The Dark Red Amulet
"The practice of Vajrakilaya blazes at the heart of the ancient Vajrayana traditions of Tibet. The wrathful heruka Vajrakilaya is the yidam deity who embodies the enlightened activity of all the buddhas, manifesting in an intensely wrathful yet compassionate form in order to subjugate the delusion and negativity that can arise as obstacles to the practice of Dharma. In fact, the practice of Vajrakilaya is famous in the Tibetan Buddhist world as the most powerful for removing obstacles, destroying the forces hostile to compassion, and purifying the spiritual pollution so prevalent in this age."--Sogyal Rinpoche
The Dark Red Amulet presents the Vajrayana practice of Vajrakilaya according to the oral transmission lineage of the great seventeenth-century treasure-revealer Tsasum Lingpa. Vajrakilaya embodies the enlightened activity of all the buddhas that subjugates delusion and negativity in order to clear obstacles to spiritual practice. The essential purpose of Vajrakilaya practice is to "discover the absolute vajra nature that will transform every duality hindrance into clear wisdom and compassion."
In this text, the renowned scholars and meditation masters Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche present the history of this lineage and the miraculous story of how Tsasum Lingpa revealed this terma teaching. Their line-by-line commentary on the short and condensed sadhanas provides an invaluable guide for practitioners to combine the skillful means of compassion and wisdom that are the foundation of Tibetan Buddhism.
Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche are co-founders and co-directors of Padmasambhava Center, based at Padma Samye Ling in upstate New York
When he was nearly eighteen, Tsasum Lingpa dreamt that Guru Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal told him that he would have begun to reveal terma teachings at around age fifteen, or even thirteen, but due to many obstacles and hindrances he was prevented from revealing them. They said, "Now you are approaching age eighteen, and if you are unable to reveal terma teachings within three years, all your missions of this life and future lifetimes could be jeopardized! Therefore, you have to be prepared and determined to carry on and change your life."
Guru Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal gave him many empowerments and teachings in this dream. They took him by the hand and pointed to a large storehouse filled with countless jewels and precious objects and said, "There are many treasures inside, choose one!" A lady appeared (who was actually a dakini), and they told him, "She will be your companion. You and she will undertake many beneficial activities. Today you must select the terma keys you would like to take from among these treasures." He asked, "How can I choose?" and the lady told him, "Choose the keys!" Tsasum Lingpa and the lady in the dream went into the storehouse, and he took a blue key made of sapphire. She told him to take another one, and he took a red key made of ruby. The lady took a white key made of silver.
When they returned, Yeshe Tsogyal smiled and looked at Guru Padmasambhava and said, "Our son chose the right keys!" Then Tsasum Lingpa asked, "What are these keys? What is their purpose?" They said, "The sapphire key is the key of all the oceanlike tantra teachings, the ruby key is the key of the voice of the Buddha's teaching, and the silver key is the key related to the skillful means of visualization, the creation-stage practice. These three keys symbolize the three kayas of the ultimate nature. If you had chosen the yellow key, you would have become very wealthy and powerful as a universal king, but you would have had many obstacles and distractions. If you had chosen the green key, it would have benefited yourself, but not others.
Therefore, the keys you have chosen are good. Please keep them well protected." Then Guru Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal gave Tsasum Lingpa three small rolls of paper in red, white, and blue colors, telling him, "Keep these symbols of the three kayas close to you."
Guru Padmasambhava handed a dorje and drilbu (bell) to Tsasum Lingpa and said,"Keep these with you as well," and so he kept them with a lot of respect and prayed. He had been wearing multicolored thread on his ring finger, and he untied the thread and wrapped it around the three rolled papers that he received so that he could wear the three rolled papers on his ring finger. Then Guru Padmasambhava said, "Son, near the right side of the glacier mountain of Jowo Zegyal there is a mountain called Ahmye Mutri, where you will see a rock that looks as though it is jumping up in the sky. In that rocky place, you will find special instructions about that ruby key that you took, which you must reveal before the fifteenth day of this month. You must go there very quickly—if you delay, you could miss that opportunity. Soon, after one year, I will send you another message with another invitation, but in the meantime, after you reveal this, you must travel far and wide, don't stay in one place." Tsasum Lingpa then bowed with great respect to Guru Rinpoche.
At that moment wisdom dakini Yeshe Tsogyal changed into an ordinary lady's form. She gave him other instructions and teachings, and then other ladies, some wrathful, some peaceful and beautiful, gave him numerous instructions and took him to wondrous places in this dream.
And at the end Yeshe Tsogyal said, "Now you go back and we will return to Udiyana, and soon we will meet again." In his dream Tsasum Lingpa asked,"If you don't accompany me, then who will accompany me?" Yeshe Tsogyal told him, "Don't worry, you will have soon an assistant. There is a place called Tashu, and there is an emanation of the wisdom dakini from Tashu who has all the characteristics of the Ratna family. This dakini will await your arrival at the place where you are going due to your aspirations—your bodhichitta commitment. Later we will also come and help you." She and another dakini then flew up in the sky, and then Tsasum Lingpa woke up. He looked around and saw that the sun was already on the mountain's peak.