TSENZHAB SERKONG RINPOCHE
INSTITUTO LAMA TZONG KAPA
POMAIA, ITALY, Jan- Feb. 1980
The discourse was given from three different texts; Rinpoche will give the oral transmission of the text and by his own understanding and insights he’ll explain. Later, when we’ll read the text ourselves on the basis of the notes we can study and ask questions. One of the texts is Notes on the Generation and Complete Stages of the Venerable Vajrayogini the Heart Essence of the Hidden Path Lead by Dakinis (rJe-btsun rdo-rje rnal-‘byor-ma’i bskyed-rdzogs-kyi zin-bris mkha’-spyod bgrod-pa’i gsang-lam snying-gi thig-le). The title of the second text is fuzzy on the page and is something like Notes on a Practice Discourse on the Two Stages of the Path of Glorious Naropa Khechari (dPal na-ro mkha’-spyod dbang-mo’i lam-rim-pa gnyis-kyi blag-khrid ji-ltar rnam-pa’i brin). I do not have the name of the third text, or the names of the authors.
3) History of various Vajrayogini practitioners who have relied on the lineage with this reliable source and on teachings with such benefits.
In Highest Yoga Tantra there are two things of importance:
(1) There are two ways to go to sleep according to this Vajrayogini practice:
This involves the Vajrayogini dissolution of the elements and we fall asleep in a state of voidness (also better referred to as emptiness] or [[emptiness of inherent existence or Shunyata Maha Prajna Paramita).
(3) The Vajrayogini way of going to sleep with elaboration. You are Vajrayogini on an [[eight-petaled lotus. On the back petal (north) is Primordial Guru Vajradharma (Sambhoghakaya of Amitabha), your head, facing to the west (Amitabha Pure Land), is in his lap. You are Vajrayogini but without Vajrayogini Tantric jewelry or Vajrayogini Tantric implements.
2) Vajrayogini Yoga of Waking: You hear the sound of Vajrayogini's Damaru (Tantric Drum) and Tantric Bell (Ghanta), and that causes you to wake up. You feel you are in the Vajrayogini Mandala and you, Vajrayogini, have your head in the lap of Primordial Guru Vajradharma, your root Guru. Guru Vajradharma dissolves in the BAM (VAM or BAM seed syllable) which comes to your head and dissolves in your heart. If you go to sleep by the first method, in emptiness, you wake up by raising instantaneously as Vajrayogini like a fish jumping out of water or a bubble. When you wake up you are without Vajrayogini ornaments and Vajrayogini implements.
H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 3 of 50
3) Vajrayogini Yoga of Tasting the Nectar: You do this after you wake up. If you have a special nectar pill you take it; if not then you visualize Vajrayogini. You draw a Vajrayogini triangle on the palm of your right hand with the point towards you (you draw it with your fourth finger of the left hand). In the front corner there is an OM, left AH, right HUM. You touch the points, then the center, and taste and imagine the leftover dissolves in the BAM in your heart.
4) Measureless Yoga: Refuge: In the sadhana (long version) is the first verse: In the space…to protectors. Visualize in space a throne supported by lions with a lotus and sun. In the center is your root Guru in the form of Heruka with four faces, 12 arms, and consort. Around the center of the lotus there are stamens which have the lineage Gurus circling counterclockwise. On the front petal is Vajrayogini in the center and around her are the Yidams. On the right (of Heruka) petal is Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. In the center and around him are the Buddhas of the Sutras. On the back petal is the dharma refuge, symbolized by Tripitka texts and basket of Tantra. On the left petal is Manjushri in the center, surrounded by Bodhisattvas, Daka, Dakinis, and protectors. This is the elaborated visualization of what is in the first verse. If this is too difficult, just visualize Guru Vajradharma. He represents all three jewels. With fathers and males on the right and mothers and females on your left, your enemies in front, in back your friends, and with dread of worse rebirths, faith and compassion entrust you completely to the three gems. Now we generate bodhichitta. Once I have attained…path. Complete within this are the four immeasurables. Meditate on them. Next verse, I prostrate…strength. We prostrate and take refuge again. Now the refuge objects dissolve into light and melt into you. The sangha refuge dissolves into white light and goes in your crown; dharma into red light and goes to your throat; buddhas in blue light and go in your heart. Then, all the beings and environment around you, everything, dissolve in voidness. Set your mind on that. Out of the voidness you arise as a shaft of red light, a cubit high. From this, you arise as Vajrayogini with one head, two arms and hands, with implements. Blessing of the inner offerings: (1) You get rid of the interferences by sending out from your heart a host of Khandarohi’s (Dum-skyes-ma). They look like Vajrayogini. (2) To purify the inner offering into voidness. The inner offering has no true existence from its own side, but exists only as much as it can be mentally labeled. (3) Generating the substances in the skullcup. This symbolizes the purification of the five aggregates. The five nectars are generated in the four cardinal directions and the meats in the intermediate directions. Nectars are generated counterclockwise and meet clockwise. In the sadhana, it says From a state…OM AH HUNG. Each nectar and meat is marked with the syllables in the order as written in the sadhana. To purify the taste, color and potential, from the BAM at your heart, light goes to strike the wind mandala. This activates the fire, and the substances Page 4 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) in the skullcup melt and turn orange, hot and electrified. To transform into nectar, generate a white khatvanga, upside down, on top of the skullcup. It melts into the skullcup like butter melts, and turns the substances white and makes them cool. This further purifies the color, taste and potential. There are three circles of the Sanskrit alphabet, both vowels and consonants, on top of each other; white, red, blue, with blue on top. They condense into OM AH HUNG, which sends out lights to draw back the qualities of the body and speech of the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the 10 directions. These melt into the skullcup and join to it all the blessings of the buddhas and bodhisattvas, increasing it so it never exhausts. Blessing the outer offerings: Do the same process as above, only there are several skullcups, generated from KAMs, with the various offerings inside, generated from HUMs. One eliminates the interferences, purifies the offerings into voidness, generates and blesses them. Vajrasattva: There is a small Vajrasattva and consort on your head with the 100 syllable mantra at his heart. White light and nectar flows from the mantra to the place of union of Vajrasattva and his consort, and into your body. The light and nectar eliminate all the defilements of body, speech, and mind of oneself and others. Do this visualization while reciting the 100 syllable mantra 100 or 28 times carefully. 5) Guruyoga: In the space in front of you at brow level is the celestial mansion. It is square with four doors and four walls. In it is a throne supported by lions. On this is Guru Vajradharma, red, holding dorje and bell, with his arms crossed. Around him are the lineage gurus. In front of Guru Vajradharma is another Guru Vajradharma in the same form as above. Next, going counterclockwise is Vajrayogini. Next is Naropa. Then all the other lineage gurus to your root guru’s root guru. Your root guru is in the form of Guru Vajradharma in the center. All the lineage gurus are in the form of Vira Vajradharma. He has a skullcup in his left hand in his lap. With the right hand held up, he holds a damaru and has a khatvanga on the left shoulder. Outside the house, in front is Guru Shakyamuni Buddha surrounded by the guests of refuge, which are all the buddhas and Yidams. To his right is Manjushri surrounded by the powerful guests of good qualities, i.e., the dharma protectors. Behind and beneath this is Vajrapani surrounded by the guests to whom we owe karmic debts. To the left is Chenrezig, surrounded by the guests of the six classes of beings for whom you have compassion. After visualizing this, do prostration. Then make offerings by emanating goddesses from your heart. Within this are the outer, inner, secret, and thusness offerings. Again, say refuge and bodhichitta briefly and take the bodhisattva vows. From the BAM at your heart a tiny Vajrayogini emerges and leaves through your crown. She stands in front of Guru Vajradharma, who is in front of you. She looks back at your old body, which is in ordinary form, seeing it, she comes back from the celestial mansion mandala, circles three times counterclockwise around your old body, slices off the top of your skull. This becomes very large. She chops up your old body, puts it inside the skullcup and turns it into inner offering, with the purifications as before by staring at it. H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 5 of 50 From her heart come goddesses with skullcups, or you can visualize one goddess and she scoops up from this inner offering and offers it to the center cluster of refuge, to the protectors with good quality, to the guests for whom you have compassion, and to the guests to whom you owe black karmic debits. Then offer the mandala: the outer, inner, secret, and thusness mandala offerings are included in this. Accumulate as many mandala offerings as you can (3, 7, or 21). Now the cluster of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and the cluster of Manjushri and the figures of Chenrezig and Vajrapani dissolve into you. The guests to whom you owe karmic (black) debts, and the beings for whom you have compassion disperse to their own places. What is left are all the gurus in front of you. Now, request to the lineage gurus: You request them three times to give you the four initiations. The first time you request to the central figure, the second time your root Guru who is in the center of all the gurus, looks counterclockwise to the lineage gurus and ask permission: My disciple wishes initiation. Then the third time all the lineage gurus, going counterclockwise, look at the root guru and give him permission to give you the initiation. Then for the initiation, from the white OM at the forehead of the guru comes white light and nectar which enters your head and purifies your body defilements. Then, from the red AH at the throat comes red light and nectar to your throat, purifies your speech. From the blue HUM at his heart comes blue light and nectar and purifies the mind. Then all three come together to purify your body, speech, and mind. Your body, speech, and mind are purified and you receive the four initiations. Now you request three times: I make requests…strength. Then the gurus dissolve into each other, going counterclockwise to your root guru, who comes to your head and melts into red light and dissolves in the BAM at your heart. You need proper bodhichitta to do this practice, so before think of all the lam.rim teachings from perfect high rebirth to bodhichitta. Day 2—28 Jan. Before beginning the outline, there is a general presentation of Buddhas teachings. Buddha taught both sutra and tantra. In sutra, he taught hinayana and mahayana. In mahayana he taught the extensive teachings of the perfection vehicle and the profound teachings of the tantra vehicle. In the tantra there are four classes and the last is anuttarayoga. This is divided into the mother and father classes and the differences between them is that in the father tantra it emphasizes the method to receive the illusory body and the mother tantra emphasizes the teachings to attain clear light. Of the mother tantra, the main one is that of Heruka or Chakrasamvara. There are 160 million different mother tantras and the supreme is the Chakrasamvara Tantra. Within the teachings of Heruka, the father cycle tantra is of Heruka himself and the mother cycle is Vajrayogini. Page 6 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Here we will discuss the mother cycle of Vajrayogini. This completes the general presentation of the teachings. First (origin): Within the mother cycle of Vajrayogini there are three main lineages: Indra Khachari (Indra mkha-spyod)) from Indrabhuti, Maitri Khachari from Maitripa, and Naro Khachari from Naropa. These teachings are from Naro Khachari. The Chakrasamvara Tantra was originally given on top of Mt. Meru in three versions: the expanded, the intermediate, and the abbreviated (which has 51 chapters). (Here Rinpoche listed various names of texts from the explanatory tantra cycle.) The source for Vajrayogini teachings is the 47th and 48th chapters of the Abbreviated Root Chakrasamvara Tantra. Then the source of the teachings is from the cycle of texts from the Chakrasamvara literary corpus. [External Vajrayogini is generation oneself as the deity. Internal Vajrayogini is the body mandala. In the initiation, it was the swallowing of the flame and generating Vajrayogini from the BAM at the navel. Secret Vajrayogini is the meeting of the bliss swirls to dissolve the winds to get the finest consciousness which understands voidness and bliss. The teaching was first spoken by Guru Vajradharma, then by Vajrayogini, then by Naropa and the rest of the lineage.] Here, traditionally, the full biography of Naropa is given, but this we can learn by ourselves. Naropa had a pure vision of Vajrayogini and received teachings and clarifications from Heruka on the root and explanatory text (list of texts written by Naropa). Naropa had many inconceivable disciples including Marpa, but he did not give this teaching to other disciples besides the two Phamthingpa brothers from Nepal. Jigme Dragpa was the elder and Ngawang Dragpa was the younger. Then the teachings passed to Sakya Kunga Nyingpo, the founder of the Sakya lineage and the teachings trace from him to Rinpoche’s own guru. Second (advantages of relying on the oral instructions from this lineage of sound authority): It is said if one follows the tantric path he can receive enlightenment in one lifetime. Especially following the Anuttarayoga tantra one can attain enlightenment in one lifetime, namely in three years and three months if you practice extremely perfectly. The reason this path is speedier and more effective is because it has the simultaneous understanding of voidness and bliss and this is more distinguished than sutra path. This distinguished method, which is the simultaneous understanding of voidness and bliss, is contained in the teachings of Vajrayogini. This is in the general Heruka teachings with its father and mother cycles. The actual attainment of siddhis of other Yidams at the time of five degenerations are distant, but by practicing the father and mother cycles of Heruka in the time of five degenerations the attainments of siddhis is closer and quicker. Why? In general, in this world at this time the chief Mara or interferences is Gaden Wangchug, the god of desire. This Mara of Kama gives us a lot of interferences on the path by sending many interferences in peaceful, powerful, and wrathful form H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 7 of 50 The one that is most destructive is the couple of Kalarati and Bhairava. Kalarati and Bhairava are wrathful forms of Shiva and Paravati, and the are trod on by Heruka and by Vajrayogini. In the 24 places of body, 24 places of speech and 24 places of mind, this Mara causes us much interference and hindrances to our practice by sending 62 emanations to these special places around the world. In these places where Kama, who is close to Shiva, sent the 62 deities so many interferences happened that Buddha was requested to subdue them. So Buddha appeared on the top of Mt. Meru as the mandala of Heruka and sent forth 62 deities. Heruka placed a mandala on top of 62 Maras to subdue them. These 62 places have the superimposition of the 62 deities of Heruka mandala on each. These places have the names of Shiva but they are actually places of Heruka. When Buddha taught other tantras he manifested as the mandala and its residents and at the end he regathered the mandala. This is not the case here. The mandala of Heruka on top of Mt. Meru was not gathered back in; it remains. Because we have these places in the world and Heruka mandala is present there so we can receive the inspiration (jinlab, byin-rlabs, blessings) quicker, because it has not been regathered. So, in these times of degenerations, no matter how strong the interferences of Shiva are, we have the mandala of Heruka as protection so the stronger are the interferences of Shiva, the stronger is the help of Heruka and the quicker it is to enter in his practice. This is the distinguished point of this practice. The 24 places are still present. We can go to them in India and Nepal. In The Kalachakra Tantra it is said that it is not necessary that all 24 places be found complete in only one place, but they can be found complete in many places. You can have all 24 in India or Tibet or here too. Because all 24 can be complete no matter where we reside, we can practice quicker and be more successful no matter where we are. [The 24 internal points are crossing of nadis. They have the same names as the 24 outer places.] Because mother and father deities of Heruka have blessed the energy channels and [red and white] constituent drops (khams) within our body, we can gain actual attainments by relying on them. Within the root and explanatory tantras and Chödun Gyü (Chos-bdun rGyud??) which is another set of tantras, there are many different traditions. The main are Luipa, Nagpopa (Krshnacarya) and Drilbupa (Ghantapada). The supreme lineage teachings are from Luipa; the root tantra follows Nagpopa mainly; and the most profound points are in the tradition of Drilbupa. Within the teachings of Drilbupa, the most profound are of the body mandala of Heruka. The essence and main points of all this tantra of the father cycle are in the mother cycle of Vajrayogini, of the various Vajrayogini lineages, Naropa’s has the essence. It is promised that those of extremely sharp intelligence can be led to Dakini land this life by this practice. Those of supreme and intermediate intelligence can be led there without abandoning their rough body. Those of least intelligence can be led there in the bardo. Those of extremely dull intelligence can be led there eventually in a series of lives. How? If ones of superior intelligence do the full retreat of 400,000 mantras and the fire puja to make up for the deficiencies and never miss tsog offerings twice a month, they Page 8 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) can be led to Khachari in this lifetime. Those of intermediate intelligence if they do the full retreat of 10 million and the fire puja and the practice of Lankali stick, then when they actualize the Lankali stick they can be led to Dakini land. Luipa, Zabupa (?), Nagpopa and Drilbupa all attained Dakini land without abandoning their bodies. Drilbupa in Orissa went to Dakini land. In Tibet, there are many practitioners who actualized attainments. Recently, Belon Geshe had a retreat house which was built by two nuns. Before he passed away, he said to them that if they did the proper practice for three years they would be able to go to the Dakini land. On the 10th of one month, one man went to offer tsampa to the nuns but he was not seen to come back. He was an emanation of Heruka and the attendants who prepared the offerings for the nuns, when they went to give them to them, the two nuns were not seen anymore either. They went to Dakini land. That was exactly three years after they began the retreat. There are many practitioners in Tibet who went to Dakini land, but this happened recently. Tsongkapa many times met women who were emanations of Vajrayogini. When he was writing the Complete Clarification of the Hidden Points of Heruka Tantra (sBas-don kungsal), he had an actual vision with bare perception of different emanations of Vajrayogini. For attaining Khachö or Khachari there is nothing more effective than Vajrayogini. Her name, Khachö, has significance. It is said that just by verbal recitation of her mantra you can attain actual attainments. This is a special feature which you do not have for other mantras or deities. Third (how to follow the teachings) is divided into three: (1) working basis, (2) type of teachings to be practiced, (3) actual practice. First (working basis) is divided in two: (1) type of person suitable to enter the ripening path of this practice, (2) person suitable to meditate on the liberating path. The ripening path is the initiation. One is fit to take the initiation if he has intellectual understanding of lam-rim. The liberating path is the practice. One who is fit to do it is one with lam-rim base and on top of that, the initiation and who has entered the practice of his particular meditational deity. What liberating path does he enter? And how? It is by the red-powder mandala of the uplifting (blessing) of the four initiations of Vajrayogini as we had. Second (the type of teachings to be practiced): This is a whispered teaching which has four types of qualities. 1. The tradition of the initiation should be unbroken. Specifically, the blessing of the initiation where you have received the nectar from the three places of the root guru in front – this practice of the flowing nectar should never had be broken. Also you should have no doubts or hesitation about the teaching you practice. 2. The close bonds and commitments should never have been broken. The damtsig should have not been degenerated. This refers to no degenerations in the blessing and the blessing is not broken. H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 9 of 50 3. The order of oral instructions should never be confused. All stages of the path that ripen your mind should be in order, not been reversed. 4. One has complete fervent regard and respect for the guru and the teachings. Another way of looking at these four qualities is the first two, the blessing from the initiation and the blessing of the damtsig not been broken, are like preliminaries. Then the order of the instruction not been reversed is like the actual teaching and the respect and regard for the teachings and the guru refer to how the practice should be done. Then there are four validities that are needed for it to be a good practice: 1. Valid guru. There in this practice this is the line which traces from Guru Vajradharma to one’s root guru. 2. Valid treatises. This refers to the works of Naropa here. 3. Valid scriptural authority. In this case it is the root tantra of Chakrasamvara in 51 chapters. The first chapter gives an abbreviation of all the text. The next 49 are expanded version, and the last is the summary. 4. Valid experience. Here this refers to the fact that Naropa had a vision of Vajrayogini and from that, the lineage of teaching evolved. All the points of the Heruka practice can be summarized in 14. All these 14 points are abbreviated and included here in the mother cycle of Vajrayogini. Another fact is that this practice is simpler and easier because the mandala is in a double upside down tetrahedral reality source and it is one deity with one face and two arms. [The double tetrahedral reality source is two tetrahedrons superimposed on each other, such that the cross section forms a 6-pointed Star of David. The cross-section gets progressively smaller such that it comes to a point on the bottom.] Because the deity is female, we can feel more affection and so we are closer to enlightenment. Just as we feel more affection for a sister than a brother, we can feel more affection for and from female deities. Also, there are many emanations of dakinis, virinis, yoginis and female enlightened beings who are emanations of the enlightening activity (trinlay, ‘phrin-las) of Buddha and who come in many forms to help us on the path. This is another distinguished factor. In the father cycle body mandala practice, the yidams are meditated on the outer tips of the channels and draw the energy in the heart. Here, the deities are meditated on the inner tips of the channels, so the practice is easier. In the father and mother cycles are the methods for one to be led to dakini land, and here in the mother cycle, Vajrayogini practice, one can be led there without abandoning the body. This is the significance of Khachari or “one who acts in space.” Third (actual practice) is divided into two: (1) generation stage to actualize the external Vajrayogini, (2) complete stage to actualize the inner Vajrayogini. First (the generation stage to actualize the external Vajrayogini): The generation stage is the 11 yogas. The first is the sleeping yoga of method and wisdom. Here the wisdom is emphasized and this corresponds to clear light, so we begin with the practice at night which corresponds to the practice of wisdom. There are two methods of the sleeping yoga Page 10 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) and they correspond with the two ways of waking, which is the second yoga. The third is tasting the nectar. If you have a nectar pill (dutsi rilbu, bdud-rtsi ril-bu), it is very important that it come from a proper source. “du” means Mara and “tsi” the medicine to cure. “Rilbu” means “whole” or “unity.” It is unit or whole made of inseparable method and wisdom which are used to cure us from the four Maras. The fourth yoga, the measureless. The refuge is done first as in the first verse. When the nectar falls into us from the refuge objects it is important that our body becomes transparent, clear, and the nature of clear light. In sutra only light comes to purify us, but in tantra there is light and nectar together. There are many different ways to visualize. One is that the lights go into a container. Another is light and nectar coming together. A third is a rain of nectar. In tantra, the main thing is to dissolve the wind in the central channel in the heart, so it is important to do this purification internally with light and nectar. When you do inner purification in tantra (1) your body becomes transparent, which corresponds to the clear light; (2) your body becomes clear and pure, which corresponds to the illusory body; and, (3) your body becomes the nature of clear light which itself is the unity of the illusory body and clear light. This is an important special characteristic. The four immeasurables: “Once I have obtained…path.” “For the sake of all beings” means to work for the sake of others and stands for the development of bodhichitta. This has two aspects: 1. To attain enlightenment, which is explained by “once I have obtained the state…” 2. To benefit others, which is explained by “I shall free…” If you go slowly through this verse, you can see all the points of bodhichitta. “All beings” indicates immeasurable equanimity as it includes friends, enemies, and strangers. “Free from…suffering” is immeasurable compassion which seeks to separate sentient beings from suffering. “Lead to…enlightenment” is immeasurable love, which wants beings to be happy. Once you lead them to enlightenment, you will feel joy that they are not separated from bliss. This is immeasurable joy [which corresponds to rejoicing in the Theravada presentation of the four immeasurable]. The special distinguished development of bodhichitta is in “it is for this…path.” It is special because you wish to attain enlightenment quickly by this path. Visualize everyone around you, while thinking this: males to the right, females to the left, enemies in front, friends in back. All the beings of the six realms in human form. All teachings of the refuge can be fit in here when we take refuge. White, red, and blue nectar comes from the refuge objects, purifying ourselves and all sentient beings who transform into Vajrayogini and fly off to dakini land. Now, the guruyoga, as the supreme field to accumulate merits is the guru, visualize the assembly of gurus and offer the seven limbs. You cannot offer in ordinary for so, first you transform into Vajrayogini. This is done by dissolving the refuge objects into light which absorbs into us and we and the environment dissolve into voidness. There are two H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 11 of 50 things that we want to overcome: ordinary appearances and grasping at true existence. To purify these, we dissolve into voidness where there are no appearances. Everything is blankness. Then, there is the cetainty factor. Everything is void of true existence and exists only as much as it can be labeled. Being convinced of this blocks our compulsive attachment to things being truly existent, so: (1) on the side of appearance everything is blank; (2) everything is void of true existence; (3) the mind which takes this voidness of true existence as its object is the mind of great bliss; (4) hold the dignity of identifying yourself with the mind of great bliss which has voidness as its object and think “I am this mind.” After that, you arise as a shaft of red light, a cubit high. This transforms into the red Vajrayogini of the Naro Khachö tradition, with one head and two arms. Inner offerings: [The inner offering symbolizes the practice of tummo. The katvanka falling is part of the process of dissolving everything in the heart.] 1. Clear away the interferences. You are Vajrayogini; at your heart there is a sun, red BAM and the mantra. From the BAM send forth hosts of the wrathful goddesses Khandarohi (Dum-skyes-ma). Then we purify the inner offerings. You have a skullcup or another type of cup with black tea inside. Just by the name we label on it, it becomes the inner offering. The cup is not the inner offering; neither is the tea. It is the inner offering only inasmuch as we give it the name. It does not exist from its own side as inner offering. It is void of true existence. It is void of being findable from its own side, but it appears as truly existence so we need to purify this into voidness. To do that, one collects in the appearances of the skullcup so it no longer appears. 2. Have the certainty factor that it is void of true existence. Not only is it void of appearance, but it is void of true existence. 3. The mind to which this appears is the mind of great bliss which has voidness as its object. 4. Hold the dignity that “I am the mind of great bliss which understands voidness.” This is what we should think when we recite “Om Svabhava…” [Great bliss is a primary consciousness which takes voidness as its object. Because it itself is void of true existence, even in itself it is a union of the two. In tantra, the great bliss generates the wisdom cognizing voidness. The great bliss causes the winds to dissolve so you get to the finest level of consciousness which is nonconceptual. This fact that it is nonconceptual is the advantage of making arise this level of consciousness. Its understanding of voidness will thus also be nonconceptual.] Although you have collected in or ceased the appearances of the inner offering, in fact you have ceased its appearance as true existent. You have not made the inner offer nonexistent or ceased its existence. It is only void of true existence. You have ceased its appearance as truly existent, so within this sphere of voidness it can arise in pure form. So, half-moon shaped wind mandala arises from YAM and triangular fire mandala from RAM, and then from either three or one AH arise three fresh heads which are white, red, and blue. They are on the corners of the triangle of the fire mandala, their faces facing Page 12 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) out, teeth bared and hair along their forehead. In the center is a white AH, which becomes a skullcup. The five nectars are generated in the four cardinal directions. Inside the skullcup, in the front OM becomes feces; then, going counterclockwise, in north, KAM becomes brains; in the back west, AM becomes white bodhichitta or semen; in the south, TRAM becomes blood; and in the center, HUM becomes urine. They are all marked with the syllable they are generated from. The meats are generated clockwise. In the southeast, from LAM, which is the nature of the consort Locana, comes a bull; in the southwest, from blue MAM (Mamaki) comes a dog with red flesh; in the northwest, from red PAM (Padaravasin) comes a white elephant; in the northeast from green TAM (Tara) comes a horse. In the center from red BAM comes a human with orange flesh. The meats are marked with the letters they are generated from. The human flesh is floating half submerged in urine and the two syllable HUM and BAM are facing each other. You take the flesh out of each body, chop it up finely and put it back in the skin. It is like this. All the bodies are on their backs, stomachs up, the syllable on the heart. The bull, dog, elephant, and horse are lying on their backs, their heads facing out. What we want to purify and what this symbolizes, is the five aggregates. These and other substances connected to the mindstream are purified. They are inner things which are connected with the mindstream. The bull symbolizes the naivety (gti-mug, moha) on our mindstream, since a bull is very stupid. The dog symbolizes miserliness. Dogs are very miserly so they make good watchdogs. The elephant has much desire, so desire appears in the impure form as an elephant. In the past, kings tricked elephants by their desire and captured them. The horse symbolizes jealousy. Horses can run races because they are jealous of each other. Since we want to purify our delusions, these animals take on that symbolism. In the Mahakala practice, the offering of 13 horses, 13 yaks, 13 eagles, has a similar symbolism. The number 13 symbolizes the 10 directions and the three times, so the offering is made to the figures in all 10 directions and three times. Do not explain these things to others but keep for your own private practice. To review, the inner offering has four parts: 1. Clear away the interferences. 2. Purify into voidness. 3. Generate the substances. 4. Uplift them (make the blessing). We have covered the first three parts. Now the substances are in their ordinary impure form which has to be purified. This is their uplifting or blessing. It has three parts: 1. From the BAM at your heart light goes and strikes the wind mandala. The banners on its corners move quickly. They enflame the fire mandala which causes the substances in the skullcup to melt, boil, and turn orange. This is hot to the taste H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 13 of 50 and the potential or power of it is like electricity, it would give a shock. This purifies the impure potentiality of the substances. 2. Transformation into nectar: From the HUM comes a katvanga which spirals down, circles around three times, and then melts into the skullcup, making the nectar white, cool and delicious. The taste gives great bliss because it is the deep awareness of great bliss. 3. Increase: Above the skullcup there are three circles of the Sanskrit alphabet. The vowels go to the left and the consonants to the right. The bottom one is white, central red, top blue. They transform into OM AH HUM respectively. Light goes from them in the 10 directions, bringing back the blessing of the body, speech and mind of the buddhas and bodhisattvas into them. The HUM, AH and OM dissolve into the skullcup. When the OM falls, in it increases the nectar so that it does not matter how much nectar is taken out, it never exhausts. Before the letters fall, the skullcup is like the symbolic beings (Samayasattva) and the OM, AH and HUM are the Jnanasattva, the wisdom beings. So, the letters falling in is the dissolution of the wisdom beings into the symbolic beings, and corresponds to other parts of the practice where the symbolic and wisdom beings join. Outer offering: 1. Dispelling the interferences. 2. Purifying into voidness are the same as above. 3. Within voidness appear KAMs, which become skullcups. Inside them are HUNGs which transform into the various substances from the two types of water to the sound offering. 4. The blessing is done by mixing the name of the substance in OM AH HUNG, e.g., OM ARGHAM AH HUNG. Vajrasattva meditation : Vajrasattva and his consort appear on a white 100,000 petalled lotus and moon. Purify with nectar and as in the refuge visualization, your body becomes transparent, clear, and the nature of clear light with the same significance and importance as explained above. Guru yoga: To actually generate the field of gurus, visulaize the celestial palace. In its center is a throne supported by lions upon which is seated your root guru in the form of Buddha Vajradharma. Around him ate the gurus on the lineage, starting with Guru Vajradharma who first spoke this tantra, then Vajrayogini, and the rest of the lineage in the form of Vira Vajradharma going around. Then make prostration to the gurus and the four types of offerings: outer, inner, secret, and thusness. Do the seven limb prayer. Then is the way of accumulating merit of Kusali in which one transforms one’s body into nectar and offers it. Then is the mandala offering and the requests to the lineage gurus. Request for the four empowerments: Request three times with the verse “O guru incorporating…buddha bodies.” Lights come singularly and then altogether from the OM AH HUNG of the guru, enter your body, Page 14 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) purify your body, then speech, then mind, then all together. In the four qualities of a good teaching, the continuity of the taking of the initiation not being broken refers to this practice. Dissolution of the guru into you: First, make the request three times. The gurus dissolve one into the other in a circle, then into your root guru. He comes on the top of your head, melts into red light, enters your crown, and sinks into the BAM at your heart. Feel that your mind and the guru’s mind are inseparable, one taste. Then meditate on great joy and bliss. In the prayer of the practice, we have covered the verses “in the ship of the fully endowed human form…compassion of the venerable gurus.” The guru yoga and refuge visualizations are similar, but the function is different. The function of the guruyoga when you visualize the merit field is for you to accumulate merit. This is done by the seven limbs, mandala offering, and the Kuslai offering. This is all included here in these verses. “May I be nurtured by the compassion of the venerable gurus” is the condensation of today’s discourse. At the end of receiving the first day’s teaching, you should do refuge and bodhichitta, and the second day collect Vajrasattva mantra and mandala offerings. After you do the full retreat and when you have the ability and opportunity to give this teaching, this is how you should do in accordance with the guru’s tradition of giving teaching. Day 3 - 29 January The generation stage is divided in two parts: (1) how to cut interpolation on what is to be meditated on, by hearing and thinking, (2) the state of actually taking to mind the meaning which has been decided upon in this way. First (how to cut interpolation on what is to be meditated on, by hearing and thinking) is by means of the 11 yogas. Let us add a few points from the other texts concerning some of the sections we have already covered. Outer offering: From the KAMs are generated the skullcups and from HUNGs the actual substances. When you make the offerings, emanate the offering goddesses from your heart. The abbreviated way, they have one head and two arms, holding skullcup and cleaver. The goddesses for offering water for the mouth and feet, and flowers, are white; for incense they are smoke-colored; for light, orange; for perfumed water, green; for food and sound, variegated; for objects of sight, white; objects of sound, blue; objects of smell, yellow; objects of taste, red, objects of touch, green; and, for the sphere of voidness (Vajradhatu), white. You can also visualize them having four arms. The upper hold dorje and bell, and the lower two hold the object they offer, or the upper right hand holds the offering substance, the lower right a damaru, upper left a khatvanga, and lower left a skullcup. It does not matter which you visualize. For guru yoga, visualize the celestial mansion, your root guru as Guru Vajradharma. Surrounding him counterclockwise are the lineage gurus. In front of this are the other H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 15 of 50 groups. In the center is Guru Shakyamuni Buddha with the refuge cluster. To his right, Manjushri with the protectors with good qualities, to his left Chenrezig with the guests for whom we feel compassion of the six realms. Underneath is Vajrapani and the guests to whom we owe karmic debts. Make prostrations and offerings, also using these offering goddesses. Then come the rest of the seven limbs and offering of collection of merit in the manner of Kusali. Kusali in Tibetan is dge-ba chen and means someone who has a tremendous amount of merit. It can be Kusali or Kasuli. If it is the latter, it refers to someone who sleeps, eats, walks and goes to the toilet. Outside he looks like he is just a very humble person. Shantideva is an example of someone who made many offerings in the form of Kusuli. After you have made the offering of Kusuli and satisfied the guests, the main figures of the clusters and the transworldly guests dissolve in you and the worldly guests are sent to their own places. Then make the four types of mandala offerings. So, this was the way of generating the guru that is known from the mouth of the guru. Next is the way of receiving initiation which is also known from the mouth of the guru. We repeat the request three times. The first time we think that we are requesting the guru, the second time he requests the lineage gurus by turning his head counterclockwise to look at them and the third time the gurus look, going counterclockwise, back to him to give permission. Now comes the way to dissolve the guru, which is known from the mouth of the guru. The lineage gurus dissolve one into the other and then into your root guru, who comes to your crown, melts into red light and absorbs in the BAM at your heart. Your body, speech and mind become inseparable from his. The sixth yoga is generating oneself as the deity is divided into two: (1) the basis to be purified, (2) the transformation of that basis. The basis to be purified is death, bardo, and birth. It is under the power of karma and delusion. When these three are purified at the time of the result, the three buddha bodies are achieved. To actualize the three resultant buddha bodies you need the three bodies at the time of the path which are nonintellectual and unartificial (madag machöpa, mabrtags ma-bcos-pa). Madag means it does not exist just in terms of intellectual words and name alone. Machöpa has the connotation of being unartificial, that is the actual three bodies of the complete stage. What is attained during the time of the path of the complete stage is nonintellectual and unartificial. That is, they do not just exist in terms of words alone, but are actual bodies. These ripen from the generation stage visualizations which are done by imagination and exist intellectually in name alone. They are not the actual three bodies. [In general, the generation stage is called artificial and the complete stage unartificial. However, there are also both artificial and unartificial parts of the complete stage. The practices of body-isolation and speech-isolation are artificial. Unartificial and nonintellectual is achieved after comparative clear light at the end of the mind-isolation, Page 16 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) when one can actualize an impure illusory body out of the winds. This is not the real sambhogakaya, or nirmanakaya, but they are actual bodies. Before, they were only imagined.] To do this, the working basis needed is that of a human being of the southern continent who is born from a womb and has the six constituent elements (khams-drug), the four elements (‘byung-po bzhi), the energy channels (rtsa, nadi), and creative energy drops (thig-le). Another way to describe the six constituent elements [besides earth, water, fire, wind, space, and consciousness] is that three come from the mother: blood, flesh, and skin; and three from the father: sperm, bone and marrow. On this working basis, to attain the resultant three buddha bodies, you have to meditate on the three buddha bodies at the time of the path. To attain them, then since they ripen from meditating on the path similar to death, bardo and birth, at the time of the basis one must meditate on them. [At the time of the basis, you meditate on the path similar to death, bardo and birth. This leads one to the time of the path, when one meditates on the three buddha bodies, and this leads to the resultant three buddha bodies.] The basis to be purified in the generation and complete stages is the same: death, bardo and rebirth. To actualize the purifying paths of the complete stage, you need what will ripen into the possibility of them occurring. The ripening path that will ripen into this is taking death, bardo and rebirth as the pathway for the three bodies at the time of the generation stage. These ripen into the actual thing which will do the purifying at the complete stage. What actually does the purification of death is the clear light achieved at the conclusion of the removed mind practice at the compete stage. To attain this, you have to know how the clear light of death, which is the basis to be purified, comes about. This is because you purify the basis, death, with that. That is analogous to it. An example of purifying something with something else non-analogous to it is to purify grasping at true existence with the voidness of true existence. Voidness is the opposite and purifies the basis without being analogous to it. However, in this practice you do the purification with something that is not non-analogous to it. That is, you purify the basis, death, with a pathway that is analogous to it. Therefore, we must clearly think how we actually die. Death does not happen simply and easily. If one dies having accumulated a great deal of positive potentials, this is not so bad. It is a little bit better. However, if one has accumulated a great deal of negative karma, as we have, he dies with fear and terror. Death is an awful experience. One goes alone and leaves behind all friends and loved ones. It is very terrifying and the friends and relatives too have much suffering. The person who dies, however, suffers more, as he goes alone without any companion. We can see the fear the people who have created much negative karma have. Their eyes are wide open and staring. They scream and wet their pants. We should have a strong resolution to want not to die such an awful death with fear and suffering. H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 17 of 50 The process by which our body, which is made of six constituent elements, dies is: 1. The element of earth as a basis on which the consciousness can rely degenerates. Its ability to act as a basis for consciousness decreases and it is lost. At that time, the flesh becomes very thin and weak. One cannot see clearly and cannot recognize the physical form of the people in front of him. While lying down he feels like he is falling and so his hands go up to try to catch himself. Because the consciousness and winds are starting to collect in, he cannot see external things well and so sees the appearance of a glimmering mirage. The earth element dissolves into the water element, and the mirage-like appearance occurs when it does. 2. The element of water as a basis upon which consciousness can rely degenerates, fails. The mouth becomes dry and one cannot hear sound with the ears. The internal appearance is like everything is completely filled with smoke. Water dissolves into fire means that the previous basis for consciousness disintegrates and is no longer available. 3. When the fire element fails, the heat of the body is gathered in and there is a vision of sparks. 4. When the wind element disintegrates, one no longer breathes through the nose. The appearance is like a small red flame at the bottom of a deep well. Previously, the central nadi is constricted by the right and left nadis being knotted around it. These knots loosen and the finest energy winds can go inside. 5. In the center of the central nadi, where the constriction was at the heart, is where the finest level of consciousness is located within the white and red constituent energy drops which were attained from the father and mother. First, the white constituent energy drop (khams-dkar-po) from the father, which is at the crown, descends the central channel to the heart and one gets a white appearance in which everything seems very white. Next, the red constituent energy drop (khams dmar-po) from the mother rises from the lower parts of the central nadi to the heart and one has the red pathway appearance in which everything seems red. Then the two constituent energy drops come together, forming a cup around the consciousness at the heart and everything becomes black. This is the black appearance. After the black close approximation comes the clear light of death, although death has not yet occurred. At the time of the clear light, the finest consciousness and the finest energy winds are free from the 80 preconceptions or subtle appearance-making minds, because the 33 preconceptions which are associated with the white appearance, the 40 associated with the red increasing appearance, the seven associated with the black close approximation have previously been blocked or ceased. [According to Tsongkapa, the 80 generally dissolve together at the beginning of the white vision. Here, as in the Sakya explanation, the three groups dissolve one at a time with the appearance to which it is analogous. The three groups are progressively more subtle, like the three subtle appearance-making conceptual minds. But it depends on the subtle energy system of the person.] So, at the time of the clear light, one has the subtlest consciousness which is free from all 80 preconceptual consciousnesses. Page 18 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) The generation stage practice analogous to this ripens into the ability on the complete stage for you to have the experience of this stage without really dying. By this, you purify and no longer have to experience death under the control of delusion and karma. So, the generation stage practice ripens into the complete stage practice which actually does the purifying. What is the visualization in the generation stage which ripens into the complete stage practice? It is analogous to the death process: “The gurus dissolve into each other” then into the root guru, who comes on your head and melts into red light and dissolves in the BAM at your heart. The BAM expands like a balloon, becoming the size of your body, then the size of the earth and the size of the universe. Mediate on a huge BAM. Just as water poured on ice freezes and the ice gets larger, the BAM increases and everything turns into BAM. After expanding it, slowly contract it to the original BAM at your heart. This BAM has a line on the top of the letter with a crescent moon and dot and a squiggle (nada) on top of it. When the body of the BAM dissolves to the top line of the letter, imagine that you experience the mirage-like vision that happens at the time of death. When the line dissolves to the moon, imagine that you are having the smoke-like vision, and think that the mirage-like appearance has ceased and the spark-like experience will come next. When the moon dissolves to the dot, feel that you are experiencing the spark-like vision, and think that previously there was the smoke vision and subsequently there will be the butter lamp vision. When the dot dissolves into the nada, imagine experiencing the butter lamp vision and think that previously there was the spark vision and afterwards there will be the white vision. If we were actually dying, at this point we would no longer be breathing. The squiggle has three curves. When the bottom of the squiggle dissolves up to the first curve, there is the white vision. When the squiggle dissolves from the first to the second curve, there is the red vision. When it dissolves up to the third curve, there is the black vision. When the tiny tip which is left at the black vision finally disappears, there is the clear light experience. Again, think: 1. It is the clear light with no appearance. Everything is bare and void. 2. This is not ordinary bareness or voidness, but it is voidness of true existence. The aggregates and the I do not exist as one or many; therefore, the I is void of existing from its own side. This absence of appearance is the voidness of true existence. 3. The consciousness which experiences this is the consciousness of great bliss. 4. This consciousness of great bliss and the voidness which is its object are inseparable, like water mixed in water. In this consciousness of great bliss, which is inseparable from its object, voidness, set the dignity of the Dharmakaya. This is taking death as the pathway to the Dharmakaya. After experiencing the clear light of death, the energy wind becomes grosser and you immediately achieve the bardo. If you are going to be reborn as a human being, the bardo H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 19 of 50 body achieved under the power of delusion and karma is the same shape and form as the human body you will have. What purifies this or eliminates experiencing the bardo under the force of delusion and karma are the pathways of the complete stage of the impure and pure illusory body. What will ripen into the ability to attain this on the complete stage are the practices on the generation stage which are similar to the actual bardo. The way the bardo is attained is that the subtlest consciousness acts as the simultaneously occurring condition for the attainment of the bardo and the finest energy wind which is the vehicle of the finest consciousness is the material cause for the attainment of the bardo. To take death as the pathway to the Dharmakaya, in the generation stage you dissolve everything into the clear light. This is artificial, by intellect or names, because it is imagined by visualization. Within the sphere of the clear light of voidness, one should wish to benefit other sentient beings and so one develops the wish to arise as the sambhogakaya. Rather than going from death to bardo, you want to go to the sambhogakaya. The finest consciousness which has the understanding of the inseparability of voidness and bliss is the simultaneously occurring cause and the material cause from which the sambhogakaya is actualized (instead of actualizing the bardo body) is the finest energy wind which is inseparable from the finest consciousness. In the generation stage, one imagines arising from the clear light as a red BAM which rises and is positioned vertically in air. On this red BAM set the dignity “I am the sambhogakaya.” Derivation of BAM from Sanskrit grammar: Two hollow circle dots, which look like a colon, are used like an apostrophe in Sanskrit when a letter is eliminated. The vowel AH [which is an A with the two dot colon after it] can transform into U. When U is strengthened, it becomes VA=BA. You cannot have BA alone, so it gets the vowel A added to it and you add also the nasal dot on the top to make BAM. This all transforms from the two dots. Each part of the letter has symbolism. For the nasal dot on top, the external symbolism is that of the moon, and the internal symbolism is the white bodhichitta or semen. The other level is the body. For the BA, external symbolism is the sun, and internal is the red bodhichitta, blood. The other level is speech. For the vowel A, external is Rahula which is the demon who eats the sun and the moon, who causes eclipses. The internal is the finest consciousness, and the other level is the mind. By the outer, inner, and secret levels of symbolism of the three constituent parts of BAM, the body, speech and mind of the bardo body which are the basis to be purified, and the body, speech and mind of the impure and pure illusory body at the time of the path are represented. Now, we take birth as the pathway to Nirmanakaya. Rather than our mind joining with the sperm and blood at the time of conception under the power of delusion and karma, we want to transform this. The deep awareness of the nondual void and bliss appears as the letter BAM. We realize that we are Samboghakaya and in this form we can only benefit Aryabodhisattvas. Because we wish to benefit all sentient beings, the desire to appear as Nirmanakaya arises. From E E comes a red double tetrahedral reality source. [Note that the Sanskrit letter E looks like a triangle with the point on the bottom and a line coming Page 20 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) out the bottom 45 degrees to the right.] Inside there is a pink moon with a BAM in the center, and around it the syllables of the mantra. You are the BAM in space and look down at the double tetrahedral reality source and the other BAM and wish to take rebirth there. They are symbolic of the blood and sperm of the parents. You as the BAM in space come down and join with the BAM in the double tetrahedral reality source. After this, light comes from the BAM and goes out to space touching all the sentient beings, transforming them into Vajrayogini and making offering. Then all of this light contracts back to the BAM. Then the whole visualization dissolves into a glow of light and from this glow you arise as Vajrayogini. This practice is taking birth as the pathway to nirmanakaya. Around you is a protection wheel and tent made of vajras, as in Yamantaka. Visualize as described in the sadhana, with the tent and the flames that swirl counterclockwise. Within this tent are the eight cremation grounds. Also inside is the double tetrahedral reality source. In the cross-section of its Star of David shape, there are six triangles that are the points of the star and the central portion. These six triangles form six side-chamber tetrahedrons. The front and back tetrahedral chambers are empty and the two chambers of either side have bliss swirls that turn counterclockwise. Visualize as it is described in the text, “Within the reality source…deep awareness.” On your head is an eight-spoked bone ornament, in its center will come, later on, the crown ornament of the head of Vajrayogini’s buddha family. You are adorned with the various bone ornaments: the crown ornament with the filigree, earrings, bracelets and anklets, necklace, and the girdle-skirt. The sixth ornament that males have is powdered ash which symbolizes that his body is filled with white bodhicitta. The five ornaments of the female deities cover all six symbolisms. In the previous visualization, there is symbolized the attainment of perfection of the five deep awarenesses (mngon-byang lnga). The white moon symbolizes the perfection of the mirror-like deep awareness. The red syllables of the mantra are the perfection from the equalizing deep awareness. The BAM in the center is the perfection from the individualizing deep awareness. The light going out from the BAM and syllables and performing the dual function is the perfection of the all-accomplishing deep awareness. Everything combining together and melting and transforming is the perfection from the sphere of voidness type of deep awareness. Set the divine dignity that you have attained the actual nirmanakaya of Vajradhara at the time of the result. The basis to be purified is death, bardo and rebirth under the power of karma and delusion. The actual path to do this is the approximate and actual clear lights, the impure and pure illusory bodies, and the impure and pure emanation bodies of the complete stage. [Emanation body here refers to your old body. The illusory body goes back into the emanation body which is pure or impure, according to whether the illusory body is pure or impure.] The result is the body, speech, and mind of an enlightened Buddha. H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 21 of 50 In the prayer of the path at the end of the sadhana, “The beautiful motherly consort of the victorious buddhas is the outer Yogini” refers to the arisal of oneself as the external Vajrayogini. This is similar to what was in the initiation. “The syllable BAM is the supreme inner vajra queen” refers to the generation of Vajrayogini in the heart from BAM. “The voidness-clarity…dakini land” refers to when one practices doing the visualization of the central channel and practices the constituent energy drops (khams) going up and down the central channel. By means of this, one dissolves the winds which make manifest the finest consciousness which can understand voidness and bliss, and this is the secret Vajrayogini. This was all introduced in the initiation. “Seeing your face” means may we see the outer, inner, and secret yoginis. Today, we had the discussion of the basis to be purified, the ordinary death, bardo and birth under the power of delusion and karma, recognizing it, and also there was the description of what does the purifying and what are the results of purification. Tonight we should visualize ourselves as Vajrayogini, even if we cannot get all the details clearly. Visualize as best as you can and hold the dignity of being Vajrayogini. This finishes the yoga of generating oneself as the deity. 30 January – Discourse 4 The sixth yoga, generating oneself as the deity, involves the basis of the self to be purified and the transformation of the basis of the self. There is much symbolism in Vajrayogini’s body and mandala. Rinpoche will give us the oral transmission and we can read the texts and learn this ourselves. The khatvanga contains all 62 deities of the Chakrasamvara Heruka mandala. The khatvanga is also referred to as the six-branched object (yan-lag drug-pa). The handle has eight sides. On top of this is (1) a vase. On the vase is (2) a horizontal crossed dorje. In some versions this is below the vase, but it does not matter. On that is (3) a freshly cut human head which is blue. Then there is (4) an old head. It is not fresh nor is it a dried skull, and it is red. On it is (5) a white skull. On that is (6) a five-pointed dorje which is vertical. There are six things, not counting the handle. The top central spoke of the dorje on top symbolizes Heruka. The bottom center spoke is his consort, Vajrayogini. The four spokes in the four directions on the top of the dorje are the four heart dakinis in the center of the Heruka mandala. The white dried skull is the 16 deities of the body circle. The red middle head is the 16 deities of the speech circle. The fresh blue head is the 16 deities of the mind circle. The crossed horizontal dorje is the 8 wrathful goddesses of the doorways and corners. The vase is the celestial mansion. The shaft of the handle is the protection wheel. This is the way the khatvanga symbolizes the 62 deities of the Heruka mandala. Vajrayogini’s ornaments symbolizes the six perfections. You can understand by studying further on your own. [The bliss swirls symbolize the blissful experience at the four chakras when the energy goes up and down the central channel. The cemeteries being on the inside of the tent symbolizes that the winds are to be drawn into the central channel.] Page 22 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) The 50 skulls of the long necklace are the count of the vowels and consonants in the Sanskrit alphabet. That they are dried symbolizes the desiccating power of Vajrayogini’s tummo heat. If the deity is female, the third eye is a left eye; if it is male, the eye is a right one. Generating oneself as Vajrayogini and the mandala is the transformation of the basis to be purified which is death, bardo, and birth under karma and delusion. The seventh yoga of purification of beings: This too contains the basis to be purified and the transformation of that basis. The previous yoga, the yoga of the generation of oneself as the deity, contained the purification on the basis of the self. This is now followed by purification on the basis of others in this seventh yoga. The significance of this order is that one cannot lead others to enlightenment unless he has attained enlightenment himself. If we wish to lead others to enlightenment, we must attain enlightenment ourselves first. Otherwise, if we roam under the power of delusion and karma in samsara, there is no way to lead others. Definitely, we must stop roaming in samsara under the control of delusion and karma. If we fall to a rebirth in the lower realms by the force of delusion and karma, there is no way we can lead or help others. Therefore, we have to protect against and eliminate negative karma which would cause us to fall to the lower realms under the control of delusion and karma. We do this in order to help others. So we must keep strictly the morality of abandoning the ten nonvirtuous actions, not only to avoid falling in the lower realms ourselves, but for the sake of others, because there we cannot help others. To purify the basis of others will be explained next. But to review, the three texts from which this teaching is taken have slightly different outlines. Another way of dividing the teachings is into two: preliminary and actual. In the preliminaries are contained the subjects of perfect human rebirth, death, refuge, the disadvantages of samsara, renunciation, bodhichitta, and voidness. On the basis of these, we take the initiation. In the initiation, one generates himself as the external Vajrayogini. We were introduced to the internal Vajrayogini when we swallowed the flame and there was the transformation of the BAM into Vajrayogini in the navel. The introduction to the secret Vajrayogini was when the bliss swirls from the top and bottom of the central channel met in the heart. Having been introduced like this to the external, internal, and secret Vajrayoginis, and having the external Vajrayogini dissolve into us, we are empowered to meditate on the internal Vajrayogini. Now we are the external Vajrayogini. In our heart is another double tetrahedral reality source, the moon, and the BAM, which is in the nature of the finest energy wind and finest consciousness. It is surrounded by the mantra. Five colored lights go out from the BAM and at the end of each ray is a dakini of the body, circle, speech circle, mind circle, heart circle, and doorway. We emanate them at the tips of the five colored lights and they purify the environment of all the realms of sentient beings. Purifying the suffering and negativities of each realm is the purification of the basis of other. Secondly, there is the transformation of the basis of other. We generate or transform the environment into a double tetrahedral reality source and all the sentient beings into Vajrayogini inside of it. This is how to practice the purification of sentient beings. H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 23 of 50 If you do the visualization here, the benefits are greater than the previous practice of tonglen (giving and taking). We may pray to be reborn in a pure realm, but more powerful and effective to actualize this prayer are these visualizations in which we send forth light and deities to purify the environment and sentient beings. The practice of purification of all things will act as a cause which will ripen into the result that you will have power and influence over others. Before visualizing the tree of assembled gurus, we purify the land and transform the ground into lapis lazuli. This is also a method to purify the basis of others. Page seven of the sadhana, “At my heart…Vajrayogini.” If it is too difficult to visualize the dakinis and Vajrayogini at the end of the rays, it is sufficient to visualize only the rays which transform the environment into double tetrahedral reality source and the sentient beings into Vajrayogini. The eighth yoga, the blessing of Viras and Virinis (dakas and dakinis) is divided into three parts: (1) generation of the body mandala, (2) falling of the wisdom beings, (3) generation of the body armor. First (generation of the body mandala): To arrange deities on the body does not mean the body mandala. Rather is to meditate that the various parts of your body are deities. The constituent energy drop of red bodhichitta is at your navel. It is also referred as tummo or energy fire. Tummo is a wrathful or powerful word and the actual tummo is the deep awareness of voidness. It is what burns away the ignorance and delusion of grasping at true existence. Therefore, that energy fire is something very powerful. The spring-like energy drop (dpyid) refers to what we received from the father and it is located at the heart. It is called spring-like because in spring everything grows and buds and everyone is happy. This word conveys the idea that everything is joyous as things burst into life. When the fire of tummo flames upwards it causes the activation of the happy spring-like constituent energy drop. The spring-like energy drop is at the heart and from that you get the generation of the blissful consciousness which understands voidness. Since you get bliss from the falling of the white constituent energy drops, you get the joy of the blissful understanding of voidness and this is compared to joyous spring when everyone is happy. Tummo is also called “Tilika” and refers to a freckle or red dot. The formation of the body which is composed of six elements, three from the mother and three from the father, is as follows: There are the central channel and the right and left channels. At the heart there are eight channels: four in the cardinal directions and four in the intermediate directions. From each of these come three channels for body, speech and mind. So, 3 x 8 = 24 channels for body, speech and mind. Then there is another set of 8 channels from the senses, 2 from the eyes, 2 from the ears, 2 from the nostrils, 1 from the tongue and 1 from the body in general. When you develop extrasensory perception of a sense, for example the eyes, it is done by gathering in the energy winds of the eyes and using them for extrasensory perception. So, there are 3 sets of 8 channels, or 24, for body, speech and mind, and 8 channels for the senses, or 32 altogether [at the heart chakra]. Page 24 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) There are 37 deities in the body mandala. There are 32 syllables in Vajrayogini’s mantra, so five more syllables are needed in order to make 37 which corresponds to the 37 deities of the body mandala. According to the tantra text, Praises of the Names of Manjushri, the syllable BAM can contain YA, RA, LA, WA. In Sanskrit grammar, there are five main vowels, A I U R L. The last four, when strengthened become: I becomes YA, U becomes WA, R becomes the RA consonant, and L becomes the LA consonant. This is how we get YA WA RA LA which are the seed syllables of the four elements. These four come from BAM. The main deity of the body mandala is transformed from the A inherent in BAM. This makes 37. The transformation of the body mandala comes from 37 energy channels which correspond to the 32 syllables of the mantra and the five other letters. The 37 deities are generated in the heart chakra. The central deity corresponds to the central channel, and the four goddesses around her correspond to the four channels of the elements in the four cardinal directions. Then there are the eight channels of the mind circle, the eight of the speech circle, and the eight of the body circle, and the eight goddesses of the doorways and corners. The central channel, the four channels of the heart, the 24 channels of body, speech, and mind and the eight channels of the senses are all meditated on as deities. The way to generate the body mandala is: There is the BAM at your heart. The energy fire of tummo at the navel (the red bodhichitta) comes up and dissolves in the BAM in the heart. The BAM is the finest level of energy wind and the finest consciousness. The red constituent energy of the mother comes up from the navel and the white constituent energy of the father is already at the heart. Their coming together makes the four sides of the BAM split open and you get the syllables YA RA LA WA. From before, you have visualized the syllables of the mantra like a coral necklace at the heart. It is not necessary to visualize the full energy channels going through the body. Just think of their inner tips coming into the heart. The end of each channel is like a hollow tube. In it is a constituent energy drop (khams). Visualize that a duplicate of a little piece of the energy channel and constituent energy drop dissolve into each syllable of the mantra going around. So, the BAM has broken into the A, which is symbolized by the moon, nada and squiggle, and the YA WA LA RA, and the letters of the mantra are standing on the moon. By the dissolution of the duplicate part of the energy channels and the constituent energy drops into these 37 letters, they are transformed into deities. The center deity transformed from the moon, nada and squiggle is Dorje Tzünmo, who is red and looks like Vajrayogini. The four deities transformed from YA RA LA WA look like Vajrayogini but their colors are: In the north (on your left side) is green Lama, in the west toward you back is red Khandarohi, in the south on your right is yellow Rupini, in the east in front is white dakini, and where the letters of the mantra were, there are now the 24 deities of the body, speech and mind circles and the eight deities of the gateways. Their names are written in the sadhana. The 24 channels come from 24 places in the body, such as the center of the brow, the hairline, and the top of the head, and they correspond to the 24 places in the world with H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 25 of 50 daka-dakinis. The 24 external sites in the world correspond to the 24 internal places in the body from which come the 24 body, speech and mind channels. They contain the 24 constituent energy drops in the body which come from the teeth, nails, etc. With the dissolution of the duplicates of the tips of the energy channels and their constituent energy drops into the syllables of the mantra, the eight deities of the mind circle, the eight of the speech circle, and the eight of the body circle are generated. Likewise, the eight deities of the gateways are generated from the eight channels of the senses. These 32 are in a circle and all are red. So there is one deity in the center, four around that which were generated from the four letters coming from the splitting of the BAM, and around that are the 32 from the letters of the mantra. This completes the generation of the body mandala. Joining of the wisdom beings: This is the second part of the eighth yoga of the blessings of the viras and virinis. Previously in the purification of others, we sent out light that transformed all the beings into Vajrayogini. They were left out there. Now they dissolve in us in three sets of yoginis. [At this point, one can think of the joining of nine messenger ladies which are in three groups of three each. The external dakinis are actual women. The least has insight of the generation stage or above. The intermediate are the dakinis of the 24 places. The best are from dakini land. The internal dakinis: The least are the eight wrathful goddesses of the doorways and corners (in the energy channels. The middle are those of the nadis of the 24 places in the body. The best are the five inner ones of the body mandala (four transformed from the elements and the central one). The secret dakinis: The least is the mind which has aspiration and faith in voidness and bliss. The middle is the mind with conceptual insight of voidness and bliss. The best is the mind with bare perception of simultaneous voidness and bliss. These minds are in the form of dakinis. All nine of these dissolve in you when you dissolve all the double tetrahedral reality source and dakinis that were generated before when you enlightened all the sentient beings. In that previous visualization, the light you send out dissolves in you, but the dakinis and double tetrahedral reality source stay out there until after the body mandala is generated and they dissolved when the wisdom beings fall in.] Generating the body armor: This is the third part of the eighth yoga. There are six pairs of syllables which represent the six buddha families. The mother and father figures of the six buddha families appear in the form of syllables. The nature of the syllables is that of the buddha families and the aspect is the syllables which appear on moon disks in a layer between the skin and the “flesh.” There are two syllables for each family, the colors described in the sadhana. From them, lights spread out which go all around you and form an armor. [The inside of the body is red and so is the outer red skin. Just beneath the skin is the colored layer. From mid thigh to feet, and from just below the shoulders down the arms are gray. Red bermuda shorts, blue T-shirt, white from below neck to forehead, yellow band across the forehead, green cap. The moon disks are horizontal and the letters on Page 26 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) them are upright and face outwards. There are eight moons and letters, one at each joint, in the gray region. The armor keeps insights in and interferences out.] Then there is the initiation and the generation of the crown ornament. Again, there are the outer, inner, secret, and thusness offerings. The outer and inner are as before. The secret offering may be either of two ways. The first, we are Vajrayogini. Heruka is transformed from our khatvanga and we go into union with him. The other way Vajrayogini changes sex and becomes male. If this is done, you recite the two optional lines in the sadhana, one in which you transform into Heruka and the other in which you transform back to Vajrayogini after the offering is made. The eight line praise follows this. The ninth yoga of verbal and mental recitation: This section includes not only the verbal and mental recitation, but also the auxiliary first and second complete stage practices. Verbal recitation: The visualization is described on page 9 “Inside the red…strength.” After doing as described, do the recitation. The body mandala is at your heart. In the heart of the central deity is another double tetrahedral reality source which contains a moon, a BAM, and the mantra going around. First complete stage practice: Although this is the generation stage, two complete stage practices are inserted. In the first, the double tetrahedral reality source and the deities of the body mandala, etc., descend to the navel. The deities transform into the syllables of the mantra with a BAM in the center. There are pink bliss swirls in each of the four side points of the double tetrahedral reality source. Visualize these swirling. You do this for only a short time. Mental recitation: Your mind is the BAM in the center of the double tetrahedral reality source. You read the mantra letters three times. You do not recite the mantra, only read the letters. The BAM does not turn as you read the letters. It is as if you are in a room of people, you do not need to turn around to look at them, but you still know they are there. The letters of the mantra all face inwards toward the BAM. Auxiliary second complete stage practice: The double tetrahedral reality source, etc., which is at the navel goes back up to the heart. There is a red bliss swirl at the top of your central channel and a white one at the bottom. They are swirling counterclockwise and you visualize them coming together at the heart. This is as was in the initiation. They meet at the heart, join together, swirl faster and faster, getting smaller and smaller until they disappear and you experience the bliss and void. [(1) Verbal recitation. The body mandala is at the heart in the central channel. This is within the double tetrahedral reality source. At the heart of the central deity of the body mandala is another double tetrahedral reality source with moon, mantra, and BAM inside. It is this that one focuses on during the verbal recitation. (2) The double tetrahedral reality source and body mandala go to the navel and the deities transform back again into H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 27 of 50 the syllables of the mantra. Now do the first auxiliary central channel practice for a short time. The bliss swirls are pink. (3) You are the BAM at the navel. It does not rotate. It is like if you are in a room you do not need to look at other people. You know they are there. The mantra letters face inwards. You do not say the sound of the mantra, but if you are attached to sound, you can have the letters themselves making sound. This is supposed to be a conceptual cognition with form, not sound, of the letters as its object. (4) The double tetrahedral reality source goes back up to the heart. The white constituent energy drop is at the bottom of the central channel and the red constituent energy drop at the top as in the initiation, but it can be vice-versa. They slowly come to the heart, the bottom one first. Everything dissolves in the swirl after these two swirls meet. This gets smaller and smaller and dissolves into voidness.] Tonight visualize the whole mandala with the fence, double tetrahedral reality source, etc., yourself as Vajrayogini with ornaments. Passing the mind back and forth over this, fill in the details of the visualization and develop the clarity and dignity of the deity. Day 5 – 13 January The tenth yoga, the inconceivable yoga: This is in two parts: common and uncommon. The common inconceivable yoga is as written in the sadhana; the dissolution of the three realms into colored light and that absorbing into oneself in stages (page 10). This fits into the category of the yogas done during the meditation session itself. Between sessions do: The eleventh yoga, the yoga of action: Between sessions, visualize oneself as Vajrayogini with one head and two arms. Think that of all sights you see as Vajrayogini, the environment is a double tetrahedral reality source and the mandala, all sounds you hear are mantra, and all thoughts you think are aspects of the deep awareness of voidness and bliss of Vajrayogini. See all actions of body, speech and mind as the body, speech and mind of Vajrayogini. Also, between sessions you can set the armor as a protection around you. When doing this, say the OM SUMBHANI mantra. The first time you say it, snap your fingers in a counterclockwise direction, and the second time snap your fingers going clockwise. The sound of the mantra is emitted from your mouth. It is like thunder and the roar of dragons and it drives away all interferences. This yoga done between sessions is divided into six: 1. Eating. Before eating, bless the food with OM AH HUNG and imagine that you are eating nectar of the deep awareness of voidness and bliss. You are Vajrayogini and when you partake of the food, you are satisfying all the buddhas and bodhisattvas who are residing within your body. 2. Yoga of making offering: It is best to offer tsog each day. If you do not do that, offer tsog on the Tibetan 10th and 25th. It you cannot do that, the minimum is to offer it on the 10th and 25th of the last month of the Tibetan calendar. [Correction: On the 25th of the Tibetan 11th month and 10th of the twelfth Tibetan month.] If the 10th is missing on the calendar, do tsog on the 9th. If there are two 10ths, do it on the first one. You need alcohol and meat. Do not let the offering your present Page 28 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) fall on the ground, do not step over them or get them dirty as there are great disadvantages which follow. 3. Yoga of making fire puja. This needs to be taught separately. 4. Yoga of setting up offerings around the mandala and doing all the mandala offerings. This, too, is taught separately by watching someone doing it. You can get instructions that way. 5. Yoga of offering tormas. If you cannot make tormas, biscuits in a tin or jar can be substituted. 6. Doing all your actions with the left. Use the left hand to do things and start to walk with the left foot. This is done with mother tantra because the left side symbolizes wisdom. Specific instructions can be learned by studying texts. Rinpoche gives us the oral transmission. If someone has highest mental faculties and he does the long retreat, does the sadhana every day, and never misses offering tsog on the 10th and 25th, it is possible for him to be taken to dakini land that life. For one of intermediate faculties, if he does a retreat with 10 million mantras and actualizes the Langali stick practice, he can be led to dakini land that life time. There are 14 factors of The Chakrasamvara Tantra: 1. The clothes and five mudras, the latter referring to the jewelry. 2. The branch of discriminating awareness. 3. The staking of daggers. 4. Ali or the vowels. 5. Kali or the consonants. 6. Preceding this with voidness of the cause and so forth. 7. Entering of the sound and so forth. 8. Having the application of the incorporation of all that exists. 9. Satisfying with the nectar. 10. Nirvana. 11. Offering of hands. 12. Offering of initiation. 13. Protection of the great armor. 14. Offering with all the mantras. The 14 factors of The Chakrasamvara Tantra are complete in the Vajrayogini practice. This is how: 1. The clothing and five mudras, the latter of which refer to the jewelry. Clothing refers to the proper place of practice. We had the proper basis explained and in another outline, there was the proper place to practice. This point covers that. It refers not only to the place in which to practice but also to the double tetrahedral reality source in which you practice. The five mudras refer to the bone ornaments worn during the initiation or to the dorje and bell used. 2. The branch of discriminating awareness. There are different ways of classifying practitioners. The jewel-like practitioner is able to attain enlightenment that life H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 29 of 50 by means of practice with a consort. Even if one is not that type of practitioner, this point can still be found in the Vajrayogini practice since the definitive meaning of the consort is to have the deep awareness of voidness and bliss. This is included in the sadhana from the beginning, so doing the sadhana within this deep awareness of voidness and bliss satisfies this. Discriminating awareness in Tibetan is sherab. If ma is added to this, it becomes the term for knowledge lady or consort. Vajrayogini is a knowledge lady and the khatvanga on her shoulder symbolizes Heruka. Your visualizing yourself as Vajrayogini is another way of satisfying this factor. 3. Staking or positioning the daggers. This refers to the practice of the protection wheel. In the sadhana, there is only a small protection wheel practice, not an extensive one. In the measureless yoga, the taking of refuge and the guruyoga are included in staking the daggers. 4. Ali or vowels. This refers to the generation of the deity from the moon. Out of AH comes the moon in the practice of taking birth as the pathway for nirmanakaya. This is where you get the vowel. 5. Kali or consonants. From the two syllables EE comes the double tetrahedral reality source and inside that, the generation of the mantra rosary. The generation of the mantra and double tetrahedral reality source from EE is the factor of kali or consonants. 6. Preceding this with voidness as the cause and so forth refers to the meditation during the OM SVABHAVA mantra which is said before the generation of nirmanakaya from the vowel and consonants, when there is the practice of taking dharmakaya as a path which is void of all things. 7. Entering of the sound and so forth. Nada means sound in Sanskrit, and this factor refers to when the nada on the BAM in space enters the moon and the BAM below when the nirmanakaya is generated. 8. Having the application of the incorporation of all that exists. This refers to what follows from the practice of taking the nirmanakaya as the path in which you generate yourself as Vajrayogini. It is the application of all these things that incorporate all this in them. 9. Satisfying with the nectar. This refers to the inner offering and the yoga of tasting the nectar and the 11th yoga, the yoga of action, and the practice of the torma. 10. Nirvana. This factor is completed through the dissolution of the environment and the beings in the practice of the common and uncommon inconceivable yoga. 11. Offering of hands. This refers to doing the various offerings with mudras and all the practices of the yoga of action which are done between sessions; the sleeping and waking yogas. It especially refers to doing everything with the left side. 12. Conferring of initiation. This includes all the practices of conferring the initiation to enter the ripening path or causing others to enter it. Self-initiation, the consecration ceremony (rabnä, rab-gnas), and the initiation of oneself as Vajrayogini and getting the crown ornament also satisfies this factor. 13. Protection of the great armor. This is the setting of the body armor and between sessions, the saying of the OM SUBANI mantra with snapping the fingers and sending out protection by means of the sound of the mantra. It also refers to the practice of the body mandala. Page 30 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) 14. Offering with all the mantras. This is the verbal and mental recitation and the saying of the eight line praise. All 14 factors of the Heruka tantra are included in the long sadhana. In the short sadhana, although the 11 yogas are complete, the 14 factors are not. If you do the practice which has the 14 factors complete and you do it properly with no mental wandering – and even if you do it with wandering, if you do it without missing a day and you never miss offering tsog on the 10th and 25th, there is no doubt that you will be guided by dakas and dakinis. When the inner offering and the tormas, etc., are blessed, there are four mudras to correspond to the four things involved: 1. To chase away interferences. You say OM and the mudra is with the left palm facing outwards and the left hand on the right fist. 2. The purification into voidness. AH is said, the right palm is out on top of the left fist. 3. Generation of the substances. HUNG is said and the two hands are put side by side, palms up. 4. The blessing. HA HO HRI is said and the mudra is like when you say PHEM. There are mudras for the outer offerings which we know, an also for the 16 offerings (the lute, flute, drum, laughing, strutting, dancing, cymbals, mirror, music, Dharmadhatu, etc.). Either two or four handed goddesses make these offerings. These teachings are extremely secret and are only for our own practice. They are not to be explained to others. If you carefully practice the verbal and mental recitation, the first and second axillary complete stage practices, do the 400,000 mantra retreat, offer tsog every 10th and 25th, if you are of sharp mental faculties, you can be led to dakini land this life. If you practice perfectly the 11 yogas, sleeping with bodhichitta, and do all the practices properly, you can be led to dakini land this life without abandoning your body. When you are led to dakini land, even if you are 80 years old, you assume the aspect of being 16. You receive instruction from Vajrayogini, travel to all the buddha lands, receiving teachings from buddhas and bodhisattvas and attain enlightenment there. The intermediate faculties practitioner must do the long retreat of 10 million mantras, and after that do the practice of the Langali stick. This is a hollow stick. The bottom is blocked and it is filled with red vermilion powder which is from doing the self-initiation all the time. When the stick is finally filled up with the red powder, the top is blocked and a bliss swirl is put on top. The yogi buries it in a cremation ground and sits on top of it from the 10th to the 25th and does certain practices: the sadhana and especially the 11th yoga, in the cremation ground at night. At the beginning, he practices part of the night like this, and as the days pass, the time gets longer, until on the 25th he practices the whole night. A practitioner of Heruka must guard him with a huge stick while he practices the whole night. Then he takes the stick out of the ground. He sells all his H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 31 of 50 possessions and wanders around without attachment, trying to meet different women in different places. He continuously does the self-initiation. When he meets a woman and the bliss swirl on his forehead transfers to her forehead, he knows that she is a dakini. He grabs her and insists with great force that she take him to dakini land, and she will. That is how the practitioner of intermediate faculties goes to dakini land through the Langali stick practice. This practice can be done while doing the 10 million mantra retreat, if he does 9,600,000 mantras, then does the practice at the cremation ground and then completes the 400,000 remaining mantras, or he can do all 10 million before doing the practice in the cremation ground. Each evening of the teaching we should emphasize one factor: On the first day, refuge and bodhichitta; the second day Vajrasattva and mandala offering; the third, visualize oneself as the deity with the rough form without implements of jewelry and develop divine dignity; the fourth, dong the specific visualization with implements and jewelry; the fifth, visualization and meditation on the body mandala. In the prayer of the practice, on page 14, “The worldly environment…pure appearance,” refers to the thinking of the environment as the mandala, the sentient beings as Vajrayogini, all sounds as mantra, and all your thoughts as the play of the unity of voidness and bliss. One practices transforming everything into the aspect of the body, speech and mind of Vajrayogini. “Likewise…eyes” refers to how a person with supreme intelligence can attain dakini land. The 10 yogas and single moon refer to the 11 yogas. This verse explains how the supreme faculty person is led to dakini land by relying on the 11 yogas. “Having…dakini land” explains how the intermediate faculty person, by dong the extensive retreat and the Langali stick practice can be led to dakini land. In the oral transmission it was explained how to do the retreat of 10 million or 3.7 million mantras, the fire puja, etc. Since you have the oral transmission, you can study this on your own. The person with the least faculties can be led to dakini land in the bardo. There are also instructions on how to avoid deceptive appearance and the suffering of the bardo through powa or transference of consciousness. For example, one visualizes the central channel with the bottom opening blocked. Your mind is visualized in a certain form in the central channel and the deity is visualized on your head. You shoot your consciousness out of your crown, up into the heart of the deity on your head to transfer the consciousness. When powa is practiced, the person also must do other practices to gain long life. Long life practices are done in conjunction with powa because the only time you are supposed to do powa is at the time of death, when all the practices to extend the life have failed. When the practices involving holding the energy wind and the life-sustaining energy fail, then you do powa. Powa cannot be done any time, but only at the time of death. When you start to die, the elements are dissolving, you have signs and are aware of all this. Then you do powa and it is possible to go to dakini land instead of to the bardo. That time, it is very important to practice the five powers to transfer the consciousness as was explained in the “Seven Point Thought Training.” Before doing powa, it is important to do the five powers at death time (purifying nonvirtuous action, giving your possessions for use in Dharma, generating bodhichitta, etc.) Page 32 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Day 6 – 1 February The outline of the teachings: 1. The source of the teachings. 2. The benefits. 3. The way the practitioners attained powers. 4. The stage of the teachings. A. The 11 yogas of the generation stage to actualize the external Vajrayogini. B. The complete stage, meditation on the central channel to actualize the internal Vajrayogini. The complete stage to actualize the internal Vajrayogini is divided into: 1. The situation of the phenomena which are the basis. 2. The state of the path to liberation. 3. The way to make manifest the result. The basis is divided into: 1. Body. 2. Mind. 3. What is common to both. The body is divided into: 1. Rough (our gross body). 2. Subtle. 3. Most subtle. Rough refers to our gross body. Subtle is divided into: 1. The energy channels. 2. The wind which moves through them. 3. The bodhichittas which are situated within them. The energy channels: When the mind comes together with blood and sperm, the first four channels which are generated are: 1. The central channel. 2. The right channel. 3. The left channel. 4. The simultaneously developed channel (sdud-‘brel-ma). It is called simultaneous because it develops simultaneously with the central channel. There are also four main channels of the cardinal directions. Together, these are the first eight channels that develop at the heart. They develop first, but when we speak of the eight channels at the heart, it refers to the channels in the four cardinal directions and the channels in the four intermediate directions. So there are two lists of eight. There are four H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 33 of 50 possibilities of pervasions between the eight that develop first at the heart and the eight that are at the heart. 1. The channels which are both those which develop first and those which are at the heart. These are the four channels in the cardinal directions. 2. Those which are part of the eight which develop first, but are not in the set of eight at the heart. These are the central channel, the right channel, the left channel, and the simultaneously developed channel. 3. Those which are not the channels which develop first, but are those at the heart. These are the channels in the four intermediate directions. 4. The channels which are neither those which develop first nor those at the heart. These are all the other channels in the body. Each of the eight channels at the heart (these of the four cardinal and four intermediate directions) each have a channel for the body, for the speech, and for the mind. So, 8 x 3 = 24. Each of these 24 in turn are subdivided in three. From each there is a channel from which: 1. Sperm falls. 2. Blood falls. 3. Winds fall. So, 24 x 3 = 72. From each of these come 1000 smaller channels. 72 x 1000 = 72,000 channels of the body. Where do they develop from? They develop out of the central channel. Here we speak of four chakras: 1. The great bliss chakra at the crown, which has 32 branch channels. 2. The utility chakra at the throat with 16 channels. 3. The Dharma chakra at the heart with 8 channels. 4. The emanation chakra at the naval with 64 channels. The chakras are like the house, the constituent energy drops are the objects in the house, the winds are like the master of the house. The winds. There are five major and five branch winds. The five major are: 1. The equalizing wind. 2. The upward going wind. 3. Downward voiding wind. 4. The life supporting wind. 5. The all pervading wind. They are also know as the winds of the five buddha families. Then there are also the five auxiliary winds, associated one each with the five senses. There are 10 winds altogether. The bodhichittas. Other terms are constituent energy drops (khams), creative energy (thig-le). They are situated in this system and are the essential fluids that course through the channels. Three are primarily referred to: 1. The white bodhichitta at the crown. Page 34 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) 2. The red bodhichitta at the naval. 3. The undissipating drop at the heart. It is called this because except at the time of death, this drop does not dissipate. It is received at birth with the mixture of white and red bodhichitta at the heart, and it is held at the heart, like in an amulet box. The subtlest body refers to the wind (lung) which is the vehicle at the time of the basis for the clear light of death. It is also the winds abiding in the undissipating drop at the heart. At the time of the path, it is the wind which is the basis for either the approximating or the actual clear light. Mind. This is three: rough, fine and finest. 1. Rough, gross mind refers to the sensory consciousness. 2. Subtle minds are the white appearing, the red increasing, and the black near attainment (the visions at death). [They also include regular mental consciousness, both conceptual and nonconceptual.] 3. The subtlest mind is the mind of clear light. The reason the central channel is spoken of in the complete stage is by doing clear visualization of the central channel, visualizing and concentrating there, you can collect the winds in the central channel and by means of that get the deep awareness of realization. One can receive realizations by means of dissolving the wind in the central channel. This is the significance of the complete stage being involved in the visualization of the central channel. If you are familiar with the critical points in the central channel, by causing the winds to enter, abide and dissolve in the central channel, it becomes easy to gain realizations. Just as a woodsman must be skilled to know the critical points of a tree, for if he marks a spot on its trunk and hits this spot all the time, it is easy to cut the tree; or just as a butcher must be skilled in knowing where the jugular vein is, for then he knows how to kill with one blow, easily; or just as a skilled magician – Someone once set a magic wheel turning which prevented King Ashoka from getting some relic pills. His mother told him exactly what he had to do to lift the spell – Likewise, the meditator, if he knows the critical points in the central channel, can easily gain realizations. This completes the explanation of the basis. The path to liberation is divided into: 1. The direct showing of voidness (chos-nyid). 2. The indirect showing. The difference between direct and indirect showing is like this: If someone has never been to the ocean you can directly describe the color and smell, etc., but that is not so useful. It is better to explain how to get there. Then he can go and understand what the ocean is like himself. To understand the nature of the finest level of consciousness or to understand the deep awareness of simultaneous voidness and bliss, such subjects like these are very difficult if you try to explain them directly. Trying to describe directly what is the clarity and awareness of the primordial mind is difficult, but if you explain how to visualize the channels and how to experience the approximate and actual clear light, the person can do the practices and understand by himself what the nature of the H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 35 of 50 primordial mind is. Thus, the indirect showing of “chos-nyid” or voidness, thusness, is more beneficial. This is divided into two: 1. The path of the messenger ladies with desire. 2. The central pathway free from desire. The pathway of messenger ladies with desire: If one does not have realizations, this is extremely dangerous. It is like licking the edge of a sharp sword with honey on it. It is better to follow the practices of the central channel, which involve dissolving the wind and causing them to enter, abide and dissolve in the central channel. The explanation of the latter is divided in two: 1. Gathering the winds and consciousness in the central channel. 2. How to meditate once you have gathered them in. To gather them in the central channel, start by doing the nine round breathing meditation. Visualize the central channel as it was described before. It goes to the top of the head and then curves down with the end between the eyebrows. Although the right and left channels knot around the central channel, we visualize them as being straight. Their top ends also go up to the crown, curve down and exit through the nostrils. Visualizing inserting the lower end of the right channel into the left one. Breathe in through the right nostril, bring the air down, visualizing that it enters the left channel below the navel, and then exhale through the left nostril. Doing this clears away the dergs, obscurations, and interferences from that channel. Do this three times. Then unplug the channels and put the left into the bottom of the right. Inhale through the left, bring the air down, visualize it entering the right channel and exhale through the right nostril. Do this three times. Then unplug them again and put both the right and left channels into the bottom of the central channel. Breathe in slowly through both the right and left nostrils, bring the air down and visualize it going into the central channel. Physically breathe out through the right and left nostrils, but visualize the air leaving the central channel at the forehead. This way, you clean out the dregs of all the channels. To gather the wind in the central channel, one meditates on the central channel and by the burning of tummo, gets the winds and consciousness to dissolve in the central channel. By focusing or meditating on the winds, one generates great bliss, and by meditating on the consciousness, he generates the understanding of voidness. By means of these, one can attain the rainbow body. We can also speak of six chakras. This includes the secret chakra at the pubic region with 32 branches, and the sixth chakra at the tip of the sex organ with 8 channels. The clear light at death is the mother clear light. It rises at the conclusion of the process of dissolution at death time. The practices of the complete stage in which one dissolves the winds through first visualizing and then actually dissolving them leads to the child Page 36 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) clear light. At death, if one can practice the two together, that is the meeting of the mother and child clear lights. To gather the wind in the central channel, there are the practices of tummo or energy fire. Visualize the right and left channels inserted into the central channel below the navel. At the navel there is the red letter RAM. Slowly draw up the downward-voiding energy from the lower orifices. By drawing it up, it causes the RAM at the navel to become very hot and to flare. There are different stages of the practice: building up the fire, and causing the fire to flare. Draw the downward-voiding air up to the navel and draw the upward-going air down to the navel. Hold the breath as long as you can without forcing. Breathe out through the nose, keeping the mouth closed. By the consequent flaring of the RAM, think that all the dregs in the channels in the body get burned and cleared away. When the dregs of the constituent energy drops are burned off, imagine that the clarified part of the constituent energy drops which remain when the dregs are burned off come up and dissolve in the central channel. The clarified portion of the constituent energy drops through the body dissolves in the three main channels: right, left and central channels. Then those in the right and left channels dissolve through the bottom opening in the central channel, and as the clarified constituent energy drops dissolves in the central channel, feel that the central channel is completely filled with the constituent energy drops and with white bodhichitta. As a result, feel extreme great bliss. When one experiences the great bliss, it can induce the realization of the voidness of the great bliss. When doing this meditation, if the heat comes too much or too quickly, it is not good. If the flame is small and develops slowly and with difficulty, it is much better. While doing this meditation, you do not simultaneously meditate on the body mandala. Rather, think the inside of your body is empty, like a balloon. It is like there is clear light inside the body. After doing this practice, again generate the body mandala and then practice the inconceivable yoga in the sadhana and continue with the rest of the sadhana. This is how you first gather the wind in the central channel. How to meditate once you have gathered the winds in: One now tries to activate the deep awareness of great bliss. By activating the wind, you get the actualization of voidness and from this, the rainbow body. The way to do this is as follows. In the top end of the central channel which is at the mid brow, visualize five tiny drops. The central one is white, the one in the front (east) is blue, to your left (north) is green, to the back (west) red, to your right (south) yellow. Visualize carefully and clearly the radiance of the drops located inside the central channel, at the point between the eyebrows. At the top end of the central channel in the mid brow there is a single reality source. Also, at the bottom end of the central channel, at the lower end of the female secret organ, which is in the form of a three-petalled lotus, there is another single reality source. The five tiny drops at the mid brow go through the central channel to the crown of the head. The four drops in the four directions stay there, but the center drop falls as white bodhichitta down the central channel and you experience the four blisses. As the white bodhichitta goes up and down the central channel you experience bliss. This is the way to actualize the different blisses. H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 37 of 50 Five tiny drops go to the crown. Then the center one goes down to the different chakras. You experience bliss as it goes down, and again as it comes up. There is another meditation to do with these five-colored drops at the brow. Send from them five colored light which goes through the body and burns the dregs of the constituent energy drops, leaving only the clarified constituent energy drops in the form of five-colored lights. The light spreads to the environment and everything becomes rainbow light. Then the light dissolves back into the drops in the brow. Combining this visualization with meditation on voidness is the way to actualize the rainbow body. If you practice like this, it will happen that in the sun you will not feel hot, in the cold you will not feel chilled, when beaten you will not feel pain, and when you meet spirits you will not feel afraid. In your own home as a yogi, your body will turn into a rainbow body. The rainbow body is spoken of in mother tantra, the illusory body in father tantra. The techniques to attain them are different. Powa or transference of consciousness: First, do refuge and bodhichitta, reciting as is written in the sadhana with great strength. Then do the nine-round breathing meditation. Then visualize your guru in the form of Vajrayogini on your shoulders. Her two legs are on your shoulders and the opening of her sex organ is on your crown. The bottom of your central channel is blocked and the top opens into her sex organ. Your mind, in the form of Vajrayogini is at the navel chakra, at the bottom of the central channel. Light flows from guru Vajrayogini’s heart, from the BAM, and purifies you, filling you with light. You say “hick!” and your mind goes up the central channel, out of your head, through her sex organ, and dissolves in the BAM at her heart. Feel that your mind and hers are inseparable and that you have gone to dakini land through this. Then your mind, as Vajrayogini, goes back down to your navel. Do this a few times, going up and back down like this. Then guru Vajrayogini dissolves in red light which flows into you, dissolving in the BAM at your heart. Feel that your body is filled with the nectar of realizations and insights. The opening of the central channel at the top of your head closes with a double dorje on top of which prevents the realizations and insights from leaving. You are filled with the light and nectar of realizations. At the end of the Powa practice, do other practices to prolong the life. Summary. In the practice of the generation stage, you need to have firm visualization of yourself as Vajrayogini and also the visualization of the protection wheel, the double tetrahedral reality source and the cemetaries. When you can do this with perfect clarity and concentration you can develop mental quiescence and single-pointed concentration. When you can visualize the whole mandala in a tiny drop after one sixth of a day (four hours), then you have achieved the completion or perfection of the generation stage. Then, with full mental quiescence you practice the completion sage. In this, the main thing you want to do is dissolve the wind in the central channel. So, you visualize the central channel and try to activate the critical points of the central channel to dissolve the winds, thereby doing the tummo practices. However, before doing that, first you practice the common path or renunciation, bodhichitta, and the right view. After receiving the proper initiation and keeping the Page 38 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) vows and commitments, do the generation stage practices. You reach the completion of the generation stage with full mental quiescence. [The five stages of the Guhyasamaja complete stage according to Nagarjuna are: (1) body-isolation, (2) speech-isolation, mind-isolation, and comparative clear light (conceptual understanding of voidness), (3) impure illusory body (one has not yet eliminated the obstacles to liberation), (4) actual clear light (nonconceptual understanding of voidness), (5) state of unity of pure illusory body and abandonment of obstacles preventing liberation) still with more training. Beyond the five stages are the state of unity of pure illusory body and actual clear light, still with training, and then unity with no more training (= Enlightenment, free from obstacles to omniscience).] Then you engage in the complete stage practices, starting with tummo to dissolve the wind in the central channel. By doing the practices of tummo at the navel, you can dissolve the winds there and get the experience of great bliss and then meditate on simultaneous voidness and bliss. This entrance of the winds into the central channel is the first realization of the complete stage. The sign you have caused the winds to enter the central channel is that you breath out and in equally and evenly through both nostrils. When you get signs of the winds entering the central channel, you have achieved the first realization of the complete stage and can do the unartificial yogas when you have this realization. [Here, unartificial refers to the complete stage in general.] This is the practice of the body-isolation. Then you do a similar practice at the throat chakra. It is called the speech-isolation practice because the speech is isolated from its ordinary aspects. This is the next stage on the practice of the complete stage. Then you activate the heart chakra. By causing the winds to dissolve in the central channel at the heart, you get the state of dissolution as at the time of death. This is the mind-isolation practice. At the conclusion of this, you get the clear light which comes at the conclusion of the mind-isolation practice. This is the comparative clear light and is the actual thing which puts an end to death under the power of delusion and karma. If before dying you get the comparative clear light with the signs and dissolution the same as at death, it will eliminate death under the power of delusion and karma. If you get the experience of this clear light, it is pervasive that you will attain enlightenment in that life. When the person who has eliminated having to experience death under delusion and karma dies, instead of having to go to the bardo under the control of delusion and karma, he attains the sambhogakaya in the form of Vajrayogini. This sambhogakaya Vajrayogini is what is spoken of when we talk of the illusory body of Vajrayogini. This can only be seen by arya bodhisattvas. They can see the actual deity and the residence of Vajrayogini. However, to be seen by and to benefit the ordinary sentient beings, this Vajrayogini goes back in the old body. To do that, one goes through the reversed sequence that happened at death. That is, one goes from the clear light to the black vision, etc., to the mirage-like experience and then arises as the nirmanakaya Vajrayogini. This is the method to eliminate bardo and birth under the power of delusion and karma. H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 39 of 50 The illusory body you attain after the comparative clear light and the conclusion of the mind-isolation practice of the complete stage is an actual, genuine body of the deity. Before this, the body of the deity in the generation stage and body-isolation and speechisolation stages of the complete stage is just visualized, imagined. It is not a genuine body of the deity. The genuine body is received after you attain the comparative clear light at the end of the mind-isolation practice of the complete stage. This body of Vajrayogini that you get at the conclusion of the comparative clear light is an impure illusory body, not a pure one. Though it is an impure illusory body, it is still a genuine body. Why then is it called impure? This is because it is not yet purified of the obstacles preventing liberation. It needs to be purified of that. The clear light that induces the impure illusory body is the clear light which is the conceptual understanding of voidness based on a meaningful idea (don-spyi) of voidness. In other words, the conceptual understanding of voidness of the approximate clear light induces the impure illusory body. Later you get actual bare perception of voidness, and because it acts as an opponent to the obstacles to liberation, it induces the pure illusory body. The pure illusory body is purified of the obstacles preventing liberation. Still, you need to abandon the obstacles preventing omniscience to become Buddha. The pure illusory body is also called vajra body (rdo-rje sku), because that body itself is the body that goes on to attain enlightenment. The reason the impure illusory body is not called a vajra body is because it does not go on to attain enlightenment. You have to leave aside the impure illusory body. The yogi who attains the pure illusory body goes back into his meditative absorption and he has the actual clear light which purifies his mind. In meditation sessions, he unifies the actual clear light which purifies his mind and the illusory body which purifies his body and he reaches the state of unity which is the illusory body and the clear light united. This is the state of unity with learning. He practices further and abandons the obstacles to omniscience and attains that state of unity with no more learning which is the state of a Vajradhara Buddha. To start the practice of the complete stage, one does the initial practice of tummo. One visualizes that the right and left channels are inserted into the central channel. Visualize the short syllable AH at the navel chakra. This is what you focus on when you do the practice of lighting the fire and causing the fire to flame up, which are the first two stages of this practice. By meditating like this on tummo at the navel chakra of the central channel, there is the build-up of the flame which then ascends the central channel. The white bodhichitta falls and you have the experience of bliss. Then you meditate on simultaneous voidness and bliss. You have this with the experience of the winds dissolving in the central channel. The entering, abiding and dissolving of the winds in the central channel are stages of getting this realization, and you notice signs of these occurring when you do the tummo practices. The sign that the winds have entered is that you breathe evenly through both nostrils. When the winds abide in the central channel, breath ceases to pass in and out of the nose. The sign of the dissolution of the winds in the central channel are the various appearances or visions of the mirage, smoke, sparks, butter lamp, white, red, black. These are the signs you get when you have caused the Page 40 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) winds to enter, abide and dissolve in the central channel to get the realization of simultaneous void and bliss. When you can cause the winds to enter, abide, and dissolve in the central channel through the practice of tummo, there are nine mixings to practice. Before, we talked of taking death as the pathway to dharmakaya. At the time of practice, this is called mixing the dharmakaya with the time of being awake. This is meditative absorption of voidness at the time when you have activated the subtle energy system of chakras and channels and have activated and have control over the winds. Practicing this at the time of the generation stage ripens in the ability to attain the complete stage realization, which in this case is called mixing dharmakaya at the time of being awake. After that, you think “if I remain in this stage of dharmakaya I could not benefit others full.” So, you wish to arise in a form body and visualize yourself arising as the sambhogakaya, similar to when you rise as an illusory body. This is mixing sambhogakaya with the time of being awake. After that, you wish to arise in other forms to benefit sentient beings. That sambhogakaya comes back in the old aggregates and you arise in the nirmanakaya form. This is mixing nirmanakaya with the time of being awake. The sambhogakaya at the time of being awake comes back in the crown of the head, into the old aggregate, and you have the reversed sequence of visions that one receives during the process of the dissolution of elements, and then you arise as the nirmanakaya. You can also mix the three bodies with death. It is not that you have overcome death under delusion and karma. Rather, in place of simply ordinary death, bardo, and birth under delusion and karma, one mixes them with the three kayas. One first practices mixing the state of being awake with the three kayas. Then, even if one has to die, one can mix death, bardo, and birth which should have been under the power of delusion and karma with the practice of the three kayas. Mixing dharmakaya at the time of death is when one mixes the clear light of death with the clear light realization of voidness and bliss. Mixing sambhogakaya at the time of death is when one arises as Vajrayogini in the bardo. One takes rebirth into a sperm and egg of the working basis which is suitable to practice tantra in terms of arising as Vajrayogini. This is mixing nirmanakaya at the time of death. Even if he has to experience death under delusion and karma, he can mix it with the three kayas. There are three sets of three to make the nine mixings: 1. Mixing at the time of being awake. 2. Even if one has to die, one mixes the three kayas at the time of death. 3. Before one dies, one can do the practice of mixing the three kayas at sleep. In this last set of three, there is first mixing the clear light of sleep with the dharmakaya. This is going to sleep in the state of voidness. Then one has the strong intention to arise as Vajrayogini, and thrown by this intention, one arises as the sambhogakaya Vajrayogini in the dream state. This is mixing of the sambhogakaya with dreams is called mixing the sambhogakaya with sleep. With this, one attains the dream body. One kenpo (abbot) could memorize texts with this dream body, but when you do this you need two copies of H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 41 of 50 the text, because the dream body cannot turn pages. When one wants to wake up, the dream sambhogakaya goes back into the old body. This is mixing nirmanakaya with sleep. Before you can do the mixings of the three bodies at the time of death, you must practice well mixing the three bodies at the time of sleep. To do this, you fall asleep mixing the clear light of the dharmakaya at sleep, arise as sambhogakaya at the dream time, and wake up with nirmanakaya. To be able to practice mixing the three bodies at the time of sleep, you have to have practiced well mixing the three bodies at the time of being awake. After finishing the practices of the generation stage, one does the practices of the complete stage and tries to get the experience of mixing the three bodies at the time of being awake, with the dissolution of the winds in the central channel. Then one tries to fall asleep with the dharmakaya, dream with the sambhogakaya, and awake with the nirmanakaya. You should start to train yourself in these things. As you train yourself with taking death, bardo, and birth as the pathway to the three kayas in the generation stage, likewise train yourself with these three rounds of mixings in the complete stage. Do a glance meditation of the nine mixings even while you are practicing the generation stage. Tsongkapa said the oral instruction of the nine mixings which came from Marpa are the same as the teachings which came from Buddha. Even if you have an intellectual understanding of the nine mixings, it has great benefit, so do a glance meditation of them while you are still practicing the generation stage. Yesterday how someone with superior faculties attains dakini land. Today it was described how those with intermediate and least faculties are lead to dakini land. That is mostly through the practice of the complete stage. They do this by actualizing the approximate clear light and in this way actualize dakini land. The way the ones of superior faculties attain dakini land is different. They do it by means of the generation stage practice, without having to leave their old body. Someone who attains it through the complete stage practices does so by actualizing the approximate clear light. He actualizes dakini land not by his body going to dakini land, but by his mind gaining the realizations of dakini land. We can rejoice at having met the tantric path and understand the extreme secrecy with which it must be held. We should dedicate all our merits to attain enlightenment. 2 February – Day 7 The teachings on the little central channel are divided into preliminaries and actual. The preliminaries are divided into the common and uncommon. The common preliminaries include the meditation of Vajrasattva and Guruyoga. For Guruyoga, the six session Guruyoga is sufficient. Page 42 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) The uncommon preliminaries: This is the purification of the channels and winds. To purify the channels, first visualize the objects of refuge as in the sadhana. Do the outer, inner, secret, and thusness offerings and the request. Do the visualization of the protection tent as in the sadhana. You are Vajrayogini, but are empty , hollow inside. The nature of your body is that of a rainbow body. Visualize the central channel. It is flexible and pliant. The upper end is between the eyebrows. It curves up the crown, and then goes down to four fingers’ width below the navel. The bottom end is on a moon. Normally, the central channel and the right and left channels are visualized from the neck to the navel as if forming one body, like a house with partitions. Here, it is like one hollow tube which encompasses all three, though normally they are three separate channels. Above the neck there are three channels as usual. From the neck down, they are in one tube without being divided in parts, like upstairs there are three rooms and downstairs, there is one big hall. From the neck to the navel, the channel is a certain shade of brilliant red. It ends four fingers width below the navel, and the bottom of the channel and the moon under it are the same size. On the moon there are five drops, shining with clear light. The center one is blue. In the purification of the channels practice, the blue drop comes up the channel, going to the mid brow. Then it goes out horizontally from the brow 12 fingers width and then comes back in the channel and descends to the bottom of the channel. Do this visualization of it going out and in 11 times. That is one “set.” Do 21 sets, so it is 11 x 21. That is the practice of purifying the channels. To purify the winds, make the same preliminary visualization as before. Then focus on the central drop. Slowly inhale, drawing the upper breath down to the navel, to the blue drop. Hold your breath while with your right hand you slap your right knee, your left knee and snap your fingers one time. That is one unit. Then exhale, slowly. Then there are some verses of request to recite once. Be mindful of the protection wheel. For the next breath, there are five drops on the moon. The one on your left is green. Focus on it. Slowly inhale. The air goes down, and hold it at the navel. Do the slap and snap two times, and then slowly exhale. Again say the verses of requests and be mindful of the protection wheel. For the third breath, concentrate on the drop in back, which is red. Inhale, etc., and slap and snap three times, make the requests and remember the protection wheel. For the fourth breath, concentrate on the yellow drop which is on the right. Hold the air there for the duration of four units of slap and snap and then exhale as before. Do the requests and remember the protection wheel. Then focus on the white drop in front and do five units of slap and snap while you hold the breath after inhaling and bringing it down to that drop. These five breaths constitute one series. In one session, do three series. The next breath, focus again on the center drop and do six units of slap and snap. With the next breath, do seven, etc., increasing the duration of holding the breath by one slap and snap each breath. At the end, you should have done three series, for a total of 15 breaths, and at the last breath, you should have held the air down for the duration of 15 slaps and snaps. This is the superior way of doing this meditation, to increase the duration of holding the air like this. So in one day, you have worked up to doing 15 slaps and snaps, doing three series. H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 43 of 50 For the intermediate way of increasing, in the first series you hold the breath down for one slap and snap. So, for the first five breaths, each one concentrating on one of the different colored drops, the air is held down for one slap and snap. Then, for the second series of five breaths, you do the whole series, holding the air down for the duration of two slaps and snaps. Thus, at the end of the first day, you have worked up to holding the air down for three slaps and snaps and at the end of the second day for six slaps and snaps, etc. In this way, it takes five days to work up to 15 slaps and snaps. The last way of increasing is to do all three series on the first day, holding the breath for one slap and snap; on the second day, hold the breath for two slaps and snaps, etc. In this way, you need 15 days to do 15 slaps and snaps. So, for the greatest, you work up to 15 slaps and snaps in one day, doing three series in one day; for the intermediate, five days doing three series each day; for the least, 15 days doing three series each day. Although the text says that in three series the superior way has worked up to 15 slaps and snaps, it also says that it takes three days to reach 15 slaps and snaps, five days for the intermediate and 15 for the least. It is a puzzle why it takes three days for the superior. We have to check up because it looks like the superior should finish in one day, but the text says he finishes in three days. When you attain the realization of this meditation, you can actually see the colors of the breaths. This was the preliminaries for the little central channel practice. The actual practice of the little central channel: For this, do the preliminaries as before, with refuge, offering, etc. Visualize the body as being clear and hollow. Now, instead of the central channel being very wide as before, it is very thin, like the hair of a horse’s tail. The central channel, right, and left, are each the size of a horse’s hair and form one tube. In the navel, there is an upside down red letter AM. Underneath the navel where the channels come together, there is a small blue-green bow-shaped wind mandala. On the bottom of your heels, there is a dark green DZEM. Where the three channels come together at the top of the head there is an upside down white HANG. On top of the HANG there is another wind mandala, blue-green and bow-shaped. The DZEM on your feet and this makes the wind mandala at the navel turbulent. This sets the AM on fire and sends up the channel a flame which is like the quill of a porcupine. It goes up the central channel, which is the composite of the right and left channels, too. It is one stream of flame. Though this may seem confusing now, later when we read the text it will not be confusing. The fire from the AM goes up only as far as the heart. At the same time, draw up the lower wind which also goes to the heart. From the wind mandala at the top of the head, above the HANG, comes wind which you draw down to the heart. The fire and wind come up to the heart from the lower part of the body, but only wind comes down from the upper part of the body to the heart. Normally, our winds do not go into the central channel. This is a method to get the wind to enter, abide and dissolve in the central channel. Another meditation you can do is to visualize the red AM at the navel inside the hair-like central channel. In the circle on the top of the AM is a KSHAM which is the nature of tummo. It is red. Then, visualize the eight channels around the navel chakra. Starting from the front and going counterclockwise are the letters AH / KA / TSA / TA (with a dot Page 44 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) under it) / TA / PA / YA/ SHA. Around that, outside that, are the 56 channels. On these are the 34 consonants of the Sanskrit alphabet and the 16 vowels, and an extra set of six vowels A, I, U, E, O, A. At the crown is an upside down white HANG. Inside the dot on top of it is a red KSHUM which is upright, not upside down. Like before, there the DZEM at the feet and wind mandalas at the navel and the crown. Sit in the vajra position. Tense the feet muscles to draw up the lower airs. By drawing up the lower airs, the AM at the navel flames into fire and burns all the dregs of the constituent energy drops. The red KSHAM which is in the dot of the AM becomes intensely hot, like electricity, and shoots up like an arrow to hit the KSHUM, which is in the dot of the HANG at the crown. Inhale three times with short breaths through the nose, in a row. This flames up the KSHUM in the HANG at the crown and it becomes very hot and sends down arrow-like rays of flame. The two flames meet at the heart and fight because one from the top is trying to go down and the one below is trying to go up. When you concentrate like this, do the vase holding method. Then from the HANG, which is the nature of white bodhichitta, drops of white bodhichitta fall and go to the heart, causing the flames to go down. Feel the heart filled with white bodhichitta which induces great bliss. Concentrate on this. In the outline of the complete stage, this is the path and by doing it, you actualize the result. Result: By doing the practices of activating the channels, winds, and constituent energy drops, eventually you are able to dissolve all the winds in the central channel at the heart and from that, you can go on to attain the state of unity. There are seven kisses of perfection: 1. Branch of the complete utility. 2. Branch of full union. 3. Branch of the great bliss. 4. Branch of the lack of true existence. 5. Branch of great compassion. 6. Ranch on the non-break of continuity. 7. Branch of no cessation. By this practice you can attain enlightenment which has these seven kisses of perfection. When you do the practice of the 11 yogas, do the sleeping and waking yogas only once a day, the others do four times. In addition to the generation stage, also try to practice the complete stage. Even if you cannot go through all the different stages from the complete stage, you should have at least some intellectual understanding of it. Practice this on top of lamrim. The most important thing is to practice it on the base of lamrim. This concludes the 11 yogas of the generation stage and the complete stage practice of the central channel. Serkong Rinpoche gave us the teaching according to the lineage from Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, and as he received the lineage he has given it to us. Bodhichitta is the main thing we should try to put in practice. H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 45 of 50 Outline of the Teachings: 0) General presentation of Buddha’s teachings, p.5 1) The origin of the teachings to develop respect, p.5 2) Advantages of relying on teaching from such a reliable source, p.5 3) History of various practitioners who have relied on the lineage with these reliable sources and on teachings with such benefits, p.7 4) Stages how to lead the disciple along the path of these teachings, p.7 a) working basis of the person who practices, p.7 b) the teaching to be practiced, p.7, A) four qualities, p7 i.unbroken tradition of initition ii.bonds and commitment should never have been broken iii.the order of instruction not reversed iv.one has complete regard and respect for Guru and Teachings B) four validities, p.8 i.valid Guru ii.valid treatises iii.valid scriptural authority iv.valid experience c) the method with which it should be practiced, p.8 A) generation stage (consists of eleven yogas), p8 1.sleeping yoga, p.1, 8 2. waking, p.1, 8 3. tasting the nectar, p.2, 8 4. measureless, p.2, 8 i.refuge, p.2 blessing the inner offerings, p.10 blessing the outer offerings, p.12 ii.bodhichitta, iii.Vajrasattva, p.2, 12 5. guru yoga, p.3, 8, 12 Page 46 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) i.offering to merit field, p.9 a.outer, p.13 b.inner, ii.kusali tsok, p.13 iii.request to the lineage lamas, p.12, 13 iv.initiation 6. generating oneself as the deity, p.14 i.basis to be purified a.samsaric death, p.15, 17 earth, p.15 water, p.15 fire, .16 wind, p.16 white drop, p.16 red drop, p.16 black appearance, p.16 clear light, p.16 b.samsaric bardo, p.17 c.samsaric rebirth, p.17 ii.transformation of that basis, p.20 a.dharmakaya, p.17, 38 b.sambhogakaya, p.17, 38 c.nirmanakaya, p.18, 38 7. purification of beings, p.20, 21 8.blessing of viras and virinis, p.22 i.body mandala, p.22 ii.wisdom beings, p.24 iii.body armor, p.24 9. verbal and mental recitation, p.25 i.verbal recitation ii.first Completing Stage practice H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 47 of 50 iii.mental recitation iv.second Completing Stage pratice v.second Completing Stage practice 10. inconceivable, p.26 11. action, p.26 i.eating ii.making offering iii.fire puja iv.mandala offerings v.tormas vi.left-hand actions Fourteen Factors of Heruka Root Tantra, p.26, 27 i.clothes and five mudras ii.discriminating awareness iii.staking daggers iv.ali v.kali vi.preceding this with voidness of the cause vii.entering the sound viii.having the application of the incorporation of all that exists ix.satisfying with the nectar x.nirvana xi.offering of hands xii.conferring of initiation xiii.protection of the great armor xiv.offering with all the mantras Practice for sharp practitioners, p.29 Practice for intermediate practitioners, p.29, 39 i.Langali stick practice, p.29 Practice for dull practitioner, p.30, 39 Page 48 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) 1.Powa, p.30, 35 B) completing stage, p.15, 19 1) Basis 1. body i.gross, p.31 ii.subtle, p.31 a)channels b)winds, p.32 c)drops (bodhichittas), p.32 iii.most subtle, p.32 2. mind i.gross, p.32 ii.subtle, p.32 iii.most subtle, p.32 2) Path to liberation, p.33 1. direct showing of Voidness i.path of ladies with desire, p.33 ii.wind practices of the central channel, p.33 a)gathering the winds in the central channel, p.33 nine-round breathing tummo, p.33, 37 b)how to meditate once you’ve gathered them in, p.35 nine mixings, p.38 mixing at the time of being awake, p.39 mixing the three kayas at the time of death, p.39 mixing the three kayas with sleep, p.39 2. indirect showing 3) Result 1.isolated body, p.36 2.isolated speech, p.36 3.isolated mind, p.36 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Page 49 of 50 4.approximate clear light, p.37 5.impure illusory body, p.37 6.actual clear light, p.37 7.state of unity with learning, p.37 8.state of unity with no more learning, p.37 Another way to outline the teachings: p.21 1) Preliminary: the basis for initiation, p.21, 36 a) perfect human rebirth b) death c) refuge d) disadvantages of samsara e) renunciation f) bodhichitta g) voidness 2) Actual a) outer Vajra Yogini b) inner Vajra Yogini c) secret Vajra Yogini Page 50 of 50 H.E. Serkong Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Commentary (Pomaia, Italy 1980) Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche Vajrayogini Commentary Instituto Lama Tzong Kapa – Pomaia, Italy, Jan- Feb. 1980 Translated by Alexander Berzin The original transcript has been left unedited on purpose to reflect the actual course of the teachings. www.vajrayogini.com www.berzinarchives.com