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The History of Bari Lotsawa

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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The History of Bari Lotsawa

There once lived a man known as the great translator Bari from Dring-tsam ('Bring-mtshams). He had studied and practiced both the Sutras and the Mantras in the Sanskrit language of India. After he had learned how to translate (the Sutras and the Tantras from Sanskrit into Tibetan), he went to the country of Nepal and there he met the famous Nepali master known as Chitherpa (sPyi-ther-pa).

At the time when he was studying and practing with this master in Nepal, he went to debate with the Tirthika teacher called Bhavyaraja (sKal-ldan rgyal-po) and because they argued furiously for some days, it happened that Bhavyaraja was victorious and the translator was soundedly defeated.

Thereupon, one evening the translator prayed to his Guru and to his tutelaty deity (yi-dam), and especially to the deity Achalanatha. And the next morning, when they again engaged in debate, this time the translator was victorious and the Tirthika Bhavyaraja was vanquished.

The latter became exceedingly angry and shouted at the master Bari, "You will be deprived of your life because of the power of my evil mantras. So beware! Or otherwise you must convert to my Tirthika doctrine."

Having uttered some evil mantras, the Tirthika teacher went away. The translator became very afraid in his heart and quickly he went into the presence of his master, the great scholar Chitherpa.

With a trembling voice, he told the story of his debates with the Tirthika master Bhavyaraja. "And finally I was victorious and now he is very angry with me. And he said that he would deprive me of my life in seven days.

Or else, I must convert to his doctrine. He then pronounced some evil mantras against me and now I am terrfied!" Then the great Nepali scholar Chitherpa replied reassuringly, "O translator, you must not be afraid.

First he demanded that you convert to his doctrine, and now he is pleased to let you die? What you must do now is go to India and seek out the presence of the great master Vajrasanapa (rDo-rje gdan-pa}, for he will be able to teach you the black mantras which can cut off the life-force of one's enemies (sngags srog gcod nag-po)."

Within the moment of a single breath, his master began to prepare some substances used for swift-running (rkang-mgyogs kyi rdzas) and giving this to him, he told the translator to rub the ointment on his feet.

Having anointed his feet in this way, in the early morning the translator departed from the center of Nepal and arrived within half a day at Vajrasana (Bodh Gaya) in India. Immediately, he presented the letter of introduction written by his learned master to the great Guru Vajrasanapa.

Having made his prostrations and offering a gram of gold, he told to the master the precise manner of his engaging in debate and argument with the Tirthika teacher.

To this the Guru Vajrasanapa replied, "0 translator, my son, it is not necessary for you to submit to this Tirthika teacher. I have certain upadesas (secret oral instructions) relating to protection from and the averting of such magical attacks.

In order that you may become proficient, profound, and clever in these magical practices, on the evening of the tenth day, you should prepare an excellent Ganapuja with meat, blood, and bali (sacrificial cakes) as offerings.

Then you should pray one-pointedly to the Gurus, the Three Jewels, the Deities, and the hosts of Dakin!s; and in the early morning there will surely come to you a prophecy from the Dakin!s."

Thereupon the translator, at the cost of four onces of gold, prepared a Ganachakra offering and prayed as he had been instructed. And in this way, there came to him prophecies from the Gurus, the Deities, and the Dakin!s.

Furthermore, they said to him, "0 trans?lator, our son, you must not be afraid of this Tirthika. You will be protected by us!"

Among all of these prophecies, the most important one came directly from the mouth of the Bhattarika Jnana Dakin! Simhamukha herself where she said to hima "Supreme among all of the upadesas is the dKar nag khra gsum (the three types of magical rites which are white, black, and varicolored), this being like an ocean of amrita which vanquishes all troubles.

If you go one krosa (about two miles) in the direction east from Vajrasana here in India, there you will find an iron boulder shaped like a yak and beneath it is some black earth in the shape of a triangle. If you investigate there, you will discover a charcoal pit.

Digging into that, you will find a casket made of sealing wax. Inside of that casket of sealing wax is a leather box. Inside of this leather box, there is a box made of the wood of the fig tree. Inside this box, there is a box made of silver. Inside the silver box, there is a box made of precious gems and gold.

Inside this golden box, there is a box made of turquoise. Inside this turquoise box, there is a box made of vaidurya (lapis lazuli). Inside of that, there is a box made of padmariga (ruby).

And inside of this box of padmariga is a scroll made of human skin anderquisite maroon-colored silk. On this there are written with the hearts-blood of all of us Dikinis the fourteen letters of the fierce mantra for averting (troubles and attacks), which is known as the sNgags drag zlog yi-ge bcu-bzhi-pa, "the fierce mantra of fourteen letters which averts everything".

With respect to this mantra, there is no syllable OM at its beginning and no syllables SVAHA at its conclusion.

In addition, it is without any vowel indications and it is without any dots (between the letters in order to mark off the syllables). You should recite each of them (the syllables of the mantras) only twenty-one times on any particular day.

And by virtue of this, you will be completely protected from the effects of all evil mantras. Indeed, all harm will be averted. All adverse circumstances and hinderances will be pacified, and all harmonious conditions and attainments will come to you.

And remember, with a mantra such as this, tomorrow and on each succeeding day you should not recite it more than twenty-one times, for otherwise some rather rough troubles may result.•• Having said this to him, she departed without any conceptions (arising in his mind), like the dissolving of the rainbow in the sky.

Then, the next day at sunrise, after preparing a large red bali cake (dmar gtor) for the Guardians, the translator went to where he had been instructed. Having come to the spot where there was a great boulder resembling a yak, he examined the rock and found a black triangle of earth.

When he dug there, at first he found only charcoal and ashes. Then, in accordance with the prophecy, gradually in succession he obtained the boxes and looked inside each of them.

And indeed, the upadesa of the prana-mantra, the mantra of the vital essence (srog sngags) of all the Dakinis, appeared there as foretold like an ocean of amrita.

Then, as a kind of replacement for this treasure which he had extracted, he concealed there in the same spot a single volume, together with gold and jewels. Thereupon the translator, in accordance with the upadesa he had received, recited the mantra both day and night without inter?ruption.

Finally, after it had grown dark certain signs of negative magical power (mthu btang-ba'i rtags) which had been sent by the Tirthika teacher came to the translator.

However, these hostile manifestations of the Dakinis and the Guardians of the Tirthikas were not able to get at the translator and he sent them back shame?faced whence they had come.

Again, on the next evening, there came certain hostile manifestations of all the worldly gods and demons, but he was able to avert them and send them back. Again, in the early morning before dawn, there came hostile manifestations of all the Karma Dikin!s, but once more he was able to avert their attack and send them back to their source.

Finally, the Queen of the Dakinis herself, Bhattarika Simhamukha, appeared in the sky before him, saying, "0 Bari, my son, the T!rthika teacher Bhavyaraja has just now vomitted up blood and is about to die."

At this, Bari Lotsawa was exceeding delighted and very satisfied. Immediately, he went into the presence of Guru Vajrasanapa and told him what had occurred.

Horrified, Guru Vajrasanapa exclaimed, "Alas, the inclinations of sentient beings of this evil degenerate Kali Yuga are dominated by their passions! And there also exists a master for them such as myself!" And for a long time he sat still with his head covered with his robe.

Then Bari made many prostrations and prayed to him and explained himself, saying, .. 0 my Guru, because I was very afraid, I practiced this averting rite (zlog-pa byas-pa)-- except that it is not virtuous to practice such magic (mthu byas) with the intent of killing someone. For having committed the sin of severing this man's life-force, I shall accept the penance."

Since he had spoken in this way, the great Vajrasanapa replied, "Keeping the mantra on your body was alone sufficient for protection. But you, by counting mantras both day and night, have created an accumulation of karma for the sin of killing this manl Now, you must apply yourself to the process of purifying your sin.

And until the signs of the purification of this sin become manifest with certainty, do not return into my presence!" For one year, the translator applied himself to purifying his sins and during that time he did not meet with his master.

Thereafter, since he had been a very courageous disciple of Guru Vajrisanapa, with much affection he would secretly bring food and wine to the master. And in addition, he fetched other necessary materials and so there arose within him a feeling of great kindness.

Thus for Bari, there finally appeared the signs of the purification of his sin. Since he had now fulfilled the commandment of his Guru, he returned again to the master and came before him. Having requested many different teachings, he became very learned and developed a great belief in them.

Then he returned to Tibet where he extensively accomplished the benefit of beings. Afterwards, he arrived at the monastery of Sakya (dpal sa-skya) where to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo he gave the instructions for these upadesas, together with the sadhanas and the acaompanying magical rites.