16 Drops of Kadam

16 Drops of Kadam Initiation

At the conclusion of the 2015 Jangchup Lamrim Teachings, His Holiness the Dalai Lama kindly bestowed the Sixteen Drops of Kadam Initiation. Materials related to this initiation can be found below.

Introductory Information

The following excerpt is from the Introduction to The Book of Kadam: The Core Texts, translated by Geshe Thubten Jinpa, which contains more information on the 16 Drops of Kadam Initiation. The Book of Kadam is available from Wisdom Publications https://www.wisdompubs.org/book/book-kadam/introduction

In chapter 2 [of The Book of Kadam], Atiśa then specifies his preferred divinities in the context of the second recollection, recalling one’s body as divinities, and makes the well-known selection of Buddha, Acala, Avalokiteśvara, and Tārā as the four gods of Kadam. At one point in the text, in the course of conversations between Atiśa and Dromtönpa on the four divinities, Dromtönpa’s heart opens up and miraculously reveals progressively the entire realm of the Buddha Śākyamuni, the realm of Avalokiteśvara, the realm of Tārā, and finally the realm of Acala. It is here that we also find explicit mention of Avalokiteśvara’s famous six-syllable mantra, oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ.

This deity yoga, in its developed form, came to be referred to as the practice of the sixteen drops, which is explained in some detail in Khenchen Nyima Gyaltsen’s Elucidation of the Heart-Drop Practice (entry IV in part 1 of The Book of Kadam).

The sixteen drops are:

  1. The drop of the outer inconceivable array

  2. The drop of this Endurance World

  3. The drop of the realm of Tibet

  4. The drop of one’s abode and the drawn mandala

  5. The drop of Perfection of Wisdom Mother

  6. The drop of her son, Buddha Śākyamuni

  7. The drop of Great Compassion

  8. The drop of Wisdom Tārā

  9. The drop of her wrathful form

  10. The drop of Acala, their immutable nature

  11. The drop of Atiśa

  12. The drop of Dromtön Gyalwai Jungné

  13. The drop of the vast practice

  14. The drop of the profound view

  15. The drop of the inspirational practice

  16. The drop of great awakening

The idea of the sixteen-drops practice is fairly straightforward. Like a powerful camera lens zooming from the widest possible angle to a progressively smaller focus and, finally, to a tiny point, the meditation becomes increasingly focused, moving from the entire cosmos to this world in particular, to the realm of Tibet, to the practitioner’s own dwelling, and finally culminating within your own body. Within your body, you then visualize inside your heart the Perfection of Wisdom Mother, within whose heart is her son, Buddha Śākyamuni. Within the Buddha’s heart is Great Compassion Avalokiteśvara, within whose heart is Tārā, and so on, continuing with wrathful Tārā, Acala, Atiśa, and Dromtönpa. Within Dromtönpa’s heart you then visualize Maitreya surrounded by the masters of the lineage of vast practice. In his heart you visualize Nāgārjuna surrounded by the masters of the lineage of profound view; and within his heart you visualize Vajradhara surrounded by the masters of the lineage of inspirational practice.

Finally, inside Vajradhara’s heart, you visualize yourself as a buddha, embodying all three buddha bodies, and within your heart is a white drop the size of a mustard seed. This seed increases in size and turns into a vast radiant jewel container at the center of which your mind is imagined as a yellow drop the size of a pea. This, in turn, increases in size and turns into an ocean of drops the color of refined gold; the ocean is transparent, smooth, resolute, vast, and pervasive, and it reflects all forms. You then rest your mind, without wavering, upon this drop of great awakening, fused, and free of any sense of subject-object duality….

Although the first Dalai Lamas and their immediate disciples appear to have been the primary force behind the early dissemination of [The Book of Kadam] in the Geluk school, later, with Panchen Lobsang Chögyen (1570–1662), some masters of the so-called ear-whispered teachings (snyan brgyud) also took deep interest in the book’s transmission, especially the initiations into the sixteen drops. Among these masters was Yongzin Yeshé Gyaltsen (1713–93), who composed substantial works pertaining to the book and the meditative practice of the sixteen drops. © Institute of Tibetan Classics, The Book of Kadam (Wisdom Publications, 2008). This selection from The Book of Kadam by Thubten Jinpa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.  Based on a work at http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/book-kadam. https://www.jangchuplamrim.org/16-drops-of-kadam-initiation/

Origins of the 16 Drops of Kadam (1)

In Yerpa Lhari Nyingpo (2), Ngok Lekpai Sherab, Naktso Lotsawa, Geshe Kawa Shakya Wangchuk gathered and offered a mandala to the Father and Son (Atisha and Drom Tönpa) and requested: “Please Drom Rinpoche, tell us about your good qualities!” But Drom Tönpa was always very humble and would always hide his good qualities. He just wanted to receive teachings from Jowo (Atisha) and therefore, he was not willing to talk about his own good qualities.

Then (3) Jowo urged Drom Rinpoche: “Since you are so gracious to Tibetans, thinking of the future disciples tell a little about your good qualities!” Drom Rinpoche followed his Lama’s words of encouragement and accepted. He put his long locks behind his ears and when he looked with a piercing stare into the space in front of him, he saw many holy beings, like Sarvanirvaranaviskambhin and other Bodhisattvas. They too, urged him to relate his uncommon good qualities. Then Drom Rinpoche said: “Hri! When I, Chenrezig, resided on the mountain Potala, Sarvanirvaranaviskambhin arrived there, addressed me as ‘Protector’ and requested me to go to Tibet.” In this way Drom Rinpoche declared that he was indeed Chenrezig. Due to his previous aspirations, as well as being urged by many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, he established the Buddhadharma in Tibet, through his countless emanations. In particular, he related how those kind religious kings, lotsawas and panditas of the past, were actual manifestations of the Father and Son.

In this way, after having told many of the secrets of his body, speech and mind, he vanished into a twinkling golden drop of light. Not being able to see him any longer, Geshe Sangphuwa (Ngok Lekpai Sherab), Naktso Lotsawa and Geshe Kawa Shakya Wangchuk became very sad and in a single voice cried out: “Where did the emanation of Chögyal (Dharma king) go? Where did Gyalwa Gyatso, (a form of Avalokiteshvara), go?” They wailed in distress and so Jowo told them: “If you wish to see Gyalwai Jung-ne, (Drom Tönpa), his nature is compassion, so generate unbearable compassion focused on all migratory beings and he will soon be visible.”

The three of them diligently generated great compassion and then at Jowo’s heart, they sensed a twinkling white drop. From that, six rays of white light emerged and then spread out to the four directions, above and below. These rotated and then the upper ray of light came to rest as the canopy, big enough to cover four pillars. When looked at closely, it was the syllable OM. In the same way, the bottom ray of light came to rest as a smooth disk like a silver mirror as big as the canopy. When looked at closely, it was the syllable HUM. The eastern ray of light came to rest with grace in the south/north direction (the front wall) and when looked at closely, it was the syllable MA. The western ray also came to rest with grace in the south/north direction (the back wall) and when looked at closely, it was the syllable PAD. The northern ray came to rest with grace in the east/west direction (the right wall from the perspective of the one who is looking) and when looked at closely it was the syllable ME. The southern ray came to rest with grace in the east/west direction (the left wall, from the perspective of the one who is looking) and when looked at, was the syllable NI.

In brief, in that excellent white light celestial mansion, in the nature of joy and bliss, which is not contaminated by conceptual thoughts, from an unknown direction emerged a white drop of the size of a pea. When focused upon, they felt it was continuously changing. From within it appeared a white, glittering syllable HRI (4) . It was wrapped in multi-colored rays of light, so that it was luminous and spherical. From within it, light was emitted and sometimes this light looked like the syllable A and sometimes like a moon that was floating high in space.

Then, after a while, from that light, in the four directions, above and below, the six seed syllables OM MA NI PAD ME HUM radiated out in the nature of light with their own respective sounds. Then, these merged back into that light. Again, after a while, that light grew thinner and looking through it, one could see the syllable HRI being surrounded clockwise, by the six seed-syllables. The central syllable HRI emitted rays of light towards the six seed-syllables. Each ray of light was in the shape of the corresponding syllable. From each of those six seed-syllables, rays of light in the shape of six seed syllables were radiated out in the ten directions. In brief, all the groups of 60 rays of light, in the form of sets of six seed-syllables and the whole mansion resounded of the mantra OM MA NI PAD ME HUM. After some time, the groups of 60 rays of light gathered; some of them merged in the upper direction of the celestial mansion, some in the bottom direction and some in the four directions. Similarly, some rays merged into the set of the mantra revolving around the central syllable and others into the very central syllable HRI. At one point, they sensed that the letter HRI had transformed into Drom Tönpa. Sometimes it was as if he appeared between the seed syllables and also they felt that he appeared from the bottom moon of the mandala. Sometimes they sensed him to be within the four directions. In brief, a great show of pure appearances took place and he himself, an emanation of the Noble Arya Avalokiteshvara, appeared in the aspect of bright light, free of conceptual thought. He appeared in many ways, according to the ordinary mental ability to perceive. Most likely he transformed from the syllable HRI. Anyhow, whatever was the case; the spiritual master appeared from that sphere of light and proclaimed: “All phenomena are like this!” The set of six seed-syllables revolving around the central syllable merged into it and this, in turn, transformed into a shimmering drop that finally merged into the celestial mansion, made of light. This mansion of light in turn, merged into the moon mandala and this transformed into a syllable A made of light. This syllable revolved clockwise around Drom Tönpa and by uttering its sound, the syllable moved to float in the space above his tongue and proclaimed the unborn characteristic of all phenomena. Drom Tönpa’s entire body appeared as the shining syllable A. Every time they looked at him they saw a very clear syllable A that indicated the unborn nature of all phenomena.

Then, the syllable A disappeared and finally only the body of their spiritual master was there. Drom Tönpa said: “All the magical manifestations that occurred today before us, teacher and disciples, will be considered contradictory by the dialecticians. Let them consider it in this way! Also, there might be people who, having traveled to India and Tibet, will appear and swear that the nature of phenomena is not like that.” He asserted that definitely, there is ultimately not even a single atom of true existence; while conventionally, all phenomena exist as mere appearances. In particular, Drom Tönpa stated that, these kinds of forms of the body of the Great Compassionate One that were shown to pure disciples, definitely exist. At that time Jowo said: “Since in reality you reside in that nature, you are Gyalwai Jung-ne which means, ‘The Source of the Victorious Ones’.

Lineage Lamas of the 16 Drops (5)

The profound instruction on the way to meditate on the mandala of the Heart Drops, which is reliable, authentic and full of blessings, was given by to Geshe Sangphuwa (6) the Father and Son (Jowo Je Atisha and Drom Tönpa). He had accumulated stores of merits for innumerable eons and in particular, Geshe Sangphuwa had formulated great prayers to hold the treasure of secrets of the Father and Son. Since he had been blessed directly by Manjushri, he came to realize all phenomena without any hindrance. While he was giving teachings to about 500 students in his monastery, Manjushri told him to go to Yerpa and also instructed him to retain in his mind whatever he was told. So he gave away all his possessions and took with him only one attendant. In Yerpa, he offered a big silver mandala piled up with conches and many other offerings to the Father and Son and made supplications again and again. He then received Drom Tönpa’s previous life stories and the complete instruction of the Heart Drops. Ngok Lekpai Sherab had the miraculous book of Kadam in which, by the power of Manjushri himself, the complete instructions were written down. He went back to his monastery with the miraculous book and worshipped it with many offerings.

On one occasion, because of Manjushri’s exhortation, he went to the forest around Sangphu, where a great Bodhisattva from Ngari, Sherab Gyaltsen was meditating. He told him a little about the story of the instruction of the Heart Drops. Sherab Gyaltsen requested: “Please, I beg you to reveal that profound instruction to me at all costs!” Geshe Sangphuwa accepted and told him that he needed something to offer to the deities of Avalokiteshvara’s mandala. The great Bodhisattva Sherab Gyaltsen offered whatever he had and on top of that, Geshe Sangphuwa contributed his own offerings as well. The mandala of the Drops was constructed, four other monks helped with the propitiation rites and for 30 days he bestowed the 16 Drops initiation and granted the complete instruction. At the end, Geshe Sangphuwa also gave the ‘miraculous book of the instruction’ and sealed it in secrecy. The great Bodhisattva Sherab Gyaltsen practiced in various isolated places and eventually attained the supreme siddhi. Later, he went to visit Geshe Phuchungwa who, because of his clairvoyance, knew about the profound instruction of the Heart Drops and so beseeched him to grant it. The great Bodhisattva Sherab Gyaltsen accepted and told him that he should have something to offer to the deities of Avalokiteshvara’s mandala. Geshe Phuchungwa entrusted Namse (Vaishravana) with helping out and immediately the offering substances appeared and the mandala was created. Since both of them lived in isolation, they did not have anybody to help, so Geshe Phuchungwa made supplication to the Noble Sixteen Arhats and they acted as propitiation rites assistants. The great Bodhisattva Sherab Gyaltsen completed the granting of the initiation and of the instruction in one month and 18 days. At the end, the great Bodhisattva Sherab Gyaltsen entrusted the ‘miraculous book of the instruction’ to Geshe Phuchungwa and withdrew the appearance of his body; disappearing into a rainbow body.

The great Geshe Phuchungwa also practiced in some isolated places and attained the state of the union. Later, he went to visit the great Bodhisattva Rinchen Gyaltsen and requested him to bestow the essential teaching of the Kadampa. The great Geshe Phuchungwa said: “Offering substances are needed to propitiate the deities of the Compassionate Buddha’s mandala. So, go beg a little for alms and I will also help you.” The great Geshe Phuchungwa himself went to Radreng (Reting) and some other places to collect various kind of foods and medicinal plants. These were added to whatever the great Bodhisattva Rinchen Gyaltsen received as alms. He then conferred ‘one drop’ a day, so that he completed the initiation in 16 days. Then, during six months he taught the instruction and in this way he ripened and liberated the disciple. At that time, the great Geshe Phuchungwa, in order for this essence of the Kadampa teachings not to decline in Tibet, but to flourish, wrote down, in a manner of a treasure record-list, ‘The Origin of the Instruction of the Heart Drops; the sevenfold divinity and the teaching of Kadam’ (7).

Details of the 16 Drops (8)

The way to meditate on the sadhana in the actual session:

The First Drop: the drop of the outer extraordinary design

OM SVABHAVA SHUDDHA SARVA DHARMA SVABHAVA SHUDDO HAM

All animate and inanimate phenomena, the external world and all sentient beings, become emptiness. From within the sphere of emptiness, one’s own mind arises as a five-color rainbow light tent. At its center, there is a white lotus having a thousand petals. At its hub, is a square celestial mansion with four doors. It is complete with all the features like the ledge, the architrave, the hangings embroidered with pendant strings, the parapet and the pediment. The ceiling and east wall are white, the south is yellow, the west is red, the north is green and the floor is blue. Each of these appears in the aspect of the shape of syllables, spread out without any interstice. The colors and the shapes of the syllables do not mix together, but rather each appears vividly distinct. All the syllables in the ceiling are OM, in the east MA, in the south NI, in the west PAD, in the north ME, in the floor HUM. In the center of the mansion, from a white PAM appears a white lotus that pervades wherever space extends, and from a white syllable A appears a moon disk as big as the lotus hub. On top of that, from a white syllable HRI, appears a white drop limitless in nature like space, and from that appears the extraordinary form of Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso; whose body pervades wherever space extends, with eleven faces and a thousand arms. The central face is white, the right one is red and the left one is green. On top of these, the central face is green, the right one is white and the left is red. On top of these, the central face is red, the right one is green and the left one is white. On top of these, the wrathful black face has bare fangs and three eyes with long reddish-yellow locks tied up. At the crown of it, is a peaceful red face with ushnisha. The first two hands are folded at the heart, the second right hand holds a rosary, the third one is in the mudra of supreme giving and from it flows a nectar that satisfies the hungry ghosts and the fourth holds a wheel. The second left hand holds a lotus, the third holds a water vessel, the fourth holds a bow with arrow. All of the remaining nine hundred and ninety-two hands are in the supreme giving mudra. He is sitting in the vajra posture. Within each hair pore, there are countless Buddha fields, in which limitless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas reside. They accomplish immense benefit for sentient beings, through the rays of light that are emitted from the seed syllables at their three places.

The Second Drop: the drop of the Endurance World

At the heart of Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso, is the second drop, the design of Saha-Loka (the endurance world), 3000-fold world system. (9) Inside the celestial mansion, similar to the previous one, on a lotus and moon disk, from a yellow syllable OM, appears Mahamuni Vairochana, Gang Chentso, in an emanation body aspect. The right hand is in the mudra of giving protection and the left in the position of meditative equipoise. At his right and left, are standing the Supreme Pair (Sariputra and Maudgalyayana). He is giving teachings on the Four Noble Truths and is sending out emanations that accomplish the welfare of beings in many places. Many Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, noble Hearers and Solitary Realizers completely fill the space within the mansion. They purify the two obscurations and imprints of all beings of the six migrations, through the rays of lights that are radiated from the seed syllables at their three places.

The Third Drop: the drop of the Land of Snow

At the heart of Mahamuni Vairochana Gang Chentso is the third drop, the Land of Snow Drop. Inside the celestial mansion, on a lotus and moon seat, from a syllable HRI, appears Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso with eleven faces, a thousand arms and a thousand eyes, in a form beyond the normal understanding of human intellect (in an extraordinary form).

The Fourth Drop: the drop of the abode and the drawn mandala

At his heart is the fourth drop, the Abode Drop (this drop is also called “U-ru jangchok”, dbu ru byang phyogs, the name of an area of Tibet). Inside the celestial mansion, similar to the previous one, complete with all the features, is a lotus and moon disk and from a syllable HRI, appears Avalokiteshvara with one face and two arms. He is smiling with a majestic air of greatness. His body is transparent, similar to crystal. His shoulder length hair is dark blue. His right hand holds a crystal rosary and his left one holds a crystal staff marked with a white lotus with a thousand petals at its very top. In the center of this white lotus, is Yum Chenmo (Prajnaparamita) sitting on a moon seat. At her right is Lama Dipamkara and at her left Buddha Shakyamuni. On the thousand petals of this white lotus, are a thousand Buddhas. Avalokiteshvara is in a standing posture.

The Fifth Drop: the drop of Mother Prajnaparamita

At his heart is the fifth drop. Inside the celestial mansion, on a lotus and moon, from a yellow syllable A, appears a yellow Prajnaparamita, with one face and four arms. The first right hand at her heart is in the mudra of giving protection and the first left is in the meditative equipoise. The lower right hand holds a vajra and the lower left hand holds a scripture. She is sitting cross-legged. She is surrounded by the Buddhas of the ten directions and their spiritual sons. She is loudly proclaiming the Prajnaparamita, that induces a vivid ascertainment of all phenomena as being free of the extreme of elaborations.

The Sixth Drop: the drop of Buddha Shakyamuni

At her heart is the sixth drop. Inside the celestial mansion, on a lotus and moon disk, from a yellow syllable MUM, appears Buddha in the emanation aspect of subduing the demons. His right hand is in the ‘earth-touching’ mudra and the left in the meditative equipoise. He is surrounded only by Bodhisattvas of the 10th ground.

The Seventh Drop: the drop of Avalokiteshvara

At his heart is the seventh drop. Inside the celestial mansion on a lotus and moon disk, from a white syllable HRI, appears Avalokiteshvara with one face and four arms. The first two hands are folded at the heart and the remaining two hold a crystal rosary and a white lotus. He is sitting cross-legged. He is surrounded by an assembly of Bodhisattvas.

The Eighth Drop: the drop of Venerable Tara

At his heart is the eighth drop. Inside the celestial mansion on a lotus and moon disk, from a green syllable TAM, appears green Tara with one face and two arms. The right hand is in the supreme-giving mudra and the left hand ring-finger and thumb hold a utpala flower at her heart. She is surrounded by innumerable peaceful female deities.

The Ninth Drop: the drop of Wrathful Tara At her heart is the ninth drop. Inside the celestial mansion on a lotus and sun disk, from a dark green syllable TAM, appears a wrathful dark green Tara, with one face and four arms. The first two hands hold a curved knife and a kapala (skull-cup) and the two lower hands hold a damaru hand drum and a katvanga staff. She wears a human skin, a lower garment of tiger skin and six ornaments of bones and she is in a dancing posture, standing on the left leg with the right leg lifted. Countless wrathful female deities are uttering HUM and PHAD and are making the earth tremble, as they dance around her.

The Tenth Drop: the drop of Acala

At her heart is the tenth drop. Inside the celestial mansion on a lotus and sun disk, from a dark-blue syllable HUM, appears a blue Acala (Mi gYo Wa), with one face and two arms. He is wrathful and magnificent. His right hand holds a sword and the left a lasso. He is adorned with snakes and jewels and wears an elephant and tiger skin skirt. In the middle of blazing fire, he is standing with his right leg stretched on Ganesh and is surrounded by an assembly of wrathful deities.

The Eleventh Drop: the drop of Atisha

At his heart is the eleventh drop. Inside the celestial mansion, on a lotus and moon disk, from a white syllable HUM, appears the protector Atisha. In essence, he is Buddha Sakyamuni, in sambhogakaya aspect. He holds a vajra and a bell and is sitting crosslegged. In front of him is Buddha Shakyamuni in sambhogakaya form. At his right is Avalokiteshvara. At his left is Tara. Behind him is Acala. In the southeast is Atisha in the form of a pandita. In the southwest is Drom Tönpa in the form of a upasaka. In the northwest is Ngok Lekpai Sherab and in the northeast is Khutön Tsondru Yungdrung. Both of them are in the aspect of Tibetan ordained teachers. In the space above, are the assemblies of all the lamas of the three lineages; the vast conduct, the profound view and the blessed practice.

The Twelfth Drop: the drop of Drom Tönpa

At his heart is the twelfth drop. In the celestial mansion, on a lotus and moon disk, from a white syllable HRI, appears Drom Tönpa, the Dharma king, in Sambhogakaya form, wearing an opera-like costume. His body is clear as a crystal in which the Three Jewels are reflected exactly as they are. He is in the aspect of a 16 year old boy and he holds a white lotus in the right hand and a bell in the left. He is sitting cross-legged and, resembling him at the external level, are four white boys in front of him. At his right are four yellow boys. At his left are four green boys and behind him, four red boys. At the internal level, they are the ‘three brothers’10 and so on and, at the secret level, they are the essence of the ‘five families’. (11) In the space above, are the Lamas of the three lineages. There are many assemblies of dakinis, like the dakini Guhyajnana, the Secret Wisdom dakini and so forth. They perform various dances; exactly in the same manner as they do in the Ugyen land (12).

The Thirteenth Drop: the drop of Maitreya (13)

At his heart is the thirteenth drop. In the celestial mansion, on a lotus and moon disk, from a yellow syllable MEM, appears Buddha Maitreya, in the form of a bhikshu wearing the three Dharma robes. He is endowed with the major and minor signs and his hand are in the mudra of preaching the Dharma. At his right and left are Nam-mkha’ Drima Mepa (Gaganāmāla) and the venerable Avalokiteshvara. Both of them are standing and in the form of a bhikshu. In the space above, are the noble Asanga and all the lineage masters of the vast conduct. He is loudly proclaiming the profound teaching of the Prajnaparamita. While remaining unwavering [absorbed] in that meaning (the Prajnaparamita), He is sending out countless emanations to the god realms and so on, who place the disciples on unmistaken paths and grounds.

The Fourteenth Drop: the drop of Nagarjuna (14)

At his heart is the fourteenth drop. Inside the celestial mansion, on a lotus and moon seat, from a syllable DHI similar to refined gold appears the protector Nagarjuna. He is yellow and in the form of an emanation body bhikshu with ushnisha. He is embellished with a seven-hooded snake surrounding his head and both of his hands are performing the turning of the wheel mudra. He is sitting cross-legged. At his right and left are Jowo and Avalokiteshvara, in the aspect of ordained monks. In the space above, are Manjushri and Chandrakirti and all of the lineage masters of the profound view who are sending out many emanations. Again, they vanish into the sphere of non-conceptuality and then they reappear vividly, in the form of their respective bodies and teach various expressible and inexpressible Dharmas. It’s also said that it’s appropriate to have Manjushri as the main figure of this drop (15). In this case, on a lotus and moon seat, arising from a syllable DHI similar to refined gold appears Manjushri, and one meditates according to the sadhana. Above him are Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti and so on. Meditate according to the previous description.

The Fifteenth Drop: the drop of Vajradhara (16)

At his heart is the fifteenth drop. Inside the celestial mansion is a precious throne supported by snow lions. On top of that is a lotus, sun and moon seat and from a dark blue syllable HUM, appears Buddha Vajradhara in the aspect of a blue sambhogakaya. He is holding a vajra and a bell, while crossing his arms at the heart and is sitting crosslegged. At his right and left are the Supreme Pair, standing in the Sambhogakaya aspect. Above him are Tilopa, Naropa and all the lineage masters of the blessed practice. Particularly, visualize that he is surrounded by all the lineage masters of the Jewel Garland.

The Sixteenth Drop: the drop of the union (17)

At his heart is the sixteenth drop. In the center of a celestial mansion as beautiful and pleasant as those described above, and in the nature of the ten powers and four fearlessnesses and so on; from a yellow syllable HUM on a lotus and moon seat, appears Buddha Dharmakaya. He is in the nature of uncontaminated primordial wisdom and in the aspect of a yellow Sambhogakaya, sitting cross-legged, in the posture of meditative equipoise. While not moving from the Dharmadhatu, the sphere of reality, he is effortlessly performing all the deeds of body, speech and mind, which arise spontaneously. At the same time, he is sending out many emanation bodies that come to abide in the celestial mansion. The practitioner imagines oneself as a transparent and clear drop, the size of a mustard seed at the center of the heart of the principal figure of the drop. The drop increases in size and transforms into a vast precious vessel, tall, straight and blazing with light. Inside that is one’s mind, the size of a pea. It is yellow, transparent, blazing with light and quivering like of a soft, melted substance. It becomes much larger and transforms into an ocean of drops, the color of refined gold, transparent and with an even surface. The bottom of the ocean of drops is stable. It is vast and reflects all forms. Focus on this and develop as much clarity as you can.

All the deities of the 16 Drops are marked by a white OM at the crown, a red A at the throat, a blue HUM at the heart and from this, rays of light are radiated and invite Buddhas surrounded by groups of Bodhisattvas from the countless, pure realms as wisdom beings, similar to those meditated. DZA HUM BAM HO, they become indivisible.

1 This part is translated from folio 7 to 10 (pag 13-19) of vol. 22 of Tshe mCHog gLing Yongs ‘Dzin Yeshes rGyal mTshan (Tsechok Ling Yondzin Yeshe Gyaltsen 1713-1793) Collected Works published by Tibet House, New Delhi, 1977. (bka’ gdams thig le bcu drug gi dkyil chog bka’ gdams gsal byed)

2 Cave complex, 5 hrs. walk from Lhasa.

3 Previously, due to Ngok Lekpai Sherab insistent requests, Jowo had told many stories regarding Drom Rinpoche.

4 Throughout the text, HRI is always written with the lengthening vowel ‘a’ below and a visarga, the mark that looks like two dots placed on the right side of the syllable itself.

5 This part is translated from folio 10 to 12 back (pag 19-23) of vol. 22 of Tshe mChog gLing Yongs ‘Dzin Yeshes rGyal mTshan (Tsechok Ling Yondzin Yeshe Gyaltsen) Collected Works published by Tibet House, New Delhi, 1977. (bka’ gdams thig le bcu drug gi dkyil chog bka’ gdams gsal byed)

6 Ngok Lekpai Sherab, who founded the Sangphu monastery in 1073.

7 “The origin of the Kadam heart drops”, bka’ gdams snying gi thi le’i chos ‘byung

8 This part is translated from folio 60 to 64 back (pag. 119-128) of vol. 22 of Tshe mChog gLing Yongs ‘Dzin Yeshes rGyal mTshan (Tsechok Ling Yondzin Yeshe Gyaltsen) Collected Works published by Tibet House, New Delhi, 1977. (bka’ gdams thig le bcu drug gi dkyil chog bka’ gdams gsal byed)

9 The ‘endurance world’ is explained by H.H. the Dalai Lama in this way: “Speaking from the Buddhist point of view, since the Buddha-Dharma flourishes in this world and reveals the antidote to the root of the afflictions, the self-grasping attitude, these cannot rule and destroy sentient beings. On the contrary, sentient beings can endure or resist and destroy these afflictions. They don’t need to be afraid of them.”

10 The three main disciples of Drom Tönpa are Potowa, Chengawa and Phuchungwa.

11 The five Buddha families: tathagata, vajra, ratna, padma and karma.

12 Uddiyana, the country to the northwest of ancient India, birthplace of king Indrabhuti and where Guru Rinpoche was born on a lotus flower.

13 The thirteenth drop is also called the drop of the vast conduct.

14 The fourteenth drop is also called the drop of the profound view.

15 In this case the drop is called the Manjushri Drop.

16 The fifteenth drop is also called the drop of the blessed practice.

Short Sadhana of the 16 Drops, The Way of Practicing by Condensing the Essence by Gung Thang Rinpoche (dKon mCHog bsTan pa’i sGron Me 1762-1823)

I bow down and go for refuge to the incomparable Jowo, the Father and his spiritual Sons, as well as to the assembly of deities of the Great Compassionate One. Please look after me, until I reach Enlightenment!

The way to practice the 16 Drops having condensed it into the essence is as follows:

The Liberating Stories of the Sevenfold Divinity and Teaching (1) states that: “The practice of all scriptures is included in the 16 Drops and this in turn is included in the Five Recollections. If this is further summarized, it comes down to method and wisdom.”

The instruction on the Five Recollections was given by Venerable Tara. In the second chapter of the ‘The Jewel Garland of Dialogues’ (2) it is said: “O Avalokiteshvara, principal spiritual son, I (Tara) will protect your followers. Take this instruction of mine and teach it to your followers. Remember the Lama, the object of refuge, constantly meditate on your body in the nature of the deity, with your speech always recite mantras, think of all sentient beings as your parents and reflect on the nature of the mind as empty. From within these Five Recollections perfect all the roots of virtue.”

Right after these words, the text describes two important practices to be performed at the beginning and the end: “Before engaging in this practice of the Five Recollections recite the mantra that Buddha proclaimed as ‘the multiplying by ten million mantra’. Supreme spiritual son, it is as follows:

Om Sambhara Sambhara Bhima Nasara Maha Jambhapa Hum Phat Soha

O principal son, keep listening, the mantra just mentioned is the increasing mantra. The supreme transforming dedication is done by those who have accumulated supreme roots of virtue in the three times and have dedicated them with a supreme mind, for the best of the best path (3). This is the transforming dedication.”

Thus, this text describes that one should recite the multiplying mantra at the beginning of the actual session and at the end, perform the dedication.

Furthermore, the 20th chapter of the Jewel Garland of Dialogue explains the way to practice the Five Recollections, by way of condensing it into the two paths; the vast and the profound or, method and wisdom. It reads: “I condensed all Dharmas and give you this summary. Give up yourself and take on others (4) and enter the tent of light (5). Look at appearance (6), and cut the root (7), these are devoid of essence (8). Not finding after having searched (9), this is the right path (10). This is an irreversible path (11). Integrate countless reasons in your mind and cut samsara’s sufferings from the root.” (12)

From this point, the text continues: “Lead beings with the method of appearance, and abide by sleeping (reside in meditative equipoise) in the sphere of wisdom. So in summary, it is like this.”

This is also similar to what is stated by the most venerable Yongzin Yeshe Gyaltsen in his commentary called ‘ The Excellent Vase of Nectar, The Essential Instructions of the Book of Kadam’. In brief, it is a practice having the essence of compassion and emptiness and so it is the yoga of the noble and supreme Great Compassionate One.

Now in order to practice in connection with the outlines of the Five Recollections think that:

All the direct and lineage Lamas as well as the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are residing in the space in front of you, recite:

Incomparable guide, teacher Bhagvan,

Protector of the snow land, Avalokiteshvara,

Tara, conquerors’ mother and protector Acala,

I make requests to the four excellent Kadam deities.

Maitreya and Asanga,

Vasubhandu and Vimuktisena,

Paramasena, Vinitasena and Yaksasri,

Haribhadra, the two Kusali and Serlingpa,

I make requests to the lineage masters of the vast conduct.

Manjushri and Nagarjuna, the destroyer of the extremes of existence and non-existence, Chandrakirti, Vidyakokila the Elder,

Aryadeva and his son who upheld Buddha’s thought,

I make requests to the lineage masters of the profound view.

Great compassionate Sugata Vajradhara,

Those who realized the essence: Tilopa and Naropa,

Glorious Drombhipa and Atisha,

I make requests to the lineage masters of the blessed practice.

Protector Atisha, who elucidated the excellent path,

Gyalwa Drom, the ancestor of the Kadam teachings,

Ngok Lekpai Sherab and Sherab Gyaltsen,

I make requests to all the direct and lineage Lamas.

Bless me to travel the common excellent path:

Reverse the clinging to samsara and perceive adverse circumstances as friendly,

Engage in the vast conduct through equalizing and exchanging oneself with others

And seal with the view that uproots samsara.

Bless me to become a protector to all beings

Having actualized the essential drop of the union

With the deity yoga of the inseparability of profundity and clarity

After having entered the door of secret mantra and protecting correctly the samayas.

Take refuge and generate Bodhicitta with three recitations of “sangye chö tshog ma”. Then the objects of refuge gradually group together and absorb into yourself.

I transform into the Great Compassionate One with two arms, holding a jewel rosary, a crystal staff marked by a thousand standing Buddhas.

Cleanse and purify the offering.

From within the sphere of emptiness, from a syllable OM a spacious and precious container arises. Inside it, from another syllable OM, which melts into light, appear the excellent offering substances that cause one to generate a special uncontaminated bliss.

Bless the offerings from “Om argham…” until “sparsha A Hum”

From the sphere of emptiness, clear light,

Inside a rainbow light tent, the emanation of one’s mind;

In the center of a white lotus,

Is a celestial mansion complete of all characteristics,

Its ceiling, four walls and floor are the six seed syllables;

In its center, from a syllable HRI arises the extraordinary form of

Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso, with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.

Infinite Buddha’s fields abide in the holy body

Guiding infinite beings with various emanations.

At his heart, is the second drop, the Saha-loka 3.000-fold world system,

In the middle of a mansion similar to the previous one,

Mahamuni Vairochana, in the mudra of giving refuge and meditative equipoise, Surrounded by the standing Supreme Pair and Noble Beings of the Three Vehicles.

In the middle of the celestial mansion of the

Third drop, the land of snow drop, is the Exalted Noble One with eleven faces.

In the abode drop, the Noble Being with two arms,

Holding a staff marked by a thousand Buddhas.

At his heart is Prajnaparamita with four arms, in the mudra

Of giving refuge and meditative equipoise and holding a vajra and a text.

Inside of that, is Buddha subduing the demons,

Surrounded by an assembly of tenth bhumi Bodhisattvas.

In the seventh drop, is the Exalted Noble One with four arms,

The two main hands are folded, the others hold a crystal rosary and a white lotus.

At his heart, is green Tara (emerald color Tara),

Her right hand mudra is ‘giving refuge’ and the left hand is holding an utpala.

Inside that, is a dark green wrathful Tara,

Holding a curved knife, a kapala, a damaru and a katvanga.

In the tenth drop, is the wrathful protector Acala,

His left knee bent and holding a sword and a lasso.

At his heart, the great Jowo, in the aspect of Vajradhara

Surrounded by the Four Deities and so on.

Inside that is, the Lord Drom Tönpa, holding a white lotus and a bell,

He resides together with an assembly of outer, inner and secret emanations.

In the thirteenth drop, is the protector Maitreya,

Above him are the lineage masters of the vast conduct.

At his heart, is the protector Manjushri

Together with the lineage masters of the profound view.

At the heart of the protector Manjushri, is the all pervading Lord Vajradhara

Surrounded by the lineage masters of the blessed practice.

Inside that is Dharmakaya. His reality is uncontaminated exalted wisdom. His

Appearance is a body in the Sambogakaya form, in meditative equipoise.

From within the sphere of reality, immense benefit for sentient beings is accomplished.

At his heart is the enlightenment drop, vast, bright and shining.

In the middle of it, is one’s mind, appearing as a yellow drop of blazing light, just the size of a pea. It is quivering like a soft, melted substance.

It becomes a very vast ocean of drops, the color of refined gold.

The three places of all the deities are marked with the three letters.

From innumerable pure lands, wisdom beings and empowerment deities are invited through the light of the letter HUM. They absorb, the empowerment is granted and one is marked by the seed syllables.

Then all the doors of the celestial mansion open simultaneously. Perform the seven limb puja to each of the deities in the mandala and imagine that the offering goddesses make offerings.

I pay homage [with the understanding] of the emptiness of the action and the object to the pure body.

I make offerings of uncontaminated substances untainted by arising; abiding and disintegrating o the deities.

I confess the abyss-like faults of the three doors which are devoid of arising, abiding and disintegrating.

I rejoice in the guides who, although empty (devoid of inherent existence), display innumerable diverse forms.

I beseech [you] to turn the wheel devoid of aspirations/wishes and signs in the sphere of reality.

May you, truth body devoid of arising, move nowhere from the spontaneous abiding [in the] natural (sphere).

I dedicate this virtue so that migratory beings, having realized in this way,

May be led to such a celestial mansion and enjoy this secret mantra.

Temporarily, just like the five deities of the Krya (action tantra) on a refined moon seat, in the hub of a thousand petalled lotus, 15 May I too attain (appreciate) the supreme generation and completion (stages) of external, internal, secret and of suchness.

These adventitious phenomena do not exist separate from the sphere of reality.

May the auspiciousness of the collection of perfections devoid of separateness, be present!

May the auspiciousness of a pure lineage, be present!

May the auspiciousness of not departing from the three-fold purity of beginning, middle and end, be present.

In this way, offer the seven limb puja. Offer the two waters, the enjoyments and music as well as the five sense objects, with the verses starting with “Gyalwa Gyatso…” or, with the abridged formula:

OM SARVA TATHAGATA ARGHAM PRATICCHA HUM SOHA, and in the same way, PADYAM, PUSHPE, DHUPE, ALOKE, GANDHE, NAIVIDYA, SHAPTA, RUPA, SHAPTA, GANDHE, RASA, SPARSHA PRATICCHA HUM SVAHA.

I respectfully offer praise to the Four Excellent Deities

Who embody the innumerable Conquerors, Conquerors’ Sons,

Conquerors’ Mothers and Dharma Protectors.

To Jowo and his Son, the human manifestations,

And to all the undeceiving objects of refuge.

In particular, I praise the arising, in the form of a drop,

Of the union of method and wisdom,

At the heart of the Dharmakaya,

And so bless me to realize, in this life,

The essence of the drop, the quintessence of the sevenfold deities and teachings.

Then, from oneself

in the form of the Great Compassionate One with two arms, a replica appears and leads all sentient beings in prostrating, circumambulating and making supplications to Gyalwa Gyatso and all the other deities.

In particular, in order for my virtue collected in the three times to become whatever supportive condition is appropriate and is a source of happiness and benefit for all beings who are devoid of protectors and refuge; I offer it together with clouds of offerings to the assembly of deities who become pleased with uncontaminated bliss. From the syllables at the deities’ three places, and in particular, from the seed syllable with the garland of mantras at their hearts, light and nectar flow. This purifies oneself and all sentient beings’ karma, afflictions, wrong doings, obscurations and imprints. Oneself and all beings obtain the blessings of the holy body, speech and mind. Imagine that the heart of Gyalwa Gyatso opens and, as done before, prostrations, circumambulations and offerings are made to the deities in the sequence of the drops; each one inside the other and in this way all receive their blessings.

In the ancillaries of the Book of Kadam, it’s said that one may recite the mantra of each deity as it appears in the sadhana or it’s also admissible to recite the six syllable mantra for all of them.

In addition, if one carefully reads the Jewel Casket Sutra, it’s clearly stated that, the most profound way of meditating is to visualize the assembly of deities of the mandala together with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas residing at each pore of the hair of the Great Compassionate One while reciting the six syllable mantra. Lord Serlingpa also explained the meditation in this way. Therefore it’s excellent to focus only on the recitation of the six syllable mantra. One may also visualize making prostrations and offerings simultaneously with all sentient beings inside all the drops. Then, in order to make up for any deficiency and excess in this practice, recite as many hundred syllable mantra as you can. As above, one should make offerings and praise.

All masters of the three lineages,

Assembly of deities of the Great Compassionate One,

Compassionate Father, Jowo and your Sons,

Please assist me so that all the aims of my prayers will be fulfilled.

By the power of this, as well as all the virtue of the three times,

May all sentient beings without exception and myself,

Be kept under the care of the holy masters of the three lineages forever

And complete the pure spiritual career of the Kadam.

Having purified my mind through practicing

By way of condensing all scriptures into the path of the three individuals,

I shall enter the door of the great secret and correctly protect the samayas.

May I realize the heart drop of the union!

May I, just like Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso liberate all sentient beings

Having adorned my body with the four deities, my speech with the Tripitaka

And my mind with the three trainings,

And having completed the practice of the five recollections.

In order to practice in an isolated place

The excellent instruction of the heart drop of the great secret,

May the ninety-two Jowo protectors (13)

Continuously assist!

Having gathered the world and the beings in their entirety with the rays of light of the enlightenment drop at my heart, they absorb into the drop of the inconceivable external design. The remaining 15 drops transform into the color of their respective principal figure. They absorb in sequence, one inside the other. Oneself, in the form of the Dharmakaya body, absorb into the three syllables. The syllable OM absorbs into the syllable A, this into the syllable HUM. Finally the syllable HUM, after having absorbed into the enlightenment drop, transforms into the essence of the union of method and wisdom. From within it, one again arises as the Great Compassionate One, with one face and two arms.

May the auspiciousness of the Lamas, source of every prosperity and well being, be present!

May the auspiciousness of the Buddhas, who actualized the three bodies, be present!

May the auspiciousness of the Dharma, that benefit at the beginning, in the middle and at the end, be present!

May the auspiciousness of the Sangha, who practice the three trainings thoroughly and correctly, be present!

May the auspiciousness of the precious Bodhicitta mind, that equalizes oneself with others, be present!

May the auspiciousness of the profound yoga of the two stages, the union of method and wisdom, be present!

May the auspiciousness of the flourishing in the ten directions of the Buddha Dharma, that is the cause of happiness and well being, be present!

May the auspiciousness of all sentient beings enjoying the glory of the Mahayana Dharma, be present!

In this way, embellish the end of the session.

May all sentient beings be ripened and liberated

By the yoga of the heart drop,

The essence of the holy mind of Jowo and his Sons

And the essence of the meaning of all scriptures.

This short sadhana of the 16 Drops,’ The way of practicing by condensing the essence’, was compiled by the venerable dKon mChog bsTan pa’i sGron Me (Könchok Tenpai Drön Me), at the request of Yönten Gyatso, the hermit who dedicates himself to the perfect accomplishment of the extensive studies. The script man is Ngag-rampa Könchok Kunga.

1 Lha Chos bDun lDan Gyi rNam Thar, text composed by Khenchen Nyima Gyaltsen 1225-1305. ‘Sevenfold divinity and teaching’ refers to the ‘Four Kadam Deities’; Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, Tara and the Protector Achala and the ‘Three Dharmas’; the teachings on the Three Higher Trainings as explained in the Three Baskets or Tripitaka.

2 This text is considered as a commentary to the Bodhisattva’s Jewel Garland written by Atisha. It is composed in the form of a dialogue between Drom Tönpa and Jowo Atisha.

3 Omniscience, the fifth path of the Bodhisattva’s vehicle.

4 Yongdzin Yeshe Gyaltsen’ (1713-1793) commentary, ‘The Excellent Vase of Nectar, The Essential Instructions of the Book of Kadam, ‘bka’ gdams glegs bam gyi snying po’i man ngag bdud rtsi’i bum bzang abbreviated in bka’ gdams snying po: at page 466 to 474 vol. 24 of Tshe mChog gLing Yongs ‘Dzin Yeshes rGyal mTshan collected works published by Tibet House, New Delhi, 1977, are elaborated several ways of interpreting this expression: 1) Give up attachment to yourself that ruins you and take up the path to Liberation instead of the path that leads to samsara. 2) Give up the negative mind of being attached to yourself and practice the Three Trainings instead of increasing afflictive emotions. 3) Give up the self cherishing attitude and take up the attitude of cherishing others more than oneself. 4) Give up attachment to yourself and with impartial mind practice equanimity towards all other sentient beings. 5) Without regret give away your body, possessions and roots of virtue to the kind and tormented parents, in a way that each of them receive exactly what they desire and take upon yourself others’ destructive actions and sufferings, having reflected on the good qualities resulting from cherishing others.

5 In Yongdzin Yeshe Gyaltsen’ commentary (Y.Y.G): “…having entered the vajra tent that is perfectly enveloped by a garland of light of five colors, receive the four pure ripening initiations…” Also: “…having entered the celestial mansion, that is in the rainbow light tent, you will obtain the heart drop…”

6 (Y.Y.G): “…look at the glorious mandalas of the Victorious, the Victorious’ Mothers, the Victorious’ Sons and the peaceful and wrathful deities, that are self appearances of primordial wisdom.” Also: “…look at (objects that appear to the six sense consciousnesses as) mere appearances and cut the root of grasping to true existence…”

7 (Y.Y.G): “…quickly cut the root, the illusion of self-grasping that ruins all of us without exception…” Also: “…cut the flow of the karmic energy which is discursive thinking. This is the root of karma and afflicted emotions that bind us to samsara…” Also: “Whatever object appears to the six sense consciousnesses, thoroughly analyze with the reasoning of the profound dependent origination. Look at these as mere appearance and cut the root of grasping to true existence.”

8 (Y.Y.G): “Buddha proclaimed that all phenomena are devoid of essence…”

9 (Y.Y.G): “…Although all phenomena come into existence depending on causes and conditions, if one thoroughly searches with the mind analyzing the ultimate mode of existence, not even an atom (that possesses inherent existence) is found.”

10 (Y.Y.G): ‘The right path’ refers to the state of mind when both: appearances that are ‘undeceiving dependent origination’ and the emptiness of not finding true existence although searched for, are understood as assisting each other instead of as being contradictory.”

11 (Y.Y.G): ” If the excellent path of the union (appearance and emptiness) of Madyamika, which has the capacity to cut the root of grasping to true existence, is understood through the ascertainment of the ‘undeceiving dependent origination’, then this path does not allow one to develop any wrong views.”

12 (Y.Y.G): “Motivated by the Bodhicitta mind and having integrated infinite reasons in your mind, one will be able to cut the root of samsara’s sufferings. This is an irreversible path.”

13 The Twelve Savioresses + The Eighty Virtuous Dharma Guardians: Four Great Kings; Fifteen Guardians of Directions; Eight Mahadevas; Eight Great Nagas; Eight Great Planets; Twenty-eight Moving Stars; Nine Great Scary Ones.

Short Sadhana of the 16 Drops, Condensing the essence by Dharma Bhadra (dNgul Chu bLa Ma Chö bZang 1772-1851) Namo Gurawe!

Short Sadhana of the 16 Drops, Condensing the essence by Dharma Bhadra (dNgul Chu bLa Ma Chö bZang 1772-1851)

Namo Gurawe!

Take refuge and generate Bodhicitta with three recitations of “sangye chö tshog ma”

From the sphere of emptiness, clear light,

Inside a rainbow light tent, the emanation of one’s mind;

In the center of a white lotus,

Is a celestial mansion complete of all characteristics,

Its ceiling, four walls and floor are the six seed syllables;

In its center, from a syllable HRI arises the extraordinary form of

Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso, with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.

Infinite Buddha’s fields abide in the holy body

Guiding infinite beings with various emanations.

At his heart, the second drop, the Saha loka 3000-fold world system,

In the middle of a mansion similar to the previous one,

Mahamuni Vairochana, in the mudra of giving refuge and meditative equipoise, Surrounded by the standing Supreme Pair and Noble Beings of the Three Vehicles.

In the middle of the celestial mansion of the

Third drop, the land of snow drop, is the

Exalted Noble One with eleven faces.

In the abode drop, the Noble Being with two arms,

Holding a staff marked by a thousand Buddhas.

At his heart is Prajnaparamita with four arms, in the mudra

Of giving refuge and meditative equipoise and holding a vajra and a text.

Inside of that, is Buddha subduing the demons,

Surrounded by an assembly of tenth bhumi Bodhisattvas.

In the seventh drop, is the Exalted Noble One with four arms,

The two main hands are folded; the others hold a crystal rosary and a white lotus.

At his heart, is green Tara (emerald color Tara),

Her right hand mudra is ‘giving refuge’ and the left hand is holding an utpala.

Inside that, is a dark green wrathful Tara,

Holding a curved knife, a kapala, a damaru and a katvamga.

In the tenth drop, is the wrathful protector Acala,

His left knee bent and holding a sword and a lasso.

At his heart, the great Jowo, in the aspect of Vajradhara

Surrounded by the Four Deities and so on.

Inside that is, the Lord Drom Tönpa, holding a white lotus and a bell,

He resides together with an assembly of outer, inner and secret emanations.

In the thirteenth drop, is the protector Maitreya,

Above him are the lineage masters of the vast conduct.

At his heart, is the protector Manjushri

Together with the lineage masters of the profound view.

At the heart of the protector Manjushri, is the all pervading Lord Vajradhara

Surrounded by the lineage masters of the blessed practice.

Inside that, is the Dharmakaya.

His reality is uncontaminated exalted wisdom.

His Appearance is a body in the sambogakaya form, in meditative equipoise.

From within the sphere of reality, immense benefit for sentient beings is accomplished.

At his heart is the enlightenment drop, vast, bright and shining.

In the middle of it, is one’s mind, appearing as a yellow drop of blazing light, just the size of a pea. It is quivering like a soft, melted substance. It becomes a very vast ocean of drops, the color of refined gold.

The three places of all the deities are marked with the three letters. From innumerable pure lands, wisdom beings and empowerment deities are invited through the light of the letter HUM. They absorb, the empowerment is granted and one is marked by the seed syllables.

Recite the seven limb puja starting with: “I prostrate eternally to the naturally pure body… “. Recite either the six syllable mantra or the mantra of each deity.

May I, just like Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso,

Liberate all sentient beings;

Having adorned my body with the four deities, my speech with the Tripitaka

And my mind with the three trainings,

And having completed the practice of the five recollections.

This short sadhana of the 16 Drops, ‘Condensing the essence’, was written by Dharma Bhadra, based on the teachings of the venerable dKon mCHog bsTan pa’i sGron Me (Könchok Tenpai Drön Me).

A CLEAR MIRROR: A CHART OF THE 16 DROPS OF KADAM ACCORDING TO H.H. THE DALAI LAMA’S TEACHINGS

Syllable

Deity

Aspect

Mantra

HRI white

1. Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso

1000 arms & eyes, 11 faces, sitting in vajra posture

Om Mani Padme Hum

OM yellow

2. Nam-nang Gang Chen-tso (Mahamuni Vairocana)

Aspect Nirmanakaya teaching the 4 Noble Truths, flanked by the Supreme Pair, mudra of giving protection and meditative equipoise. Surrounded by countless disciples.

Om Mune Mune Maha Mune Ye Svaha

HRI white

3. Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso

1000 arms & eyes, 11 faces

Om Mani Padme Hum

HRI white

4. Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso

In essence He is Dromtönpa. Transparent body, one face 2 arms, right holds a crystal mala, left holds a crystal staff with 1000 Buddhas. Standing.

Om Mani Padme Hum

A yellow

5. Prajnaparamita (Yum Chenmo/ Yum Sher Chin ma)

1 Face 4 arms, yellow. Giving teachings on emptiness. 1 right hand giving protection, 1 left meditative equipoise. 2 right vajra, 2 left text. Sitting.

Tayata Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Ye Svaha

MUM yellow

6. Buddha Shakyamuni (Tonpa Thubpe Wangpo )

Supreme Nirmanakaya aspect Right hand touching the earth, left meditative equipoise. Surrounded by 10th level Bodhisattvas.

Om Mune Mune Maha Mune Ye Svaha

HRI white

7. Chenrezig great compassion supreme deity

1 Face 4 arms. First two hands at the heart, 2 right mala, 2 left white lotus. Surrounded by BS. Sitting in vajra posture.

Om Mani Padme Hum

TAM green

8. GreenTara (Seng-deng Nak-kyi Drol-ma) enlightened activities deity

1 Face 2 arms. Right hand ‘supreme giving ‘, the left hand holds utpala flower at heart. Surrounded by white peaceful and yellow increasing Taras, including White Tara.

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha

TAM dark green

9. Wrathful Tara Dark green color.

1 face 4 arms, 1 right curved knife, 1 left kapala, 2 right damaru, 2 left katvanga, surrounded by blue wrathful and red conquering female deities, including Palden Lhamo.

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Hum Phe

HUM dark blue

10. Acala (Mi-gYo-w a) dispelling obstacle deity

Dark blue, 1 face 2 arms, right holds a sword, left a lasso, surrounded by wrathful deities.

Om Tsenda Maha Rokha Na Hum Phe

HUM white

11. Atisha surrounded by the four Kadampa deities (Buddha, Chenrezig, Tara, Acala)

In essence he is Buddha, in Sambogakaya aspect, holding dorje and bell. In front Buddha, on the right Chenrezig, on the left Tara, behind Achala. At South-East is Atisha (as a pandita), at S.W Dromtönpa, at North-West is Ngok Lekpe Sherab, at N.E. Khutön Tsöndrue Yungdrung. In the space the 3 Lineage Lamas

Om Maha Guru Dipamkara Atisha Svaha 1) Om Mune Mune Maha Mune Ye Svaha 2) Om Mani Padme Hum. 3) Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha. 4) Om Tsenda Maha Rokha Na Hum Phe

HRI white

12. Dromtönpa Gyal-wai Jung-ne (as a 16 year boy)

Sambogakaya aspect, body as crystal reflecting the 3 Jewels right hand holds white lotus, left a bell. Sitting in vajra posture.

Om Mani Padme Hum (Chenrezig); Om Wagi Shwari Hum (Manjushri); Om Vajra Pani Hum (Vajrapani)

MEM yellow

13. Maitreya In the form of bhikshu

1 face 2 arms ‘preaching Dharma’, surrounded by the Vast Conduct Lineage Lamas and Bodhisattvas

Om Maitri Maitri Maha Maitri Ye Svaha

DHI golden

14. Nagarjuna

In the form of bhikshu, yellow, ‘turning the wheel’ mudra, sitting, at his right is Atisha and at left Chenrezig (as bhikshus). In the space above are the Profound View Lineage Lamas

Om Wagi Shwari Mum

A (the short A)

HUM dark blue

15. Vajradhara (Dorje Chang)

Blue, w/out consort. Sambhoga kaya aspect. Holding bell and vajra with crossed arms. Sitting in vajra posture. Flanked by the Supreme Pair. In the space above are the Blessed Practice and Jewel Garland Lineage Lamas.

Om Ah Bendza Dhrik Hum Hum

HUM yellow

16. Buddha Dharma Kaya (Sangye Chö kyi Ku/Sangye Dorje Chö)

Sambogakaya aspect, yellow, sitting in vajra posture, mudra meditative equipoise. Sending out countless emanations for the welfare of sentient beings.

Om Dharma-kaya Siddhi Hum.

Om Ah Hum

This chart has been compiled on the base of the recordings of the 16 Drops Initiations conferred by H.H.D.L. in 1999, 2006, 2008 on the base of Yonzin Yeshe Gyaltsen’s rite manual.

Seven-limb Puja of the Sixteen Drops of Kadam

1) I pay homage [with the understanding] of the emptiness of the action and the object to the pure body. ཕྱག་དང་ཕྱག་ཡུལ་གཉིས་སྟོང་པའི།། རྣམ་དག་སྐུ་ལ་ཡེ་ཕྱག་འཚལ།། chak dang chak yül nyi tong pä / nam dak ku la ye chak tshal

2) I make offerings of uncontaminated substances untainted by arising; abiding and disintegrating to the deities. སེ་གནས་འཇིག་པས་མ་གྟོས་པའི།། དི་མེད་མཆྟོད་ཚོགས་འབུལ་ལྟོ་ལྷ།། kye ne ‘jik pä ma gö pä / dri me chö tshok ‘bűl lo lha

3) I confess the abyss-like faults of the three doors which are devoid of arising, abiding and disintegrating. སྟོ་གསུམ་སེ་གནས་འཇིག་བྲལ་བའི།། ཉེས་པའི་གཡང་ས་མཐྟོལ་ལྟོ་བཤགས།། go sum kye ne ‘jik drel wä / nye pä yang sa thöl lo shak

4) I rejoice in the guides who, although empty (devoid of inherent existence), display innumerable diverse forms. སྟོང་ཡང་སྣ་ཚོགས་སྐུར་སྟོན་པས།། གྲངས་མེད་འདེན་ལ་རེས་ཡི་རང་།། tong yang na tshok kur tön pä drang me ‘dren la ‘je yi rang

5) I beseech [you] to turn the wheel devoid of aspirations/wishes and signs in the sphere of reality. སྟོན་དང་མཚན་མས་སྟོང་པ་ཡི།། འཁྟོར་ལྟོ་དབིངས་སུ་བསྟོར་དུ་གསྟོལ།། mön dang tshen mä tong pa yi / khor lo ying su kor du söl

6) May you, truth body devoid of arising, move nowhere from the spontaneous abiding [in the] natural (sphere). སེ་བས་སྟོང་པའི་ཆྟོས་སྐུ་ཁེད།། ལྷུན་གྲུབ་གནས་པའི་རང་བཞིན་ལས།། kye we tong pä chö ku khye / lhün drub ne pä rang zhin le གང་དུའང་འདའ་བར་མ་མཛད་ཅི gang du a’ng da war ma ‘dze chik

7) I dedicate this virtue so that migratory beings, having realized in this way,

May be led to such a celestial mansion and enjoy this secret mantra. དགེ་བ་འདི་ཡིས་འཁྟོར་བ་རྣམས།། འདི་འདར་རྟོགས་ཏེ་འདི་འད་བའི།། ge wa di yi khor wa nam / di drar tok te di dra bä གཞལ་ཡས་ཁང་དུ་འདྟོངས་འགྱུར་ཏེ།། གསང་སྔགས་འདི་བཞིན་སྟོད་པར་བསྔྟོ །། shel ye khang du drong gyur te / sang ngak di shin che par ngo

Temporarily, just like the five deities of the Krya (action tantra) on a refined moon seat, in the hub of a thousand petalled lotus, གནས་སབས་ཀྲྀ་ཡའི་ལྷ་ལྔ་བཞིན།། པད་དཀར་སྟོང་ལྡན་ལེ་བ་ལ།། ne kab kri yä lha nga scin pe kar tong den te wa la

May I too attain (appreciate) the supreme generation and completion (stages) of external, internal, secret and of suchness. ཟླ་བ་ཞུན་མའི་གདན་སེང་དུ།། ཕྱི་ནང་གསང་བ་དེ་ཉིད་ཀི།། da wa shűn mä den teng du / chi nang sang wa de gni kyi བསེད་རྟོགས་མཆྟོག་ཏུ་བསྔགས་པར་ཤྟོ ། kye dzok chok tu ngak par shok /

These adventitious phenomena do not exist separate from the sphere of reality. གྟོ་བུར་འདི་ཡང་ཆྟོས་དབིངས་ལས།། ཐ་དད་ཅི་ཡང་ཡྟོད་མ་མཆིས།། lo bur di yang chö ying le / tha de chi yang yö ma ci

May the auspiciousness of the collection of perfections devoid of separateness, be present! ཐ་དད་མེད་པར་ཕུན་ཚོགས་པའི།། བཀ་ཤིས་ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པར་ཤྟོག།། tha de me par phűn tshok pä / tra shi phűn sum tshok par shok

May the auspiciousness of a pure lineage, be present! གཙང་མ་རིགས་ཀི་བཀ་ཤིས་ཤྟོག།། tsang ma rik kyi tra shi shok

May the auspiciousness of not departing from the three-fold purity of beginning, middle and end, be present. ཐྟོག་མཐའ་བར་གསུམ་གཙང་མ་ལས།། གཡྟོས་པ་མེད་པའི་བཀ་།ཤིས་ཤྟོག།། thok tha bar sum tsang ma le / yö pa me pä tra shi shok

Translated from Tibetan by Teresa Bianca and Sherab Dhargye in Dharamsala in 2008.

https://www.jangchuplamrim.org/wp-content/uploads/Archive-Texts/JCLR-ENGLISH-20151109-16DropsOfKadam-Details.pdf

 

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