Thursday, January 13, 2011

Benefits of the Vajra Guru Mantra

 
VAJRA GURU PHAN-YON
Here is contained the Commentary on the Mystic Syllables and
the Benefits of the Vajra Guru Mantra, which appears in the
Terma of Tulku Karma Lingpa.

a na dza sha ma wa zha ma rga rma 
vajra guru deva dakini hum

I do homage to the Lama, the Yidam, and the Dakini.

The Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal spoke:

I, Yeshe Tsogyal, who am a mere woman, having made an offering of a vast mandala, outer, inner, and secret to my Guru, now make this request. O Master Padmasambhava, please grant to us, we who are the people of Tibet, your unending aid and assistance in this present life and in all future lives. There has never been before, nor will there be in the future a boon as great as you. I have no doubt that even I, who am a mere woman, shall be given your sadhana which is itself like pure and precious nectar.

I see that there will come a time in the distant future when human beings will possess fickle intellects and ever changing opinions. They will be very excitable, impatient, and excessively prone to violence. They will cling to heretical views regarding the Holy Dharma. In particular, they will slander and belittle the Doctrine of the Supremely Secret Mantras. At that time, for all sentient beings, the three great evils of disease, poverty, and warfare with terrifying weapons will greatly increase.
 
In particular, there will come a time of terrible suffering for Tibet and the Tibetan people when troubles will spread with great devastation across the three regions of China, Tibet, and Central Asia; just like when a nest of ants is broken and the ants swarm out. You, O Guru, have proclaimed many skillful means for curing these ills. Nevertheless, for the people of those future times there will be neither time nor opportunity for the practice of sadhana. Only a very few people will even have the desire to practice. On every hand, disturbances and distractions will be exceedingly strong and powerful. Human beings will be unable to agree among themselves. Even the materials necessary for puja and the preparations for sadhana practice will be incomplete. In such evil times, it will be extremely difficult to avert or reverse those trends. In such times as those, O Guru, if one should rely solely on your sadhana which is the Vajra Guru Mantra, what benefit and advantage shall come from this? For the sake of those future beings with inferior intellects, who are devoid of deep spiritual understanding, please tell us.

Then the Great Master spoke:

O faithful daughter, what you have said is very true. Nevertheless, in such future periods as those, it is still certain that from practice there shall come forth benefits both immediate and ultimate for all sentient beings. I shall conceal the eighteen kinds of Termas; such as earth treasures, water treasures, rock treasures, sky treasures and so on, that will contain countless numbers of sadhanas and secret teachings. In those evil times, the skillful methods of those who possess good karma and the auspicious coincidence of events [rten ‘brel ‘grig] are exceedingly difficult to accomplish. Such times are characterized by the exhaustion of whatever merit sentient beings may possess.

Nevertheless, if at such places as the twenty four Great Places of Pilgrimage, or in the temples and villages, or on the peak of a great mountain, or on the shore of a great river, or in the uplands and lowlands which are inhabited by gods, demons, and ghosts, should anyone who possesses the secret vows and mantras, or monks possessing the vows of the Sangha, or even a layman of devout faith or a woman of good character, having intensely cultivated the intention to attain Enlightenment; should any of them be able to repeat the essence of the Vajra Guru Mantra one hundred times or one thousand times or ten thousand or one hundred thousand or one million or one hundred million times or as many times as possible, the resulting power and benefits shall be inconceivable to the human mind. Moreover, in all the directions of space, disease, poverty, warfare, hostile armies, civil strife, famine, dire prophecies and ill omens, all these evils shall be averted. In every direction, the good fortune of healthy cattle, abundant crops, and rain in its season shall come. In one’s present life, in all future lives and in the narrow, difficult passage of the Bardo, to the superior person I shall be known in my real presence, to the intermediate person I shall appear as a vision, and to the inferior person I shall speak to him in his dreams. In addition, it is certain that they shall, having perfected gradually the paths and stages, enter the land of Camaradvipa as vidyadharas both male and female.

If one but repeats the mantra uninterruptedly one hundred times a day, he will come into the thoughts of others appearing in a favorable fashion. There will effortlessly come to him abundant food, wealth, and good fortune. If one repeats the mantra as many as one thousand times or ten thousand times and so on, he shall gain control over the minds of others and it is certain that he shall attain power and blessing. If one repeats the mantra one hundred thousand or ten million times or more, he will accumulate all the power of the Three Worlds and gain control over the three Realms of Existence. Gods and demons shall become his servants and he shall attain without any impediment whatsoever the four magical rites. He is then able to immeasurably assist all sentient beings as much as he desires. If one is able to count as many as thirty million or seventy million recitations, then all the Buddhas of the three times of past, present, and future shall always be with him. Indeed, he shall be identical with me. All the gods, rakshasas, and fierce mountain deities shall promise to listen to his commands and obey them, accomplishing whatever he entrusts to them.

The superior person will attain in this very life the Rainbow Body. The intermediate person will on the occasion of the Chikhai Bardo realize the clear light of self-illumination [‘od-gsal]. Even the inferior person, once having seen my face in the Bardo, will be delivered from the arising of appearances [that normally appear there], and having been reborn in Camaradvipa, he shall give immeasurable aid to all sentient beings.

The Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal further requested:

O Great Master, we thank you for such a great boon of vast and immeasurable power and benefit. However, for the sake of future sentient beings, please expound briefly in sutra fashion, on the im- measurable power and benefit of the commentary on the mystic syllables of the Mantra of Guru Padma.

Then the Great Master spoke:

O daughter of a noble family, that which is called the Vajra Guru Mantra is not only my name, but represents the very heart or vital essence of the Yidams, the four types of Tantras, the Nine Vehicles, and the eighty four thousand sections of the Dharma. This Mantra is complete and perfect for it is the very essence of all the Buddhas of the three times, of all the Gurus, Devatas, Dakinis, and Dharmapalas. If one should ask what marks the cause of this perfection, then let him listen well and fix it firmly in his mind. Let him repeat the mantra again and again. Let him write it down. Then let him instruct and explain its meaning to all sentient beings of future ages.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM 
As for the OM, AH, and HUM, they are the supreme essence of the Body, Speech, and Mind. VAJRA is the supreme essence of the Vajra family, GURU is the supreme essence of the Jewel family, PADMA is the supreme essence of the lotus family, and SIDDHI is the supreme essence of the karma family. As for HUM, it is the su- preme essence of the Tathagata family.
 
OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
As for OM, it is the perfection of the Sambhogakaya which embodies the Buddhas of the five families. AH is the perfection complete and unchanging of the Dharmakaya. HUM is the perfection in the space before one of the Guru, who is the Nirmanakaya. VAJRA is the perfection of the divine assembly of Herukas. GURU is the perfection of the divine assembly of Guru Vidyadharas. PADMA is the perfection of the divine assembly of Dakinis and Shakinis. SIDDHI is the vital energy [prana, srog] of all the Wealth Gods and Treasure Lords. HUM in the vital energy of all the Dharmapalas without exception.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
As for OM, AH, and HUM, they are the vital energies of the three types of Tantras. VAJRA is the vital energy of the two sections called the Vinaya and the Sutras. GURU is the vital energy of the two Abidharma and Kriya Tantras. PADMA is the vital energy of the two Upaya Tantras and Yoga Tantras. SIDDHI is the vital energy of the two Mahayoga and Anuyogas. HUM is the vital energy of the Atiyoga.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
OM, AH, and HUM will purify all obscurations that derive from the Three Poisons. VAJRA will purify all obscurations that derive from hatred. GURU will purify all obscurations that derive from pride. PADMA will purify all obscurations that derive from greed. SIDDHI will purify all obscurations that derive from envy. By HUM, all obscurations that derive from the defilements will be purified.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
By OM, AH, and HUM, one will obtain the Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya. By VAJRA, one will obtain the Mirror-like Gnosis [jnana]. By GURU, one will obtain the Gnosis of Sameness. By PADMA, one will obtain the Discriminating Gnosis. By SIDDHI, one will obtain the All-Accomplishing Gnosis. By HUM, one will perfectly obtain all that derives from Gnosis.
 
OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
By OM, AH, and HUM, one will control gods, demons, and men. By VAJRA, one will control such hostile spirits as Gandharvas and fire spirits. By GURU, one will control such hostile spirits as Yama and the Rakshasas. By PADMA, one will control such hostile spirits as water sprites and air spirits. By SIDDHI, one will control such hostile spirits as Yakshas and powerful demons. By HUM, one will control such hostile spirits as Planetary Genii and Earth Lords.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
By OM, AH, and HUM, one will attain the Six Perfections. By VAJRA, one will realize all the magical rites that are peaceful. By GURU, one will realize all the magical rites that increase prosperity. By PADMA, one will realize all the magical rites of over-powered enchantment. By SIDDHI, one will realize all the magical rites of worldly success. By HUM, one will realize all the magical rites that are terrifying.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
By OM, AH, and HUM, one will counteract the magical influences of both Lamas and Bönpos. By VAJRA, one will counteract the hostile influences of the nemesis of the gods. By GURU, one will counteract the hostile influences of gods, rakshasas, and nature deities. By PADMA, one will counteract the hostile influences of minor worldly deities and demons. By SIDDHI, one will counteract the hostile influences of Nagas and Earth Lords. By HUM, one will counteract all the hostile influences of gods, demons, and men.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
By OM, AH, and HUM, one will vanquish the militant hosts of the Five Poisons. By VAJRA, one will vanquish the militant hosts that derive from hatred. By GURU, one will vanquish the militant hosts that derive from pride. By PADMA, one will vanquish the militant hosts that derive from greed. By SIDDHI, one will vanquish the militant hosts that derive from envy. By HUM, one will vanquish the militant hosts of gods, demons, and men.
 
OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
By OM, AH, and HUM, one will obtain the siddhis of Body, Speech, and Mind. By VAJRA, one will obtain the siddhis of the Peaceful and Wrathful deities [Yi-dam zhi-khro]. By GURU, one will obtain the siddhis of the Vidyadhara Guru. By PADMA, one will obtain the siddhis of the Dakinis and Dharmapalas. By SIDDHI, one will obtain siddhis both ordinary and supreme. By HUM, one will obtain all conceivable siddhis.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
By OM, AH, and HUM, one will transmigrate to the Primordial Realm. By VAJRA, one will transmigrate to the realm of Manifest Happiness which is in the eastern direction. By GURU, one will transmigrate to the Fortunate Realm, which is in the southern direction. By PADMA, one will transmigrate to the Realm of Great Bliss, which is in the western direction. By SIDDHI, one will transmigrate to the Supreme Realm, which is in the northern direction. By HUM, one will transmigrate to the Unshakeable Realm, which is in the center.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
By OM, AH, and HUM, one will obtain the vidyadhara of the Three Bodies. By VAJRA, one will obtain the vidyadhara, which is established in the first stage. By GURU, one will obtain the vidyadhara of the power of longevity. By PADMA, one will obtain the vidyadhara of the Mahamudra. By SIDDHI, one will obtain the vidyadhara which is self-created [lhun-grub]. By HUM, one will obtain the vidyadhara which is completely matured.

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
If one pronounces this Vajra Guru Mantra just one time, then even if misery and illness come, the merit of this shall be greater than the entire expanse of Jambudvipa. For all those sentient beings who look at, listen to, and remember this mantra, it is certain that they shall both males and females become vidyadharas. The true words of the Vajra Guru never fail. If it does not happen that one attains his desire as I have said, then I, Padma, have failed all sentient beings. However, since it is certain that I do not fail, then one should practice sadhana as I have instructed. If one is unable to chant the mantra repeatedly, he should mount it atop a high pole as a victory banner, for without doubt the very winds will carry it to all sentient beings. Alternatively, he should draw it on wood, stone, earth, and so on, and having consecrated and empowered it [rab- gnas], then place it in a high place along the road. Seeing this there, all beings shall be purified of disease, evil spirits, and obscurations. At such a place, the coming and going of demons and rakshasas are brought to a halt. Alternatively, one should write it with gold ink on pure, dark blue paper and then bind it up. Thus evil spirits, devils, and ghosts will be unable to do any harm or injury. One having died, if it is burned with the corpse, a rainbow will then appear. Moreover, it is certain that he will transmigrate into the Great Bliss [bde-chen]. If one repeatedly writes and reads this mantra, then surely he shall pass beyond any measure of virtue. For the sake of all future sentient beings, I shall write this down and conceal it. Then let my son who possesses fortunate karma recover it.

SAMAYA! GYA GYA GYA!
(This is my secret vow, thrice sealed!) 
Let it be kept secret from those with heretical views.
GYA GYA GYA!
However, let it be given to all those who are firm in their vows.

Tulku Karma Lingpa recovered the hidden treasure and copied this from the Shog-ser.

NOTES: The text of the present work is in the form of a dialogue between the Tibetan princess, Yeshe Tsogyal and her Guru, Padmasambhava. This text is a commentary on the hidden significance of the syllables of the Vajra Guru Mantra of Padmasambhava. It is an extract of a larger work, the Shog-ser, belonging to a Terma discovered by the great Terton Karma Lingpa. This master is also responsible for discovery of the famous Bardo Thosgrol, or “Tibetan Book of the Dead.” He is remarkable, in that his first discoveries occurred when he was but fifteen years of age.

This is an authoritative translation from the original Tibetan language edition, which dates from the fourteenth century. It is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without prior written permission.

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8 reader comments:

GK Sandoval said...

Thank you very much for sharing this translation. May it bring clarity and benefit to limitless beings! Emaho!

ernie said...

Very... Nicee... Blog.. I really appreciate it... Thanks..:-)

Stephen said...

I refer to the terton Karma Lingpa's terma teaching on the Guru Rinpoche mantra.

A) In it, there is a part where Guru Rinpoche reveals the benefits of reciting the mantra, 100, 1,1000, 10,000, daily, etc.

- May I know what are the minimum qualities necessary to recite the mantra in the context of this part of this terma ?
- Must there be visualisation, use of a particular sadhana and such, as the terma does not mention such things. Can one simply recite it without any visualization while simply paying attention to just the syllables, etc ?

B) Also, he later talks about the benfits received by "excellent cases", "middling level", and "at least".

- who make up these 3 categories ?

The parts I am referring to are :

If one but repeats the mantra uninterruptedly one hundred times a day, he will come into the thoughts of others appearing in a favorable fashion. There will effortlessly come to him abundant food, wealth, and good fortune. If one repeats the mantra as many as one thousand times or ten thousand times and so on, he shall gain control over the minds of others and it is certain that he shall attain power and blessing. If one repeats the mantra one hundred thousand or ten million times or more, he will accumulate all the power of the Three Worlds and gain control over the three Realms of Existence. Gods and demons shall become his servants and he shall attain without any impediment whatsoever the four magical rites. He is then able to immeasurably assist all sentient beings as much as he desires. If one is able to count as many as thirty million or seventy million recitations, then all the Buddhas of the three times of past, present, and future shall always be with him. Indeed, he shall be identical with me. All the gods, rakshasas, and fierce mountain deities shall promise to listen to his commands and obey them, accomplishing whatever he entrusts to them.

The superior person will attain in this very life the Rainbow Body. The intermediate person will on the occasion of the Chikhai Bardo realize the clear light of self-illumination [‘od-gsal]. Even the inferior person, once having seen my face in the Bardo, will be delivered from the arising of appearances [that normally appear there], and having been reborn in Camaradvipa, he shall give immeasurable aid to all sentient beings.

GK Sandoval said...

- May I know what are the minimum qualities necessary to recite the mantra in the context of this part of this terma ?

"should anyone who possesses the secret vows and mantras, or monks possessing the vows of the Sangha, or even a layman of devout faith or a woman of good character..."

Those seem to be the minimum qualities as mentioned in the terma. So basically, anyone male/female with samaya in good standing and holds their precepts, monastic or lay, should see the qualities of the mantra manifesting the more it is recited.

- Must there be visualisation, use of a particular sadhana and such, as the terma does not mention such things. Can one simply recite it without any visualization while simply paying attention to just the syllables, etc ?

"...having intensely cultivated the intention to attain Enlightenment"

or (from another translation):

"if they give rise to bodhicitta on a grand scale and recite this mantra, then the benefits and advantages and energy of such practice are truly inconceivable."

A strong sense of bodhicitta is what is needed--the overwhelming desire to develop bodhicitta. The wish of bodhicitta and anuttarasamyaksambodhi for the benefit of all sentient beings is the catalyst that ignites the power of the mantra.

If one doesn't have a particular sadhana or practice, then I'm sure that the terma could be recited daily with the same benefit. One accumulates the benefits by honoring the words of the Guru by reciting them with devotion and faith. It seems that the terma itself is a exquisitely detailed commentary on the stages of Enlightenment made accessible though the mantra.

The mantra which brings one closer to the Buddha-qualities of one's own mind.

Just a few thoughts to ponder. :)

Stephen said...

GK Sandoval

Thanks for that reply. Regarding the "minimum" qualities, there is also this part : " Nevertheless, if at such places as the twenty four Great Places of Pilgrimage, or in the temples and villages, or on the peak of a great mountain, or on the shore of a great river, or in the uplands and lowlands which are inhabited by gods, demons, and ghosts ...". Apart from those places mentioned, how about other places, eg - one's home wherever it may be, workplace, etc ?

Peter said...

It has been quite some time since I have recited this mantra, not having been involved with Tibetan Buddhism for many years. However, something has been calling me back, and in a rather strong way... While I have been making the rounds to various sites, I came upon yours and wanted to thank you for creating this wonderful place, full of refuge-causing words and images.

I also have a question about the Vajra Guru Mantra, regarding the way in which some of the original Sanskrit words are replaced in practice by Tibetan ones when reciting mantras. Since this is part of Mantrayana/Vajrayana practice per se, should one always assume that certain Tibetan substitute words are to be chanted -- as here it would be OM AH HUNG BENZA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG -- even though the original Sanskrit text is presented?

Again, thanks so much for sharing this teaching. May all beings benefit, throughout all directions, all times, all realms!

Stephen said...

A True Account of An Accomplished Practitioner of the Vajra Guru Mantra in Recent Times : http://bodhiactivity.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/hello-world/

GK Sandoval said...

Stephen - Glad to be of some help and thank you for sharing that link! :)

As far as locations go, wherever your mind is would be an appropriate place to recite. Personally, I think that mantras are stainless, if you have the correct motivation then everywhere you recite the mantra becomes blessed. Just think about the various classes of sentient beings who are present but rarely seen who would benefit from hearing a devoted practitioner recite the Vajra Guru mantra.

I'm relatively new to the mantra myself. After receiving teachings from Za Choeje Rinpoche on the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Amitayus Long Life empowerment recently, I've been very drawn to guruji Padmasambhava and to recite the Seven Line prayer and the Vajra Guru mantra daily.

So many wonderful termas to read and recite! I'm very excited about this phase of my practice. I think about Padmasambhava and I smile. A warm soft glow settles in my heart and I want to share that comfort with all sentient beings. Emaho!