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six-session_guru_yoga_commentary_geshe_tashi_tsering_of_chenrezig_institute_3 [2018/02/26 18:13] (current)
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 +** [[Ayurveda Healing Arts Institute]] of [[Medicine Buddha Healing Center]] **
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 +Part of the List of [[Dharma Terms]] and [[Fair Use]] [[Hyperlinked Shastra commentary]] ([[Non-Profit Educational Purposes for Distance Learning]]) from the [[Buddhist Ayurveda]] Course ([[SUT560]] [[Introduction to Tantra]] and [[SKT220]]) on [[Sanskrit Terms]] of [[Ayurveda]],​ [[Tibetan Medicine]], [[Dharma]] and [[CLN301|Consultations]]
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 +[[Buddhism Distance Learning]] | [[Ayurveda Distance Learning]]
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 +[[Recent Changes]] | [[Ayurveda Terms]] ([[Ayurvedic Chinese Western Medicine Terms from Marma Points of Ayurveda]] | [[Dharma Terms]] | [[Dharma Teachers]], See also [[Six Session Guru Yoga]], [[Extremely Abbreviated Six Session Guru Yoga]], [[Samaya]], [[Tantric Vows]], [[Puja]], [[Sadhana]]
 +
 +----
 +
 +======= Six-Session Guru Yoga Commentary by Geshe Tashi Tsering of Chenrezig Institute ======
 +
 +
 +For a formatted downloadable version, please see: 
 +
 +http://​www.ayurveda-california.com/​distance_learning/​index.php/​buddhist-masters-program/​six-session-guru-yoga/​6-session-guru-yoga-commentary-tashi-tsering-3
 +----
 +
 +SIX-SESSION GURU YOGA
 +Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Interpreted by: Ven Losang Zopa
 +Chenrezig Institute
 +Transcribed and lightly edited by Annis Dickson
 +(This text has not been checked by Ven. Losang Zopa so any mistakes are entirely the fault of the transcriber)
 +
 +Tape 3 – 28.01.03
 +
 +Side A
 +
 +Geshela has already explained the need to practice six-session guru yoga. 
 +
 +If we were to understand the purpose for performing all the practices that we do then that would imbue them with greater importance and power. There is the danger that when we do our prayers we are merely paying lip service to what they are referring to.  Continually saying – ‘all sentient beings, all sentient beings’, over and over again we oftentimes merely say it without really meaning it.  It’s very important that we mingle the meaning of what we are reciting with our minds.
 +
 +Geshela finished last week just before beginning the actual body of the practice of guru yoga.  If you look at verse A7 in the text it reads –
 +
 +In the sky before me on a breath-taking throne of jewels,
 +On a mandala seat of a lotus, a sun and full moon,
 +Sits my root guru, the all-pervading Vajradhara,
 +With blue coloured body, one face and two arms,
 +Holding vajra and bell and embracing his duplicate consort,
 +He shines resplendent with all the marks of a Buddha
 +Adorned with many dazzling jewelled ornaments,
 +Draped with find garments of enchanting, heavenly scarves.
 +Even the mere remembrance of him dispels all my torment.
 +With a nature encompassing every supreme refuge
 +He sits cross-legged in the vajra position,
 +
 +Up to this point we are dealing with the meditation vizualization of the ?? being or the samayasattva.
 +
 +Guru yoga is very important. ​ It’s considered important in the sutra tradition and it goes without saying that it’s considered important within the mantra tradition as well. Pabonka’s commentary quotes a lama called Gyalwa Gotsama? who is also known as the hermit of the gold cliffs. ​ The quote says that though there are many who meditate on the generation stage there is nothing higher than meditating on the lamas. ​ There are many people who take great care and cultivate a practice of generation stage and along with that often there is the attitude that guru yoga is some small insignificant thing. ​ But that is by no means the case.  ​
 +
 +What do you think? ​ Do you agree with the conqueror Gotsama? that although there  are many people who meditate on the generation stage there is nothing higher than meditating on the lama?
 +
 +By calling our attention to the way we recite the self-generation sadhanas, different lamas have explained the way that sometimes the practice of guru yoga gets relegated to some minor or insignificant place. ​ You take different empowerments such as Vajrayogini or Yamantaka or Chakrasamvara and together with that you receive the commitment to recite the self-generation sadhana and mostly people will only recite the abbreviated or shorter version.  ​
 +
 +Now in the shorter version of theses self-generation sadhanas you do not find the practice of guru yoga. It’s removed when you condense the self-generation sadhana from the more extensive version to the shorter version. ​ Most people only recite the short version, but even those who do recite the longer version that includes a section on guru yoga, often read through the guru yoga practice quite quickly to arrive at the point at which the self-generation begins and then from that point slow down and begin to take their time. 
 +
 +If we recite the shorter version we omit the guru yoga entirely and if we recite the longer version we speed through the guru yoga section even though its part of the practice. ​ Many lamas say that this is an indication of the way we disregard the practice.  ​
 +
 +In giving advice, many lamas point this out as a sign that guru yoga is often overlooked. ​ It may be that you don’t do this and if this is true then that is fine, but that doesn’t mean that you can go around saying that what the lamas say isn’t true.  It is excellent if you can act in such a way that doesn’t contradict the advice of these lamas. ​ You should however be aware that there is a tendency for people to do so and that tendency is the basis for the lamas’ statement that this practice is often overlooked.
 +
 +Lama Tsong Khapa could not find the final middle way view and yet he continued to pursue this practice of Manjushri until finally he accomplished Manjushri at which point he had a vision of the deity. ​ The deity Manjushri said to him that he should meditate upon the lama and the higher deity as being inseparable,​ a single entity. ​ He should gather the accumulations and purify negativities. ​ He should analyse the great text on these subjects. ​ These are the three bits of advice that Manjushri gave to Lama Tsong Khapa in a vision so that he would be able to finally come upon the final view of the middle way.  It’s significant that the first bit of advice was to meditate on the lama as being an inseparable entity from the higher deity.
 +
 +In saying that Lama Tsong Khapa could not find the final view of the middle way is to say that he could not cut all his doubts about it.  Lama Tsong Khapa had engaged in a very deep, detailed and extensive study of the text on the subject composed by Indian pandits and accomplished masters. ​ He consulted the various lamas in Tibet who where knowledgeable on these subjects and thought about the issue himself but still was unable to cut all the doubts he had.  It was only by practicing Manjushri and having the vision that he finally received this advice which then lead to his being able to come the final view.  ​
 +
 +What is Geshela saying right now?  He is saying that the practice of guru yoga is important and you must regard it as such.  That’s it.
 +
 +Jetsun Pabonka Rinpoche in his commentary says that there is nothing higher than making requests to the lama.  There is nothing higher in the sense of nothing more efficacious to bring about greater benefits, swifter blessings and the elimination of obstacles. ​ As that is the case we must regard the practice of guru yoga as being the very life-blood of all acts of virtue. ​ At the beginning of the lam rim prayer, we say – you are the guru, you are the yidam (the meditational deity), you are the dakini and Dharma protector (the guardians of the Dharma). ​ This form of requesting prayer is known as the requesting prayer that drives the stake – it’s very consistence.
 +
 +Who is the lama?  Who is the yidam? ​ Who is ‘you’ referring to? 
 +
 +This is what happens when you begin to discuss these things. ​ A doubt has arisen, hasn’t it?  Suddenly a question is asked – ‘who is “you” anyway?’ and it makes you stop and think.  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la (speaking English) Very important to discuss, then become wisdom – understand? ​
 +
 +The answer to the question of who does ‘you’ refer to is that it is in essence your very kind root lama who has the aspect of lama Losang Thubwang Dorje Chang. ​ In this practice of Guru Puja we have the aspect of Lama Losang Thubwang Dorje Chang as the central figure in the field of accumulation and it is this central figure that is the referent for the word ‘you’.
 +
 +This comes after a series of other requesting prayers where the lama is mentioned as being the source of all qualities and the ocean of all ethics. ​ After having made these requests we begin by saying – you are the lama, you are the yidam, you are the dakini, and its very consistent on repeating that view over and over again. ​ This is one of the reasons why they call this a requesting prayer of driving the stake, in the sense of a stake that you would use for a tent.  You drive the stake into the ground and this conveys this insistence of the requesting prayer - consistent upon ‘you’.
 +
 +Following this mention of – you are the lama, you are the yidam, you are the dakini, you are the Dharma protector, is four corresponding qualities saying that it is ‘you’ that frees us from the fears of conditioned existence and peace, the extreme of pacification – samsara and nirvana respectively – that is the lama.  You are also the yidam the source of all accomplishments. ​ You are the dakini who assists through reliance upon and you are the Dharma protector who eliminates the obstacles.
 +
 +Do you understand how these four qualities correspond to lama, yidam, dakini and Dharma protector?  ​
 + Lama - Freeing from the extremes of samsara and nirvana.  ​
 + Yidam - Acting as a source for accomplishments
 + Dakini - Assisting through reliance upon
 + Dharma protector - Eliminating obstacles
 +
 +Student 1: Can you please explain what Lama Losang Thubwang Dorje Chang means – I’m not sure.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ If you don’t understand this then it’s a sign that you don’t even understand what it is that you are going for refuge to.  In the visualization that accompanies refuge you imagine that it is in essence your very kind root lama and in aspect Shaykamuni Buddha. ​ In the practice of Lama Chopa you imagine that it is in essence your very kind root lama and in aspect Lama Losang Thubwang Dorje Chang. ​ In this practice of six-session guru yoga you imagine that in essence it is your very kind root lama and in aspect Vajradhara. ​ Even if you rely on many lamas, in essence you imagine that it is the very embodiment of them that the very identity of this figure is the condensation of all the very kind root lamas and the aspect that it assumes depends on the practice. ​
 +
 +Perhaps it comes from the fact that we are not entirely clear about the distinction between the essence on the one hand and the aspect on the other. ​ In each of these descriptions we have the essence and the aspect and perhaps we are getting confused.
 +
 +When blessing offerings we also have these three teachers, we say in essence the primordial wisdom, in aspect the various types of offering substances and their function is to serve as the sensory objects for the different sense perceptions. ​ You have these three features that are called to mind when blessing these offerings. ​ Once again, the three fold features draw upon essence, aspect and function.
 +
 +In each of these different contexts we have the two - essence and aspect. ​ The essence refers to your very own kind root lama and that can be understood as the embodiment of all the lamas. ​ The aspect is for instance – Shakyamuni Buddha, when going for refuge. ​ Lama Thubwang Dorje Chang when performing Lama Chopa and if you are doing Vajrayogini practice then it would be Vajrayogini. ​ If you were doing Heruka Chakrasamvara practice then it would be Heruka and so on.  The aspect corresponds to the central deity in the field of accumulation.
 +
 +With regard to the meditations - there are three different ways to meditate. ​ The first is like that of Lama Chopa in which one meditates on a crowd. ​ The second is like that of Yamantaka in which one meditates on the field of accumulation in tiers or stories and the third is like that of the tradition of Kundu Norbu where one meditates on a single lama.
 +
 +For instance take the first way of meditating which corresponds to Lama Chopa. ​ It is said that you meditate first on the central figure in the field of accumulation and then light rays emanate from his heart thereby establishing the lamas of the lineage - the lamas of the lineage of the practices and the lamas of the different lineages. ​ Then the buddhas, the bodhisattvas,​ the different yidams as well as the Dharma protectors etc.  In this case the light from the lama’s heart has established all of these around in a crowd, like a gathering at a market. ​ In inviting the lama in the context of Yamantaka, one invites Yamantaka together with the lama in which case the lama is seated as the crown jewel.
 +
 +In the tradition of Kundu Norbu, which literally means the embodiment of jewels, you merely meditate on a single lama who is the embodiment of all the lamas, the yidams, the buddhas and bodhisattvas etc.  When you meditate in this way you do not imagine a retinue or a surrounding group but just a single lama who is the embodiment of all.
 +
 +One can imagine the deity on the crown, in the sky or at the heart.  ​
 +
 +You are probably familiar with meditating with the lama at the crown for instance when you do the Vajrasattva practice. ​ In the practice of six-session guru yoga there is the tradition of meditating on the lama at the crown before the dissolution. ​ Practices such as Lama Chopa involve meditating on this market gathering up in the sky before oneself and from time to time there is the need to meditate on the lama as the central figure located at the heart.
 +
 +With regard to the height at which we place the visualization there is the danger that if one places the visualization too high then one falls prey to excitement whereas if it is too low then one runs the risk of inducing laxity - this sinking obstacle towards meditation. ​ You want place the object of meditation at an appropriate height and the text suggests that this should be on line with your forehead.
 +
 +When you are gazing directly at the figures you don’t want to look to high or too low, place them so that you have a good vantage point.
 +
 +When we use the word ‘see’, speaking of sight has the disadvantage of implying that we are using the eyes.  When we talk about looking up or down, it seems as though we are using our eyes but this is not the case.  We are referring to the mind being directed neither up nor down but straight on line with the forehead. ​
 +
 +Geshe-la was laughing because he hears of many people who find visualization practices very difficult. ​ It’s a common complaint that they just can’t get the visualization to appear. ​ Perhaps they think it’s something they are supposed to see with their eyes, which is not the case.  Actually it would be pretty scary to see some of the visualizations with your eyes – so don’t think that at all, this is of course a mental thing.
 +
 +Because we haven’t mastered this process our construction begins with for instance the lion throne and then we visualize the various seats - the lotus seat, the moon seat etc.  and then the visualization of the central figure and so forth. ​ Once you have constructed what is supposed to arise then you adopt the attitude that this is indeed in front of you.  You direct the mind towards this visualization that you have constructed in stages with the attitude that it is there in its entirety.
 +You should feel certain that this figure is there in front of you. After all it is difficult to get the visualization to appear in all its clarity.
 +
 +The text goes on to give more useful information by detailing how far away from oneself the visualization should be imagined. ​ If we were to do a full prostration the tips of the fingers should just touch the image. ​ Through this we can also imagine the scale of the visualization. If the scale were quite large then it would be very difficult to see the figure of the deity because you are so close. ​ You would basically be looking at the throne! ​ Geshe-la thinks that the scale shouldn’t be too large for if it’s a full prostration in front of you and it’s level with the forehead and you can direct the mind straight at it, then it’s not going to be very big.  ​
 +
 +If you are uncomfortable with the notion that it’s imagined to be rather small then you can extend the distance and increase the scale of it.  Perhaps that will lead to a clearer visualization.
 +
 +Geshe-la is drawing on his knowledge of photography. ​ If you take a picture up close then its difficult to get the person’s whole body into the frame but if you step back a bit or get the person to walk away then it’s much easier to get a picture of the full form.  ​
 +
 +It’s important that the different elements of the visualization such as the eyes appear clearly.  ​
 +
 +Side B
 +
 +The first line of verse A7 reads –
 +
 +In the sky before me on a breathtaking throne of  jewels
 +
 +‘In the sky before me’ refers to the image that is level with the forehead. The ‘breathtaking’ or more literally ‘captivating’ throne of jewels refers to this attractive throne. ​ The throne is not referred to as a lion throne in the root verses but it is quite common to refer to the thrones here as lion thrones for the four lions on the four sides of the throne symbolize the four fearlessness’s. ​ Alternatively the eight would symbolize the eight wealthy powers (the Tibetan word is difficult to translate). ​ In any case whether we understand them as the symbolism for the four fearlessness’s or these eight other features, the symbolism is a reference to the qualities possessed by them.
 +
 +Upon attaining buddhahood the Buddha made the proclamation of the four fearlessness’s. ​ The four proclamations were proclamations that he could make without fear of contradiction – hence fearlessness
 +
 +The first proclamation dealt with what the Buddha had abandoned. ​ He knew in doing so that no one could come along and say – ‘you haven’t abandoned this’.
 +
 +Secondly there was the proclamation of what constitutes an object to be abandoned. ​ That is to say that no one could come along and say in a way that accords with the Dharma that what you have taught to be an object of abandonment is not actually an object of abandonment. ​ In other words what has been taught to be abandoned is fit to be abandoned.
 +
 +Thirdly, the Buddha made a proclamation about what he had realised, saying that he had realised everything in its entirety without exception. ​ No one could come along and contradict what he had realised by pointing out that he had not realised this.
 +
 +Finally, the Buddha made the proclamation about antidotes. ​ The Buddha was without fear of anyone contradicting what he taught about antidotes. ​ He was not fearful of anyone saying – ‘you have identified this as an antidote to that such is not the case’.
 +
 +Thus the Buddha was without fear of contradiction with regard to these four proclamations.
 +
 +This is what the lion throne symbolizes – the four fearlessness’s.
 +
 +Verse A7 continues -
 +On a mandala seat of a lotus, a sun and full moon
 +
 +This is quite clear. ​ In Tibetan the lotus is referred to as ‘water born’ which is a poetic name for lotuses and following this we have the sun and full moon discs.
 +
 +Geshe-la always explains these three as – lotus symbolizing renunciation,​ moon disc symbolizing the mind of enlightenment and sun disc symbolizing correct view.  Alternatively we could say that the moon disc symbolizes the relative mind of enlightenment while the sun disc symbolizes the ultimate mind of enlightenment but they carry the same meaning.
 +
 +The uncommon explanation of mantra links these three to clear light, illusory body and union.
 +
 +The next line reads –
 +Sits my root guru, the all-pervading Vajradhara
 +
 +What is in essence the root guru assumes the aspect of the all pervading Vajradhara. ​ All of you I assume know that the Tibetan word ‘lama’ is equivalent to the Sanskrit word ‘guru’. ​ We speak about guru Vajradhara or lama Dorje Chang and guru Buddha or lama Sangye. ​ In effect what this means is the lama in the aspect of Vajradhara, the lama in the aspect of the Buddha. ​ The lama is meant to be understood as an indivisible entity with these figures. ​ We shouldn’t think that the lama is just playing ‘dress-up’.
 +
 +They call it guru yoga – that’s the name it has, but really it’s Vajradhara yoga isn’t it? 
 +
 +Because we understand that which has the aspect of Vajradhara to be in essence the lama and on that basis make offerings, it is called guru yoga.
 +
 +Why is it that we say the lamas have the aspect of the all-pervading Vajradhara? ​ It’s because in essence the very kind root lama is blue in colour with one face and two arms holding a vajra and bell.  The word Dorje Chang/​Vajradhara literally means ‘holding the vajra’ and as you see, one of the implements is a vajra and he is embracing the consort.
 +
 +So –
 +With blue coloured body, one face and two arms,
 +Holding vajra and bell and embracing his duplicate consort,
 + 
 +Then to move on saying -
 +He shines resplendent with all the marks of a Buddha
 +
 +This exemplifies the qualities of the holy body.
 +
 +Adorned with many dazzling jewelled ornaments,
 +
 +This indicates the various types of necklaces and bracelets, armlets and so forth with which he is depicted
 +
 +Draped with fine garments of enchanting, heavenly scarves – of course this refers to the clothing he is wearing.
 +
 +Student: Why would they????
 +
 +Geshe-la: Because they are not the ordinary contaminated garments made by ordinary beings like those of us.  They are not contaminated woven goods. ​ They are in essence – primordial wisdom, in aspect – heavenly garb.  ​
 +
 +In English we call it heavenly but another way to translate it would be ‘divine.’ ​ The question might then arise – what about the worldly divine beings, the worldly gods who also wear divine garments? ​ Are the divine garments of worldly gods in essence primordial awareness? ​ No.  One would conclude that they are not.  Yet, that’s not to say that a lot of work has gone into the making of their garments. ​ It seems that such beings have naturally established or naturally made garments suited to their position. ​ While they’re not things that have taken blood, sweat and tears to make still they are not necessarily in essence primordial wisdom.
 +
 +Of course scientists cannot accept the notion of miraculously established clothes. ​ Nor can they accept the notion of miraculously born beings such as these worldly gods.  They can’t accept these things because they cannot see them with their microscopes.
 +
 +Student 1:  Could you say more about the qualities of Vajradhara because many of the deities hold a vajra so what is special about Vajradhara? ​ Why that depiction.
 +Geshe-la: The interpretive meaning of the name Vajradhara refers to ‘holding a vajra in the hand’, that is the provisional meaning so to speak. ​ On the level of definitive meaning the name Vajradhara refers to the primordial awareness of indivisible bliss and emptiness that exists on an inner level. ​ What’s the difference between Vajradhara and Vajrasattva? ​  They are the same in that they both hold vajra’s. ​ Vajrasattva is white whereas Vajradhara is blue.  In addition to that we might point out that Vajrasattva is used primarily to assist in the purification of negativities. ​ The explanation given is based on words. ​ It’s not the case that every deity that holds a vajra is going to be known as Vajradhara.
 +
 +Student 2: Is Vajrasattva’s consort the same as that of Vajradhara?
 +
 +Geshe-la: No. The names of the consorts are not the same.  Vajradhara’s consort in Tibetan is called Dorje Ningjunma which is the same as Vajradhatu Ishavari and in Tibetan Vajrasattva’s consort is Dorje Nyma who is white in colour. ​ Both consorts, that of Vajrasattva and Vajradhara have the same colour as their male counterpart. ​
 +
 +Even the mere remembrance of him dispels all my torment.
 +
 +With a nature encompassing every supreme refuge
 +
 +This is another reminder that the figure visualized is the embodiment of all these sources of refuge.
 +
 +There is logic to support adopting the attitude that this figure does actually encompass all the objects of refuge. ​ We might think that although we are supposed to assume they are the embodiment of all, really they are not.  This is a mistake. ​ For instance the figure is visualized as having form and this form could be divided into many different parts. ​ In every single part of the visualized form there is the lama and the yidam etc.  Alternatively if you think about it within the context of the guru puja practice you imagine lama Losang Thubwang Dorje Chang as having deities at the thirty-two places – the thirty-two deities of the body mandala. ​ Or you can think about the deities existing in all the different pores of the body.  So there is no need to worry about whether or not this visualized form can encompass all the objects of refuge.
 +
 +The thirty-two deities of the body mandala are mainly in the context of Guyasamaja and these thirty-two deities include the heads of the five buddha families, the wrathful deities and so on.  ​
 +
 +The important point is to think of this figure as being the embodiment of all objects of refuge that it does indeed encompass all these other beings.
 +
 +Then the line which reads - He sits cross-legged in the vajra position, marks the end of the section dealing with the commitment being or samayasattva.
 +
 +The three spots of his body being marked by three letters refer to the crown being marked by ‘om’ the throat being marked by ‘ah’ and the heart being marked by ‘hum’.
 +‘Om’ being the seed syllable of Vairochana, ‘ah’ being the seed syllable of  Amitabah and ‘hum’ being the seed syllable of Akshobya. ​ These three correspond respectively to the body vajra, the speech vajra and the mind vajra.
 +
 +The commentary says that it would be good if we could think that the lama of this lifetime is the lama who has guided us in past lifetimes as well.  He assumes the aspect of the lama in various lives in order to help to tame or subdue us and if we can adopt this attitude it is said to be beneficial.
 +
 +Light beams forth from the hum at his heart,
 +And invokes Guru Vajradhara from his actual abode
 +
 +This is the invitation of the wisdom being of Guru Vajradhara and it isn’t until the Dza hum bam ho that the dissolution actually occurs.
 +
 +Rather than saying the’ actual abode’ – the Tibetan word literally reads - the ‘natural abode’. ​ This can be understood in the context of the three kayas. ​ We have the Dharmakaya with reference to nature here, Sambogakaya and the Nirmanakaya. ​ The way we meditate on these accords for the most part with the Nirmanakaya form.  We imagine that from the field of the Sambogakaya emerges the Nirmanakaya. ​ Alternatively from the field of the nature Dharmakaya emerges the Sambogakaya. ​ Whatever the case may be the wisdom being emerging from the natural abode refers to the emergence of one of the kayas from the previous one – for instance the Dharmakaya from the Sambogakaya. ​ When inviting the wisdom beings to descend one is inviting them from the natural abode of the three kayas. ​ Is this clear?
 +
 +The Guru Vajradhara that we are meditating upon up until this point is the commitment being isn’t it?  And on this figures crown is a silver ‘om’ at the throat is a silver ‘ah’ and at the heart a silver ‘hum’. ​ Light rays radiate from the silver ‘hum’ at the heart in the form of vajra hooks and extend out to the various pure realms such as Akinishta,? Kuchara? and Abirati?, Sukavati and so on, thereby calling forth the wisdom beings from the fields in the ten directions to come and remain in the sky in front.
 +
 +The various figures in the sky in front of us then dissolve into one another before dissolving into the single figure of guru Vajradhara.
 +
 +Then there is the ‘Dza hum bam ho’. ​ These four syllables refer to the approach - the drawing in of the deities so that they are arranged in the sky in front of oneself, the entering into the commitment being, the merging inseparably with the commitment being and the stable abiding within that being. ​ Dza hum bam ho – is usually explained in this four fold way.  ​
 +
 +Now you notice that the text says - they merge to become non-dual. ​ This has the same meaning as dza um bam ho.  Is that sufficient for guru yoga?
 +
 +Geshe-la thought it would be good to try and explain as clearly as possible the visualization of the objects of refuge and the field of accumulation.
 +
 +Verse A8 reads –
 +I bow at your lotus feet 
 +Oh my jewel-like Guru Vajradhara
 +Your kindness heralds an instantaneous
 +Dawn of great bliss
 + 
 +Is the English clear? ​ Do you understand exactly what it means?  ​
 +
 +The great bliss actually refers to the primordial wisdom or awareness great bliss. ​ The instantaneous isn’t actually a reference to these extremely short moments that are known as instants but rather it’s a reference to the life of a human in the degenerate age - the single life in which one can manifest buddhahood through the practice of tantra.
 +
 +The meaning of this verse carries the same meaning as the verse in the Guru Puja that begins - I prostrate at your lotus feet.  There is another mention of instantaneous in this verse from the Guru Puja and the meaning is the same as in the verse from the six-session guru yoga that Geshe-la has just explained.
 +
 +Student 1: At what point do we change the visualization from the refuge visualization of Shakyamuni to the visualization of seeing the lama as Vajradhara/​Dorje Chang?
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 +Tape 3A (cont. from Tape 3)
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 +Geshe-la: You can retain the same visualization you used in going for refuge for the mind generation that is developing the mind of enlightenment. ​ This involves the generation of both the aspiring bodhicitta and then the recitations corresponding to taking the vows of engaging bodhicitta.  ​
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 +You can either retain the same visualization or dissolve the refuge visualization and once again imagine the conqueror together with his children but it’s not necessary to exchange the visualization at that point. ​ However having finished the section on the generation of bodhicitta then you dissolve that visualization before generating the visualization of the Guru Vajrdhara.  ​
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 +The point at which this dissolution and generation of a new field must occur is indeed after having recited verses A5 and A6 in which one rejoices over the good fortune of having been able to make this life meaningful.  ​
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 +Having gone through those two verses you dissolve or gather in the objects of refuge and then meditate on emptiness. ​ From within the empty states in the space before one, appears Vajradhara and from there visualize the field of accumulation.
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 +Even though there is only one figure in the field of accumulation it is still referred to as a field of accumulation.
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 +Geshe-la is asking if the word ‘field’ implies plurality, does it imply more than one?  And I would tend to say that it does.  If it does then Geshe-la says we have to think about whether or not that is an appropriate translation. ​ In Tibetan it is merely conveying the sense of being a basis for accumulation. ​ The word translated as ‘field’ - zhing is an honorific way of saying object so it doesn’t have to be plural.
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 +Student 1: The instructions that we are given for doing this practice means that we do the preliminaries right through from verse A1 to verse A14 three times. ​ That means we dissolve the field and establish Vajradhara and then dissolve and re-establish and so on.  Therefore should we do the preliminaries up to verse A6 three times and then go on from verse A7?
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 +Geshe-la ( in English): No problem – whatever you like (laughter). ​
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 +Is it clear to everybody that you don’t have to gather in the objects of refuge before doing the recitation of the generation of bodhicitta? ​ You can retain the same visualization.
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 +Geshe-la (in English): And then this refuge and bodhicitta all finished.
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 +Rather than dissolve the refuge and bodhicitta visualization you can imagine that it is raised up - zzzzup – leaving place underneath for your visualization of Vajradhara so that when you come to the end of the recitation on Vajradhara it merely has to descend – zzzzzup – and then you have the visualization fresh and ready. (laughter as Geshe-la moves his hands up and down) There’s nothing wrong with that.  ​
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 +There’s nothing wrong in imagining the objects of refuge being raised up to leave space for the basis for accumulation underneath. ​ Then once you have offered the seven limb offering to have it descend and change places and go through the recitations corresponding to the objects of refuge then have them lift up again.
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 +Alternatively in the first recitation you imagine the objects of refuge and after you have gone through the bodhicitta and rejoicing verses you gather them in and replace them with a visualization of lama Vajradhara – the basis for accumulation. ​ When you have finished the verses corresponding to lama Vajradhara then you can go for refuge to that very same visualization because that is the very embodiment of all objects of refuge. ​ So there is nothing wrong with that.
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 +So to go over this again - having visualized the objects of refuge you gather them in, visualize Vajradhara, recite, return to verse A1 and maintain the same visualization of lama Vajradhara. ​ Gathering in the objects of refuge can either be done as either having them dissolve into yourself or having them go back to their natural abodes. ​ Whichever of these you choose to do is fine.  It is good to talk about these things. ​ Interest arises doesn’t it?
  
six-session_guru_yoga_commentary_geshe_tashi_tsering_of_chenrezig_institute_3.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:13 (external edit)