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six-session_guru_yoga_commentary_geshe_tashi_tsering_of_chenrezig_institute_5 [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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 +[[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]]
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 +----
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 +======= 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-5
 +
 +----
 +
 +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 5 – 11.2.03
 +
 +Side A
 +
 +If you drive down to Brisbane enough times you get to know the road very well.  You know that after this tree there is this area and this area and you begin to recognise all the little segments along the way.  The type of familiarity that we gain from traversing this particular road time and time again is the type of familiarity we want to gain with the practice of six-session guru yoga.  You can see everything that’s in there. ​ All the students have recited this many many times so you can see the words that are contained in the practice.  ​
 +
 +What we want to do is gain some type of familiarity with the structure of the text so that we know the first thing we are doing is this, and the second is that and that and that.  There is a phrase in Tibetan which is used in reference to a monk or someone who has such a thorough knowledge of the interior of the text – they know everything that’s in there and they can basically give you the structure. ​ This comes from reading over the text repeatedly and thinking about the meanings that are found within it.  It’s very important that we gain this intimate familiarity with what’s found within the text.
 +
 +With regard to the practice, the first thing we have is – ‘going for refuge.’ ​ As far as the different ways of going for refuge – it’s acceptable or permissible if one wants to visualize the various objects of refuge while maintaining some mindfulness about their qualities. ​ It’s acceptable to visualize the objects of refuge while reciting these verses and going for refuge.
 +
 +After this is the recitation of the four immeasurables. ​ The development of the mind of enlightenment follows the meditation on the four immeasurables. ​ In fact when we are cultivating the four immeasurables we are cultivating the very root of the mind of enlightenment,​ so it’s very important.
 +
 +As for the sections related to the mind of enlightenment,​ first we have the development of the mind of enlightenment and then we have the taking of the bodhisattva vows.  In developing the mind of enlightenment and taking the bodhisattva vows you must have a field of objects that you are receiving the vows from.  Once again it’s acceptable to imagine yourself in the presence of the very same objects of refuge and take the vows of a bodhisattva from those objects of refuge. ​ If you prefer you can then gather these original objects of refuge in and then imagine a new set but it’s perhaps easiest to leave the objects of refuge as they are, develop bodhicitta and take the vows of engaging bodhicitta from those very same objects.
 +
 +We develop the aspiring mind of enlightenment and this includes a commitment because you are saying - from this moment on until I am a buddha may I never give up though my life be at stake – and so on.  Then you take the vows associated with engaging bodhicitta and then come the verses related to rejoicing as found in verse A5.  In rejoicing about having generated the aspiring mind of enlightenment and having taken the vows of engaging bodhicitta we think that now I have truly been born in the family of the buddhas’ so may I treasure this precious mind and never do anything to muddy or stain it.  ​
 +
 +At that point having developed such rejoicing and gone through the determination not to stain this precious mind of enlightenment,​ we have to cause the objects of refuge to dissolve. ​ There are two different ways we can do this – we can send them back to their natural abode or alternatively we can imagine that the objects of refuge dissolve into us thereby bestowing their blessings upon us.  Either way we have to cause the objects of refuge to dissolve and meditate on emptiness because the main body of the practice - guru yoga - is about to begin. ​   In meditating upon emptiness we choose one of these two alternatives,​ dwell on emptiness and then imagine that from the empty state arises on a jewel throne ones lama in the form of Vajradhara. ​ This is what’s known as the field of accumulation as we were saying before – the basis for accumulation we use in relation to guru yoga.
 +
 +In the last few weeks Geshe-la has described the visualization that makes up the basis for accumulation. ​ Basically you have in the space in front of you a jewelled throne supported by lions on top of which is a lotus, a sun and a moon disc.  On top of these discs or seats is, in essence the very kind root guru, in aspect the Conqueror Vajradhara who is embracing a consort similar to himself. ​ Going through this visualization we then invite the wisdom beings to descend, who having descended become inseparable,​ dissolve and become stable and so on.  Then we make the prostrations and come to the section on praises.
 +
 +Last week we only lightly touched on the praises. ​ We mentioned how there are two sets of eight-line praises – one directed to the male principle and one directed to the female principle. ​ In effect these two sets of eight-line praises are like a prostration in verse. ​ The word for prostration in Tibetan is the same as the word for paying homage, so you can see the connection homage and praises. ​ After that we arrive at the section on making offerings which is where we left off last week.
 +
 +If you look at verse A10 it reads –
 +
 +All the things I possess and what is not mine,
 +What is actually placed here and what I mentally create,
 +I present you an ocean-like cloud of these various
 +types of offerings: outer, inner and secret.
 +
 +In these few lines we have all the various types of offerings – condensed – this is an inclusive verse. ​ It is inclusive in the sense of including all the different types of offerings – the offerings we own, the ones we don’t own, the offerings that are arranged for instance on the altar. ​ The offerings that are mentally emanated, there are the outer, inner, secret and suchness offerings as well even though the suchness offerings are not mentioned explicitly. ​ These are the same type of offerings that Shantideva explains in great depth in the second chapter of his Way of the Bodhisattva.  ​
 +
 +The actually arranged offerings are fairly straightforward – these are the offerings we have actually arranged. ​ Mentally emanated offerings or as it says in this translation - mentally created offerings refer to things that come through the power of ones own roots of virtue. ​ So one musters all the roots of virtue that one possesses and imagines that one is making offerings of for instance – bath water, precious clothing and ornaments etc.  These things are not actually arranged in front of one but are rather mentally created and offered in that way.   ​Unowned offerings can refer to any manner of things such as flowers, fruits and beautiful things that we find in the external environment that have no particular owner. ​ In short this is an explanation of what is meant by the different categories.
 +
 +Geshe-la says that you can offer everything that they’ve got out at Sunshine Plaza (laughter). ​ They have everything very well set up, don’t they?  If we wanted to go ahead and offer all that, there would probably be no end to it.  Why not!  We can offer all these things cant’ we?  After all we are not making these offerings solely for our own benefit. ​ We are making these offerings to benefit all beings. ​ We are not just doing this for our own happiness but we are wishing for all sentient beings to have happiness and it’s causes and to be free from suffering and it’s causes. ​  In offering these things we think that the owners of the myriad products on show at Sunshine Plaza can accumulate merit and gain happiness and freedom from suffering. ​ Sure why not?  Since self-interest is not the principle consideration here, there is no reason why we can’t offer all these things.
 +
 +Outer offerings are perhaps included within the actually arranged offerings. ​ These include flowers, water, perfume and food and so forth. ​ The inner offering refers to the substances made from the five nectars and the five meats. ​ These offerings are cleansed, purified and increased. ​ In reciting the action mantra – om????? ​ hum phay – you can chase away the obstacles and hindrances thereby cleansing them.  In meditating upon emptiness you transform everything thereby purifying it and by blessing the substances you increase them so that they become inexhaustible. ​ Thus the offerings are approached in a three-fold manner of cleansing, purifying and increasing.
 +
 +The practices of the five nectars and the five meats are properly engaged in by yogi’s who have reached a high level of realisation. ​ At the moment we merely have an affinity towards these things, which is to say that we aspire to develop to the point where we too can be free of these preconceptions of cleanliness and dirtiness. ​ Although we ourselves have not yet reached this high level of realization we hope that through practice we also can transcend these worldly conventional notions that hold some things to be clean and some things to be pure.  Also to transcend the attitudes which are closely connected with these notions so that we too can experience the one taste of all things and not just be subject to this dichotomising tendency of clean and pure. 
 +
 +At this point we need to reinforce the divine pride that we are a deity. ​ For instance if you have recited the self-generation sadhana before doing this practice then you merely re-enforce the divine pride of the deity you generated as.   The form of the deity can be what’s known as the conduct deity or in Tibetan – chu lon gya pa??? .  As Geshe-la has just explained in this context the word ‘conduct’ refers to the four types of conduct of going, sitting, laying and so forth. ​ In the Yamantaka sadhana you go through the whole practice and then at the end after having dissolved into emptiness you arise once again as the conduct deity who has one face and two arms.  It is in this form of the conduct deity that we are to view ourselves throughout our daily activities. ​  A person who has a stable practice of yoga will maintain this divine pride throughout the day but people like us will have a tendency to forget so at this point we reinforce the divine pride that we are in fact the deity related to our self-generation practice. ​ There is nothing wrong with doing instantaneous generation at this point but either way you should develop divine pride that you are the deity. ​ Then imagine that you send forth offering goddesses to make offerings to the basis of accumulation. ​ Imagine that the offering goddesses are presenting Guru Vajradhara with the offering objects for the five senses as well as the inner offering and so on.  The important point is that the offerings emanate from the heart of yourself visualized as the deity.
 +
 +As described in the Lama Chopa practice the offerings have a three-fold nature. ​ They have the aspect of being outer offerings, inner offerings and so forth and in essence primordial wisdom and the function they perform is that of inducing uncontaminated bliss. ​ Now the offerings that we are making are here are directed towards the sole figures of guru Vajradhara with consort. ​ This pair is the embodiment of all sources of refuge and so we imagine these offerings that we send forth via the offering goddesses from our heart have performed the function of inducing the uncontaminated bliss in their continuum.
 +
 +I would like to say just a word on the secret and suchness offerings. ​ Here because this is connected to highest yoga tantra, the central figures are male and female depicted in union. ​ This type of visualization or meditation is not done in any but highest yoga tantra practices because none of the other classes have the union of male and female in this way.  One meditates imagining that the male and female in union give rise to the four joys that lead to the co-emergent bliss. ​ This co-emergent bliss also known as innate bliss itself is the secret offering and ascertains suchness. ​ The bliss is a bliss consciousness realising emptiness thus making the suchness offering.
 +
 +Lama Tsong Khapa describes this in a little more detail. ​ He mentions that through the blazing of Tumo - the fierce woman – the bodhicitta melts. ​ As the bodhicitta melts it travels down the central channel from the crown to the throat giving rise to joy, from the throat to the heart giving rise to supreme joy, from the heart to the navel giving rise to special joy and from the navel to the secret place giving rise to the co-emergent joy.  So co-emergent bliss arises in connection with the descent of bodhicitta to the secret place. ​ But Tsong Khapa points out that co-emergent bliss does not arise merely through bodhicitta’s arrival in the secret place. ​ Rather one does not release that bodhicitta, the bodhicitta is not emitted but rather is retained and in dependence upon the retention and abiding of the bodhicitta at the secret place the co-emergent bliss occurs.
 +
 +Geshe-la thinks that it’s good to talk about these things so that we can gain some understanding. ​ These days there are all sorts of books being written about tantra and they describe all sorts of things so it’s good if we can understand the situation as it really is and have some reliable information about these practices. ​ After-all co-emergent bliss is quite heavily emphasised in tantra, its importance is mentioned over and over again. ​ It takes a lot of work and effort to overcome the misapprehension of the self together with its seeds and its imprints. ​ In fact through more ordinary techniques it takes eons – kalpas - to completely eliminate these. ​ Yet through giving rise to co-emergent bliss that co-emergent bliss itself can be used to realise emptiness. ​ And co-emergent bliss itself becomes a special form of wisdom realising emptiness that has the capacity to purify the misapprehension of the self together with its seeds and imprints very quickly and with much less effort. ​ The point is that co-emergent bliss is used to apply the antidote to the misapprehension of the self and disturbing emotions. ​ It’s not intended as a technique to increase the disturbing emotions.  ​
 +
 +The wisdom realising emptiness – the correct view – is a path held in common by both sutra and mantra. ​ That is to say that both sutra and mantra draw equally upon the correct view.  Mantra has this technique that allows one to attain buddahood in a single short lifetime of human being in the degenerate age, that is to say – very, very quickly – in a single lifetime. ​ The efficaciousness of this method depends on the support of the wisdom realising emptiness. Unless the correct view is conjoined with the method of co-emergent bliss then co-emergent bliss is only going to result in the increase of attachment, it’s not going to act as the antidote to the disturbing emotions and the misapprehension of self.
 +
 +The methods of tantra are only efficacious when conjoined with the wisdom realizing emptiness. ​ The special methods of mantra in particular the co-emergent bliss can only lead to the attainment of buddhahood in a single lifetime if it’s joined with the correct view.  Otherwise if it’s divorced from the correct view it’s only going to increase attachment. ​ So really the kindest element we are dealing with here is the wisdom realising emptiness.
 +
 +The many eons one spends on the sutra paths are spent familiarizing oneself with the wisdom realising emptiness. ​ The wisdom realizing emptiness may have the assistance of bodhicitta but with the support of that single element it still takes a long time to bring forth the result of buddhahood. ​ Whereas in addition to bodhicitta one had the assistance of co-emergent bliss one could develop that familiarity and make progress in a single lifetime of the degenerate age.  It is this co-emergent bliss that grants greater power to the wisdom realising emptiness allowing it to abandon the misapprehension of the self together with the seeds and imprints in so quick a time.
 +
 +The unique aspect of mantra is the way in which it brings together wisdom realising emptiness, co-emergent bliss and our extremely subtle fundamental mind.  By bringing these three together mantra allows us to abandon the disturbing emotions together with their seeds and imprints, very quickly without a great deal of effort. ​ It’s important for us to understand these very crucial points. ​ This is a bit of a digression but nonetheless important especially since Geshe-la feels it’s so important for us to understand the mantra.
 +
 +We now move on to verse A11 which is the verse offering a mandala. ​ As it says in the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion it is important for us to offer mandalas to the lama in the three times. ​ This is included within the practice of the six-session guru yoga – 
 +
 +The body speech and mind of myself and others
 +Our wealth as well as our virtues amassed in the past, present and the future,
 +An excellent jewelled mandala together with a mass of Samantabhadra’s offerings
 +
 +Side B
 +
 +The jewel mandala has different heaps. ​ We have a heap for each of the four continents and the four directions and a heap for Mt Meru in the centre. ​ In effect you are offering your body, your wealth and your roots of virtue of the three times - it’s a complete offering in that regard. ​ Perhaps the mention of the jewel mandala is meant to convey the sense that what one is offering is beautiful. ​ Geshe-la is not sure if Mt Meru exists but if it does exist then it’s obviously very beautiful and it occupies the central position and is surrounded by the four continents. ​ These different elements are some of the different heaps that make up a jewel mandala.
 +
 +When the Chinese first came into Tibetan they told the Tibetans that their Dharma was deceiving them.  For instance – they said – you keep talking about this king of mountains – Mt Meru.  Well we’ve been all around the world in planes and we’ve never seen it – there is no Mt Meru!  At that time when Geshe-la was young, Mou Tse Tung was the head of the Chinese government. ​ All the little kids used to say – Mou Tse Tung has been all around the world in an aeroplane – wow! (laughter)
 +
 +Holding this in ones mind one offers ones body, ones resources, that is - wealth and the roots of virtue in the three times.  ​
 +
 +The next verse is A12 which is a verse of request –
 +
 +I humbly beseech you, my precious Guru,
 +Just as the Buddhas of the three times and ten
 +Directions have tamed (sentient beings),
 +You too enact the Buddhas’ deed in countless realms
 +Taking the form of a saffron-robed monk.
 +
 +This verse is self-explanatory but to say a little bit.  All of the buddhas are working to accomplish our well-being yet in order to come into direct contact with us they must assume a form that is similar to our own.  If a buddha were to take a body of flesh and blood which resembles our own then they could accomplish our benefit otherwise they remain inaccessible to us.  Therefore the lama is seen to take a body like that of our own so that he may enact the welfare that is the central purpose of all buddhas. ​  
 +
 +The fact that he assumes the aspect of a fully ordained monk is what is meant by ‘saffron robed’. ​  The lama is seen to have a nature that encompasses all of the buddhas of the three times and ten directions. ​ In fact he acts as their representative assuming responsibility for their enlightened deeds. ​ Therefore enacting the buddhas deeds in countless realms he takes the form of a saffron robed monk so as to tame us and accomplish our welfare.
 +
 +This is related to the first section of the lam rim – the way to rely on a spritiual teacher. ​ Here we are being encouraged to see the lama as a buddha. ​ We are being encouraged to think of the lama as the one who is enacting the enlightened activities of all buddhas.
 +
 +The next verse A13 reads:
 +I humbly beseech you, my precious guru,
 +Esteemed by Vajradhara, for those meagre of mind,
 +As a field of merit more holy
 +Than the endless circles of infinite buddhas.
 +
 +The reference to ‘those meagre of mind’ refers to those beings unable to access Vajradhara directly. ​ Although Vajradhara can accomplish the welfare of myriad beings, we ourselves who are meagre of mind, are unable to access this and thus the lama out of his kindness assumes an ordinary aspect. ​ Since he does so specifically for the benefit of people like us who are meagre of mind, he is even more special than Vajradhara himself. ​ He is – a field of merit more holy than the endless circles of infinite buddhas.
 +
 +Thinking in this way, we recall the great kindness of all the buddhas. ​ We think about how all tathagatas of the three times assume ordinary aspects to accomplish the welfare of others. ​ We think about how Vajradhara himself assumes an ordinary aspect to accomplish the wellbeing of others. ​ Even though the buddhas emanate within their natural abodes, we cannot access that and so they emanate in ordinary appearance for our benefit. ​ Once we recognise that the buddhas manifest in ordinary aspect for us then we become more mindful of the great kindness that they possess.
 +
 +Verse A14 says –
 +Every supreme and mundane attainment
 +Follows upon pure devotion to you, my protector
 +Seeing this I forsake my body and even my life,
 +Bless me to practice what will only please you.
 +
 +Going back to verse A12 this is a verse in which we are training in faith and training in faith is the first aspect of the proper way to rely on a spiritual teacher. ​ Moving on to verse A13 we are encouraged to recall the kindness of the guru and develop respect. ​ This is the way to rely on the spiritual teacher through thought.
 +
 +Verse A14 teaches us the way to rely on the spiritual teacher through deeds or action. ​ Of course making offerings to the lama can also be considered to be relying on ones spiritual teacher through deeds but the supreme form of this is to practice in accord with his instructions.
 +
 +In short we have training in faith - the way to rely on ones spiritual teacher through thought and through ones deeds. ​ Perhaps we will get a chance to explore these in detail when Geshe-la teaches the lam rim but perhaps we won’t. ​ The lam rim chen mo is a very extensive text with a lot of material - whatever the case may be.  ​
 +
 +If you think about it its appropriate to see the lama as a buddha and use that to train ones faith. ​ It’s appropriate because after all, buddhas are supposed to be working to accomplish the well-being of others. ​ If they are supposed to be working for our welfare and they don’t assume the aspect of teachers and gurus and so forth, then who are these people who are working for our benefit? ​
 +
 +We can also say that buddhas are supposed to be working for our welfare and there are others who are working for our welfare and so if buddhas are not those people who are working for our welfare then what are the buddhas doing? ​ Aren’t they a bit remiss if they are leaving it all to these other people? ​ In fact it’s appropriate to think of the lama as a buddha because it’s only appropriate that those people who are accomplishing the welfare are doing so with the assistance of buddhas.
 +
 +Then there is this method of relying on the guru through thought and deed.  It’s good if we can spend some time thinking about this as we recite the verses.
 +
 +Verse B1 says -
 +Requested in this way my supreme guru 
 +comes to the crown of my head.
 +
 +We imagine at this point that the figure who is in essence ones very kind root lama and in aspect the guru Vajradhara in union with consort then comes and abides or sits above the crown of our head, facing in the same direction as us.  This is of course a preparation for the dissolution of the basis for accumulation.
 +
 +The Vajrasattva practice involves the purification through the descent of nectar. ​ When doing the purification through the descent of nectar we imagine that Vajradhara is seated above the crown of our head.  If you are not in a hurry it’s good to take this opportunity to do that practice at this point.
 +
 +The lama in the form of Vajradhara is above the crown right in line with the central channel. ​ The central channel continues down through the heart area. In this area is the white and red drop within which is the indestructible drop that contains the extremely subtle wind and mind.
 +
 +Then we imagine that the guru Vajradhara dissolves and enters into our central crown descending down to enter the indestructible drop.  The extremely subtle wind is the five coloured wind and the extremely subtle mind has the nature of great bliss. ​ As the dissolution of Vajradhara into the indestructible drop occurs we meditate on taking death onto the path as the dharmakaya, meditating on emptiness. ​ From that we engage in a luminous form of meditation that is known as taking the intermediate state onto the path as the sambogakaya. ​ Then in a single instant we arise as Vajrasattva in union with consort thereby practising taking rebirth onto the path as the nirmanakaya.  ​
 +
 +So here in between verses B2 and B3 we engage in the practice known as taking the three kayas onto the path.
 +
 +It’s not strictly necessary to adopt the divine pride that you are Vajrasattva. ​ If you have the empowerment for Yamantaka at this point you can imagine you arise as Yamantaka or likewise as Guyasamaja or Chakrasamvara. ​ Texts say that it is permissible to adopt the divine pride of a deity other than Vajrasattva if you have the empowerment.
 +
 +Verse B3
 +With the pride of being Vajrasattva,​
 +I embrace (my consort) Bhagavati,
 +While holding a vajra and bell symbolic
 +of the secret of great bliss simultaneous
 +With the secret of (voidness) free from the
 +mental fabrication of true existence.
 +
 +This section of the practice fulfils the three samayas. ​ The three samayas are related to the bell, the vajra and embracing of the consort that is characteristic of Vajrasattva. ​ This is why we may include a meditation on Vajrasattva at this point because visualizing ourselves as Vajrasattva will then involve imagining the holding of a vajra and bell and embracing a consort. ​ These three - vajra, bell and embracing of the consort – are symbolic of the samayas of mind, speech and body respectively. ​ The vajra related to the samaya of mind, the bell to the samaya of speech and embracing the consort symbolic of the samaya of body.
 +
 +If we take a look at verse B3 again – ‘With the pride of being Vajrasattva,​ I embrace (my consort) Bhagavati’ – the adopting the divine pride and embracing the consort corresponds to the samaya of body.  ‘While holding a vajra symbolic of the secret of great bliss’ corresponds to the samaya of mind.  Vajra is related to method but the secret vajra is actually the great co-emergent bliss and this is the vajra that in turn corresponds to the samaya of mind.  Then there is the bell that is symbolic of being connected to the secret of voidness free from mental fabrications of true existence and as Geshe-la was explaining a bell corresponds to the samaya of speech.
 +
 +Are you all clear about that?  Once again – the vajra of definitive meaning refers to the great co-emergent bliss that is related to method and corresponds to the samaya of mind.  The bell in turn is symbolic of the wisdom realising emptiness and it corresponds to the samaya of speech. ​ In verse B3 it is the ‘secret of voidness free from the mental fabrication of true existence’. ​ These two are inseparable. ​ Now the union of the vajra of definitive meaning and the bell of definitive meaning is the primordial wisdom of indivisible bliss and emptiness and this is the primary path of mantra – highest yoga tantra.
 +
 +When we speak about the primordial wisdom of indivisible bliss and emptiness is seems that we are talking about co-emergent bliss and the wisdom realising emptiness – isn’t that what the name implies? ​ What’s happening here is that the two are being brought into union so that co-emergent bliss and the wisdom realising emptiness bear the resemblance of one another that they become associated with one another. ​ That’s impossible according to the sutra school and therefore it is a path unique to mantra.
 +
 +And of course since we see ourselves as Vajrasattva we are adopting divine pride. ​ This is the real meaning of consorts after-all. ​ The female represents the wisdom realising emptiness and the male represents method and entering into union represents the indivisible union of method and wisdom.
 +
 +Once again this is a path unique to mantra and as you see it relies on the wisdom realising emptiness.
 +
 +The next B4 reads – 
 +From this moment on, without any sense of a loss,
 +I send forth my body, and likewise my wealth,
 +And my virtues amassed throughout the three times
 +In order to help all beings, my mothers.
 +
 +This is a verse in which we increase our intention to give, thus verse B4 is a verse for practising generosity.  ​
 +
 +‘Sending forth my body and likewise my wealth’ is giving resources – material generosity. ​ And giving ‘my virtues amassed throughout the three times’ is the giving of Dharma. ​ So we have the two aspects of generosity – material generosity and Dharma generosity.
 +
 +Question 1
 +There seems to be a conflict between adopting divine pride and seeking help from the lama to become a buddha. ​ How do we reconcile that?
 +
 +Geshe-la
 +There are two aspects – divine pride and clear appearance. ​ There are times in which its appropriate for instance to hold only clear appearance and drop the divine pride. Then at certain points in the practice we maintain clear appearance while relaxing divine pride and when we reach another part of the practice we adopt the divine pride once again. ​ It’s not as if after initially adopting divine pride and clear appearance that you then retain those without changing anything during the entire practice. ​ Because as you have pointed out there are certain times when it is appropriate to relax one and retain the other go through that section and then once again re-enforce divine pride.
 +
 +When we adopt divine pride, we are adopting an attitude, we haven’t become buddhas yet and in one corner of the mind there is that thought that although I am adopting divine pride and imagining that I am this yidam, I’m really not this meditational diety. ​ Geshe-la really doesn’t feel that there is any conflict. ​ We are not actually adopting the divine pride of the buddhas.
 +
 +Take the divine pride of seeing oneself as Yamantaka. ​ If one is Yamantaka is one necessarily a buddha? ​ That’s a question that deserves some looking into – is it necessarily the case?
 +
 +Question 2
 +Is Geshe-la saying that when the deity comes to the crown of your head, at that point you can do the Vajrasattva purification practice?
 +
 +Geshe-la:
 +You can do a practice similar to that which is done in Vajrasattva so that you imagine Vajradhara at the crown of your head and you do the purification through the descent of the nectar.
 +
 +Question 3
 +When Vajradhara dissolves into our crown going through the central channel to the dissolve into the indestructible drop, at that point do we do the death meditation that includes the dissolution of the elements and so forth?
 +
 +Geshe-la:
 +We are trying to make the fundamental mind manifest so we do the practice of taking death onto the path as the dharmakaya which involves the dissolution of the various elements. ​ Because after having caused the elements to dissolve we cause more coarse levels of mind to subside. ​ Unless the more coarse levels of mind subside there is no way that the fundamental mind can become manifest. ​ So this practice known as taking death on the path of the dharmakaya is a necessary step to clear away the more coarse elements of our being to let the more subtle ones arise.
 +
 +What is mantra after all?  Mantra is a body of techniques that allow us to separate the more subtle body and mind from the more coarse body and mind – that’s what mantra is.  The illusory body, clear light – attaining these things does away with the coarse body and mind.  So there is an analogous process occurring at the time of death. ​ After all at the time of death we get rid of our coarse body and mind and assume the more subtle body and mind of the intermediate state. ​ Mantra draws upon this similarity using this process of death, intermediate state and rebirth as a structure for the meditations one does and by taking advantage of this structure and doing these practices we develop the capacity to separate the subtle body and mind from its form.  But we need the assistance of the wisdom realising emptiness to do so.
 +
 +Question 4
 +How do we imagine ourselves as the deity? ​ Do we have to see ourselves for instance as blue with many hands or can we just think that we are the deity?
 +
 +Geshe-la:
 +Is everyone clear that once Vajradhara comes to the crown of our head he dissolves into us going down the central channel and dissolving into the indestructible drop at which point we are meditating on emptiness? ​ This is part of taking death on the path as the dharmakaya. ​ From that emptiness we then go to taking the intermediate state onto the path as the sambogakaya and then taking rebirth onto the path as the nirmanakaya. ​ It’s in this third stage of taking rebirth onto the path as the nirmanakaya that we arise as Vajrasattva – white in colour, two arms holding vajra and bell, embracing a consort. ​ In doing so we not only adopt the divine pride that we are Vajrasattva in union with consort but we also see ourselves as such.  These are the two elements of divine pride and clear appearance that Geshe-la was speaking about.
 +
 +First we meditate on emptiness in which everything dissolves into the empty state and then we imagine that white light emerges from this empty state. ​ This is like a miraculous birth. ​ Miraculous birth also occurs in the intermediate state when one does not rely on the sperm and ovum of the father and mother to receive a body.  The body an intermediate state being is established miraculously.  ​
 +
 +In the text on mantra they say that the immergence of ones form in these latter two stages is like a bubble immerging from water and that the bubble is not made from something other than water but in fact is water immerging from water except in the form of a bubble.
 +
 +And so from within this empty state comes this white light and from within the white light in a single instant we arise as Vajrasattva,​ one face, two arms in union with consort. ​ It’s necessary for us to visualize the hand implements as well, thinking that we have in our hands the vajra and bell.  Remember that Geshe-la mentioned that it was permissible to visualize oneself and Yamantaka or Guyasamaja or Chakrasamvara if one has the empowerment. ​ Each one of those figures holds the vajra and bell and so each samaya is fulfilled.
 +
 +Question 5
 +What about Kalachakra?
 +
 +Geshe-la:
 +Yes, Kalachakra also holds a vajra and bell.  In fact for the most part all highest yoga tantra deities will hold a vajra and bell as hand implements.
 +
 +Question 6
 +If they don’t then is it not suitable to arise as that deity? ​ For instance Gyalwo Gyatso holds a white lotus and pearl mala.
 +
 +Geshe-la:
 +Then meditate on Vajrasattva – it’s easiest. ​ The point is that one has to be mindful of the vajra and bell.
 +
 +Question 7
 +When the lama comes to the heart to the indestructible drop and you go through the three kaya meditation. ​ Do you go through the eight processes at the time of death and then arise as the deity in the bardo and then go back through the eight stages of death and then arise as the ….. (Geshe-la cuts in)
 +
 +Geshe-la:
 +Don’t think of it as going through the intermediate state – the bardo. ​ You are not going through the bardo. ​ You are doing a meditation that acts in place of the intermediate state. ​ You are thinking that you are purifying this uncontrolled intermediate state and in its place arising as white light. ​ And then you are purifying uncontrolled rebirth and in its place arising as the deity Vajrasattva.
 +
 +Question 8
 +So it’s not necessary to do the eight stages of death?
 +
 +Geshe-la:
 +The more extensive and detailed your meditation is the better. ​ So if during the stage of taking the intermediate state onto the path as the sambogakaya,​ you go into the dissolution of the four elements and the clear white appearance and clear red increase and the black near attainment and so forth – that’s excellent. ​ The more detailed you can be in meditation – the better.
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six-session_guru_yoga_commentary_geshe_tashi_tsering_of_chenrezig_institute_5.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:13 (external edit)