Vajrayogini – The Powerful Divine Red Lady

By | Aug 12, 2016 | Views: 13,913
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Homage to the Divine Lady
Whom out of compassion
Emanates in myriads of forms
In this degenerate age to subdue our various minds
Using the energy of desire, She attracts us to her form
Then brings us to full liberation

– His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche

On 28th October 2007, I took my refuge vows and formally established a teacher-student relationship with His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. It was indeed a memorable day for me. I offered him the representations of the enlightened body, speech and mind of the Buddhas in the form of a Tara statue, a Dharma book and a Stupa respectively. I humbly requested Tsem Rinpoche to grant me refuge. He agreed and he gave me my refuge vows on the spot!

Valentina took refuge vows from H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on 28 October 2007.

Valentina took refuge vows from H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on 28 October 2007.

After the refuge ceremony was over, Tsem Rinpoche offered me a beautiful Vajrayogini statue. I did not have much understanding about this particular Buddha at the time. However, in the course of researching for this article, I started to have a better understanding about this fascinating female Buddha.

Tsem Rinpoche has advised that Vajrayogini practice is suitable for this degenerate time and therefore, she is closer to us compared to many other Buddhas. I pray that by writing this article, many will be connected to her and have the affinity to engage in her profound practice.

I would like to thank Pastor David Lai and Pastor Khong Jean Ai for helping me in reviewing and editing this article and giving me a precious book on Vajrayogini to help me in my research.

Valentina

 

Background

We live in a modern world when everything is convenient, comfortable and there are many different forms of distractions available. However, although the conveniences of modern life enable us to spend less time on daily and mundane chores (e.g., washing, cleaning, etc.) and on surviving, they actually provide us with more time to indulge in distraction. Hence, greed and materialism is on the rise and people are less inclined towards virtue. Consequently, our minds are plagued by conflicting emotions and delusions (e.g., anxiety, anger, miserliness, senselessness, depression, jealousy, unhappiness, etc.). These are all the signs that we are living in a spiritually degenerate time known as the Kaliyuga. More than 2,500 years ago, Buddha Shakyamuni had predicted that the Kaliyuga age would come, and he taught and prescribed the Tantras as the suitable teaching and practice for this time and age, of which Vajrayogini Tantra is the most supreme.

All enlightened beings, including Vajrayogini, embody the qualities of the Buddhas of the 10 directions and of the three times (past, present and future). Therefore, Vajrayogini, in all her perfection, is a worthy object of worship. Many great masters such as His Holiness Pabongka Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin have said that Vajrayogini practice is particularly suitable for beings in these degenerate times because her practice helps to purify and transform desire, which is the current and most pervasive energy within samsara. Vajrayogini manifested specifically to pacify our self-created inner obstacles that are provoked by the outer environment that we are living in. Therefore, Vajrayogini’s blessings are very potent and powerful for this day and age.

Of Vajrayogini, Pabongka Rinpoche is known to have said the following:

“Look, this is the synthesis of all the Buddhas. This one counters all the negative attachments arising from the desire we have during the Kaliyuga age.”

 

H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche teaching about Vajrayogini

 

The Vajrayogini Lineage Practiced in Kechara

Vajrayogini practice can be traced back to the Chakrasamvara Root Tantra that was taught by Buddha Shakyamuni who manifested as Buddha Vajradhara more than 2,500 years ago. Many lineages of Vajrayogini emerged from this text and in particular, the Naro Kacho lineage of Vajrayogini was revealed to Naropa, an 11th Century Indian Mahasiddha in a vision.

Subsequently, her practice was passed down through a long line of great Indian masters and eventually to several Nepali masters, including the Pamthingpa brothers. The brothers were the students of Naropa, and they passed down the practice of Naro Kacho Vajrayogini to Melgyo Lotsawa Lotro Drakpa, an 11th Century translator of the Sakya tradition. Through Melgyo Lotsawa Lotro Drakpa, the practice was adopted by the Sakyas as part of their most precious 13 Golden Dharmas and eventually found its way to the Gelug tradition. When they engage in the Vajrayogini practice, practitioners recite the names of the lineage masters and solicit their blessings, and the Phamthingpa brothers are included in this list.

Although Vajrayogini is said to be Lama Tsongkhapa’s (1357 – 1419 CE) innermost yidam, prior to the 18th Century, her practice was not prominent within the Gelug tradition. After the 18th Century, the Sakya transmission of Naropa’s Vajrayogini was introduced to the Gelug tradition. One of the most influential Gelug lamas of that era, Pabongka Rinpoche (1878 – 1941 CE) promoted Vajrayogini as the main meditational deity within the Gelug tradition. Two of Pabongka Rinpoche‘s main students, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, disseminated the practice to their own students (e.g, Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, Gelek Rinpoche and so forth) who in turn also promoted Vajrayogini practice. Since then, Vajrayogini has become a widely accepted practice within the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.

When he was about 15 years old, Tsem Rinpoche received a Vajrayogini initiation from the great Sera Mey Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin in New Jersey who was the student of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was also the great Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery and a great master of Sutra and Tantra. His main practice or yidam (meditational deity) was the Buddha Vajrayogini. He was a great master of Vajrayogini and a great abbot of the monastery while he was in office. During his tenure as the monastery’s abbot, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin worked hard to improve the educational standard, and he managed to pay off a considerable sum of the monastery’s loan.

In 1982, Tsem Rinpoche had the fortune to meet another great master, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and received a Vajrayogini initiation again from this great master. The auspicious two-week event took place in Yucca Valley, California. During this occasion, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche gave the Vajrayogini initiation together with the full commentary.

Therefore, Vajrayogini practice at Kechara is derived from a pure unbroken lineage of great masters and practitioners. In Buddhism, a lineage is very important because the blessings to gain attainments through one’s practice descends through the lineage of practitioners who came before us. Thus without the lineage, the practice is devoid of blessings and attainments cannot be obtained from doing the practice in question. Having an authentic lineage also means that the practice we received has a valid source and was not made up.

 

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Vajrayogini Iconography

There are several known forms of Vajrayogini that are based on different lineages. Each of these forms is the actual embodiment of the teachings and instructions for her practitioners to attain enlightenment. Although this is also the case for every Buddha, Vajrayogini is special because her depictions emphasise purifying desire and attachment. She is an enlightened being and therefore when we encounter her sacred form, it plants a seed in our mind to achieve her qualities. When we promote Vajrayogini’s image by making or sponsoring her statues and thangkas, we are creating the cause for people to be connected with Vajrayogini.

 

The Symbolism Behind Vajrayogini’s Body

Vajrayogini iconography

Vajrayogini iconography

Vajrayogini is often depicted as a 16-year-old girl at the prime of her youth and beauty. Her breasts are full and her body is voluptuous. Her face is looking in our direction because she has great concern for us. In thangkas and statues, her face is often depicted as looking up but this is mainly for aesthetic purposes.

Vajrayogini has a blissful facial expression because she does not have to experience emotional afflictions and the results of negative karma like other beings in samsara. Her facial expression is also slightly wrathful because she absorbs our anger. Her iconography represents the Three Principal Aspects of the Paths (i.e., Renunciation, Bodhicitta and Emptiness) that are very important for success in one’s Buddhist practice, especially Tantric practice.

Vajrayogini’s body is fully naked and she poses in such a way that does not indicate modesty. The reason for this is during this degenerated time, desire and lust have become very strong. People do various kinds of negative actions out of lust, and many people are hurt due to the lustful actions of others. To counter this negative energy, Vajrayogini manifested in this form in order to subdue and transform those filled with lust and desire.

The following is an explanation of her features that can be revealed to non-initiates:

No Features Explanation
1. Red colour body The colour of red represents the energy of control. When we practice Vajrayogini Tantra, we gain the power of controlling our mind, lust and desire, and therefore we do not hurt other people due to our delusion.
2. One face Her singular face means that she has achieved the realisation that all phenomena are of one taste and nature.
3. Blissful and slightly wrathful facial expression The blissful facial expression means that Vajrayogini does not have to experience the sufferings of beings in samsara. The wrathful facial expression represents that Vajrayogini is absorbing our anger, and she is unhappy to witness our sufferings and the result of our negative karma.
4. Three eyes that look like normal human eyes Her left eye is looking up to her heaven, Dakpo Kachö (“Kechara”), which symbolises that for those who practice her Tantra and the Three Principal Paths free from the eight worldly Dharmas, Vajrayogini will lead them to Kechara paradise. Her practitioners will either be reborn in her actual paradise where they can receive teachings from her, Heruka, Dakinis or the Mahasiddhas who live in that paradise directly, or they will always be reborn in the place where they will meet qualified masters and receive her practice again. Therefore, by doing her practice, the amount of merits created and the amount of negative karma purified would help her practitioners to be reborn in beautiful positive places.

Her right eye is looking down at sentient beings, which symbolises that although she has lifted herself from samsara, she still abides within samsara’s borders to help. By looking down at sentient beings, she manifests her love and compassion through her sadhana, yogas, and the lineage masters who propagate her teachings.

The third eye represents the opening to her central channel that is cleared. It is an indication of Vajrayogini’s omniscient qualities.

5. Slightly opened mouth and four fangs Vajrayogini’s mouth is slightly opened showing her curled up tongue. This adds to her overall blissful expression, which represents the second Principle Aspects of the Path – Bodhicitta.

She has four fangs, which represent Four Noble Truths and four different classes of spirits to overcome.

6. Two arms Vajrayogini’s two arms represent her realisation of the two truths – conventional and ultimate truths.
7. Long loose orange hair that is adorned with a vajra cap

Note: in painting, she is often depicted as having black hair for aesthetic reason

The long loose hair means that she is free and unfettered by worldly, social and conventional norms. She is not controlled by rules, emotion, anger, hatred, negative karma, convention and what other people say.

Therefore, when one practices her meditation well, one will achieve the same state.

8. The-five-skull crown with jewels The five-skull crown represents the five Dhyani Buddhas.
9. Bone ornaments All Vajrayogini’s ornaments are made of bones and dry skulls. Dry skull means that she has the ability to remove our delusions and illusions completely and destroy our negative emotions. It also represents the first of the Three Principle Aspects of the Path – renunciation.
10. The left hand that is raised and hold a skull cup (kapala) filled with blood Her left hand is raised and is holding a skull cup filled with blood, from which she drinks. The skull cup represents great bliss and impermanence, and the blood represents emptiness. Vajrayogini drinking the blood from the skull cup represents that she is always meditating on the third of the Three Principle Aspects of the Path – Emptiness.

Her gesture of drinking from the skull cup also means that that when her practitioners receive nourishment, they will feel full and satisfied. Likewise, those who practice Vajrayogini will receive the Dharma from a qualified teacher and rejoice because they had received the Dharma.

11. The right hand that is pointing downward in threatening mudra and holding a knife Her right hand is pointing downward and holding a knife that cut through samsara. Her hand is in the Threatening Mudra gesture (all fingers folded with only the index and the last fingers sticking out), which represents overcoming samsara. That means she cuts and destroys the direct causes to our samsara – ignorance, hatred and desire.

She is holding a knife to remind her practitioners that no matter how beautiful, rich or powerful, one day they are going to die, and they should not only use their lives for selfish pursuits. Therefore, mind transformation to turn the selfish mind to be of benefit to others is important.

12. Her left leg is bent and her right leg is outstretched She leans toward the left represents Mother Tantra, which means that her Tantra focuses on clear light as means towards enlightenment.
13. Stepping on deity figures Her left foot is stepping on the worldly deity Bhairava (Mahadeva). It is said that these deities offer themselves as cushions for the sublime feet of Vajrayogini. The front of her foot touches his head (ignorance) and the back of her foot steps on the heart area on the back (hatred) of Bhairava who represents anger or hatred. Therefore, if one does her meditation, one will be able to eliminate hatred and ignorance.

Her right foot is stepping on the breasts (desire) of Mahadeva’s consort, Kalarati which represents the destruction of desire and all negative karma that are associated with them. Therefore, when one does her practice, s/he will be able to eliminate the negativities that arise from harmful lustful desire.

Note: The beings stepped on by the Buddha should not have more arms than the Buddha who is stepping on them.

14. Khatvanga on the left shoulder Vajrayogini’s khatvanga represents Heruka Chakrasamvara, her consort, which means she is never separated from Heruka. Her khatvanga also represents that Vajrayogini and Heruka Chakrasamvara are one, but her practice is more condensed, easier, faster and has less requirements compared to Heruka Chakrasamvara’s.

On the top of the khatvanga, there is a vajra and three heads. The top head is a dried-up skull, the next head is a half-rotten head, and the next head below that is a fresh head. The three heads represent the Buddhas of the past (i.e., Dipamkara), present (i.e., Shakyamuni) and future (i.e., Maitreya).

Under the heads, there is a double Vajra and below that is a long life vase. The vase is wrapped with a khata and a damaru.

 

H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche
explains Vajrayogini’s iconography:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

The deity figures beneath Vajrayogini’s feet

Vajrayogini stepping on Mahadeva and his consort, Kalarati

Vajrayogini stepping on Mahadeva and his consort, Kalarati

Once upon a time, there was a powerful and good-looking god named Mahadeva who was very attached to eroticism. He had four consorts and constantly engaged in copulation with one of them. Mahadeva controlled 24 powerful places in the world, and placed a male and female guardian in each of these places. He encouraged the worship of copulation and eroticism. Therefore those who pray to him would get their wishes fulfilled, but they would be overwhelmed by a sense of sexual desire and over time that gradually ruined the lives of his devotees on earth.

Buddha Shakyamuni saw the actions of Mahadeva and saw that the time had come to subdue him. Buddha Shakyamuni emanated as Heruka Chakrasamvara who physically resembled Mahadeva but with four faces of various expressions (e.g., wrathful, angry, desirous, peaceful, etc.), 12 arms, 12 different weapons, two legs and holding on to a consort, Vajrayogini. In addition, Buddha Shakyamuni emanated into various dakas and dakinis of the Heruka mandala to pacify the guardians in the 24 power places. When Mahadeva saw Buddha Heruka, he clairvoyantly knew that Heruka was more powerful and he was thus subdued. Mahadeva offered himself and his consorts to Buddha Heruka.

Therefore, Vajrayogini is depicted as stepping on Mahadeva’s head (representing ignorance) and back (the heart area, representing anger) under her left foot, and Kalarati’s breasts (Mahadeva’s consort; representing desire) under her right foot. Kalarati is holding a ritual chopper and a skull cup. Mahadeva is holding on to a sword or khatvanga, and a damaru. Vajrayogini steps on Mahadeva because although he has been subdued, his ability to influence beings in samsara combined with sentient beings’ karma to be influenced is still very powerful. Thus for beings who have a lot of desire, they can make a connection with Vajrayogini to counter these negative qualities.

 

Flying Vajrayogini

Flying Vajrayogini from Datuk May Phng to Tsem Rinpoche

Flying Vajrayogini from Datuk May Phng to Tsem Rinpoche

This form of Vajrayogini is from a different lineage, and she is depicted with her legs spread apart as she flies over samsara towards Dharmakaya. Her form represents the complete transcendence of the ego and its delusions. This form of Vajrayogini is associated with the mountain-dwelling Mahasiddha Shavaripa, who was given the sadhana of Vajrayogini by a pure vision of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. The Bodhisattva told him to devote himself to the sadhana for six months and he would behold the face of Vajrayogini. However, he had no signs for 12 years and just as he was about to give up, Vajrayogini emerged from amidst the mountains.

 

Headless Vajrayogini

In this form, Vajrayogini is called Chinnamasta or ‘She with the severed head.’ She directly shows the complete severance of the ego with the graphic portrayal of her decapitation. In this headless form, Vajrayogini is depicted holding her severed head in the skull cup of her left hand and three streams of blood gush forth from three severed veins on her neck. One stream flows into the mouth of the severed head, another to the attendant Vajravarnani on the left and to Vajravairocani on the right. As the attendants are the emanations of Vajrayogini, the three Vajrayoginis are also known as Trikayavajrayogini or The Three Sacred Bodies of Vajrayogini. Her sadhana is attributed to the famous Mahasiddha Virupa.

 

Sukhasiddhi Vajrayogini

Sukhasiddhi Vajrayogini

Sukhasiddhi Vajrayogini

This secret form of Vajrayogini in white is called Sukhasiddhi because she is associated with the Indian yogini of the same name. She is the contemporary of Niguma and they are both female teachers of the 11th Century Tibetan master Kyungpo Naljor. Kyungpo Naljor eventually became the founder of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition and this form of Vajrayogini has since become a unique aspect of this tradition. This form of Vajrayogini reveals her ‘secret organ’ as she is said to be in the posture of giving birth. This symbolises the ability of her practice to transform ordinary practitioners into enlightened beings.

 

Vajravarahi

Vajravarahi

Vajravarahi

Vajravarahi is one of the main forms of Vajrayogini that is associated with the Heruka Chakrasamvara Tantra. She is in the dancing posture and her name literally means ‘Adamantine Sow’. According to Judith Simmer-Brown, the Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University, “Vajravarahi’s iconography is very similar to that of Vajrayogini, but she is often [depicted as] having more prominent fangs and a more wrathful expression, and she prominently displays a sow’s head above her right ear.” In general, Vajravarahi is described as having a sow’s head protruding above her right ear, which represents the transmuting of ignorance. According to the oral tradition, Vajravarahi is associated with the Mahasiddha Indrabhuti.

 

Vajrayogini Mandala

Vajrayogini Mandala

Vajrayogini Mandala

Traditionally, when a mandala is painted, the yidam’s image is not drawn in the middle of the mandala (although it is not incorrect to do so). The yidam is usually represented by either a Bam syllable or even a plain moon disc, which represents emptiness and bliss. Just like her iconography, Vajrayogini’s mandala is filled with symbolism that represent various aspects of the Buddha’s teachings. The five-coloured fire of the protection circle symbolises Vajrayogini’s omniscient wisdom and ultimate Bodhicitta. The vajra fence symbolises conventional Bodhichitta, and the charnel grounds symbolise renunciation.

 

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Power Places Associated with Vajrayogini

Pemako

The hidden valley of Pemako

The hidden valley of Pemako

Pemako, also known as the “supreme hidden land”, is said to be one of the 108 valleys hidden by Guru Rinpoche in the Himalayas. They will only be revealed at the appropriate time and can only be reached with great hardship. The prediction that the journey would be an arduous undertaking is consistent with the description of Kingdon Ward, the explorer-botanist who visited Pemako in 1925:

“Not only is Pemako extraordinarily difficult to reach from any direction, it is still more difficult to penetrate and explore when reached. Surrounded on three sides by the gorges of the Tsangpo, the fourth is blocked by mighty ranges of snow-mountains, whose passes are only open for a few months in the year. Beyond these immediate barriers to east, west and south are trackless forests inhabited by wild unfriendly tribes… Add to this… a climate which varies from the subtropical to the arctic, the only thing common to the whole region being perpetual rain, snakes and wild animals, giant stinging nettles and myriads of biting and blood sucking ticks, hornets, flies and leeches, and you have some idea of what the traveler has to contend with.”

– The Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges, Kingdon Ward, 1926

Pemako is often likened to Vajrayogini body lying down:

  • Kangri Kangpo (White Snow Mountain) resembles her head,
  • Mount Namche Barwa and Mount Gyala Peri resemble her breasts,
  • Yang Sang River in the upper Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh, resembles her lower part of her body,
  • Siang and Yang Sang Rivers resemble her sacred triangle,
  • Kila Yangzom resembles her vulva,
  • Rinchenpung, a Nyingmapa Monastery, resembles her navel

Although it is challenging to reach Pemako, many pilgrims and trekkers continue to attempt to visit this beautiful place.

 

Nepal

Bijyashwari Vajrayogini Temple

Bijyashwari Vajrayogini Temple

In Nepal, there are powerful temples dedicated to Vajrayogini: Bijyashwari, Sangku, Patan and Parphing. Vajrayogini practice is prominent in Nepal due to the legacy of the 11th Century Nepali Buddhist masters, the Pamthingpa brothers. The brothers were famous for practising and spreading the Vajrayogini tradition in Nepal. These four places are very powerful, energised and they add blesses to the pilgrims.

 

Ditsa Tashi Choding Monastery

Indoor stupa where the 5th Amdo Zhamar's relic is kept

Indoor stupa where the 5th Amdo Zhamar’s relic is kept

Ditsa Tashi Choding is an important Gelug monastery in Amdo that was founded in 1903 by the 4th Amdo Zhamar, Gendun Tenzin Gyatso. His reincarnation, the 5th Amdo Zhamar, Lobsang Shedrub Tenzin Gyatso (1914 – 1952) was known to be a playful tulku. He was rarely seen studying. The 5th Amdo Zhamar passed away when he was 39 years old. The prayers and recitations at his funeral took 14 days and upon its completion, the cremation stupa was opened. To the surprise of his attendants and monastery’s administrator, the body of the tulku had shrunk to a cubit high (18 inches) and was in Vajrayogini’s posture. There was no damage to the body. These extraordinary happenings increased the faith of those who witnessed the event, and they became more diligent in their practice and maintaining moral discipline.

 

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The Benefits of the Vajrayogini Practice

Ascending to Kechara Paradise

While appearing in a pure vision, Vajrayogini told Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche that if anyone received her practice within four generations after Pabongka Rinpoche, they would be able to ascend to Kechara Paradise within seven lifetimes. Subsequent generations would only be able to ascend to Kechara Paradise within 14 lifetimes. In Kechara Paradise, these practitioners would be able to receive teachings directly from Vajrayogini, Heruka and the Mahasiddhas who reside in that paradise.

The promise to be connected to Vajrayogini beyond this lifetime is possible because she is classified as a karma deity. She therefore follows her practitioners from one lifetime to another. In this manner, we will be able to continue our practice of Vajrayogini where we left off in a previous lifetime. Vajrayogini does not focus only on this lifetime because our current lifespan is relatively short when compared to our future lifetimes in the larger scheme of things.

 

Purification of Negativities and Transformation of Destinies

Due to her emphasis in purifying our delusions (i.e., ignorance, hatred, desire), practitioners who strongly engage in Vajrayogini’s practice will see that their self-cherishing mind’s are transformed, from one plagued by various projections and attachments to a mind that is inclined towards benefiting others. Vajrayogini, by virtue of being a tantric practice, purifies tremendous amounts of negative karma from innumerable lifetimes. As a result, her practitioners obtain peace of mind. They become equipped to accept life’s many challenges, because they have overcome their delusions and will be able to react in a way that creates less negative karma when faced with challenging situations. In this way, they transform their destinies and future lives for the better, and are better able to enjoy success in this lifetime without any attachments.

 

Good Rebirth and Being Able to Connect with Her Practice Again

Vajrayogini’s practitioners who hold their commitments will be protected from being reborn in the lower realms. Even if the practitioner is unable to complete the practice of dissolving their winds at the time of death, Vajrayogini will still meet and help the practitioners even in the bardo (intermediate state between life and death).

Death and rebirth

Death and rebirth

In addition, her practitioners will experience conducive conditions to meet, be attracted to and practise Vajrayogini again in subsequent lifetimes. Tsem Rinpoche is a good example of this. When he was nine years old, Tsem Rinpoche met with a qualified teacher and a Vajrayogini practitioner, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin and eventually received Vajrayogini initiation from him. Tsem Rinpoche must have practised Vajrayogini intensely in previous lifetimes to have the affinity to receive the practice so early in this lifetime.

 

Control and Protection

Those who perform their Vajrayogini practice and recite her mantra well will be protected from demons, spirits, black magic, bad weather and falling into the three lower realms. According to Lama Yeshe (1935 – 1984), Vajrayogini mantra is the ‘King of Mantras’ and will help the practitioners to gain siddhis (realisations). In fact, one can gain realisations just through the recitation of the mantra without any visualisation, when we have kept our commitments.

Tsem Rinpoche previously explained that the four prerequisites of Vajrayogini’s practice are:

  1. Unwavering faith in Vajrayogini as a deity and yidam, and unwavering faith in her practice, meditations and rituals. The practitioner needs to have full faith and conviction that yes, you CAN develop attainments from her practice and she CAN bring you to her paradise, Dakpo Kachö.
  2. To never miss tsok commitments. Rinpoche spoke about a way of overcoming situations when it becomes unavoidable for you to miss your commitments, for example due to travel or physically debilitating illnesses.
  3. To have clean samaya with your Guru. Never disturb your Guru’s mind by being sneaky, and refrain from destructive actions like lying and cheating.
  4. To recite a short prayer three times per day, which is a request for us to enter her paradise.

 

Rituals Associated with Vajrayogini Practice

The following are several known rituals associated with Vajrayogini practice:

Vajrayogini stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat

Vajrayogini stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat

Vajrayogini (Neljorma) Ruchok

Vajrayogini (Tibetan: Neljorma) Ruchok is a powerful ritual to consecrate the hair, nail or teeth of people or animals, deceased or alive in order to bless them and purify their negative karma. For those who are alive, the Vajrayogini Ruchok ritual will bless them to prolong their lives, purify negative karma, give protection, and bless the practitioners to have the ability to understand and engage in Dharma practice, and to make a connection to Vajrayogini and create the cause to receive her sacred practice.

For those who are deceased, Vajrayogini Ruchok will help to purify their negative karma and help them to obtain good rebirths, and to meet and practise the Dharma in future lifetimes.

After the ritual is performed, the hair, nail and teeth can be inserted into a stupa, statue or tsa tsa or mixed with the tsa tsa ingredients.

Kecharians making offerings to Vajrayogini in Nepal

Kecharians making offerings to Vajrayogini in Nepal

Soongdrup and Rabney Pujas

Rabney and Soongdrup pujas are rituals to consecrate Buddha images, and the mantras and holy items inside the image. Hence Soongdrup puja can be performed to consecrate the mantras, jewels and other insertions into images of Vajrayogini, which can be in the form of a statue or tsa tsa. Rabney pujas, on the other hand, can be performed to consecrate the statue and invite the wisdom being Vajrayogini to come and reside in the image, hence empowering it.

 

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Pre-Requisites of Receiving Vajrayogini Initiation

As advised by Tsem Rinpoche, prior to receiving Vajrayogini or any initiations, it is important to:

…study Lam Rim [i.e., The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment], ground your understanding of Dharma including Bodhisattva Vows strongly before [receiving] any Tantric Commitments, and do your preliminaries.

Tsem Rinpoche’s teachers, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen also conveyed the same advice.

These preparatory practices are important to reduce the risk of practitioners not holding their commitments after receiving the initiation. Many practitioners who are not ‘prepared’ will do their practice enthusiastically for a period of time and then decided to give up the practice for whatever reasons. Tsem Rinpoche emphasised that “[It] is not because Tantra has no power, [but] it is because the practitioner was not well prepared.” Tsem Rinpoche has also previously further advised that for practitioners who are prepared, Tantra will provide great blessings and powerful results.

 

Having a Qualified Teacher

Vajrayogini initiation should be received from a qualified teacher, who received Vajrayogini initiation from other qualified master(s) from an authentic lineage. The qualified teacher should also have been holding their commitments related to this initiation well. The teacher will observe the student and give the initiation when the student is ready.

Vajrayogini’s mantra should not be recited without initiation because she is one of the Anuttarayoga Tantra deities. Anuttarayoga deities mantras (e.g., Vajrayogini, Yamantaka, Heruka Chakrasamvara) cannot be given without initiation. Reciting these deities’ mantras involve meditations, and a type of visualisation whereby you move the psychic winds in your body. There are two reasons as to why the mantras of Anuttarayoga deities including Vajrayogini’s mantra cannot be recited without initiation:

  • If one simply recites the mantra without the correct meditation, visualisation and so forth, it will have no effect and may create misunderstanding in other people’s mind
  • If the wind meditation is performed incorrectly, it can be harmful towards the practitioners’ mind and future spiritual pracitce

For reference, there are four classes of Tantra:

The outer class Tantra:

  • Kriya Tantra
  • Charya Tantra
  • Yoga Tantra

The mantras of the outer class Tantra deities (e.g., Tara, Manjushri, Saraswati) can be given without initiation.

The inner class Tantra:

  • Anuttarayoga Tantra

The mantras of the inner class Tantra (e.g., Vajrayogini, Yamantaka and Heruka Chakrasamvara) should not be recited without initiation for the reasons mentioned above.

 

Attitude and Knowledge

Tsem Rinpoche has advised that prior to receiving Vajrayogini initiation, Vajrayogini aspirants should act in the following manner:

  • Practise integrity and fulfill your promise (words of honor)
  • Execute assignments from the teacher diligently
  • Contemplate on the teacher’s good qualities repeatedly
  • Persevere in your practice
  • Transform your mind (note: please refer to Eight Verses of Thought Transformation)
  • Get along with other people and be forgiving
  • Hold the current practice or sadhana given by the teacher daily consistently
  • Maintain loyalty to one’s teacher and follow him / her all the way
  • Maintain an attitude that is free from Eight Worldly Dharmas
  • Practise non-attachment to name, fame, reputation, wealth and so forth. This does not mean that we cannot have all these things, but that we should not be attached to them

In addition, Tsem Rinpoche advised aspirants to Vajrayogini’s practice to have a good grounding on the study of:

The Dharma practitioners should not hold the attitude that transgressing vows is allowed because the samaya can be repaired by doing purification practices such as Vajrasattva or 35 Confessional Buddhas. The prerequisites of the actions (i.e., recognising the object, the intent, the execution and the feeling of satisfaction after the action is performed) will determine whether a particular vow is broken or not. Tsem Rinpoche has previously stated that “if we break our vows without real intent or by slipping out of habit, then Vajrasattva will be helpful if we truly regret and add the four opponent powers.” Four opponent powers consist of:

  1. Power of Reliance: taking refuge and generating Bodhicitta
  2. Power of Regret
  3. Power of Remedy: mantra recitation
  4. Power of Restraint: promise not to commit negativities again

 

Preliminary Practices

Tsem Rinpoche has previously emphasised the importance of completing preliminary practices so that Vajrayogini aspirants can purify negative karma and collect merit. These are particularly important for doing higher practices, gaining attainments and reducing the risk of giving up on the practice. The preliminary practices consist of:

  • 100,000 prostrations
  • 100,000 Guru Yogas
  • 100,000 water offerings
  • 100,000 Vajrasattva mantra recitations

Additional preliminary practices can also include offering 100,000 butter lamps, making 100,000 mandala offerings, and making / sponsoring 100,000 Buddha images.

If one is not able to engage in preliminary practices for good reasons, then one can do Dharma work at one’s Dharma centre, place of convenience or wherever recommended by one’s spiritual guide. The Dharma work should be performed as a spiritual practice and not as secular work.

 

Bodhisattva Vows

One of the prerequisites of Vajrayogini initiation is holding the Bodhisattva vows well. Without holding these vows, no results or attainments can be expected from any Tantric practice especially with Vajrayogini.

 

What happens during and after the initiation

During the Initiation

Vajrayogini initiation consists of the preparatory initiation and the actual initiation. These two initiations are given on different days. After the preparatory initiation, the practitioner should observe any inauspicious signs that may appear such as bad dreams, which serve as a warning that one is not ready to get the actual initiation.

During the actual initiation, which serves to plant the seed in one’s mindstream, the practitioner visualises the teacher as Vajrayogini and makes certain promises and commitments. The promises made during initiation should be fulfilled regardless of whether the teacher from whom your have received the initiation is still alive or not.

 

After the Initiation

Following the commitments and promises taken during the initiation is essential to gain attainments. Although there were cases of practitioners who gained attainments during initiation, such cases are very rare. Therefore, the practitioners should study the Tantric commitments and recite the vows regularly until they are familiar with these vows and commitments.

After the initiation, the practitioners should not talk about what happened during the initiation to those who are not qualified (i.e., not ready or those who have broken their vows) as this may create misunderstanding.

The following are the main requirements of Vajrayogini Tantra after initiation:

  1. Maintaining good relationship and samaya with their teacher
  2. Holding the vows and commitment of Vajrayogini practice
  3. Performing tsog every 10th and 25th of the lunar month
  4. Reciting her secret mantra with faith and diligence
  5. Reciting the short prayer to enter Vajrayogini’s Paradise three times a day
  6. Reciting Vajrasattva mantra 21 times per day to purify any possible downfall
  7. Performing six sessions of short Guru Yoga prayer (the practitioner can also opt to do the long version if preferred). The practitioners can recite this either three times in the morning and three times at night, or six times per day in one go
  8. Fulfilling the other commitments you may have made to the teacher during, prior or after the initiation

There are no restrictions for the practitioners to do more than the requirements or what was promised during the initiation; in fact, it is encouraged to do so.

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche advised that before our passing from this world (death), we should create the causes to complete a full-length Vajrayogini retreat, complete with offerings, ritual and fire puja. Practitioners should always keep the intention to do retreat in mind, so even if they pass away before the retreat is completed, they will not break this commitment.

Another requirement is to keep Tantric clothes, ornaments and instruments near the practitioners. Because this may be impractical, practitioners can maintain a picture of these items.

 

Vajrayogini Self-Initiation (daju)

Tsem Rinpoche about to perform Vajrayogini self-initiation (daju)

Tsem Rinpoche about to perform Vajrayogini self-initiation (daju)

Vajrayogini self-initiation, which is also known as daju, is a ritual that serves to purify, reaffirm and mend the vows that have been taken before. During this process, the practitioners can also re-take the mantra commitment, if the commitment was previously broken. One however, cannot promise the same mantra count that was taken during the first initiation. The mantra count promised should be at least double compared to the previous time the mantra commitment was taken.

Vajrayogini self-initiation is usually performed by one’s lama prior to granting Vajrayogini initiation. It can also be taken from time-to-time to ensure success in one’s practice.

 

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How to Develop Connection to Vajrayogini Without Initiation

Rinpoche's first Vajrayogini statue, decorated extensively with pearls and semi-precious stones.

Rinpoche’s first Vajrayogini statue, decorated extensively with pearls and semi-precious stones.

Invite and Decorate Her Image

When a practitioner invites the image of Vajrayogini, whether it is in the form of a statue, thangka, photograph or tsa tsa, they should not treat it as just another ordinary object, but as a holy object and a representation of the Buddha’s body. Mantras and / or other holy objects can be inserted into the statue, and the practitioner can have the pujas / tsog performed to consecrate the Vajrayogini image and the holy items inside. The purpose of having these pujas performed is to invite her to abide within this body representation.

The purpose of having a Vajrayogini image is to aid in visualisation, awareness and realising the meaning of her holy form.

The practitioner can also offer ornaments in the form of precious stones and jewels, as an offering to Vajrayogini’s holy image. These ornaments symbolise the perfection of Six Paramitas, which are:

  • Perfection of generosity
  • Perfection of moral discipline
  • Perfection of patience and tolerance
  • Perfection of effort
  • Perfection of single-pointed concentration or contemplation
  • Perfection of wisdom

Considering the deep meaning behind the ornaments in Buddha’s body, practitioners who offer ornaments to Vajrayogini’s image create the causes and the merits therefore to achieve the Six Paramitas themselves. In addition, offering ornaments on the Buddha also creates the cause for practitioners to receive wealth.

 

Setting Up Her Altar

Tsem Rinpoche's Vajrayogini altar with extensive offerings

Tsem Rinpoche’s Vajrayogini altar with extensive offerings

Those who aspire to practise and receive Vajrayogini initiation in the future should set up a nice altar for Vajrayogini in accordance with their budget. The altar should be maintained and clean at all times. A basic altar should have at least a representation of the Buddha’s body (i.e., a statue, tsa tsa, photograph or thangka) at the centre, a representation of the Buddha’s speech (i.e., a Dharma text) to the right of the image and a representation of the Buddha’s mind (i.e., stupa).

In addition to these three, practitioners can add whatever offerings that please the senses as long as they are offered sincerely and obtained through the correct means (e.g., not the result of stealing, killing, etc.).

The author's personal Vajrayogini altar. She received the Vajrayogini statue from her teacher, Tsem Rinpoche.

The author’s personal Vajrayogini altar. She received the Vajrayogini statue from her teacher, Tsem Rinpoche.

Daily Tea Offering

For those who have not received initiation, you can start to develop a connection with Vajrayogini by making tea offerings to her.

Making offerings to Vajrayogini is a wonderful way to build connection with her

Making offerings to Vajrayogini is a wonderful way to build connection with her

The following prayer was composed by Ngülchu Dharmabhadra, an 18th Century Tibetan author.

How to start:

  • Recite Refuge prayer to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
  • Recite Four Immeasurables
  • Recite Eight Verses of Thought Transformation
  • Recite Tea Offering prayer below by Vajrayogini. The practitioner can either pour the tea / liquid to the brim prior to reciting the prayer, or pour the tea / liquid at the last line of “I offer” then pour the tea to fill the container to the brim.
  • Recite the Guru’s mantra instead of Vajrayogini mantra (which is reserved for those who have received initiation)
  • Recite dedication prayers

 

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Sacred Vajrayogini’s Tea Offering Prayer

OM AH HUM
As I visualize myself as the deity at the center of the Dharmachakra,
extremely red within a double tetrahedral reality source,
on a stainless moon mandala seat
resides the all-encompassing refuge assembly of guru-deities.

Rang lhar säl chhö kyi khor löi ü
Dog rab mar chhö jung nyi tseg nang
Dän dri dräl da wäi kyil khor teng
Kyab kün dü la ma lha tshog zhug
Gyu lha dzä rin chhen lä drub ching
Yib rab dze yöl go tam päi chü

In a beautifully shaped container filled with the essences
of ingredients made from precious celestial substances,
this vast drink, delicious in taste,
reddish yellow in color, with the scent of camphor,
I offer to the assembly of father, root, and lineage gurus.
Please bless my three doors.

Dang mar ser ga bur dri dang chän
Ro zang dän gya jäi tung wa di
Pha tsa gyü la mäi tshog la bül
Dag go sum jin gyi lab tu söl

I offer to the assembly of powerful mother yoginis.
Please lead me to the field of Khachö pure land.

Ma näl jor wang möi tshog la bül
Nä kha chö zhing du thri du söl

I offer to the assembly of peaceful and wrathful mind-sealed deities.
Please bestow all the supreme and general attainments.

Lha yi dam zhi thröi tshog la bül
Chhog thün mong ngö drub tsäl du söl

I offer to the objects of refuge, the Three Rare Sublime Ones.
Please protect me from the fearful enemies of samsara and nirvana’s peace.

Kyab kön chog rin chhen sum la bül
Dra si zhii jig lä dräl du söl

I offer to the assembly of supporters, dakinis, and Dharma protectors.
Please actualize all activities, whatever is wished for.

Drog khan dro chhö kyong tshog la bül
Yi chi dö thrin lä drub tu söl

I offer to the assembly of siblings, the six types of transmigratory beings.
Please pacify the suffering of my mind’s hallucinated appearances.

Nyen rig drug dro wäi tshog la bül
Sem thrül nang dug ngäl zhi gyur chig

Clarifying myself as the mind-sealed deity, which appears while empty,
and enjoying the food, with the taste of nectar,
my mind enters into the sphere of great bliss and emptiness.

Rang nang tong yi dam lhar säl wä
Ze dü tsii ro la long chä pä
Lo de chhen tong päi ying su zhug

EH MA HO!
How eminently fortunate I am!

E MA HO!
Mä jung käl pa zang

Colophon:
This tea offering prayer to Vajrayogini was composed by Ngülchu Dharmabhadra. The spiritual aspirants can recite it either in Tibetan or English.

 

Prayer to Vajrayogini by H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche

A beautiful image of flying Vajrayogini.

A beautiful image of flying Vajrayogini.

Lovely Vajrayogini Buddha Lady who entices us away from the lures of samsara, please sustain us to gain Bodhicitta, renunciation and sunyata (emptiness) so we may never be obstructed in our view of what creates suffering and what ends it. This would be wisdom arising.

I pray to you lovely mistress of enlightenment to please place your lotus feet on my head and bless me to gain inner, outer and secret Kechara quickly, which is your supreme attainment that I long for. I request and implore you that within seven lifetimes as promised in your Tantra to our lineage masters or sooner I may ascend your Kechara Paradise with a rainbow body transformed from the coarse body bogged down by the unsteady imbalance of the four elements causing disorders and karma.

I humbly beseech that in this and all future lives until I reach Kechara Paradise I may meet your lineage masters holding your secrets as I did in this life, meet you and be initiated into your secrets that Mara is frightened of always. That in every life from a very young age I seek the guru with your lineage automatically, receive your practice and find a place of solitude to perfect your path of Tantra deep in meditation.

I do not wish to waste time in every life but start at a young age so bless me so. Bless me and let it be so. I fear wasting time my dear mother of coral hue. I miss you and long for you as you are the salvation to one who fears samsara. Although you embody salvation when I unite with you, I find freedom within myself.

Lady who has ascended from samsara yet descends time and time again to our realms to assist, please bless me to have visions of you, appear in my dreams and be embraced by your loving arms like that of an only child. You are the mother without fault or imperfections. May signs of your presence always be present in my life and lives and may I bring you to countless many as I cannot abandon others as they suffer like me.

Please guide me that when the thoughts of self and self-absorption arise, I may wake up from the stupor of the ego realizing the ego less state. May I realize I am the author of my samsara and sufferings finally and blame no one. No escape no matter where I hide in the mountains, under the ocean, in the cities, within the parties or within my family and friends. Bless me to stop wasting time hiding from the truth of self-absorption and ego that only brings more quicksand like situations that hasten unwanted sufferings.

Maiden who appears young, mature, hag like, ogress-like and in multitude of forms to benefit are my refuge supreme. With all my heart, soul, mind and courage I surrender to you as you are the synthesis of the wisdom of all the Buddhas. To know you is to know all the Buddhas. To supplicate you is to supplicate all the Buddhas. To practice your path will be blessed by all the Buddhas. To become one with you is to become a Buddha.

Please bless my channels, drops, winds and 24 sacred places of my body to gather all course winds into my subtle winds. Then gather the subtle winds into more subtle reality realizing clear light and never stir from this uniting with your mind. I become you and you become me shaking the three worlds as the 4th Buddha did in the last watch of the night below the Bodhi tree. I am you and you are me. There was never any difference from the beginning and yet my mind created this difference. May I reside in the clear light of my mind, which is your mind, and realize great Buddha Dakini Lady of Naropa that we are one and the same. Bless me. May I never be parted from you my dear Buddha lady Vajrayogini but be parted from all that is in samsara ruled of attachments, abiding in attachments and experiencing the results of attachment.

Supreme Lady Vajrayogini, who only appears solid yet is like a mirage, bless me and may I bring countless beings time and time again and life after life to your blessed domain which is Kechara Paradise.

Composed by Tsem Rinpoche
September 22, 2015

 

Vajrayogini: Tricosmic Lady of Coral Hue

Vajrayogini: Tricosmic Lady of Coral Hue

Another prayer to Vajrayogini by H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche

Vajrayogini: Tricosmic Lady of Coral Hue

Computers, internet, TVs, DVDs, dance-clubs, music, fame, stardom, money, alcohol, drinking, playing, games, traveling, working and yet I am still depressed and bored.

I win, you win, I am wrong, you are right, I have been found out, I have not lost face, I am hidden, I am straight-forward, misunderstood, understood, taking advantage of, cheated, loved, abused and used, forced, compliant, hateful, loving, and so many more emotions I have given, taken and experienced, yet why do I still feel like I am losing?

My mind unsettled, dwelling in depression, absorbed in fear, unable to escape from my lack of self-esteem. Fear of old age, poverty and extreme loneliness. Regret of a wasted life, I have nothing to look forward to except the cold, lonely stone-like corpse which I have called myself. Is that the purpose of my living? Is that the end, my death? I fear and tremble and avoid, yet I come back to the same fear.

Have I distracted myself away from the truth, which is all that is born must die. I have looked high and low for someone who can offer me protection from the fears, distresses, spirits, ghosts and my self-made sufferings in this life. And I am trembling, shaking and unable to sleep, insomnic with thoughts of the end which is near.

Great female Buddha, Goddess, Mother Earth, Rainbow Lady, Buddhadakini, Yogini, adamantine master, sage, conqueror and the only one in this most horrendous of times I can fully trust, relax and rely upon.

Bless me that I may practice your profound eleven yoga meditations. Protect me with the results of your generation and completion stage practices. Manifest to me during the day and in dreams at night. Be my teacher, be my guide, be my ‘lover,’ be my Goddess, be my friend. Please manifest to me.

May I in this life and all future lives be closest to you. May I please you my queen, as your closest servant. Protect me completely as stated in your eight praises. May I gain all common and uncommon attainments, wealth, protection and guarantee that I will be safe after death. I devote myself to you great Maha-Yogini, the supreme Lady Buddha of coral hue.

 

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About Valentina Suhendra

Valentina met H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche in year 2006 and became his student one year later. Prior to joining Kechara, Valentina was an advisory director at one of the big four accounting firms.

Currently, Valentina is the chairwoman of Yayasan Kechara Indonesia, a foundation working on social community projects to benefit the community. Read more of her writing on her blog: www.valentinasuhendra.com
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12 Responses to Vajrayogini – The Powerful Divine Red Lady

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  1. Soon Huat on Dec 11, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche and Valentina for the valuable article of introducing the powerful Divine, sacred Vajrayogini, to us. I was praying to Amitabha and wish to go to Western Pureland in future. Hence, I was a bit shacky or hesitated when Guru asked us to go for Vajrayogini as it is very high tantra. After getting advice from Pastor Seng Piow. I decided to set my mind to go for Vajrayogini praying (doing serkym daily to Her and hope one day receive Her initiation from Guru). Stay foolish: just follow whatever Guru say without doubt. This is my attitude toward Dharma now. I am still far from Guru’s expectation (very far) but I am trying hard to close the gap; changing my samsara habits now.
    Thank You Valentina, I understand more about this powerful great divine now. Pastor Patsy gave me a book filled with Vajrayogini photo taken in pilgrimage in Nepal. I flip it when I am down or a few times in a month. I really love the Vajrayogini statue. I have a huge sacred Vajrayogini statue at home now; Thank You Pastor Seng Piow. I do daily praying to Her whenever I am back to Penang. My wife and daughter are chanting Dorje Shugden mantra in front of alter daily and wish they are protected by Dorje Shugden and build connection to Vajrayogini too. I would like to Thanks to Pastor Patsy for the tsa tsa for me to bring to China for continue my praying.
    I am in debt to a lot of persons in Dharma path. Thank You.

    • Valentina Suhendra on Dec 11, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Dear Soon Huat

      Thank you for your kind comment. I am glad that this post is useful of you and you can learn from it. I am happy that you are connecting to this divine Buddha. Do keep up and persevere in your practice.

      Valentina

  2. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 25, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Thank you to Valentina for sharing her understanding and insights into the practice of Vajrayogini. Vajrayogini practice has been practiced by Lama Tsongkhapa and a host of many peerless Gelug Lamas, it is a practice that is wish fulfilling and can fulfill all our dharma aspirations.

  3. shelly tai on Sep 8, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche and Valentina for this clear write up on this powerful Buddha of Vajrayogini. There is no words can describe how beneficial is this practice and how fortunate of us to hear her name , as I read through the write it really make me understand more about her practice and especially her iconography it make it important for us as a practitioner to learn about her iconography because then we can explain to others why her practice is so powerful and beneficial .

  4. Pastor David Lai on Aug 26, 2016 at 4:13 am

    I guess beyond the mysticism of tantric rituals and magic, the allure of Vajrayogini stems with the promise that she brings with her practice. The very fact that her practice is easier, just as potent as other practices and far more suitable for the materialistic and sexualized modern individual does not mean it is not without the necessary preparations that go about with the receiving of higher tantra.

    The actual stabilizing groundwork of her practice begins before receiving her initiation, which is the preliminary practices, the devotional means in which we engage with our spiritual teachers, adherence to spiritual vows and commitments and thus, the necessary merits accumulate like precious gold dust that practitioners of old, offer to their vajra teachers in order to receive precious instruction.

    That is why, we begin the Vajrayogini sadhana from the very moment we aspire to receive her practice through the setting up of her altar, engaging in Dharma work, Dharma commitment and so forth. We are already engaging in Vajrayogini sadhana and accumulating vast potential that when we actually receive her practice, there would be fewer obstacles and attainments would come with less hindrances.

  5. Pastor KH Ng on Aug 19, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche, Valentina and all who make this very compelling post possible.

    This post is very comprehensive in providing an accurate and clear understanding to prepare ourselves for the practice of VajraYogini. Any misunderstanding for aspiring practitioners and outsiders alike can be cleared by reading this post.

    This also constitute a preparation guide for the practice of VajraYogini, and we know exactly what needs to be done in order to receive her practice. It is complete, clear, simple and profound at the same time.

    Thanks again.

    • Valentina suhendra on Aug 19, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Dear Pastor KH

      Thank you for your kind comment. Please help to share this post so many people can be connected to her practice 🙂

  6. graceleong on Aug 18, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche, Valentina and all the other writers who contributed to this precious article. This article is the most extensive of all that I have read on this topic. Each time I am in awe and feel very blessed that I have the conditions to meet this powerful divine red lady and also to make connections with Her every available day I have in this lifetime.
    Those of us in Kechara have the great fortune to have a Guru, H.E Tsem Rinpoche, who holds the lineage of this powerful Tantric teaching. Rinpoche is a qualified teacher, who received Vajrayogini initiation from other qualified master(s) from an authentic lineage. Rinpoche is also a teacher who has been holding his commitments very well, exuding perfect qualities and Guru devotion; a perfect Guru for us to contemplate his good qualities repeatedly.
    I humbly pray that one day I will gain enough merits to receive this precious initiation, to practice successfully and ascend the heaven of KECHARA to attain Enlightment for the benefit of all . With folded hands.

    • Valentina Suhendra on Aug 18, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      Dear Grace, thank you for your kind comments. I am glad you learned from the article and I hope the information will be useful for you.

      In this article, there is an information about how to start doing her practice without initiation. May you be blessed by this divine lady of the coral hue always.

      Valentina

  7. Stella Cheang on Aug 18, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valentina for this very important article on the supreme Goddess Vajrayogini of our lineage. The whole meaning behind “Kechara” is to plant a seed for us to be connected to Vajrayogini’s pureland, Kechara Paradise. I am very thankful to be introduced to this Buddha and given the opportunity to learn up about her in this blog, as her practice offers enormous benefits that can alleviate us from the samsaric cycle very swiftly.

    From this article, a few learnings stood out to me;
    1. We are very fortunate to have met our Guru Rinpoche who was bestowed with the Vajrayogini practice from pure authentic lineage that can be traced back to Lama Tsongkhapa’s time.
    2. Her fully exposed form is to emphasize the purification of desire and attachment which is a rampant distraction to practitioners during this degenerated times.
    3. The key objective of Vajrayogini’s practice is to ascend to Kechara Paradise and receive teaching from Vajrayogini directly.
    4. Vajrayogini’s practice is powerful in the purification of our delusions (i.e., ignorance, hatred, desire), thus transforming our self-cherishing mind.
    5. As she is a Karma Deity, her practice will follow the practitioners from one lifetime to another lifetime, hence allowing us to pick up from where we left off. Which also means that practitioners will take good rebirth in the next lifetime, be born in a conducive environment suitable for Dharma practice.
    6. Anyone who aspires to receive Vajrayogini’s practice must have a qualified Guru and develop strong inner qualities that can hold the commitments well. This is on top of having fulfilled the preliminary practices and learn up on designated Buddhist studies.

    Our Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche is a qualified Guru who had received Vajrayogini teachings from two of the most prominent Vajrayogini lamas; i.e. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Through the blessing of Tsem Rinpoche, we can establish a connection with Vajrayogini in this lifetime by following the instructions stated here in this article. This should be the goal of our lifetime instead of chasing after material possessions. Thank you very much, Rinpoche and Valentina, for this informative write up – the one-stop-shop for everything Vajrayogini.

    • Valentina Suhendra on Aug 18, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      Dear Stella

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy that you learned a lot from the article just as I have learned a lot during my research. I also appreciate the fact that you read the article thoroughly and summarise the points in your comments.

      May you always be blessed by Vajrayogini and able to spread her practice to many.

      Valentina

  8. Joy on Aug 16, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Thank you Valentina for this very important compilation of Vajrayogini’s teachings by Rinpoche and how we can start getting connected with this divine supreme lady.

    Vajrayogini is actually the very first deity from “Tibetan” Buddhism pantheon of Buddhas. The first time I saw her was from my sister’s apartment and she totally freaked me out yet at the same time she was extremely mesmerising. I would have never ever really knew how valuable Her practice is if it was not for Rinpoche who from day one kept on promoting Her and explaining to us Her great supreme qualities and how she would be able to grant us enlightenment within seven life times! But that is not the best that intrigued me the most.

    I think what I found most beautiful about her practice is that you can incorporate her practice into one’s daily activities, from showering, dressing, eating, drinking, even sleeping there is a specific yoga! The other fact that I found interesting is that she specifically manifested for the kaliyurga times and that she becomes even more potent as times get even more degenerate where sexual desires pervades our media and our lives.

    It is definitely one thing admire and wish to one day receive this initiation, it is another thing to actually create the causes to receive it. One requires true effort to fight of ego self comfort and to be brave to do the things we’re not use to do, most importantly to do the things that our Guru has instructed us to do, otherwise what makes us think we can follow the Guru’s instructions for higher tantra. Hence, everything our Guru ask us to do now, if we are fortunate enough to have a qualified Guru to a method to help us create the cause to one day be able to receive this Highest supreme Yoga Tantra. Like what Rinpoche always says we do not start when we have receive the initiation and suddenly we become some super wonder woman overnight, we actually have to begin the hard work now. Thank you Rinpoche for showing us the way and even if we are still not “qualified” to receive the teachings, the prelims and all the other efforts we put in to destroy our ignorant mind is still a step ahead and away from the miseries of samsara, at least some things still get purified, some merits still got collected which is better than nil. But of course the goal is always to receive this teachings, perhaps one of the very few reasons why I am still in Dharma.

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


SCHEDULED CHAT SESSIONS / 中文聊天室时间表

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UPCOMING TOPICS FOR MARCH / 三月份讨论主题

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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 04:15 PM
    Very clear explanation of what is Vajrayogini’s left foot stepping on. Each time when i have a look at the beautiful statue of Vajrayogini this question will comes back to me. i am glad came across these blog by chance, i saw and read to understand better.A clear explanation ..stampling left and right foot significant of desire ,hatred and ignorance that cause us to be in samsara and she she able to control.Vajrayogni’s practices is so powerful in heliping us and that is the reason Rinpoche always ask us to start now.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these short explanation in the video and the interesting story of Mahadeva.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/facebook-question-what-is-vajra-yoginis-left-foot-stepping-on.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:44 PM
    Rejoice to all the families who had setup a Buddhist altar at home and conducted a house blessing puja. There are diverse benefits of conducting the house blessing puja, which ranges from bringing well-being on all levels – in one’s health, relationships, business, and family – to purifying the home. The puja ceremonies will purify the environment which helps the people who live there and people who are visiting there to experience general well-being. The puja can be personalised based on the request or need of the individual. Thank you for sharing with us the many photos of the beautiful altar of these families, it is very heartwarming to know that they will always be blessed by the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:24 PM
    Thank you for sharing this mindfully planned itinerary for everyone who is interested in visiting Kechara Forest Retreat. Kechara Forest Retreat has different facets that showcase different elements of spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism in this wholesale venue. One can enjoy the flora and fauna of Mother Nature, or embrace the contemporary architectures that feature many magnificent Buddha statues and authentic Himalayan decorations. Not forgetting to mention, in Kechara Forest Retreat sits the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world! This is a holy place we must never miss to pay homage for blessings from the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 01:07 PM
    金泽“财王”护法殿

    在禅修林的入口处的左边有一间小佛堂,是全天候二十四小时开放给大众的。这间佛堂的一砖一瓦都是由不同善心人士捐增的。也因为他们过后发了一笔小财,所以在大马文东,金泽护法一般被简称为“财王“。

    根据佛陀教诲,五蕴是组成众生的五个方面,分别是色、受、想、行、识。证悟者如多杰雄登能将五蕴分别化现成不同的本尊。金泽是多杰雄登“受”蕴的化现,作用是协助我们增长世俗和修行上的财富。“受”蕴是我们对愉悦或不悦感受的认知。我们执着于愉悦,避免不悦,而这正是导致我们受困和造下各种业,继而产生痛苦的因(此段原文: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6d7edf5f0102x1n6.html)

    来到这里,我们首先要上香。做生意的朋友可要趁此机会拜拜,供养一个大的莲花蜡烛,上三根大香,祈求今年一帆风顺哦。

    摘自“GO BENTONG!与菩萨有约”
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120808
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 11:02 PM
    Can’t imagine that a priest actually stabbed Pope John Paul. How can he do this when he as a priest is suppose to be compassion and love everyone but kill the religion leader. he should remember that he carries the name priest and hence must show good example and behaviour to others but instead took another person’s life.

    I respected Pope John who continued his trip even though he was injured. That shows the determination he had to teach so it can benefit others. Always put others first more than our own needs.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/pope-john-paul-stabbed-by-priest.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 08:13 PM
    It is admirable for Sine Lindholm & Mads Ulrik Husum to place their design as open source for everyone to download and copy to manufacture. This shows how farsighted they are in propelling self-sustainability. The first step is always the hardest, and I believe what Sine and Mads had done is towards the right direction. In this way, people from all the around the world who genuinely are passionate and interested in growing own vegetables will be able to start on their own. Without needing to rely on middleman or manufacturer who might end up making the brilliant idea a commercial white elephant. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 10:05 PM
    Many companies especially in overseas are very considerate and allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. I personally think that this is a very good practice where the employees no longer have to worry about leaving pets at home alone. The work environments that cultivate loving kindness, caring and compassion create a much more positive and productive place to work. Besides, it may influence everyone especially those who do not have pet to be more kind to the animals.

    Nevertheless, the employer and employees may have to work together to maintain the safe and cleanliness work place such as reduce odour, provide clean air and many others.

    Thank you for this interesting article as a reminder to us to love and be kind to animals no matter where we are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/inside-the-worlds-most-dog-friendly-office.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 07:06 PM
    Superb idea and very creative. Home farming in the cities ! Appreciate all the hardwork and ideas to produce Growroom. It’s just like putting a big puzzle and making the whole process so much easier to plant in cities where we always have limited spaces.

    We should support more people to come up with such ideas so we can eat our own food and cultivate self sustainability.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:40 PM
    When on the hospital bed nearing our last breath, nothing matters except for the practice and transformation we have done in dharma in our lifetime.

    Our money, wishes, houses, clothes, jewelry, reputation, spouses, desires, dreams, greed, anger, possessions, explanations will be of no use at all. It will in fact even be a hindrance scratching at our mind’s energy to let go and we cannot.

    Since they are no use at that momentous event, we should continue that thought now and understand what we should truly cultivate now. This thought must translate into action not just scholastic thoughts and meanderings of the mind for self deception or imitation spiritual satisfaction. This is what I think daily and everyday as part of my meditations on death and impermanence according to first chapter of Lam Rim.
    ~H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

    Learn more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-dying-process.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 12:11 PM
    Amazing and very creative architecture designed space for our home grown foods.It is a good idea for those living in the cities.The Growroom is beautifully produced made it convenience which enables people to connect with nature surrounding with plants. The smell of herbs and plants makes cities dwellers to live in happiness and healthy.
    Its takes alot of effort and determination for anyone to build a growroom.Well they can do it,if they have the will power….hoping someday KFR will have one too.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:39 AM
    Lazynnes ,negative karma!and mends samajas …ITS very very , inderdependent motivations lewwels of awareness Teacher’Quality &sangha quantity ,first when samajas ARE pure Empowerment full blessings later?so give less Empowerment ITS OK.ccTR IS Wise.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:32 AM
    http://www.aikidosydneycity.com/interview-with-takeda-shihan-by-aikikai-hombu-dojo/ yes yes sumikiri!i m sure HE practice martial arts in many previous lives AS well AS have family’karma conected with ai!ki flow,,,so NEUTRAL his re:for attacks ARE.,above normal fighter skills!___and i m skull in maya astro,fine and wanth share:#####paranormalTSEMsection on:::: antarctica aliens& JFK ,Peru as egg skulls.________________have a good day&nice PRactICE.____THE LIGHT be?or just show options that can be used.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:23 AM
    For example B_LOCK can be neutral karma ,butRE_PLAY reactions can make diferent results in second person?
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:22 AM
    NEUTRAL karma not make good ,not bad result!but ITS STill karma so IS not done from lewwels of acomplishment where IS NO NEW karma acumulations.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:16 AM

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CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Writer: Pastor Loh Seng Piow
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
7 days ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
7 days ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
7 days ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 week ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 weeks ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 weeks ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
4 weeks ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
4 weeks ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
2 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
2 months ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
2 months ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
2 months ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
3 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
3 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
4 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
4 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
6 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
6 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
6 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
6 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
6 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
6 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
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A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    No reply yet
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 20, 2017 10:16
    Grigoris asked: Excuse me, but I would like to ask, what does the prayer to Shangmo Dorje Putri say exactly? I can't read Tibetan, but would like to see the description that the prayer gives. I am not planning to say the prayer or make interaction(as it would be very dangerous), but would like to see what it actually says from the Tibetan text. Here's the link: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/shangmo-dorje-putri-the-bamo-of-sakya.html
    pastor answered: Dear Grigoris, Thank you for your question. Shangmo Dorje Putri is indeed a fascinating unenlightened Dharma protector. Unfortunately at the moment, we do not have a translated copy of the text in English that we can provide. The usual format for such texts, would include an invocation, making offerings to appease them, and then exhortations for them to perform their activities, possibly followed by thanking them for their help. One thing is for certain, due to the nature of Shangmo Dorje Putri her prayer is sure to include violent imagery, just like many other Dharma protectors, such as Achi Chokyi Drolma (who even though has a peaceful appearance, has a lot of violent imagery in her prayers). The reason behind the violent imagery is explained in the post about Achi Chokyi Drolma here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
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Dorje Shugden
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