thus rooted out are the base Samsaric clingings.
In Absolute Truth there is no body.

The malignant male and femal demons
Who create myriad troubles and obstructions,
Seem real before one has Enlightenment;
But when one realizes their nature truly,
They become Protectors of the Dharma,
And by their help and freely-given assistance
One attains to numerous accomplishments.

In Ultimate Truth there are no Buddhas and no demons;
One enters here the Realm where Dharma is exhausted.
Among all Vehicles, this ultimate teaching
Is found only in the Tantras.
It says in the Highest Division of the Tantra:
“When the various elements gather in the Nadis,
One sees the demon-forms appear.
If one knows not that they are but mind-created
Visions, and deems them to be real,
One is indeed most foolish and most stupid.”

In time past, wrapped up in clinging blindness,
I lingered in the den of confusion,
Deeming benevolent deities and malignant
Demons to be real and subsistent.
Now, through the Holy One’s grace and blessing
I realize that both Samsara and Nirvana
Are neither existent nor non-existent;
And I see all forms as Mahamudra.

Realizing the groundless nature of ignorance,
My former awareness, clouded and unstable
Like reflections of the moon in rippling water,
Becomes transparent, clear as shining crystal.
Its sun-like brilliance is free from obscuring clouds,
Its light transcends all forms of blindness,
Ignorance and confusion thus vanish without trace.
This is the truth I have experienced within.

Again, the foolish concept “demons” iself
Is groundless, void, and yet illuminating!
Oh, this indeed is marvelous and wonderful!

TRANSLATION : Garma C. C. Chang
LANGUAGE : Tibetan

Medicine Buddha Mantra

Version 1:
Tayata Om Bekanze
Bekanze Maha BeKanze
Radza Samudgate Soha

Version 2:
Om namo bhagawate Bhaishjaye guru
vaidurya prabha rajaya tathagataya
arhate samyaksam buddhaya teyatha
om bekhajye bekhajye maha bekhajye
bekhajye rajaya samungate svaha

Without Regret

Milarepa
“My religion is to live – and die – without regret.”

Five Ways of Resting

Milarepa sang of five ways to rest the mind in meditation :

  • Rest in a natural way like a small child.
  • Rest like an ocean without waves.
  • Rest within clarity like a candle flame.
  • Rest without self-concerns like a human corpse.
  • Rest unmoving like a mountain.

Song to the Rock Demoness

Milarepa (1052 – 1135)

River, ripples, and waves, these three,
When emerging, arise from the ocean itself.
When disappearing, they disappear into the ocean itself.

Habitual thinking, love, and possessiveness, these three,
When arising, arise from the alaya consciousness itself.
When disappearing, they disappear into the alaya consciousness itself.

Self-awareness, self-illumination, self-liberation, these three,
When arising, arise from the mind itself.
When disappearing, they disappear into the mind itself.

The unborn, unceasing, and unexpressed, these three,
When emerging, arise from the nature of being itself.
When disappearing, they disappear into the nature of being itself.

The visions of demons, clinging to demons, and thoughts of demons,
When arising, arise from the Yogin himself.
When disappearing, they disappear into the Yogin himself.

Since demons are the phantoms of the mind,
If it is not understood by the Yogin that they are empty appearances,
And even if he thinks they are real, meditation is confused.

But the root of the delusion is in his own mind.
By observation of the nature of manifestations,
He realizes the identity of manifestation and void,
And by understanding, he knows that the two are not different.

Meditation and not meditation are not two but one,
The cause of all errors is to look upon the two things as different.
From the ultimate point of view, there is no view.

If you make comparison between the nature of the mind
And the nature of the heavens,
Then the true nature of being itself is penetrated.

See, now, that you look into the true meaning which is beyond thought.
Arrange to enter into undisturbed meditation.
And be mindful of the Unceasing Intuitive Sensation!

TRANSLATION : Antoinette K. Gordon
LANGUAGE : Tibetan

When the resistance is gone, so is the demon.

Milarepa is one of the lineage holders of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He is one of the heroes, one of the brave ones, a very crazy, unusual fellow. He was a loner who lived in caves by himself and meditated wholeheartedly for years. He was extremely stubborn and determined. If he could not find anything to eat for a couple of years, he just ate nettles and turned green, but he never stopped practicing.

One evening Milarepa returned to his cave after gathering firewood, only to find it filled with demons. They were cooking his food, reading his books, sleeping in his bed. They had taken over the joint. He knew about non duality of self and other, but he still did not quite know how to get these guys out of his cave. Even though he had the sense that they were just a projection of his own mind – all the unwanted parts of himself – he did not know to get rid of them.

So, first he taught them the dharma. He sat on a seat that was higher than they were and said things to them about how we are all one. He talked about compassion and shunyata and how poison is medicine. Nothing happened. The demons were still there. Then he lost his patience and got very angry and ran at them. They just laughed at him. Finally, he gave up and just sat down on the floor, saying, “I am not going away and it looks like you are not either, so let us just live here together.“

And at that point, all of them left except one. Milarepa said, “Oh, this one is particularly vicious.“ (We all know that one. Sometimes we have lots of them like that. Sometimes we feel that is all we have got.) He did not know what to do, so he just surrendered himself even further. He walked over and put himself right into the mouth of the demon and said, “Just eat me up, if you want to.“ Then the demon left too. The moral of the story is, when the resistance is gone, so are the demons.

From : Stand Where You Are
By : Pema Chodron

—-

Once upon a time, a long time ago, and very far from here, a great Tibetan poet named Milarepa studied and meditated for decades. He traveled the countryside, teaching the practice of compassion and mercy to the villagers he met. He faced many hardships, difficulties, and sorrows, and transformed them into the path of his awakening.

Finally, it was time to return to the small hut he called home. He had carried its memory in his heart through all the years of his journey. Much to his surprise, upon entering he found it filled with enemies of every kind. Terrifying, horrifying, monstrous demons that would make most people run. But Milarepa was not most people.

Inhaling and exhaling slowly three times, he turned towards the demons, fully present and aware. He looked deeply into the eyes of each, bowing in respect, and said, “You are here in my home now. I honor you, and open myself to what you have to teach me.”

As soon as he uttered these words, all of the enemies save five disappeared. The ones that remained were grisly, raw, huge monsters. Milarepa bowed once more and began to sing a song to them, a sweet melody resonant with caring for the ways these beasts had suffered, and curiosity about what they needed and how he could help them. As the last notes left his lips, four of the demons disappeared into thin air.

Now only one nasty creature was left, fangs dripping evil, nostrils flaming, opened jaws revealing a dark, foul black throat. Milarepa stepped closer to this huge demon, breathed deeply into his own belly, and said with quiet compassion, “I must understand your pain and what it is you need in order to be healed.” Then he put his head in the mouth of this enemy.

In that instant, the demon disappeared and Milarepa was home at last.

The Song on Reaching the Mountain Peak

Milarepa (1052 – 1135)

Hearken, my sons! If you want
To climb the mountain peak
You should hold the Self-mind’s light,
Tie it with a great “Knot,”
And catch it with a firm “Hook.”
If you practice thus
You can climb the mountain peak
To enjoy the view.

Come, you gifted men and women,
Drink the brew of Experience!
Come “inside” to enjoy the scene –
See it and enjoy it to the full!
The Incapable remain outside;
Those who cannot drink pure
Beer may quaff small beer.
He who cannot strive for Bodhi,
Should strive for superior birth.

TRANSLATION : Marpa Translation Committee
LANGUAGE : Tibetan

The Profound Definitive Meaning

Milarepa (1052 – 1135)

For the mind that masters view the emptiness dawns
In the content seen not even an atom exists
A seer and seen refined until they’re gone
This way of realizing view, it works quite well

When meditation is clear light river flow
There is no need to confine it to sessions and breaks
Meditator and object refined until they’re gone
This heart bone of meditation, it beats quite well

When you’re sure that conducts work is luminous light
And you’re sure that interdependence is emptiness
A doer and deed refined until they’re gone
This way of working with conduct, it works quite well

When biased thinking has vanished into space
No phony facades, eight dharmas, nor hopes and fears,
A keeper and kept refined until they’re gone
This way of keeping samaya, it works quite well

When you’ve finally discovered your mind is dharmakaya
And you’re really doing yourself and others good
A winner and won refined until they’re gone
This way of winning results, it works quite well.

TRANSLATION : Marpa Translation Committee
LANGUAGE : Tibetan