The initiation ritual of the red Gshin-rje
<poem> Namo Guru Diwa Dargini Shidi H..! [Note Tibetan transliterations of Sanskrit words like Deva and ..kin.. Ed.] If one wants to practice the Three Pillars2 Red Gshin-rje, he should arrange the Mandala as in that of the foregoing rituals. He should prepare a hill-shaped Gtor-ma. At the back of the Gtor-ma, a vase with red decorations on its brim should be placed. Both the preparation for the initiation by the Guru and the actual initiation ritual (by the deity) require only the general Gtor-ma and offerings. Before the initiation ceremony takes place, the teacher should perform and meditate at least once on the following prayers, which include the Self-Front-Arising Yoga, confession, and other prayers. If one wants to perform a very comprehensive ritual, he may elaborate by reciting the prayers of the Three Pillars as well as the Bodhisattva's Vow and the like. After these practices the Guru should follow the instructions given below:
I, myself, become the Red Gshin-rje; Three faces, six arms, and four legs, stretched apart. The right face is blue; the left, black; and the center, red. The three arms on the right side hold the club, Vajra, and knife.
The three arms on the left side hold the bloodskull, bell, and stick. Also adorning him are the complete ornaments of a Fierce Buddha. He (I) sits on the cushion of the Sun-Moon-Lotus Wheel. Absorbing himself in this meditation, the teacher should recite the following incantation: Ah .ri H.. .ri H.. Soha!
(By reciting this incantation the Red Gshin-rje is consolidated). Sa Ma Yu Chia Chia Chia! "Sa Ma Yu Chia Chia Chia!"
In front of me is the Buddha of the Vase, In the center of his heart there is a Sun Disc, Upon which stands a red H.. letter. Around this H.. circle the words of this incantation in a clock-wise order. From his body shine forth splendid rays of light. The Buddhas, Bodhisattavas, Three Pillars, and all deities in the ten directions and three times, all become the red Gshin-rje.
Like rain falling, they descend here and are absorbed into the Buddha of the Front Vase. From the body of the Vase Buddha incessantly flows out the Water of Heaven. Thus should one meditate, also reciting the incantation as much as he can. Then the disciples should gather near the Mandala and offer flowers and food. If conditions permit, it is desirable to conduct a complete performance, including the preparation ritual with offerings, confessions, consecration, and exorcising.
Now, you are to be given the Initiation of the Red Gshin-rje. He is identical with Mañjunshri in essence. The Sutra of Mañjunshri says: "If one repeatedly calls the names of numerous Buddhas as numerous as the total number of sands in the sixty-two Ganges rivers—his merits are great; but if he calls the name of Mañjunshri only once, his merits are even greater." Hence it is obvious that if one attains the Initiation of Mañjunshri, his merits should be greater than the merits of those who attain the initiations of Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. Among the Four Divisions of Tantra, this initiation belongs to the most profound Tantra, namely, the Highest Division Tantra (Anuttara Tantra). Of the two forms of Mañjunshri, this is the fierce one. Among all the Fierce Buddhas, this one is most powerful and effective. As said in a Tantra:
"When some fierce deities behold the Fierce Gshin-rje, they are frightened, they tremble, and the weapons they brandish slip from their hands." Furthermore, we, all the scientist beings, are going to see the Gshin-rje, for he is the King of Death for everyone. No one in this world is immortal; therefore everyone is destined to see the Gshin-rje one day. As said in the Sutra:
"From the Buddhas of the three times Down to the lowest animals, the insects and worms, All should be wise to keep good relations with the King of Death, the Life-eater, the powerful one! This Deva Yama is conjured by Bodhisattva Mañju.ri. If one attains the initiation of this Deva, all the retinues of Yama will not harm him. He is freed from the Untimely
[paragraph continues]Death. He will also be immune from illness and sufferings at the moment of his death. The hostile demons, such as Dur-mi, Dun-zur, She-yi, and She-ga never harm him. This Deva Yama is an extremely formidable one; therefore, keep on good terms with him."
Thus the Sutra says.
This initiation of Deva Yama, extremely powerful and dynamic, yet easy to practice and to accomplish, was given by the All-Perfect Buddha to my first Guru *, Mi-jyur-rdo-rje (The Immutable Vajra), early one morning in the Dragon Month of the Monkey Year when he was twelve years old. I obtained this initiation from him, the Adi-Buddha like Illumination-Possessor, directly. Hence, this teaching has a very close and warm succession—the conduit through which the grace-waves are transmitted. Therefore, you should all join the initiation ceremony with great reverence and high spirits. You should now think that I and all the initiation symbols are identical with the Red Yama himself. In the preparation of the initiation, the disciples are to follow the Guru in reciting the following prayers.
(Repeat three times. Then the disciples should recite the prayer of taking the Three Refuges and the confession, and so on). I take refuge in the Three Precious Ones, I take refuge in the Red Yama. I confess all the sins that I have committed.
From now on till the time of my attaining the Bodhi, I shall take refuge in the Three Precious Ones, For the sake of benefitting others and self, I now raise the all-virtuous Bodhi Heart. I will serve all sentient beings as their servant. I will practice the all-virtuous Action-of Bodhi4. For the benefit of sentient beings, I offer my heart in the pursuit of Bodhi-Fruit. (Recite three times; bless the disciples with the holy grass.) Now, disciples, you should visualize the Red Yama as follows: You all, each of you instantaneously, become the Red Yama, Three faces, six arms, and four feet extending apart.
The right face, blue; the left, black; and the center, red. The three right arms hold club, Vajra, and knife. The three left arms hold blood-skull, bell, and long club. You become completely adorned with all the Fierce ornaments And sit on the Lotus-cushion of the Sun-Moon disc. In this manner you should visualize yourself as the Red Yama. See a white O. placed at your forehead, a red Ah at your throat, a blue H.. at your heart. From them emanate infinite rays of light reaching to the Buddha's Pure Land and also the Land of Self-Nature5 inviting all the Buddhas and the Red Yama together with infinite incantation, tantric symbols and seeds6to come here, and they all enter and are absorbed in you as the rain falls into the ocean and merges with it.
I pray you to come down here and to bless these faithful and gifted disciples! I pray you to grant them the highest initiation; Thus they may eschew temptations and not go astray, Thus they may be freed from all the causes of accidental and untimely death7. O. .ri H.. .ri H.. Savha Betsa Ah Bi Sha Ya Ah Ah (Recite this incantation as much as possible and play the musical instruments. Next, the Guru places the Diamond Flower on the heads of the disciples.) * Now the disciples should think that the Wisdom Buddha is consolidated. Di Cha Ben Tsa!
Thereupon the Guru holds the vase in his hand and says: This is the vase in which the Red Yama resides; I now place it on your head, I now grant you the Four Initiations of the Red Yama. O. .ri H.. .ri H.. Savha Ga Na Sha Gu Hap Tsa Dur Ah Bi Ai Tsa H..! (He places the Vase on the heads of the disciples and baptizes them.) Then the Guru holds the Gtor-ma in hand and says: H..! This is the body of the Red Yama, This is the complete body of the Red Yama. By him, the Four Initiations are given to you.
[paragraph continues]Pray! that you will attain all the accomplishments of the Four Initiations.
I pray the Dharmakaya, the All-Perfect Buddha; I pray the Sambhogakaya, the Buddha Amida; I pray the Nirmanakaya, the Guru Padmasambhava; I pray Dakini Yeshes-mtsho-rgyal; the twenty-five disciples; the hundred-and-eight Treasury Finders; and all the Ocean-like Illumination-Holders. I pray the peaceful and wrathful tutelary deities. I pray the Red Yama and the Ocean-like Dakinis, Guardians. Pray all of you to bless my disciples. I pray you to grant your grace-wave to them, and to bestow the initiations upon them. I pray you to protect them from the afflictions of the self-demon, others-demon; the demon of Dun-zur, Drug-drum, Gshed-bzhe; the demon of illness, death; the demonafflictor of Mdung-bsu, Rjes-rgyal—in short, all the three-hundred-and-sixty different demons.
I pray you to protect them from the eighteen different kinds of untimely death. I pray you to grant them the one hundred Siddhis, the Four Performances8, the mundane and transcendental accomplishments. I pray you to give them these accomplishments without delay! O. .ri H.. .ri H.. Savha Gayawaga Tsida Sarva Ah Bi Ditsa H..! (Recite this incantation three times.)
Thereupon, the Guru holds in his hand the consecrated white shell whose curve is clockwise and says: H..! The Body, mouth, and mind of all Buddhas in the Three Times, Are embodied in this right-direction-circled shell. I now place it on the four centers of your body. Pray that you will attain the Four Initiations of the Red Yama.
O. .ri H.., .ri H.. Savha Gayawaga Tsida Guna Garma Ah Bi Ditsa H..! (At the same time, the Guru places the shell on the four centers [[[chakras]]] of the disciples.) Thereupon, all should throw flowers and recite the auspicious wishes and prayers. Among the Ocean-like Teachings in the Whisper Succession, this is the Initiation of the Red Yama of "The Heavenly Dharma Treasury of Heart," in which one may find forty different Initiations at the concluding section. This Initiation of Yama which has just been given to you is one of them. From now on, you will be protected and be taken care of by the Red Yama. Therefore, let us all recite this prayer:
Whatever you have admonished us, we shall all obey and practice. From now on you are my master,
Pray consider and remember me as your disciple, Pray bless me and grant me the superlative Siddhis. Thereupon the disciples should render their gifts and perform the Mandala Offering. This initiation belongs to the teachings of the Heaven Dharma. It is based on the sayings of Buddha in its ritual and arrangement. No alterations or modifications were made. If, however, I have made any mistake in recording it, I pray that the Buddhas and all the Guardians of Dharma will forgive me and allow me to make apology. Good wishes to all sentient beings.
NOTES 1. The Red Gshin-rje (Yama): How does Buddhism come to have a "judge of the dead" if, according to Buddhist doctrine, the Law of Karma responding to the individual's action brings of itself full punishment or reward? To understand why the position of Yama as Judge of the Dead is not contradictory, we must examine Buddhist thought on this doctrine. First, it should, however, be pointed out that while deities like Yama, Mahakala, and others may found in Hinduism, their meaning and interpretation is quite different in Buddhism. There are three Buddhist views on the subject of Yama.
One, briefly stated, is that Yama is not an objective god but the subject manifestation of an individual's conscience, which punishes him. Certain Sutras offer another explanation; that often a Bodhisattva declares he will transform his body into that of the Fierce Yama, in order to benefit many sinful people. For instance, in order to reduce a murderer's retribution, the Bodhisattva takes the place of the slaughterer. A third theory is that a number of sentient beings are connected to Yama by Karma. Because of their Karma, they must stand judgment in the after-death state. This is not necessary, however, for humans who have taken certain initiations or reached a certain enlightenment. The doctrine concerning Yama will be understood best, perhaps, if the reader remembers that Buddhism is very fluid in its teachings which best fit the different levels of human development.
2. Three Pillars: Guru, Patron Buddha, and Garuda. 3. Mañju.ri: A great Bodhisattva who represents the wisdom of all Buddhas. 4. Action-of-Bodhi: The Wish-for-Heart-of-Bodhi must be followed by Action for-Bodhi, practical application of the Bodhisattva's precepts. 5. Land of Self-nature: Reality, the eternal world. 6. Seeds: The 'seed-words' such as .ri and H.., which the disciple visualizes placed in the various centers of the body according to the initiator's instructions.
7. Untimely death: According to Buddhism, there are two kinds of death. The first is that arising from the inevitable decay and running down of the bodily machine and its functions. The second, or untimely death is that which results from Karma of this or a previous life. This kind of death might have been prevented. Examples are death from accident, war, poison, capital punishment, or other man-made causes. This kind of death can be prevented by certain Yoga. Untimely death cannot be prevented by hygiene; Yoga is the antidote. 8. Four Performances: (1) to subdue ominous evils; (2) to increase whatever is auspicious, such as Wisdom and Merits; (3) to gain the power to attract human beings and animals; (4) to uproot and finally conquer various stubborn evils.
Footnotes 85:* The Guru-Scribe is speaking.—Ed.
87:* In the "Diamond Flower" the symbolism of the combined natures of active love (up.ya) with the lotus of wisdom (prajñ.) or padma. The same symbolism exists in the sacred phrase "The Jewel or Vajra-Diamond is in the lotus."—Ed.
From the Treasury of Heaven This is
The yogi should think that both he and the front Gtor-ma instantaneously become Vajrapani, whose hair is as white as a shell, appearing in a form of Drang Strong2. His right hand lifts up in a threatening manner of conquering all the hindrances, and his left hand holds the bell in front of his breast as a sign of attracting and increasing longevity, merits, and prosperities. His body is greenish-grey adorned with silk scarves; He wears a tiger-skin apron at the lower part of his body.
He stretches the left leg and bends the right. Vajrapani stands vividly on the lotus-moon. A H.. word stands on the moon disc in his heart center; Circling the H.. word clockwise is the garland of Mantra, From it emanate beams of light to the ten directions, Inviting all Vajrapanis, the Masters of Tantra, To come down here, entering into both the front Gtor-ma and the yogi's body. The nectar in the vase now is overflowing. O. Ba-tsa Pani Nama H..!
(Then, the guru addresses the disciples:) Now, I am going to impart to you the initiation of Vajrapani, the Son of Buddha Samantabhadra. In fact, Vajrapani is identical in essence with Buddha Samantabhadra, who is considered to be the First Buddha or The Buddha, who came into being before all other Buddhas. Vajrapani has different forms, as clearly stated in the Tantra of One-Hundred-and-Eight Praisings. These different forms can be classified as the Wrathful Ones, the Peaceful Ones, and the Wrathful-Peaceful Ones. This initiation belongs to the Wrathful-Peaceful form. According to the Heart Treasury of the Heavenly Dharma, Vajrapani has thirteen different forms; this Vajrapani is the one appearing in the form of Ahm Gtsug. He is not known heretofore on earth.
At one time, Vajrapani transformed himself as a sage deity (Tib. Drang Srong) named Gon-b’a-skyes, and engaged himself in deep Samadhi at the west side of Mount Sumeru. At that time Buddha Rnam-gzigs came to this world. When he was about to manifest the manner of realizing the Perfect Enlightenment, numerous demons, together with their great armies, came to afflict him. They threw myriads of weapons like rain to hurt the Buddha. The Buddha then waved his Dharma-rope as the eagle flaps its wings, and said: "O wrathful Drang Srong, please come here to subdue these demons!" As soon as Buddha had spoken, from the west side of Mount Sumeru the deity Gon-b’a-skyes, holding a nine-spoked thunderbolt in his hand, with his whole body enveloped in great flames, descended from the sky and conquered all demons.
The numerous Buddhas and Bodhisattvas were much pleased. Thereupon they blessed Vajrapani and named him the Thunderbolt-Holder, the Master of the Cosmos, and handed him the thunderbolt as the symbol of initiation. Then Vajrapani said to the Buddha, "O my Lord Bhaghavan! I am the protector of all Buddhas in the three times; I was the protector of the seven Buddhas in the past; I am the protector of the present Buddha and will be the protector of the nine-hundred-and-ninety-two3 Buddhas in the future.
I shall be their protectors until all of the one thousand Buddhas in this Kalpa have completed their missions. I shall protect them from all hindrances. I have besought the Buddhas in the past to preach the Dharma, and shall beseech the Buddhas in the future to preach the Dharma; also I shall beseech all the present Buddhas to preach the Dharma. I pray you, the Perfect One, grant me your blessings."
Then said the Buddha, "You have been blessed as both Bodhisattva and Wrathful Deity by all the Buddhas in the past. The Buddhas-to-come will also bless you in both of these two forms. Now, I shall also bless you. You will become the master of all the great devas. You should emancipate all sentient beings from Sa.s.ra and from miseries."
So this is the story of the origination of Vajrapani of Drang Srong form. His Mantra is unique and superb. O. symbolizes the Five Buddhas and Five Wisdoms. Batsa pani nama means "pay homage to Vajrapani". H.. is the word that destroys all the sufferings. Says the Tantra of the Supreme Origination of Vajrapani:
"If the disciple renders one obeisance to Vajrapani, he attains more merits than he would have secured through rendering numerous obeisances to myriads of Buddhas as many as the total grains of sands in ninety-two million Ganges Rivers. Thus, we know if he recites the mantra of Vajrapani with faith once only, he attains more merit than he will attain through paying homage to Buddhas as many as the total grains of sand in millions of Ganges Rivers. If he relies on Vajrapani as his Yidam Buddha and recites the Mantra, he will surely be protected by Vajrapani from all hindrances. No demons can hurt him, all illness will be cured, his merits will be increased and prosperity augmented. All his wishes will be fulfilled. Thus, the benefits of practicing this ritual are beyond description, nothing can afflict those who practise it.
The practitioner of this ritual will also accomplish all the four performances, namely, the Performance of Subduing, of Increasing, of Attraction, and of Conquering. He will encounter no obstacles. Therefore, one should always rely on Vajrapani, take him as one's shelter and refuge. Also, those who have chronic diseases will be cured through reciting the Mantra of Vajrapani. Now, you should all think that these initiation symbols prepared for you are all Vajrapanis themselves, and follow me in reciting the prayers: "I pray to gurus and to the Three Precious ones and to the Yidam Buddhas, Especially, I pray Vajrapani. Please grant me the superb initiation."
"I take refuge in the Three Precious Ones. I confess all my sinful doings and transgressions To all virtuous deeds of sentient beings, I raise the sympathetic joys. I devote my heart to Buddhas and to the Enlightenment. Till the day of my final enlightenment, I take refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. For the sake of benefiting self and others I aspire to Bodhi. From now on I will serve all sentient beings; And practice all Actions of Bodhi with earnestness and joy. For the sake of benefiting all beings, May I come to the realization of Perfect Enlightenment." All you disciples should think that you have now become the Ahm Gtsug Vajrapani,
Holding in his hand the skull;
His braided hair is as white as the seashell. His right hand holds the thunderbolt upflung toward the sky; That is the symbol of subduing all hindrances. The left one holds the bell in front of his breast; That is the symbol of increasing longevity, merits, and prosperity. His body is greenish-grey, adorned with silk scarves. On the lower part of his body He wears an apron made of tiger-skin.
He stretches his left leg and bends his right leg. Vividly and distinctly he stands on the lotus-moon disc. On the moon-disc at his heart-center there is a H.. word.
Clockwise encircling the H.. word is the garland of Mantra. From this garland of Mantra emanate infinite beams of light, Inviting the numerous Vajrapanis from the Pure Lands in ten directions. Thus, the beyond-number-Vajrapanis all come down here, They all enter into you and unite with you. [The guru says:] H..! All the Vajrapanis in Ahm Gtsug form, Pray come down here and bless us!
Recite the main incantation:
O. Ba-tsa Ah Wei Sha Ya Ah Ah! Recite this incantation many times, and play the musical instrument. The guru then puts the thunderbolt on the head of disciples and says the following Mantra: Déé Tsha Ba-tsa!
Now in order to attain the main initiation the disciples should follow the guru in reciting this prayer: I pray to gurus, the Three Precious Ones, The Yidam Buddha and all deities. Especially I pray to the Ahm Gtsug Vajrapani. I pray you grant me the Initiation of Body, of Speech, Of Mind, of Merit, and of Performance.
full of the sacred water. It is decorated with the heavenly clothes; a blue silk scarf is also fastened on its neck. In the inner part of the Vase stands the Buddha Vajrapani in his Beyond-Measure Palace. From the body of Buddha Vajrapani gush out streams of nectar flowing into your body through the Gate of Heaven in your head. Thus the defilements of your body are purified, and all the four hindrances of mouth are cleansed. Therefore, you should understand that you have now received the four initiations and also attained the capability of realizing the Buddha's body [in future time]. H.., this Vase itself is the Beyond-Measure-Palace! In it the great Ahm Gtsug Vajrapani resides.
Now, I put it upon your head
And impart you the Initiation of Vajrapani. O. Betsapani Nama H.. Grum Bha Ahbi Ahi Tsa H..! Also recite "O, the Braided-Hair Vajrapani… till… [text obscure and broken here] Through the power of the body of Lord Vajrapani, May I attain the blessing and prosperity". You have now attained the Body Initiation of Vajrapani; all the hindrances of sickness and demonic afflictions of your body are thus purified. From now on you will be able to meditate on the Body of Vajrapani, and you will have the capability of attaining the supreme body of Vajrapani with its perfection of the Thirty-two Signs and Eighty Beatifications. Then the guru holds the white shell in his hand and says: From the throat of the Front-Buddha in the shell emanate infinite beams of light,
And attracting the merits of speech of all Buddhas, including the sixty voices of Perfection, Through which the eighty-four thousand Dharmas were introduced. This shell symbolizes the expression of all Buddhas, The clockwise curves on its surface are a symbol of prosperity. It also has the eight signs of auspiciousness. Spontaneously this shell broadcasts the voice of Dharma. Now, you should think that the waves of the voice of Dharma delivered from this shell all enter into your throat.
H..! This is the shell which perfectly represents the expression of Buddha Vajrapani, I now put it upon your throat And impart to you the Initiation of Speech of Vajrapani. Recite the main Mantra and add: Shan Kha Lam Ah Be Ahi Tsa Mong! Then repeat the basic prayer:
Through the power of speech of Lord Vajrapani, May I attain the blessing and prosperity." The hindrances of your speech are now cleared; thus, you have attained the power of expression and the capability of achieving the unique sixty merits of the voice of Buddha.
Then the guru holds the thunderbolt in his hand and says: "From the Heart-Center of Vajrapani emanate infinite beams of light shining upon Buddha's Pure Land in the ten directions and attracting numerous thunderbolts with five spokes, which symbolize the wisdom of Buddha, to
come down here. All these thunderbolts then enter into your heart and unite with you.
H..! This thunderbolt itself is Vajrapani, Possessing all qualities of Buddha's wisdom. I now put it upon your heart And impart to you the complete Initiation of Wisdom. Recite the main incantation and add: Ba-tsa Ah Bi Ahi Tsa Mong! Also recite the basic prayer: "O, Lord Vajrapani… Through the power of wisdom of Lord Vajrapani May I attain the blessing and prosperity." Now you have attained the Initiation of Wisdom; thus, the hindrances that block your mind are cleared; from now on hundreds and thousands of Samadhis will grow within you.
Then the guru holds the picture of Vajrapani in his hand and says: "This picture clearly represents Buddha Vajrapani himself. From it emanate infinite beams of light shining upon the Pure Lands in the ten directions, and attracting numerous Vajrapanis from the eternal Heaven Aog-min and also from the Pure Land of the North to come down here.
These Vajrapanis are in different sizes and numerous forms: the large ones are as big as Mount Sumeru, and the small ones are as tiny as mustard seeds. Now you should think that all these Vajrapanis enter into you and merge with you. H..! This picture is Vajrapani himself I now put it upon your head And impart to you the Initiation of Merits of Vajrapani. Recite the main incantation and add: Gaya Ahbi Ahi Tsa Mam!
Also recite the main prayer:
Through the power of the merits of Vajrapani May I attain the blessing and prosperity!" Now you have received the Initiation of Merits; thus the hindrances that cause the degeneration of merits are cleared. From now on you will be able to increase all your merits and wisdoms.
Then the guru holds the Gtor-ma in his hand and says: This Gtor-ma itself is Vajrapani; from it emanate infinite beams of light in white, yellow, red, and green, shining upon you and merged with you. Thus, from now on you will be able to perform the Four Acts without any difficulties or hindrances. H..! This Gtor-ma itself is Vajrapani;
I now put it in your hands, And impart to you the Initiation of Performances. Recite the main Mantra and add: Shandan Sudam Sashang Maraya Bendha Ahbi Ahi Tsa Mang; also recite the main prayer: "O, Lord Vajrapani…
Through the power of the performance of Vajrapani May I attain the blessing and prosperity!" This Gtor-ma itself is identical with Buddha Vajrapani, the Master of the Esoteric Teachings. From it emanate infinite beams of light shining upon Buddha's Pure Lands in the ten directions, attracting hundreds of thousands of Buddha Vajrapanis, large and small, from the Aog-min Heaven and also from the north side of Mount Sumeru, together with infinite Garlands of Mantra and five-spoked thunderbolts to come down here. They all enter into your
heart, and eventually they are transformed into lights and merge with you. "O, the Dharmakaya Samantabhadra, The Sixth Buddha, the Great Rdo-rje-chang, The Guru Padma Sambhava and the Dakini Ye-shes-mtsho-rgyal, The Gurus Bal-ji-sen-ge and Mi-rgyur-rdo-rje, All the demon conquerors and all gurus in the lineage, And then the beyond-number Buddhas in the universe, Buddha Vajrapani, the host-Buddha of this initiation, in numerous numbers and forms,
I beseech all of you! 1 pray you bless my disciples! I pray you protect them from all kinds of demons and sickness from the planets4… [and] epilepsy, I pray you increase their merits and advance their meditation experiences. I pray you safeguard them from the miseries of Sa.sara and all fears. O. Ba-tsa Pani Nama H.. Balinda Gaya Waga Tsida Ahdirdana Samaya Tsa H.. Bam Ho!
Now you have well received the initiation; hence you should rely on Vajrapani as your Patron Buddha. At the end of this initiation the disciples all say to the guru: "We shall obey all your instructions and follow all your admonishments."
NOTES 1. Ahm Gtsug: This word is obviously a mistake made by the copyist. The translator presumes that this word should be spelled Ahm Gtsigs, which means using the upper teeth to press the lower lip when one is in despair or anger. * 2. Drang Srong: The sages, hermits, or anchorites. Also means the Rishi, the deific sages who can perform miracles. 3. According to Buddhist tradition, one thousand Buddhas will appear in this world in this Kalpa. Eight Buddhas have already appeared, therefore the Buddhas-to-come total nine hundred and ninety-two. 4. That is, astrologically indicated illnesses.—Ed. Footnotes
103:* The editor disagrees here. The same (Gtsug) spelling is repeated in the ritual consistently. The editor believes this to be a technical tantric term designating one of the thirteen forms of Vajrapani, and specifically the one with the braided hair.—Ed.
H..! This is the Bhagavan, Buddha of Performance. I now give to you, the well-destined disciples, his initiation. Have faith and devotion toward him! Through the power of his speech and wisdom, Your envious nature naturally dissolves and becomes his holy body. May you attain the complete initiation of Amoghasiddhi. Dagarma Abhi Ditsa Ah!
If you understand, O disciples, that everything is the manifestation of consciousness, Or that consciousness makes everything, Then you will truly attain the Initiation of the Dissolution of the Envious Nature. (And you should know that) the green wisdom-light symbolizes the Buddha of Performance, himself.
Buddha's body feels no cold, But following the fashion of sentient beings— Needing this and needing that— Buddha, likewise, robes himself. Putting on this Buddha's robe, you will become resplendent: Ahdi Sabuya Svaha.
You should think that you offer the Tiger-skin apron and ornaments to the Fierce One. H..! Although Buddha's mind is fearless, He wears these terrifying ornaments On his wrathful body To cleanse the sins of sentient beings
(The Guru hands over the picture of the Fiery Water to they disciple.) H..! This is the protection from heat and cold—the Fiery Water with qualities of both warmth and coolness. I now impart to you well-destined disciples, this initiation. You will be immune to the cold and heat-torments of Hell; Thus you will be forever freed from the sufferings of Hell. Du Da Ha Da Ha Sarwa Nara Gade Heru H.. Pai! (see note, Folios 26-41, p. 115)
H..! These are the Precious Wheels The Cross Symbols4 on the human heart. I now impart this initiation to you, good disciples. May you attain the Initiation of the Five Wheels. Batsa Matna Bema Garma Ah Be Ditsi Ah!
H..! This is the Precious Wheel—the Cross Symbols of the lotus on the human heart. I now impart this initiation to you, good disciples, May you attain the Initiation of the Five Wheels. Batsa Darna Bema Garma Ah Be Ditsi Ah!
The Vase Initiation is the annihilation of Hate. The Initiation of Head-Adornment is the subduing of the Pride-poison. The initiation of Thunderbolt is the destroying of the Lust-poison. The Initiation of Bell is the conquering of Enviousness and Arrogance. The Initiation of Name is the dispelling of the Ignorance-Darkness. I now bestow upon you the Initiation of Eternity. H.. Batsa Ah Dar Shu Jana Samaya Ahbi Yi Tsa Mum! (Use the water vase.) Sar Rana Jarna Sobhawa Ahbi Yitsa Mum! (Use the thunderbolt.) Da Di Cha Ah Bu Di Jana Sadna Batsa Ahbi Yi Tsa Mum! (Use the bell.) O. Dar Tri Da Ma Di Ahme Jaha Batsa Ahbi Yi Tsa Mum! (Use the thunderbolt and bell.)
H..! to you well-gifted disciples I now grant the Initiation of Adi Buddha Yab-Yum. With the annulment and purification of the "mind complex", May you attain the Initiation of the Immense Dharmakaya. Darmakaya Ahbe Yitsa O. Ah H.. Hri! (Then the Guru makes the wish for the disciples.) O, well-gifted disciples: Through attaining the Initiation Of Adi Biddha Yab-Yum, your mind will be purified in the
(Then the Guru bestows the Pointing-Out Practice5 upon the disciples.) O, well-destined disciples: You should not think that the so-called Yab-Yum Adi Buddha is other than the Alaya Bodhi Heart6 of your own mind. Oh! the aware thinker at this very moment, bright, radiantly aware, transparent, itself is the absolute body of Adi Buddha, the original, the primordial Immutable Shelter. The awareness of your own mind, devoid of any characteristics and substantialities, the lightning awareness itself is the Mother Adi Buddha: its over-flowing manifestation and play. The versatile actor itself is the Father Adi Buddha: Now, recognize it and become acquainted with it!
(Thereupon the Initiation of the Five Father Buddhas of the Five Groups is given as follows:) H..! To you well-gifted disciples, I now impart the Initiation of the Five Buddhas in the Five Groups. Your Five Aggregations [the skandhas or five modes of consciousness] will thus be purified. May you obtain the Initiation of the Universal Reward Body (Sambhogakaya)!
the Initiation of the Universal Reward Body be attained by you. (The Guru now executes the Pointing-Out Practice.) O well-gifted disciples: The so called Five Buddhas are nothing else but your own Five Skandhas. The non-extinct but purified [natures] of your own Five Skandhas are the Five Buddhas themselves:—The non-extinct but all-manifest Form, clear and vivid, is the Buddha of All Manifestations. (Tib. Rnam-b’arsnang- mdzad; Skt. Vairochana).
The non-extinct but all-manifest Feeling (Tib. Rin-chen-byun-gnas; Skt. Ratnasambhava) clear and vivid, is the Buddha of Treasury. The non-extinct but all-manifest Conception (Tib. Adushes), clear and vivid, is the Buddha of Infinite Light. The non-extinct but all-manifest Volition, clear and vivid, is the Buddha of All-Performance. The non-extinct but all-manifest Consciousness, clear and vivid, is the Buddha of the Diamond- Mind. This, you should understand.
H..! To you well-destined disciples. I now impart the Initiation of the Five Mother-Buddhas. Having purified but not abolished the five elements, May you this attain this Initiation of the Five Mother-Buddhas. Mum Lam Mam Syam Tayam Ahbi Aitsa Ah!
(The Guru now bestows a wish as follows:) Having received the Initiation of the Five Mother-Buddhas, I wish that all your five elements may be purified and that the Initiation of Generating All Buddhas be attained by you.
O well-gifted disciples, the so-called Five Mother-Buddhas are nothing else but your own five inner and outer elements. The non-extinct but purified five elements are the Five Mother-Buddhas themselves. The manifested earthelement is the Mother-Buddha Spyng-ma. The manifested water-element is the Mother-Buddha Ma-ma-ge. The manifested fire-element is the Mother-Buddha Gos-dg’ar-mo. The manifested air-element is the Mother-Buddha Dam-tsigsgrol- ma. The manifested space-element is the nature of the Mother-Buddha Dbyings-pyug-ma.
H..! To you well-destined disciples,
I now impart the Initiation of the Eight Bodhisattvas. Having purified but not destroyed the eight consciousnesses, May you obtain the Initiation of the Great Bodhisattvas. Bu Dhi Sa Ta Ah Bi Yi Tsa Ah!
(The Guru makes a wish as follows.) O well-gifted disciples, through the attainment of this Initiation your eight consciousnesses are purified. Thus having attained the Initiation of the Eight Bodhisattvas, you will act as the Eight Bodhisattvas to carry out the great career—to further the welfare of all sentient beings.
The Pointing-Out Practice:
O, well-gifted disciples, the so-called Eight Bodhisattvas are nothing else but your own eight consciousnesses. The non-extinct but brightened eight consciousnesses of one's self are the Eight Bodhisattvas themselves. The eyeconsciousness, aware and non-extinct, is the Bodhisattva Earth-Essence. The ear-consciousness, the one that hears, is the Bodhisattva Space-Essence. The nose-consciousness, the one that smells, is the Bodhisattva Self-Seeing.
The tongue-consciousness, the one that tastes, is the Bodhisattva Thunderbolt- Holder. The body-consciousness, the one that penetrates all7, the illumined wisdom, is the Bodhisattva Purger-of-Obstacles. The kle.a-bound Mind- Consciousness, the one that perpetuates the ego, is the Bodhisattva [called] All- Merits. The base-of-all consciousness, the all-pervading and illumined, is the Bodhisattva [called]Meritorious Youth.
The Initiation of the Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas: H..! To you well-gifted disciples I now impart the Initiation of the Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas. Having purified but not destroyed the eight (outer) objects,
O, well-gifted disciples, through the attainment of this Initiation of the Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas, the eight objects are purified but not abandoned. Thus, you will act as the Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas to further the welfare of sentient beings. (The Pointing-Out Practice.)
O, well-gifted disciples, the so-called Eight Consort-Bodhisattvas are nothing else but the purification of the thought of the eight objects. The eye-object, the appearance of form, in its purity, is the Consort-Bodhisattva La-ser-Dkar-mo. Likewise, the Ear-object, the sound in its purity, is the Consort-Bodhisattva Ma-le-ser-mo. The nose-object, the odor in its purity, is the Consort- Bodhisattva Ge-di-mar-mo. The tongue-object, the taste in its purity, is the Consort-Bodhisattva Ni-ti-ljang-gu. The purification of thought in the past is the Consort-Bodhisattva Su-si-dkar-mo. The purification of thought in the present is the Consort-Bodhisattva Dub-se-ser-mo. The purification of thought in the future is Bodhisattva Ah-loga-mar-mo. The insubstantial, the not-definite nature of the elements, the purification of phenomena, are the Consort- Bodhisattva Green Gha-ne. This you should understand.
H..! To you well-destined disciples I now impart the Initiation of the Six Buddhas. Having purified the six Kle.as, May you obtain the Initiation of the Nirmanakaya Buddhas. Nir Ma Kaya Ahbe Yitsa Ah!
(The Guru makes a wish as follows:) O, well-gifted disciples, through the attainment of this Initiation of the Six Nirmanakaya Buddhas, the Six Poisons—five kle.as and stinginess—are purified. Thus may you be able to transform numerous bodies to further the welfare of sentient beings in the Six Lokas. (The Pointing-Out Practice:) O, well-gifted disciples, the so-called Six Buddhas are not something else—the purification of Pride is the Buddha of Heaven, Dwan-b’o-brgya-bying;
(Continues the text of Folio 22.) the purification of envy is the Buddha of Asura Tag Zang-ris; the purification of lust is the Buddha of Human beings, Shakyamuni; the purification of Blindness is the Buddha of Animals, Sen-ge-rab-brteng; the purification of stinginess is the Buddha of Hungry Ghost, G’a-abar-ma; the purification of Hate is the Buddha of Hell, Chos-gyri-rgyal-b’o.
Having purified the realistic and nihilistic Four Extremes8 May you obtain the Initiation of Infinite Performances. Shen Da Su Da Ahn Wa Shm Ma Ra Ya Ahbi Aitsa Ah! (The Guru makes a wish as follows:) O well-gifted disciples, through the attainment of this Initiation of Four Meanings, the Realistic and Nihilistic Four Extremes are purified. May you be able to benefit sentient beings through the power of the Four Great Performances without the slightest hindrance. (The Pointing-Out Practice:)
O, well-gifted disciples, the Buddhas of Four Meanings are not something else —the purification of the Realistic View is the Buddha Victor (Rnam-b’arrgyal- wa); the purification of the Nihilistic View is the Buddha of Death. Gshin-rje-gshed-b’o; the purification of the Ego-View is the Buddha of Horse [-Head] (Rta-mgrin); the purification of the Form-View is the Buddha of Nectar-Flowing.
H..! To you, the well-destined disciples, I now impart the Female Buddhas of Four Meanings. Having purified the four ways of birth, May you attain the Initiation of the Four Performances. Batsa O. Gu Sha la Sa Sha Mo Da Gen De Ahbi Aitsa Ah! (The Guru makes the wish for the disciples:)
Now you, the disciples have attained the Initiation of the Four Female Deities. Thus, the gates of the Four Births will be shut off, the four Infinities will arise from your heart—the four great performances through which you p. 115
will be able to benefit sentient beings without the slightest hindrances. Thus you will accomplish the career of benefiting others. May you attain all these merits and powers! (The Pointing-Out Practice:) O well-destined disciples, the Four Female Buddhas are but the natural purification of the Thought of the Four Births9. The birth from metamorphosis is the Iron-Chain Goddess; the natural purification of the thought of birth from the womb is the Rope Female Buddha.
The natural purification of the thought of birth from eggs is the Iron-Fetter Female Buddha. The natural purification of the thought of the warmth-wetness is the Bell Goddess. From the very beginning they are identical! O well-gifted ones! You should definitely know these truths—as they are unmistakably true—and bear this conviction with you.
O well-gifted disciples, these sixty Blood-Drinking Deities are not something else, they are one's own kle.as-group, purified but not abandoned. The insubstantial or the perceiver that is devoid of any self-nature awareness manifests itself as the sixty Blood-Drinking Deities. As illustrated, in the Palace-Beyond-Measure in one's skull-brain, a group of Blood-Drinking Deities now actually and vividly dwell10. The forty-two Peaceful Deities with their illuminate bodies, all now dwell in the Dharma Chakra in the heart center. Furthermore, all the hairs over your body are identical with the nature of Db’awo (Brave Deities).
All the Pranas are the nature of Dakinis, all the White- Drops11 manifest in the form of the infinite Peaceful and Wrathful Sambhogakaya of the Father Buddhas. All the Red Drops12 (Ragda) manifest in the form of the infinite Peaceful and Wrathful Sambhogakaya of the Mother Buddhas. The numerous nadis13 of the body are the Dakinis. Therefore, your very body itself is the nature of the Mandala of the Peaceful and Wrathful Buddhas. Hence, you should never despise, abuse, or injure your body, nor should you overstrain your body, practice asceticism, or commit suicide. When you eat or drink you should think that this is the Tantric Sacrament and duly make the offering. If you remain without attachment, you may always wear fire and lovely clothes and adorn yourself as a manner of practicing Tantric offerings.
At the time of death, the Peaceful and Wrathful Buddhas will come out of your body, extending over all space; thereupon the Bardo visions will begin. Remember! At that time do not be frightened or terrified by the thundering voices and the Three Lights! You should remember that all these Buddhas are your tutelary Buddhas whose initiations I am right now giving to you! You should remember and recognize them. As soon as you recognize them, you will be instantaneously emancipated! Thus the Pointing-Out demonstration is extensively given to the disciples.
The number 5, entering Mahayana Buddhism via Hindu Tantric forms of the S..khya doctrine, pervades Tibetan Buddhism. This detail, depicting the five Dhy.ni Buddhas, is from a tanka of the sambhogak.ya aspect of the Buddha Amit.bha. (Reproduced here by courtesy of the Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey.)
The foregoing initiation-ritual is given to the disciples to make them understand the teachings of initiation; as said in the Prime King-Initiation Tantra of Vajrasattva: The Mandala-Offering practice is to be done [now.] For the unwise disciples, The Vajrasattava gives the Skull-Initiation, To elucidate the symbolic teachings.
Of this Skull-Initiation (a simpler type or Rite-Free Initiation), that Tantra gives the following explanation: "The Initiation tells the disciples whether the Outer Objects in the material world and Inner Essence14 within oneself are existent or non-existent, and in what sense they do or do not exist, by giving many symbols and explanations, such as the Sumeru Mountain, the Four Continents and the Vase Buddhas.
In the Wisdom Initiation, the Thunderbolt, the Precious Wheel, the Cross- Thunderbolt, the Three-Pointed Knife, the Purba Dagger, the bow and arrows, the mirror, the forms and colors—these things are shown to the disciples, to give them a sagacious view, by the Guru in the Initiation ritual." Thus states the Tantra. The Tantra explains the Extreme Rite-Free Initiation in the terms of the Secret Initiations; its objective is to elucidate
The Tantra also says:
O, marvelous is the Nature of Equality!15 If existent—Equality from the beginning! If non-existent—Equality from the beginning! If abstract—Equality from the beginning! If concrete—still Equality from the beginning! If one realizes the Nature of Equality, He has attained the Secret Initiation! Oh, marvelous is the Nature of Equality!"
Now, the ultimate-Rite-Free Initiation:
As said in the Tantra: "Through the Words-Initiation the Non-ego truth is elucidated to the disciples: Wherever there is ego, there are always confusions (Sa.s.ra). The word of no words is the highest initiation. Without I, without ego, none sinks into Sa.s.ra!"
Now, the Great Vase Initiation with Rite, the Rite-Free Initiation, the Extreme Rite-Free Initiation, and the Ultimate Rite-Free Initiation are all given to you; thus the sins, hindrances, and habitual thoughts of your body, mouth, and mind are all cleansed and actually become the Four Bodies of Buddha. Hereafter, you will benefit sentient beings in a natural way, without anystrenuous effort. To obtain pardon and give thanks, the Mandala should be offered; the assemblage should be entertained and exalted with dancing and singing. What remains after the festival should be given away as charity. Those who want to have a comprehensive sacramental festival and celebration should consult the Annotations of the Four Initiation Rituals.
Samaya Chia Chia Chia!
May the message of the Argument-Free Adi Doctrine16 reach all the corners of the world at all times. May this teaching be spread and magnified on the earth and last for ages. This is the teaching from the Treasury of Garma Linpa, the accomplished Yogi. Blessings to all!
NOTES 1. The manuscript of these initiations presents a series of colored images of god-forms, with explanatory text on the verso sides and on supplementary folios containing the most profound ideas, most explicitly expressed, of any of the seven initiation texts here given.—Ed. 2. The translator believes the folios of the other four Buddhas are missing. The first few lines of the text are indiscernible. 3. Fiery Water: For human beings, fire is fire and water is water. This is not so for sentient beings in Hell. For them, cool water they try to drink turns to fire, and fire by which they try to warm themselves turns to cold water. Hence the term "Fiery Water" is used to convey the absence of self-nature in this netherworld phenomenon.
5. Pointing-Out Practice: This is the practice by which the Guru points out (illustrates) to the disciple, during the initiation, his original Buddha-nature. This is a special practice of the Red and White Schools of Tibetan Buddhism. 6. Alaya Bodhi Heart: "Alaya" is the term meaning "foundation of all." Here the term is used in connection with Bodhi-heart, implying that the Vow of Bodhisattva is the foundation and source of all Buddhist teachings. 7. This refers to the most active and versatile consciousness, generally called mental, which Buddhists classify as the Sixth Consciousness.
8. Four Extremes:
9. Thought of the Four Births: From the transcendental viewpoint, there is no birth nor death. The Four Births of Sa.sara are dreamlike and unreal; they are merely thoughts, not the real beings.
11. White Drops: The life-force (physically, semen) of the male. 12. Red Drops: The life-force of the female. 13. Nadis (Skt.): Follicles; all the tubes and nerves in the body; Tibetan, Riser. [Actually the nadis (rTsa) are not part of the physical body, but are subtle channels for the conveyance of prana.—Ed.] 14. Inner Essence, here, refers to the disciple's consciousness. 15. The Nature of Equality is one of the most important aspects of the Prajna- Paramita.
From the viewpoint of absolute enlightenment, all things appear equal. [Instead of "equal," to say "partaking of the same ultimate nature" would probably be more accurate.—Ed.] Therefore, Tantrism declares that Nirvana is Sa.s.ra and Sa.sara is Nirvana.
16. Argument-Free Adi Doctrine: Traditionally, this term carries two meanings: (1) It refers to the nature of the Adi Doctrine beyond arguments, opinions, and "play words"; (2) It refers to the tradition of the Red School which, in contradistinction to the Yellow School, disregards scholastic opinions and arguments.