Shenpa Zhidral

Tragpa Gyaltsen: “We finish our whole life with our preparation.”

Good day to everybody everywhere. Today we have the continuation of the teaching of Shenpa Zhidral with an explanation by Tragpa Gyaltsen.

First of all, we pay homage to the teacher because the teacher is very kind in transmitting and making us understand the sense of the teaching. The teacher introduces transformation, like the visualization of deities, Hevajra, etc. In the real sense in Vajrayana, superior tantra, that is the path. You remember that when we go for refuge in the Buddhist tradition, we say we go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. We go for refuge to Buddha because Buddha gave us the path; Buddha is the teacher and with that teaching we will have realization and the real state of the Buddha that is dharmakaya. This is the importance of Buddha and why we take refuge in Buddha. We take refuge in Dharma because it is the teaching that was taught by Buddha Shakyamuni. If we have no Dharma and there is no Buddha, we could not have realization. Where there is a teacher, we receive that teaching, we apply that teaching and we have realization. So in this case Dharma becomes very important.

In Vajarayana teaching, dharma is the transformation method. We transform impure vision, our physical body, our dimension, which manifests like a pure dimension, like deities and a mandala. That is the method we receive from the teacher. Secondly, we pay homage to deities, because this is the method. We go for refuge from the bottom of our heart; that means seriously feeling and taking refuge. In the Sakyapa tradition, for example, we use lama yidam because there is no tradition called the three roots in the Sakyapa, Kagyupa, and Gelugpa traditions. We have our attitude and we know that the three roots are guru, deva and dakini. The three roots are more like the Nyingmapa tradition – coming from Anuyoga and Dzogchen. The name three roots does not exist, in general, in Vajrayana. Otherwise it is very easy to say we pay homage to guru, deva and dakini.

When I pay homage, I am asking to receive a blessing. When we offer or pray there is always a reason and the reason is that we need to receive a blessing, an empowerment, or something. It is not always necessary in practices to pronounce that, because if we are praying to a Bodhisattva or enlightened being, they are omniscient, and they know very well why we are praying. If we have no desire or interest we are not going to pray. For that reason, sometimes it is not necessary that we pronounce. In general, in our human condition, we are very concentrated to make a request in a precise way, and to have be satisfied we use words like, “I need this, please give it to me.”

For that reason, sometimes when people do any kind of practice they say, “Oh, I am doing practice of Guru Dragphur,Tara or Simhamukha. I know what the main practice is, but please tell me what the action mantras are.” We like to concentrate very much on action mantras in a specific way; this is our limitation. We use action mantras when we have a very strong desire for satisfaction. If you understand the main point and do only the main mantra, you can obtain everything. You must understand that the deities and all these beings are omniscient and they know why you are praying. So here [in the commentary] it also says not only to use the mantra in a relative way.

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