Friday, July 31, 2009
Quite unexpectedly, he gave me some items from his tremendous personal collection of Tibetan art and artifacts -- two of which I gave to Tarthang Rinpoche, two of which were subsequently stolen by a Berkeley plumber, and one which remains with me to the present day.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
In principle, I don't mind mice all that much; in fact, they can be amusing. However, in practice, I would prefer that they be amusing elsewhere.
Lately, we have been experiencing the annual mouse infestation. They run around, annoying the rabbits, and then the rabbits start thumping to demonstrate their displeasure. It is the middle of a hot summer night, you have scurrying mice, thumping rabbits, and alcohol on the altar. In Detroit, that would be enough to start a riot.
Mice on the altar are particularly troublesome. There are usually grain offerings, the aforementioned alcohol, and butter lamps. Suppose the mouse knocks over a burning butter lamp, or topples the alcohol into the flame? There is also the issue of hantavirus to consider -- it is not unknown hereabouts -- and the fact that mice attract rattlesnakes.
We tried the "humane" mousetraps, but they don't work. We caught two or three, and then they figured out how to free themselves.
What does work is illustrated above. Caught two little stinkers last night, in short order.
You get a toilet paper roll, or paper towel roll, and dab some peanut butter in the very end. You balance this precariously on the edge of the altar, as shown. Beneath this, you place a very tall vase, and then you put some padding in the bottom of the vase. You can also put a cookie or something down there as well.
The mice run through the roll to get the peanut butter, the roll tips into the vase, the mouse lands on the padding, and there he sits, pondering fate, until you pick up the vase and relocate him elsewhere.
The experts say this should be two to five miles away. I laughed -- nay, I scoffed -- when I heard this, but it turns out to be true. I set a mouse free about a quarter mile away and he got home before I did.
Now, you can pray over the little wretches while all this is happening, and I applaud you, but I gave them a strong lecture about urban scavenging in contrast to the virtues of rural life. That, and the mani mantra six times... then it is off to Rodent Re-education and Rehabilitation Camp No. 6, to learn new ways of being.
While We're At It
Ants = cinnamon
Flies = basil, or clear plastic baggies filled with water, tacked over the door
Mosquitos = lemon eucalyptus, or geranium
Hungry Buddha-pests (with no sense of humor) =
The book mentioned is part of a series published by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (which, like the Supreme Court, has a published opinion about almost everything) and the whole series is a useful investment if you want to quickly familiarize yourself with the subject matter.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
With the exception of California (which has over 300 stupas, and still counting), New Mexico leads the states in number of significant stupas. It is a beautiful place, and we need not wonder when Tibetans find it attractive.
By the way: apropos of my post yesterday on Buddhism in the arid lands, somebody sent me this photograph of an outpost somewhere in -- as luck would have it -- New Mexico (don't think this one is related to Bhakha Tulku).
Apart from the occasional "whatever became of" flurries, that seem to die out as quickly as they begin, it seems that few people remember Ossian Kennard Maclise -- the little Anglo-American boy recognized by His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa as an incarnation of Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche (no, not this one, but another one).
It is all flooding back.
Hatty and Angus were also great friends with Ira Cohen -- who I once traded for a mattress (was trying to furnish an apartment in the Village) by giving him a copy of Oracles and Demons of Tibet -- he refused to take money, saying he had to have the book. Ira, in turn, was also friends with Nazli Pema -- from her chalk drawing on the sidewalk in Paris days, before she married Tarthang Rinpoche.
We wound up getting kicked out of the Village apartment, only to move into Allen Ginsberg's Lower East Side apartment, which at the time was being kept by Rick Fields. Allen was in California, visiting lamas. Rick was supporting himself writing neo-Japanese pornography -- in English, mind you: rather elegant phrases like "the rain that falls inside" were his pride and joy -- and I had just landed an advance from Random House to write book on Buddhism in America that I never wrote. We used to have long discussions with Rick about this, to the point where he decided to pack his bags and leave in search of a lama -- and later, in 1981, wrote the book that I didn't.
We had left Allen's apartment by then, and flush with the book advance had moved to East 92nd and Madison -- to a two bedroom garden apartment -- where the household consisted of Shirabin and me, my friend Aman Baher, a lapis-lazuli dealer from Kabul, and Stuart Leeder. Shirabin got me a Rolls-Royce for my birthday that year, so you know, there were also a number of hangers-on who wanted to ride in that car.
That is how it was in those days. There was a genuine spirit of camaraderie. I try to explain it to young people sometimes, but they just don't get it. Everybody knew everybody else, everybody wrote poetry or invented something, and sure enough, everybody got to be famous for fifteen minutes.
If you click this link, you will be transported to one of the Tibetan Buddhist world's most singularly remarkable historical records: "Namtar of the Wee Lama Boy." It is singular not only for recounting the story of Ossian, but for the unusual sidelight it throws on the whole Karmapa-made-it-rain-for-the-Hopis incident, and the whole Hopi Tibetan prophecy nexus.
Did I tell you -- this is about the 'Sixties?
Might want to download it and save it, before it disappears.
Love and Peace, and all the best to those who write in -- although I have this theory that if you remember enough about the 'Sixties to write about the 'Sixties, you weren't really participating in the 'Sixties -- but that is just one more thing the lamas did that was beneficial: they kept some of us away from the damn dope.
Afterthought: You know, it was all so easy in those days. If you wanted to see the Dalai Lama, you just went to see the Dalai Lama, and he would serve you tea. If you wanted to hang out with the Karmapa? No problem: more tea. If you wanted to meet Dudjom Rinpoche, the door was always open. You could make friends rather easily.
I think this is the main thing that has changed. You didn't have a lot of idiots jealously guarding the door, jockeying for position close to the throne, and basking in reflected glory.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I was exercizing my avocation, which is studying the arid lands, and it came to me that the majority of Buddhists in the United States live in the Sonoran Desert Region.
I got attached to the idea.
Then, it seemed to me that the majority of Vajrayana Buddhists in the world (along with 300 million other people) live in arid regions -- Tibet, Ladahk, Mongolia.
Well, if not the majority, then a comfortably sizable number, at the very least.
Deserts are the way of the future. As years go by, we will have more and more of them. Someday, this planet will be one big desert. Whether that happens later, rather than sooner, depends on a good deal more than you buying corkscrew lightbulbs. Whether that happens at all is, I think, rather beyond debate.
Deserts are interesting places. Everyone assumes they are "dead" and "monotonous," but that simply isn't true. I have been to most of the world's great deserts, and I found each one to have its own, endlessly fascinating characteristics. Deserts are literally teeming. I have spent most of the past decade living in the desert, helping it teem, and every day I learn something new. Once, I even wrote a little book about the desert, just to amuse myself.
I spend a lot of time drifting around my favorite desert, the Mojave. This is highly subjective, but I seem to see more and more Buddhists taking up residence. It is surprising what one finds. There is a 60 ton white marble statue of Kuan Yin out in the middle of nowhere. There are ubiquitous retreats and hermitages littered about like creosote bushes. Some days you can't swing a cat without hitting a shaved head.
So, in addition to occasionally writing about rabbits -- did I ever mention that I am rather fond of rabbits? -- I decided that I will occasionally write about deserts, sharing tidbits with all the other Desert Buddhists who I know read this blog on a regular basis.
Tidbit Number One: Swamp coolers, like brown shoes, don't make it. Neither does central air conditioning. I have three words for you: ductless air conditioning. Specifically, Fujitsu Halcyon. I have tried everything, and that one really, really works. You can rig the thing to run off solar power.
Tidbit Number Two: Regardless of whether you are in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas, get a copy of Bruce M. Pavlik's The California Deserts: An Ecological Rediscovery (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008). This is an example of what a desert book should be like, written in such fashion that even if you have no interest in deserts whatsoever, you will still enjoy reading the book. Most desert writing is turgid. This book is not.
Tidbit Number Three: The biggest challenge we face comes from the notion that (1) golf courses are necessary, (2) non-native things like green lawns are necessary, and by extension (3) urban planning disasters like Las Vegas and Phoenix are necessary. First things first. Give up golf, and stop watering the miserable lawn! Next, move out of Las Vegas. It is scheduled for cosmic destruction on the New Orleans model anyway. Move out of Phoenix while you're at it. Life is way too short to keep ignoring (and sacrificing) the beauty that surrounds these places. How will you live? Forget the black card. You'll just live.
Tidbit Number Four: None of us are Buddhists. We are slowly becoming Buddhists. In the desert, that seems to happen a little quicker.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I know that there are quite a number of people in Maryland -- in particular -- who really need exposure to the living lineage of healing chod. I sincerely hope they will avail themselves of the opportunity to make contact with this authentic presence, from which benefit can actually arise.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
"There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.
"And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.
"Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress:(1) Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.
"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.
"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.
"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: precisely this Noble Eightfold Path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of stress'... 'This noble truth of stress is to be comprehended'... 'This noble truth of stress has been comprehended.'
"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the origination of stress'... 'This noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned'(2) ... 'This noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned.'
"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the cessation of stress'... 'This noble truth of the cessation of stress is to be directly experienced'... 'This noble truth of the cessation of stress has been directly experienced.'
"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress'... 'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress is to be developed'... 'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress has been developed.' (3)
"And, monks, as long as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be was — not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras, & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & priests, its royalty & commonfolk. But as soon as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be — was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & priests, its royalty & commonfolk. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'"
That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, there arose to Ven. Kondañña the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.
And when the Blessed One had set the Wheel of Dhamma in motion, the earth devas cried out: "At Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by priest or contemplative, deva, Mara or God or anyone in the cosmos." On hearing the earth devas' cry, the devas of the Four Kings' Heaven took up the cry... the devas of the Thirty-three... the Yama devas... the Tusita devas... the Nimmanarati devas... the Paranimmita-vasavatti devas... the devas of Brahma's retinue took up the cry: "At Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by priest or contemplative, deva, Mara, or God or anyone at all in the cosmos."
So in that moment, that instant, the cry shot right up to the Brahma worlds. And this ten-thousand fold cosmos shivered & quivered & quaked, while a great, measureless radiance appeared in the cosmos, surpassing the effulgence of the devas.
Then the Blessed One exclaimed: "So you really know, Kondañña? So you really know?" And that is how Ven. Kondañña acquired the name Añña-Kondañña — Kondañña who knows.
- The Pali phrases for the four noble truths are grammatical anomalies. From these anomalies, some scholars have argued that the expression "noble truth" is a later addition to the texts. Others have argued even further that the content of the four truths is also a later addition. Both of these arguments are based on the unproven assumption that the language the Buddha spoke was grammatically regular, and that any irregularities were later corruptions of the language. This assumption forgets that the languages of the Buddha's time were oral dialects, and that the nature of such dialects is to contain many grammatical irregularities. Languages tend to become regular only when being used to govern a large nation state or to produce a large body of literature: events that happened in India only after the Buddha's time. (A European example: Italian was a group of irregular oral dialects until Dante fashioned it into a regular language for the sake of his poetry.) Thus the irregularity of the Pali here is no proof either for the earliness or lateness of this particular teaching.
- Another argument for the lateness of the expression "noble truth" is that a truth — meaning an accurate statement about a body of facts — is not something that should be abandoned. In this case, only the craving is to be abandoned, not the truth about craving. However, in Vedic Sanskrit — as in modern English — a "truth" can mean both a fact and an accurate statement about a fact. Thus in this case, the "truth" is the fact, not the statement about the fact, and the argument for the lateness of the expression does not hold.
- The discussion in the four paragraphs beginning with the phrase, "Vision arose...," takes two sets of variables — the four noble truths and the three levels of knowledge appropriate to each — and lists their twelve permutations. In ancient Indian philosophical and legal traditions, this sort of discussion is called a wheel. Thus, this passage is the Wheel of Dhamma from which the discourse takes its name.
"Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion" (SN 56.11), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, June 7, 2009, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.011.than.html.
Om vajra sattva samaya manupalaya vajrasattva tvenopatishtha dridho me
bhava sutosyo me bhava suposyo me bhava anurakto me bhava sarva siddhim
me prayaccha sarva karma suca me cittam shriye kuru hum ha ha ha ha ho
bhagavan sarva tathagatha vajra ma me munca vajri bhava
Just think - if Tibetans attained using horrendously bad Sanskrit, what
marvels can English speaking practitioners achieve pronouncing it correctly?
When the various liturgies and prayers were initially published, both Tibetan language and cultural identity were in danger of extinction -- well, they still are in a sense, but it seemed rather moreso in those days.
Most of the lamas considered it a useful preservation method to perform the liturgies as originally written, but of course, nobody could speak Tibetan. Consequently, what we had were not transliterations, but idiosyncratic pronunciation guides for performance purposes.
I can tell you, we really struggled with these things. We struggled to put meaning to unfamiliar words. Now, times have changed. Over the past forty years, a worldwide effort to preserve Tibetan language and culture has achieved notable success. Of course, much more need be done, but it does raise a question. If the ostensible reason for performing the liturgies in Tibetan no long applies, is it permissible to employ English or other languages instead?
Tradition has something to say about this. In the 104th Canto of the Padma bKa'i Thang, Guru Padmasambhava engages in a dialogue with Pekar, the guardian king of Samye Monastery's treasures. Pekar warns:
"When I break the chanting of the Charms and the propitiatory Formulas, at the time of reciting the Formulas, they will come only in fragments. Not knowing the language has changed, the reciters will no longer understand, and when they recite the Formulas, they will not know how to reflect on the ideas."This is a clear indication, that in order for the recitation to be effective, one must be able to experientially contact the meaning of that which one recites. Indeed, one is reminded of Jigme Lingpa's admonition, "if tears do not flow from the eyes, the puja should not count." Emotional fervor is difficult to muster if one is mindlessly chanting sounds one does not understand.
For many of us, in the beginning, prayer is an intensely personal activity. Later, we recognize that prayer is constant, universal, spontaneous, enduring, and timeless -- we are joining something already in progress. In fact, prayer is an activity without boundary, specificity, or individuation. Yet, in the beginning, we consider prayer to be something intimate, and unique. We seem to be arousing deep feelings of faith and altruism, and communicating these to divinity. Indeed, Guru Vajrasattva is in front of us, and we are in direct communication with him.
Certainly, we need to express mantras in proper Sanskrit-- mantras are not words -- and proper names remain proper names.
However, one's native tongue seems best for prayers and invocations. Were it not so, Tibetans would not have invested so much blood and treasure to translate the vast rituals of Buddhism from Sanskrit into their own language.
Just an idea.
Take the issue of siting, for example. The texts all say that the stupa should be oriented to the east. Trouble is, "east" is a highly flexible issue. Just to begin with, is that magnetic east, or geographic east?
If you take my summer camp as an illustration, the magnetic declination is 12 deg. 37' E, changing by 0 deg. 5' W every year. So, you would set the baseplate orienting arrow on your compass 12 degrees west, to compensate for the plus 12 degrees declination. That would give you geographic east. However, one hundred years ago, those numbers were 15 deg 21' E, changing by 0 deg. 3' W every year -- so you can see, this too is impermanent. If you like to play around with such things, there is a handy online tool, here.
I think we've touched on this before, but in general, there is a long-standing prejudice arriving from classical Indian spiritual engineering (not Chinese feng shui, no matter how much anybody argues). Chinese feng shui may be the reason why temples are oriented as they are in Tibet -- and for that we need thank the Chinese princess -- but we are not talking about temples. We are talking about stupas. Stupas do not originate in Tibet, nor do they originate in China. Stupas originate in India, and in India, they are oriented to the east.
The best English-language resource I have yet to see on the subject is Pema Dorjee's Stupa and Its Technology: A Tibeto-Buddhist Perspective (Delhi, 1996). You can still find this from time to time. If nothing else, it is a powerful demonstration that even the authorities can't agree on the best way to build stupas.
By the way: when I say "oriented east," I mean that the gawo is oriented east. Also, when the tree for the tsokshing is cut, the eastern quadrant of the tree is marked, and this orientation is kept when the tsokshing is carved, painted, inscribed, and then placed inside the stupa, i.e. the eastern face of the tsokshing is oriented to match the east-facing gawo.
These are teeny-tiny little details, excerpted from a catalog of hundreds (if not thousands) of other teeny-tiny little details -- hence, leading to the development of "stupa specialists," or lamas who are spiritual compradores, brokering sandalwood trees, tsa-tsa molds, precious substances, and engineering challenges that discourage the weak-willed.
There are also some entrepreneurs out there, interested in the finer things of life, who are devoted to making complicated that which ought to be a simple act of faith. Well, why not... if it makes them happy.
Actually, building stupas is like making millions of dollars. It is easy after the first million.
When I was a child, I was quite taken with the story of Johnny Appleseed. You remember that story? He went from place to place, planting apple trees? I have been thinking about that story for years.
Stupas should be like that.
Anybody who wants to know what became of Tibet's treasures will find at least some of them in the world's auction houses, and nobody really cares that they are literally drenched in blood. Where will these orphans go? Will they be hoarded by selfish collectors? Will they die in museums? Will they ever go back upon a shrine? Long experience in such matters tells me that these things carry a certain "luck" with them -- woe be unto the unwary.
What will it take to end the worldwide trade in stolen Buddhist supports? Common sense should tell you, that as long as you have people in America (and elsewhere) willing to pop USD $48,800 for a single statue, and you have corrupt regimes in Buddhist lands, then you are going to have looted shrines. It happens not only in Tibet, but elsewhere, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Anybody have any bright ideas?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thought of Refuge (repeat three times)
Shaping of Motive (repeat three times)
Through the practice of generosity and other virtues, may I attain buddhahood in order to help others.
The Four Immeasurables (repeat three times)
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness; may all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering; may all sentient beings never be separate from the genuine happiness that is free from suffering; may all sentient beings abide in equanimity that is free from passion, aggression, and prejudice.
om shunyata jnana bedzra sobhawa atmako nya ham
all things and I are the nature of that indestructible wisdom that is emptiness.
[With this mantra, all appearances are refined to emptiness.]
From empty space, a circle of protection comes from HUM. In its center a lotus appears from PAM, above it a sun from RAM, and from GAM, two Ganesh, white, with elephant heads, each holding a radish and mongoose, lying face down.
Above them, one’s mind appears as two vital drops of pure being, both white and red together, the size of a pea.
In the center is HUM, the color of quicksilver. From them, light shines, clearing away the suffering of all sentient beings that poverty causes.
The light is drawn in again and absorbed and the drops change to become the undifferentiated front and self generation, the forms of the Fast-acting Lord of Pristine Awareness, the Jewel, King of Power.
He is white in color and shines brilliantly. His face is wrathful with a smiling expression, full of humor. He has three eyes. His eyebrows, beard, and hair are orange and flaring.
His forehead is marked with a cinnabar triangle. Above his head, King Akshyoba seals him.
His first right hand brandishes a chopper in the sky. The middle hand holds the precious wish-fulfilling gem to his heart. The last right hand rattles an acacia wood hand-drum.
The first left hand holds by his left thigh a skull-cup filled with nectar in which there is a vase filled with jewels, in the second hand there is a trident, and the last left hand holds a noose.
He stands on the seat of the lotus, sun, and two Ganesh with his feet in the position of preparing to move.
He wears flowing silks of different patterns, a tiger-hide loincloth, and on his back, a freshly flayed elephant-hide mantel. He is adorned by a crown of five skulls, each surmounted by a precious jewel set in gold; a garland of fifty freshly severed heads, dripping with blood; ornaments of jewels; jingling bells, and garlands of flowers.
Surrounded by throngs of hundreds of millions of power-gathering dakinis as attendants, he stands in the center of a mass of flames.
At his forehead, there is a white OM, at his throat a red AH and in his heart a red power-gathering dakini holding an elephant goad and a skull-cup filled with blood. At her heart is a vital drop of pure being and at its center a white HUM.
From one’s own heart, light shines out inviting the Fast-acting Lord of Pristine Awareness, the Wish-Fulfilling Jewel, and all his throngs of dakinis from the Cool Grove Cemetery in the Southeast. (bell)
3. Accomplishment of the deity
pema kamala ya sa tam
dza hung bam ho
om bedzra argham ah hung
om bedzra padyam ah hung
om bedzra pukpe ah hung
om bedzra dhupe ah hung
om bedzra aloke ah hung
om bedzra gendhe ah hung
om bedzra newidye ah hung
om bedzra shabda ah hung (*) Lord of pristine awareness, compassionate one: your body is white, radiant with light, like a snow-covered mountain. You completely pacify the poverty of beings. I pay homage and praise you. Grant me the attainment of numerous desires. 4. root mantra GURU MAHAKALA HARI NI SA SIDDHI DZA (repeat 1,008 times, or as many times as possible) 5. torma offering (cleansing mantra of Trowo Dutsi Kyilwa) om bedzra amrita kundrali hana hana hung pe (purification mantra) om sobhawa shudha sarwa dharma sobhawa shudho ham Out of empty space, wind appears from YAM, fire from RAM and above that, a skull-cup from AH. It is completely filled with the five meats and the five elixirs all marked by the syllables HUM, BHRUM, OM, JRIM, and KHAM. (**)
Lord of pristine awareness, compassionate one: your body is white, radiant with light, like a snow-covered mountain. You completely pacify the poverty of beings. I pay homage and praise you. Grant me the attainment of numerous desires.
4. root mantra
GURU MAHAKALA HARI NI SA SIDDHI DZA
(repeat 1,008 times, or as many times as possible)
5. torma offering
(cleansing mantra of Trowo Dutsi Kyilwa)
om bedzra amrita kundrali hana hana hung pe
om sobhawa shudha sarwa dharma sobhawa shudho ham
Out of empty space, wind appears from YAM, fire from RAM and above that, a skull-cup from AH. It is completely filled with the five meats and the five elixirs all marked by the syllables HUM, BHRUM, OM, JRIM, and KHAM. (**)
The wind blows, the fire blazes, and the ten substances and letters melt.
Elixir is drawn from the hearts of all Buddhas, and is absorbed into the contents, which become an ocean of elixir of pristine wisdom.
om ah hum ha ho hri (repeat three times)
The assembly of wisdom deities drinks the torma, drawing it in with their tongues in the form of Vajra straws. (***)
guru mahakala ha ri ni sa siddhi dza idam baling ta kaka kahi kahi
Eat, eat, please eat, please eat this torma. (repeat seven times)
om shri mahakala ya sha sa nam|
u pa kari nam|
e ko pash chi ma ka lo yam idam ratna trayaya|
a pa kari nri ya di pratijaña|
samara sita da|
idam duktram kaka kahi kahi|
di na me kena|
maraya hung phat|
idam baling ta kaka kahi kahi|
(repeat above three times)
om bedzra mahakala sapari wara|
argham|padyam|pukpe| dhupe|aloke|gendhe|newidye| shabda|tra tyi tsa hung so ha|
(drum & bell)
Lord of pristine awareness, compassionate one: your body is white, radiant with light, like a snow-covered mountain. You completely pacify the poverty of beings. I pay homage and praise you. Grant me the attainment of numerous desires. Accept this offering and torma. (bell)
To we practitioners and our companions grant good health, life, power, glory, fame, and good fortune.
Grant me attainment in enlightened activity, pacifying, enriching, and the others.
Through your commitment, protect me. Through all attainments, be my companion.
Eliminate premature death and sudden illness, demons and obstacles.
Eliminate nightmares and bad omens, evil activities, and plans.
Make the world happy with good harvests, make crops flourish, and make the Dharma flourish. Grant the best in happiness, and fortune, and everything the mind desires. (bell)
6. hundred syllable mantra of vajrasattva
om vajra-sato samaya manupalaya
vajra-sato day-nopa day-ta dri-do mebawa
suto-kayo mebawa supo-kayo mebawa
anu-rakto mebawa sarwa siddam mepar-ya-tsa
sarwa karma sutsamay
chi-tum shereyang kuru hum
haha haha ho
bagawan sarwa tata-gato vajra mame mun-tsa
vajra bawa maha-samaya-sato ah
In the guru and the lord undifferentiated, I take refuge with devotion. Clear away all emotional confusion in me and all sentient beings.
7. Placing in Support
By staying in this very place, united to this representation, spare us illness and grant us long life and power. Grant us the Sublime Accomplishment in the most excellent way.
May the goodness prevail of the Lama and Yidam, the fulfillment of all fine qualities. May the goodness prevail of the dakinis and dharma protectors, who effect all enlightened activity.
ge way tsok nam sak pa kun
dak gir yong su zung me par
sem chen ma lu kun dun du
che ying la na me par ngo
8. Dedication of Merit
Through this merit may beings, having won omniscient perception, defeat all harmful enemies. May all beings be liberated from the ocean of existence and its surging waves of birth, old age, sickness, and death.
This is Part 5 of a 5 part series:
Part 1: http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/07/white-mahakala-part-1.html
Part 2: http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/07/white-mahakala-part-2-of-5.html
Part 3: http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/07/white-mahakala-part-3-of-5.html
Part 4: http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/07/white-mahakala-part-4-of-5.html
Part 5: http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/07/white-mahakala-part-5-of-5.html
(**) The five meats and five elixirs comprise what is known as the inner offering. The five meats are flesh of a cow, dog, horse, elephant, and human. The five elixirs are feces, marrow, semen, blood, and urine.