4 H.H. Dalai Lama Commentary on Gyalwa Gyatso

Fourth part of the Commentary on Gyalwa Gyatso given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to a group of Westerners in His Audience Hall at Teckchen Choeling Palace at Dharamsala, India, on 1st September 1984 from 10-12 noon and 2-4 pm.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Question: Could His Holiness explain the meaning of the full Mantra?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: I don’t know the meaning very well. OM MANI PADME HUM – six letters, the meaning of that is quite vast. The main points are: OM represents A U M-three letters. These three letters symbolize on the basis our body, speech and mind and in the Buddhahood stage the Buddha’s body, speech and mind. In other words, the impure three things are transformed into completely pure three things. What is the method to purify these three, impure body, speech and mind? That is the MANI PADME, these two words, MANI jewel, PADME lotus. The Jewel symbolizes method or motivation; the Lotus symbolizes Wisdom. There are many different stages on the levels of meaning of the method and wisdom. We have the Sutrayana, the lower three Tantrayanas and higher Tantrayana and within that the first stage and second stage and within the second stage again there are two different levels. According to Maha-anuttarayoga the highest Jewel represents the Illusory Body, the Lotus represents Clear Light. HUM, the sixth syllable, means inseparable, cannot be destroyed. What is inseparable? Two things: Method and Wisdom; these two things. Inseparable way, inseparable nature – practiced in that way. So –OM MANI PADME HUM. GHUMA GHUHYE the consort, the main consort; HARI NISA the four Dakinis; RATZA HRIHYA the four Guardians of the Doors, SVAHA, established.

There are the five Buddha families. In terms of the seed-syllable, there are five Buddha families. Sometimes the seed-syllable is the initial of the name, sometimes they are the things which the deities purify, such as the seed-syllable here and that syllable there – this you have to ask Vajradhara. If you meditate on a seed-syllable, either a RAM or AH – it does work. Now for example, OM AH HUM, OM TAMSHI AH, or LAM MAM PAM TEM, TUM AM SIM KAM HUM, this kind, different seed-syllables, detailed explanations are very difficult to give but imagine certain letters in certain nerve centres, it does work, that is the main purpose.

Question: (inaudible…) …how to practice Dzog Rim?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: According to this matter I have not seen any teachings on Dzog Rim. It seems once you complete the first stage of this Deity then, I think, the second stage may be an addition from Heruka Dzog Rim, either Luipa Dzog Rim or Drilby Dzog Rim, I am not very sure. Most probably, I think, this is the alternative. For the time being, I think in Dzog Rim there is not much needed at this stage. Therefore in all different kinds of Dzog Rim, in different tantras, the one basic practice is tummo, heat. So tummo practice according to Naljorma good, according to Naro Choedrug tummo is basic practice.

Question: inaudible, but request for explanation of Dakas and Dakinis.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Dakini is the one who goes in space, and so one could say that is the one who has the extra physical power to walk in space. The basic meaning is, may be, a form of angel or something of a separate form but with some inner quality, inner experience. The basic inner quality, the space means emptiness, shunyata, or sometimes the inner Clear Light. So the person, male or female, the person who experiences that stage we call Khadro or Khadroma, Daka or Dakini.

Question: What is Daka and Dakini Energy?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Daka – male, Dakini – female. One understands them as persons, as living beings, living sentient beings.

(Question is inaudibly continued)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Khadro and Khadroma is Tibetan for the above. As I said before, Khadro is the one who goes in space literally. In general when one speaks in terms of deities as being male and female, the male and the consort, god and goddesses, one is speaking in terms of method and wisdom. This does not mean as husband and wife, this symbolizes the method, one being, the union of method and wisdom, as I mentioned several times. Now in Maha-anuttaratantrayana for male in certain cases and at a certain stage you may need female helper and for female in the same condition you may need male for helper. Not in the ordinary sense of sexual intercourse. With full preparation and full control of the nerve centres and inner airs, the sex organs act like instruments to stop or to minimize the grosser consciousnesses. As soon as the grosser consciousness stops the subtle consciousness becomes active. That is the point. Whenever you hear a discussion of male and female (daka and dakini) that is the meaning. Mandala deities like Guhyasamaja, Kalachakra or Heruka all are in union with consort. That does not mean Guhyasamaja has a small kingdom, may not have nuclear power but some power as small kingdom, that kind of thing: main empire, queen, and some ministers, not that kind. All these are symbolisms for our five skandas, five components, and four elements and five sense organs, then the nerves, bones etc., eight Bodhisattvas, ten Wrathful Deities, that is symbolism of hands and this, and this (His Holiness points to all the relevant parts of His body), the ten physical parts of the body. The wrathful deities are the deities of action, something like that. So usually the parts of our physical body are very active. Feet, knees, elbows, shoulders, these are the most active parts of our body and are represented as the ten deities, eight deities including eyes, ears, nerves, bones, etc. For example, Guhyasamaja, four dakinis – four elements, another five dakinis that is sight, smell, taste, touch. The five Buddhas representing the five skandas, so altogether thirty-two deities. All are the same being, all manifested as thirty-two deities. Now in one kind of Kalachakra there are more than 770 different deities or something like that, all these are the same, not independent, separate beings who all come together in a big mandala, a sort of house, not that kind, all are simply manifestations of parts of your physical body.

Question (inaudible)…about the generation stage, when we rise from meditation on emptiness, could His Holiness explain that?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: In the second stage, actually the deep consciousness which fully realizes shunyata, that subtle consciousness itself transforms into a deity with form. For that we prepare in the first stage, only in imagination, in the face of imagination that consciousness itself transforms into a deity but in reality we cannot perform that. So at one stage just remember as much as you can shunyata with all the force of mind, concentrate on shunyata. Then as soon as you visualize, or imagine to start with, the hold on voidness loosens. So now you cannot act simultaneously, you have to see the conventional aspects of things, such as the HRIM or the utpalas or like that. But due to the previous strong conviction that things do not exist as they appear to me, that kind of strong conviction or strong understanding, due to that, even relative things, even mental fabrications appear, they appear like an illusion. In the Heruka sadhana this is referred to as meditation on voidness with appearance and without appearance. For some period of time you do the meditation on voidness with appearance, that is thinking of things in terms of being illusions. In the Lam Rim it speaks of the meditation period of being absorbed in voidness, and then the subsequent realization of all as illusion. Occasionally again try to understand the ultimate nature. Go like that, alternate. That is the practical part, I think. On the subtle generation stage the understanding of voidness will come stronger.

Question: Rinpoche, when you say you do not have the realization of the emptiness that you explained for the initiation what does that mean. I am wondering what that means to me as a practitioner. As you say that to us, what does it mean when Rinpoche says he has not the realization of emptiness but he will try to help us understand it by giving an explanation?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: It is difficult, I try as best as I can, but the actual experience, I don’t know, my own qualifications I don’t know. There is some feeling about shunyata, and about Bodhicitta, but that is all. Since I myself am not very sure, whether I really understand shunyata or not, so I mentioned it like that. With this robe I cannot tell lies. Any other questions?

Question: Is it very important to visualize in Tibetan letters?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: No necessary. In Tibet, for example, there are people who visualize in the form of Lendza, the old Lendza script, some Indian letters. But generally people visualize in Tibetan letters. Now in your case, the Roman script, there is no problem. But it may cause problems when you have the dissolution of the various parts of the syllable HRIH. That may be a problem but I wonder if that is really so important. In certain sadhana practices, since the parts of the letter are not sufficient for the dissolution in eight stages, then the curve on top of the dot, the nada, is used. So if it is to be divided into three parts, you may divide a Roman letter into three parts, you may divide a Roman letter into three parts, you may make some divisions.

Any other questions?

Question:…about Zhine and visualization…(inaudible)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: I think so because it will work simultaneously. Two things: first it will definitely help to achieve one-pointedness of mind and secondly because you absorb into that letter, that letter positioned on a special place, one of the key nerve centres, because of that there will be a stronger feeling and the grosser consciousness becomes less active. Say, for example, in front of you, just imagine that moment only this other part works, the dissolving part is not there, that different, that special feature is not there. Do you understand? I think you understand. In Mahaanuttarayogatantra there are lights or letters in certain places, the nerve centres, here, here, here (His Holiness points to parts of His body), this is one of the main centres. Your concentration on it helps not only to achieve Zhine but it helps to reduce Namtog, conceptual thought. So I think it might be better as this Sadhana belongs to the Maha-anuttarayogatantra. In Kriyatantra that kind of thing may not be necessary, that is a different thing.

Other questions? You? You?

Question: …concentration on heat…(inaudible)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: For Vajrayogini concentrate at the navel. As I mentioned earlier, review, check all parts of the body and then absorb at one place, concentrate, not concentrate like seeing, like this, not that, you yourself enter it and remain like that. For that usually we have the feeling that the main consciousness is somewhere here, so you see just try to think that your main consciousness is somewhere here. Sometimes that is difficult, the chakra, veins, for that reason first we concentrate on the centre, then the second place here, first in the form of light, concentrate, enter it, feel. Once you feel the light, then that light gradually lowers to here, like holding a bait in front of a child, go there, something like that, then go there, check or see the other chakras, there are thirty-two branches of chakras: thirty-two, like that. Somehow you can feel and more concentrate, grow a stronger feeling, the eye-consciousness, ear consciousness start to reduce. That you can feel. And here is one danger, it may hurt your eyes, in some cases I think. We practice these things very carefully.

Question: When we are sending lights out, are they coming from the heart? Does that mean blue light?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Here I think the main letter, the seed letter, is sometimes of white colour, sometimes blue, sometimes of red colour. Different colours are mentioned. There is no special reason for that. There is also the discussion of the colours of the inner airs, the five root inner airs. There are different airs, so different colours. Sometimes there is that involved too.

Now in the real practice the light comes from the centre of the heart, not necessarily the beating heart, just the centre. When all the activities are finished then dissolve it, that means the things I mentioned earlier. In Maha-anuttarayogatantrayana the innermost Clear Light is the Creator. Things must come from the creator and finally absorb into him. That is the symbolism. We think of Samsara and Nirvana as made by Clear Light. That means everything based on that kind of nature is superior. All these reflections, in this case now whatever we call Samsara or Nirvana finally goes to the individual. Society is a big thing but societies and communities are combinations of individuals, aren’t they? So you see Nirvana finally or ultimately is related to one person, isn’t it? There is that person who has achieved Nirvana, Nirvana is there, so we can talk of Nirvana, there is a stage of Nirvana. There are beings who undergo sufferings due to sources of suffering, that is Samsara. Because such beings exist, we call it Samsara. We cannot say Samsara is something like a country and people go there together, not that kind of thing. Ultimately it exists in one being, doesn’t it? Nirvana and Samsara. For that reason Samsara and Nirvana both are based on the Clear Light of that person, that being. As long as one is ignorant and cannot utilize it, Clear Light is Samsara. Once one realizes Clear Light and utilizes it, transforms it into a path, wisdom, that is Nirvana. From that point of view it is the creator, is the basis of both Nirvana and Samsara.

Now I think that is all. Finally, through this practice, we say, persons of the best level can achieve Enlightenment in this lifetime, of the medium level achieve it through a succession of lifetimes. The most important thing is that we can use it and suppose we have to go through ordinary death, then at that moment this practice is the best method to utilize that opportunity, that occasion. That is the best form of phowa, a self-phowa. If one does not practice and ones dies, and some high Lama is invited to do some puja, that is fifty/fifty. That is one possibility but no effect. While you are living everything is your own hand-practice. Try, use it. Then when the final days come, courage, confidence is there. So you see, no need to worry. That is one purpose. That is a 100% guarantee to take another form of good life for the one who can practice these things continually, and you can make a genuine, good tulku, not the kind of reincarnation who gives no indication from his own side but forced to claim, that is not a real incarnation. Until that time happens be a good person, with peaceful manner and calm mind, and remain one of the best world citizens. That is good, useful for yourself and others, enjoy yourself, be happy no matter what happens around you. Mentally you always feel happy, calm if you have happiness and calmness your will, determination, hope will always be there. You remain a person with inner strength, that is good. Inner strength is very useful for yourself and also very useful to help others. There is no mistake of there being too many of that kind of person, even a hundred billion of them, but on the contrary, the other side, the very mischievous one, deceiving other people, bullying other people, of that kind of person even one is one too many.

One individual’s effect is limited but there is nothing wrong with making an effort and contribute to the human society, for the world. Good, thank you very much.

Concluded with prayers.

This Teaching was requested by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in connection with the Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso Initiation given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Temple at Dharamsala on 21st and 22nd August, 1984. His Holiness spoke mostly in English and was assisted by Alex Berzin and Sharpa Rinpoche.


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