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Meditation on Vajrabhairava

Meditation on Vajrabhairava
Item Code: IDK535
Author: Sharpa Tulku with Richard Guard and Kyabje Phabongkha Dechen Nyingpo
Publisher: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 8185102759
Pages: 130
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5" X 5.5"
weight of the book: 185 gms
Back of The Book

Meditation of Vajrabhairva

In response to increasing interest in the study and practice of Highest Yoga Tantra, many highly qualified Tibetan lamas have given teachings and initiations into the mandalas of Highest Yoga tantric deities throughout the world. They strongly emphasize that the best way to make these teachings meaningful is to put them into practice through meditation. This retreat manual is presented here in order to enable people to do these meditations, as well as to dispel misconceptions about tantric practices.

This important deity Vajrabhairava, with its five unique features is widely acclaimed as a crucial practice for our degenerate times. Therefore, those who have trained in the common paths and received the initiation of Vajrabhairava should be encouraged to do the retreat of this deity as often as possible and wherever possible, and to integrate this retreat practice into ordinary life. For this purpose, these instructions, given by Kyabje Phabongkha (1878-1941) to a cabinet minister in the midst of his pressing governmental duties, seem highly relevant to the busy lives of Dharma practitioners in these times:

In order to make the retreat practice complete, an extensive sadhana of the Solitary Hero Vajrabhairava is included here, as well as other relevant materials for the accomplishment of the retreat. The texts have been clearly presented in English so that people with the necessary qualifications may understand the procedures of this practice, of this practice, to achieve the supreme goal.

Recent years have seen a burgeoning interest in Tibetan Buddhism amongst people all over the world. Consequently, Tibetan lamas have frequently been invited to give teachings on the stages of path to enlightenment, mind training and more abstruse aspects of Buddhist philosophy. In the natural course of things, they have also been requested to grant initiations from the four classes of Tantra and have extensively compiled.

The Buddhist tradition repeatedly stresses that the true value of such teaching and initiations can only be derived if they are actually put into practice. To do this adequately, both now and in the past people have relied not only on oral explanations of their lamas, but also on books, especially in relation to the practice of tantra. However, while there has lately been a profusion of translations of Buddhist works in general, there are still few reliable books concerning tantra. This is undoubtedly due to the complexity of the subject on the one hand and on the other to a natural caution about publicizing matters that have traditionally been kept secret. Nevertheless, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama has advised, the grave misunderstandings to which tantra is often subject are more harmful than partial lifting is often of such secrecy, so there is a necessity for books to be made available which contain authentic explanations.

LTWA is therefore pleased to be able to publish Meditation on Vajrabhairava, a manual by Kyabje Phabongkha Dechen Nyingpo, a prominent master of the first half of this century, which explains in meticulous detail how to undertake the retreat of the Meditational deity how to undertake the retreat of the Meditational deity Vajrabhairava. Also included are on annotated translations of the sadhana, Victory over Evil, as well as various supplementary rituals. The translations are to be commended for their efforts to present the material in a way that is clear and easy to use in practice. Sharpa Tulku, who was an early member of LTWA's translation bureau, continues to put his two decade's experience of translating Buddhist teachings to good effect, with the assistance here of Richard Guard, and I am grateful to them both.

Sale and distribution of this book is restricted. We earnestly request that only initiates into Highest Yoga Tantra and preferably into the system of Vajrabhairava itself should read it. This caution is customary to the tradition and to disregard it can only be detrimental, however, responsibility for observing it lies entirely in the hands of the reader. That said we hope that this book will be of benefit to those serious students interested in practicing this impeccable path to enlightenment for the welfare of all living beings.

Homage to Manjushri Vajrabhairava

In this time of the five degenerations it is extremely fortunate to have the rare opportunity to do the Meditational retreat of such an important deity of the Highest Yoga Tantra, with the five unique features, so those who have received sufficient training in the common paths and the initiation of Vajrabhairava and who maintain the commitments should be encouraged to do the retreat of this deity as often as possible and wherever possible, and to integrate this retreat practice into ordinary life. Kyabje Phabongkha sent these particular retreat the Tibetan government prior to 1959, while the minister was on duty on a distant place in Tibet. Kyabje Rinpoche gave these instructions so that he could do this retreat while carrying out his governmental duties. Therefore, it seems especially suitable to translate this for the benefit of the many who are very interested in doing the retreat of this deity, while engaged in their careers of this life.

It is very good to do the retreats of these deities, but often, because of the elaborate procedures mentioned in the retreat instructions, many people are intimidated by the seemingly complex nature of these practices, and are thus discouraged from actually doing such retreats. As the lamas in recent times have stressed, in keeping with our present circumstances, retreats of this kind can be done even while keeping a regular job, by doing a morning and evening session each day, or at least one session each day. Of course it is excellent to set aside the time to do a closed retreat with all the restrictions and so forth, but it is important to recognize that retreats do not have to be such a closed practice, done only for a certain period of time, once a year. They should be enjoyed and made a part of everyday life. Therefore, one can do this type of retreat more often than people usually feel is possible.

One should not be so concerned with every detail of the procedures of retreat according to the instructions. Many things can be adapted according to the place, time and circumstances, such as the offerings and so forth. After the completion of the required number of mantra recitations for the retreat, as long as the continuity of doing the sadhana each day is not broken, compensating ritual fire offering of peace can be done whenever the time and circumstances permit.

It seems to me that many new Buddhist tend to attach an inflated sense of importance to doing an exclusive retreat, thus cutting off their relationships and ties with family members and friends, and abandoning their worldly duties, which normally require at least fifty percent of their attention. It is often the case in doing such a strict retreat that many people suffer from mental frustration (rlung).

In any case, such a retreat should be done with a sense of strong confidence in the procedures one is following. One should try to follow the basic instructions as closely as possible, but it is very important never to doubt anything that one does, and to do everything with a sense of full confidence and joy. As a retreat is done to enhance one's own practice, it should never be publicized or boasted about for self-aggrandizement. It is my hope that this small effort will assist people to find a source of joy in doing many retreats of this sort.

It is very good that there is an increasing awareness of the practice of this deity, and it is similarly extremely fortunate that many people have had the opportunity and continue to receive the initiations into the mandala of glorious Vajrabhairava, and to receive teachings from many realized lamas, who are still living amongst us.

With growing awareness and strong interest in the study and practice of Vajrabhairava, many Westerners interested in doing the retreat of this deity have come to me for instructions for doing the retreat. In addition to harboring a strong desire to compile and translate a comprehensive retreat manual, I was strongly motivated by the sincere interests of these students to finally complete such a work.

In order to make the retreat practice complete, an extensive sadhana of the Solitary Hero Vajrabhairava that was compiled for easy recitation by Kyabje Phabongkha himself is included here, as well as other relevant materials, found in the appendices, for the accomplishment of the retreat. This sadhana has been revised and adapted from an existing translation by Alex Berzin, based on a teaching on Yamantaka given by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, translated by Sharpa Tulku. The headings and instructions have been newly added.

While Richard and I have come here to Dharamsala for the summer months to continue working on the Yamantaka Cycle Translation Project, we have made this our private undertaking, as the materials in this text are not included in the list of texts for the Project. Although several retreat manuals have been translated for the project, since it may take some time before their eventual publication, I was very eager to make a manual like this available as soon as possible for those who want to do the retreat.

I wish to express my thanks to Ven. Thubten Ngoedrub and Alexander Kocharov, who kindly did the illustrations, and to Ven. Lhadri jamyang-la, for the cover design.

Through putting these instructions into practice, may everyone quickly attain the state of Vajrabhairava for the benefit of all living beings. By the force of the merits gained from this, may there be complete peace and harmony in the world at large.

Sharpa Tulku, V

Dharamsala, India


Foreword ix
Preface xi
Technical Note xiv
List of IIIustrations xiv
part I: Retreat Instructions 1
Preliminaries 3
iprostrations, Offerings and Requests 3
iiChoosing the Time and Preparing the Sita 3
iiiPreparation of the gtor ma5
ivRitual Implements8
vPreparatory Rituals such as Expelling Hindering spirits9
viGenerating the Boundary Marker 9
viiMeditating the Protection Wheel 12
viiiBlessing the Seat13
Actual Practice 15
iInitial Session 15
iiNumber of Sessions 16
iii Daily Practice: First Session 16
ivOther Sessions 18
vMantra Recitation 19
Conclusion 21
Colophon 22
Translator's Colophon 22
Part II: Victor over Evil: The sadhana of the solitary Hero Vajrabhairava 23
The Sadhana 25
General Preliminaries 25
iRefuge and Generating Bodhicitta 25
iiGuru yoga 25
iiiReview of the Graduated Path 27
ivSupplication to the Lineage Gurus 29
Specific Preliminaries 32
iInstantaneous Self-generation 32
iiConsecrating the inner Offering 32
iiiConsecrating the Preliminary Sense offerings to the Direction Protectors 33
ivConsecrating the Torma offering to the Direction protectors 34
vInvocation of and Offering of the Torma, sense and inner Offerings to the Directions Protectors 35
viPraise and Exhortation 36
viiRequesting Forbearance 36
viiirequesting to Depart 36
ixConsecrations of sense Offerings for the Self-generation 37
xMeditational Recitation of Vajrasattva 38
Actual Session 40
iInviting the fold of Merit 40
iiSeven Limb Practice: Dedication, Refuge and Generating Aspiring and Engaging Bodhicitta 40
iiiTantric vows 41
viFour Immeasurables42
vMeditation of taking Death as the path of the Truth Body 42
viMeditation of the Common Protection Wheel 42
viMeditation on the Common Wheel 42
viiMeditation on the Uncommon protection Wheel of the Ten Wrathful Deities43
viiiMeditation of Taking The Intermediate State as the path of the Enjoyment Body 49
ixConsecration of sense Offerings for the Self generation37
xMeditational Recitation of Vajrasattva 38
Actual Session 40
iInviting the Field of Merit 40
iiSeven Limb Practice: Prostrating, Offering, Declaring, Aspiring and Engaging Bodhicitta 40
iiiTantric Vows 41
ivFour Immeasurables 42
vMeditation of Taking Death as the path of the Truth Body 42
viMeditation of the Common Protection Wheel 42
viiMeditation on the Uncommon protection wheel of the Ten Wrathful Deities 43
viiiMeditation of taking the Intermediate Protection State as path of the Enjoyment Body 46
ix Meditation of Taking Birth as the path of the Emanation Body 49
xDescription of Vajrabhairava 50
xiBlessing of the Sources, Body, speech and Mind 52
xiiMeditating on the Triple Stack Heroic Minds 52
xiiiInvitation of the wisdom Deities 53
xivInviting the Empowering Deities 53
xvInitiating and Sealing by the Empowering Deities 54
xviInner Offering to the Lamas of the Lineage, the Yidams, protectors and so Forth 55
xviiExtensive Praise 57
xviiiBrief Praise 59
xix Minding the Symbolism 59
xxConsecrating the Rosary 60
xxiMantra Recitation61
xxiiMaking Offering and praise 65
Conclusion of the Session 66
iConsecration of the Torma Offering to Yamantake and the Direction Protectors, who are Respectively the Transcendental and Worldly Deities, as well as to Karmayama 66
iiOfferings and Praise to Yamantake 66
iiiVisualization of the Guests for the Torma 67
ivOfferings and Praise to the Direction Protectors 68
vGeneration of Karmayama 69
viInitiating, Sealing, Binding to Commitment, and Offering 70
viiExhorting to Activities 71
viiiThanksgiving Offering and Praise 72
ixExtensive Prayer 73
xShort Prayer 76
xiRequesting Forbearance 76
xiiRequesting the Guests for the Torma Offering to Deport 76
xiiiDissolution 76
xivExtensive Verses of Auspiciousness 77
Colophon 80
Translator's Colophon 80
part III: Appendixes 81
Appendix A:Outline of the Sadhana 83
Appendix B:Consecration of the Action Vase Water 86
Appendix C: offering to the General Dakinis 88
Appendix D:Offering to the Lord of the Site 90
Appendix E: Offering to the Hindering Spirits 92
Appendix F:Ritual Words of the Sixty-four [Offering]97
Appendix G: A Tsogs Offering to Glorious Vajrabhairava 114

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