How Lama Tsongkhapa Transforms to Vajrayogini
Transcribed from a teaching given by H.E Tsem Tulku Rinpoche in Tsem Ladrang Kuala Lumpur, June 2010.
If you condense Buddha’s teachings step by step, they become the Three Principle Paths. We can develop the Three Principle Paths and gain mastery over our rebirth. You know why? So you don’t ever have to worry about yourself again and I don’t have to worry about you. You gain mastery. You can.
Therefore, the best anyone can do if not enlightenment for now is to gain mastery over taking rebirth coupled with developing the Three Principle Paths. They go hand in hand by the way. Where you want to take rebirth can be determined by yourself if you practice the sacred Vajrayogini Tantra thoroughly.
Vajrayogini, is a representation of complete Buddhahood in female form, whose practices are associated with the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Anuttarayoga Tantra.
She possesses supernatural powers and wisdom and has taught great Indian and Tibetian yogis. Vajrayogini appeared again and again to the Great Mahasiddha Naropa giving teachings. Naropa, after practicing these teachings attained perfect knowledge and wisdom.
The practice of Vajrayogini is only for the very fortunate and if practiced correctly can lead to Buddhahood in this very lifetime. She is the secret practice of Manjunatha Lama Tsongkapa himself. Read more here.
Start now before you are awarded the Vajrayogini empowerments. Start now! How? By holding your commitments and your vows – your refuge vows primarily and your commitments. Whatever you promise your Guru and your Dharma brothers and sisters to do, you do it. If you break it, you don’t create the causes to get Vajrayogini. One has to lead to another.
“Be honourable and have integrity meaning that whatever you say you are going to do, do it. Whatever work or practice you have been assigned, do it diligently and happily. This applies to every Dharma student around the world not just here by the way. This is going to be seen by everyone.”
Develop contemplations on the good qualities of one’s Lama again and again. Always contemplate how your Lama has changed your life, how you were before you met your Lama, how you gain purpose after your Lama, and basically how many examples the Lama has shown you. If you contemplate on that over and over again, it’s very powerful. Do you know why? Because when you receive Vajrayogini’s empowerment, you might even see your Lama as Vajrayogini. But if you always think negative thoughts and contemplate negative thoughts with your Lama, you will just see him as an ordinary person. You can still get the initiation but it is not as effective.
“Never give up. Never give up. I quit, I can’t, I don’t want to, bye bye… never give up. If you give up on something small like this, how are you going to do Vajrayogini’s practice? That’s even more intense.”
So by contemplating on your Lama and thinking about his good qualities and what he has done for you in your life until tears come down your eyes, always until it is spontaneous, you prepare yourself to receive Vajrayogini, from Vajrayogini. Never give up. Never give up. I quit, I can’t, I don’t want to, bye bye… never give up. If you give up on something small like this, how are you going to do Vajrayogini’s practice? That’s even more intense. So if you don’t give up now, when you get to see Vajrayogini, you are not going to give up. If you don’t give up Vajrayogini, you will gain Her paths. You will gain Her attainments.
Practice the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, listen to the teachings. I have got it on YouTube. Listen to the teachings that I have given. Listen to it again and again and again and practice it. Why? If you develop the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation in your mind, when you see Vajrayogini, you will be very ready for Her practice. You see, these things I am giving you now are preliminaries, it’s just a foundation before you to get Vajrayogini. You don’t get Vajrayogini and then you practice this. You got to practice this before Vajrayogini, before Yamantaka, before Heruka, before Guhyasamaja, before Kalachakra. People go and get Kalachakra, Vajrayogini and then they practice this and that’s why they quit, they fall, they don’t do their sadhanas, they stop, they get lazy because they didn’t practice. That’s why I am very against Lamas giving you initiations publicly, openly. They just come and give initiations and go. I am sorry, no disrespect intended to my gurus or anyone but they leave a group of people who don’t know what they got.
Make it a point to get along with everyone as much as possible and be forgiving. Very practical. Study Lamrim. Study the Wheel of Sharp Weapons. Study the Bodhisattvacharyavatara by Shantideva, and Lojong. Lojong is mind transformation teachings, Geshe Chekawa’s mind transformation.
“If you can’t even control yourself and roll your eyes in the presence of your teacher, you definitely will roll your eyes in front of everybody else. That’s not a Vajrayogini practitioner.”
The Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion by Asvagosha – you should study that. You should encourage other people to study that and know it well. Do you know how you can tell you know it well? When you start controlling yourself in the presence of your teacher. When you control yourself in the presence of your teacher, you can control yourself in the presence of his assistants and you can control yourself in the presence of his entourage, then his students and then everybody else you meet. It’s a gradual process. If you can’t even control yourself and roll your eyes in the presence of your teacher, you definitely will roll your eyes in front of everybody else. That’s not a Vajrayogini practitioner. That’s someone who when they receive Vajrayogini, they will kill the lineage. You know what? People look and say ‘oh I don’t want to practice, look”. That’s how you kill a lineage.
And then commit to one’s practice that is light and easy everyday. You should do Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga and Mitsegma daily. Setrap already told us that remember? We should do this every single day. So if new people come, old people come, lazy people come, and they ask, “what can I do every single day? What practice, what meditation?” ‘Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga and listen to the teachings Rinpoche gave, it is very good. Listen to it, practice it’. So that’s the meditation they should do everyday if they have obstacles and add Setrap to it, that’s it. They don’t need to do anything else.
“Then later, Lama Tsongkhapa will transform. Lama Tsongkhapa’s hat will turn black, turn into hair. Lama Tsongkhapa’s face will turn into three eyes and fierce with fangs. Lama Tsongkhapa’s complete attainment over the four maras, will turn into the four fangs of Vajrayogini, two lower, two upper.”
Lama Tsongkhapa’s complete clairvoyance and omniscience over the 3 realms will transform into the 3rd eye of Vajrayogini and Lama Tsongkhapa’s complete subjugation of His desire and attachment will transform His body from white to red. And Lama Tsongkhapa’s complete overwhelming overcoming of renunciation will turn into the knife of Vajrayogini.
Then Lama Tsongkhapa having attained great bliss and great happiness – a happiness that cannot be moved, that is not controlled by karma, situation, environment and geography, that symbol of Him attaining great bliss and great happiness of a Buddha, unchanging – will turn into a skull cup filled with intestines and blood.
Then Lama Tsongkhapa wishing to give you a higher path, controlling your winds and your energies and channels, will transform into his left arm which, instead of the Dharmachakra mudra, will go up into the sky and point to Vajrayogini.
Then Lama Tsongkhapa’s extreme compassion and bodhicitta and great love for you and great compassion and love and his vow not to give up on sentient beings will transform his face. Instead of looking at you, his face will look up to Kechara Heaven.
Then Lama Tsongkhapa’s extreme wish to nurture sentient beings to teach them the Dharma, to emanate, to take on the Rupakaya form, the Nirmanakaya form, to take on Tulku forms, to emanate, to teach, to turn the Wheel of Dharma, that great love and need and want to help you, will turn into the two breasts of Vajrayogini. Because the ladies’ breasts are why we are all here, and we’re healthy. Because they are filled with vitamins and nutrients. Like that, Vajrayogini’s breasts are filled with emptiness, bodhicitta and dharma. And when you suckle on her breasts, symbolically, you will become a Buddha.
And then, Lama Tsongkhapa shows you abandonment of the 8 worldly dharmas – he doesn’t want fame or praise or he doesn’t want compliments. He doesn’t want any of the 8 worldly dharmas. His complete abandonment of the 8 worldly dharmas will turn into the secret vajra, the secret “vajra lotus” of Vajrayogini, exposed. What ladies run around with their privates exposed, but Vajrayogini does. Because Vajrayogini’s privates exposed means something much more.
So Lama Tsongkhapa’s intense wish to free you of the 8 worldly dharmas of attachments will appear in the form of a beautiful lotus full and thick and exposed.
Then Lama Tsongkhapa’s complete destruction of ignorance and hatred, manifests in the form of black Bhairava, facing down and his red beautiful feet stepping on it.
And Lama Tsongkhapa’s ability to transform your desire into the path of the dharma, into the path of enlightenment is transformed into the consort of Bhairava – red, facing up and Lama Tsongkhapa is stepping on that.
Then Lama Tsongkhapa’s ability to not be affected by maras, weapons, anything negative, anything evil, thoughts, bad karma, obstructions, spirits, nagas, gods, his inability to be harmed by them, because he is enlightened, will be symbolized and manifested in the form of tumultuous fire, emanating from every pore of his red body surrounding him.
And then Lama Tsongkapa is unified with every single Buddha in existence, past and present. And these Buddhas manifest in the form of the King of the Tantras, Heruka. Heruka takes on the form of a katangka and then Lama Tsongkapa holds the katangka at the crook of his shoulders, looking up. And this katangka represents the hero, Heruka Chakrasamvara. And Chakrasamvara is the emanation of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Deities in the Ten Directions. And Lama Tsongkhapa embraces these Buddhas, meaning Lama Tsongkhapa and Vajrayogini are one.
And then Lama Tsongkhapa extols you, requests you and teaches you and invites you to practice the Six Paramitas of giving, effort, wisdom, asceticism, renunciation, etc etc. He extols you and invites you to practice this. And this invitation and his accomplishments of the Six Paramitas manifest into the six ornaments on Vajrayogini. So, in fact when you are looking at Vajrayogini, you are looking at Lama Tsongkhapa. When you are looking at Lama Tsongkhapa, you are looking at Vajrayogini. Hence, I tell everybody in Kechara House to practice Lama Tsongkhapa and in the future, it will lead to Vajrayogini.
Now, I gave you a vivid description of how Lama Tsongkhapa will transform into Vajrayogini. So later when you practice Vajrayogini, you say ‘but you told me one yidam, there are two, Tsongkhapa and Vajrayogini. No, it’s one. It’s always been one. It’s never been two. Never.
How does Lama Tsongkhapa’s yellow hat transform into Vajrayogini’s hair? Very simple. The meaning is the same. Lama Tsongkhapa’s yellow golden hat and the point of it represents He has reached the highest in existence. He manifests into Vajrayogini’s hair because Vajrayogini’s hair is straight and blue-black, (or sometimes orange) and not touched meaning She is free of any attachment, any entanglements of samsara. A person who is free from entanglements of samsara is a Buddha. So the point of the hat and the non-entangled hair of Vajrayogini has the same meaning. That’s why I have said a thousand times if you look at a Buddha’s body, if you know the dharma you can see the dharma in their body. If you know their body and you know the dharma their body is a ‘road-map’ to dharma, very clear.
So therefore, the gentle Tibetan monk who became a Buddha in His lifetime, the King of the Three Realms was predicted by Sakyamuni, who built Gaden, Sera Jepung, Tashi Lhunpo, Amdo, Bothalla, who has spawned great masters and teachers like Trijang Rinpoche, Khensur Rinpoche, Dalai Lama, manifests Himself later for you in a tantric path to control your winds and rebirth. His whole body gradually transform inside a gentle monk from Tibet into a fierce red lady for the Kali Yuga.
So therefore, you should do what? – Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice every single day and well, and that will lead to Vajrayogini. So people say, ‘well I don’t have a Vajrayogini mantra, I don’t have initiation, how can I start?’ I just told you. Does everybody understand? Is that very clear? Is it eloquent? Does it give you a good imagery in your mind? David has memorized everything, he will go back and write it so he doesn’t forget and he will blog it. So will Paris.
Then follow your teacher loyally and all the way, it says on my post. It is not for Kechara House and for me alone. That’s for every student out there in the world because if you don’t follow your teacher loyally, you jump from one center to another center, from one Lama to another Lama. Because in Gaden there are very simple and ordinary Geshes that we receive teachings from. They don’t sit on thrones. When they go to teachings, they sit on the floor with other normal monks, but we see them and the Lama on the throne as one. Be loyal.
“It will be the best thing for you to set up a beautiful Vajrayogini shrine, spend all your money on making it beautiful and making offerings to Her and then you drop dead next week. That’s the best thing you did before you drop dead.”
Then the next step after that is when you have done all that I have mentioned, then you do the Guru Yoga, Vajrasattva, mandala, prostration, water offerings, 35 Confessional Buddhas. I wrote that on my post, on my blog. So what you do is, you set a beautiful Vajrayogini shrine, as big as possible, as beautiful as possible. And you know what? If you are going to be cheap skate about it, you will be cheap skate on your own attainments and your own enlightenment. It will be the best thing for you to set up a beautiful Vajrayogini shrine, spend all your money on making it beautiful and making offerings to Her and then you drop dead next week. That’s the best thing you did before you drop dead. If you save all your money and you set up nothing, you can’t take it with you and you didn’t collect any merits either. Set up the most Vajrayogini beautiful shrine. Take your time, do it well. Plan for it. If your budget allows you to have the most beautiful shrine and if it is this big, that’s beautiful. If your budget allows to be that big, that’s beautiful. And if you know someone else who doesn’t have the budget and they are sincere, sponsor it for them. You should find every opportunity to sponsor Vajrayogini’s statue, hundreds and thousands to people as much as possible.
“You have been sponsoring everything, bringing your children, yourself and everybody into samsara deeper and deeper. All the sponsorship you have done in the past with your kids and everybody, if you didn’t meet the dharma, you just sponsor them to go to the three lower realms…”
Sponsor one Vajrayogini for every year of your birth, that would be beautiful and someone will worship it. Someone. Well, if your budget is this small, you sponsor whatever tsatsas for every year of your life. Then while you are sponsoring it, maybe you hit the jackpot, you can sponsor bigger ones. What else have you been sponsoring? You have been sponsoring everything, bringing your children, yourself and everybody into samsara deeper and deeper. All the sponsorship you have done in the past with your kids and everybody, if you didn’t meet the dharma, you just sponsor them to go to the three lower realms. Think about it. You should do that.
And when you set up this beautiful altar to Vajrayogini, do the five preliminary practice focused on Her. But she is not Vajrasattva. Do you need a Vajrasattva? No, you don’t need a Vajrasattva statue, She is Vajrasattva. Then you do the ‘35 Confessional Buddhas’. But I am doing ‘35 Confessional Buddhas’, that’s not Vajrayogini. If you do the ‘35 Confessional Buddhas’ it purifies your karma and you are focusing on Vajrayogini. So when you focus on Vajrayogini, when you purify your karma, you will become Vajrayogini. That’s your purpose to achieve Her practice. You have to understand.
So what people should do is, they should set up a shrine for Her and do everything that I have said here to focus on Her. So when they read the Lamrim at home, when they read the 50 Verses of Guru Devotion, when they read the Wheel of Sharp Weapons, they sit in front of her, make prostrations, offerings and read in front of Her as if it is Her practice. The 50 Verses, the Wheel of Sharp Weapons and Lamrim, mind transformation – the Eight Verses of Mind Transformation, all are Vajrayogini’s teachings. They are Vajrayogini in the form of words. They are.
How can you be devoted towards your Lama and not be associated with Vajrayogini? How can the Wheel of Sharp Weapons, realizing the effects of karma, not being Vajrayogini? Of course they are, people think mistakenly, that Vajrayogini’s practice must be Her mantra, Her sadhana, Her ritual, then it is Vajrayogini. No.
“I am helping you connect to Vajrayogini without breaking your vows. Why am I doing that? Because I think She is the best yidam in the whole world. The end.”
So I am spreading Vajrayogini’s practice without getting empowerment. Do you know why? So none of you break your vows. I am helping you. I am helping you connect to Vajrayogini without breaking your vows. Why am I doing that? Because I think She is the best yidam in the whole world. The end. You might think, you said ‘oh you are biased’. I am. Pabongka said it. My guru said it. Lama Yeshe said it. So if I am biased, I have got good support behind me. I didn’t wake up one day and say ‘oh you know what, Vajrayogini is the best yidam’. Vajrayogini is very easy. All of Yamantaka right hand – 16 arms. When you condensed into one meaning it is Vajrayogini’s right arm. All of Yamantaka’s 16 left arms, when you condensed the meaning and what they are holding is condensed into Vajrayogini’s left arm. And I can give you an explanation. It’s all there.
Yamantaka has 16 faces, sorry 9-faces. Vajrayogini with the one-face has the complete meaning of all 9-faces of Yamantaka. Yamantaka with these 16 legs and what He is stepping on and the meaning is condensed into Vajrayogini’s two legs. Oh, definitely. I gave you a beautiful explanation of what her legs are, why they are bend, why they are straight for one.
But not today you know why? For a very simple reason: you guys don’t have Vajrayogini’s initiation. And then I know some people think but that’s not our fault. Yes it is.
So I want the liaisons to promote Vajrayogini and that creates causes for KWPC. Why are we building KWPC? Because we want a tourist place for them to hang out? No. Because we want to promote Vajrayogini, we want a huge Vajrayogini there. Start now.
Do you understand my blog post? So when people say how do I pray to Vajrayogini? I wrote it. Say ‘go to Rinpoche’s blog, his latest post on Vajrayogini, read it. Because I have a few posts on Her, the latest one and it looks just like this. It’s about a picture of Vajrayogini here.
How do you practice? You read the sutras in front of Her. You do the prostrations in front of Her. You do the prayers in front of Her. You direct it to Her. And you do the Wheel of Sharp Weapons in front of Her, dedicate it to Her, focus on Her, praying to Her. Can you or not? Of course you can.
Yes, in the Wheel of Sharp Weapons, they mention Yamantaka. And you know what is the funny thing? Listen to this little sick arrangement. Yamantaka, Vajrayogini and Heruka all reside in Kechara Paradise. Geshe-la told me that. I asked him, ‘what’s the name of the paradise in Yamantaka’. He says ‘Kechara’. I said ‘oh they all hang out together?’ he said ‘why not?’ I said ‘oh’. They reside together for whatever weird reason. That’s real cool.
So we go to Kechara Paradise, you can go down the road and say hello to Yamantaka, visit Heruka and have tea with Vajrayogini.
Extracted from the blog of His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.
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