From back of the book
The texts presented here are an intermediate –length sadhana and a concise self-initiation ritual of the solitary Hero Vajrabhairava. After receiving the higest Yoga Tantra initiation of Vajrabhairava, and then completing the retreat of this deity, with the compensating ritual fire offering of peace, one is authorized to do the self-initiation. It is important to do the self-initiation in order to restore broken vows and tantric commitments. A sadhana must be done in conjunction with the self-initiation. The concise nature of the self-initiation will enable many practitioners to do this practice more frequently.
Homage to Manjushri Vajrabhairava.
The practice of Vajrabhirava, with its five unique features, is essential for the success of Dharma practice in these degenerate times. Two concise ritual texts, composed by kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche (1878-1941), are presented here to help practitioners of this deity to maintain and strengthen their commitments and vows, and to deepen their understanding of the profound meanings of this practice.
The first text is an intermediate-length sadhana. A sadhana is recited as a guide to taking the three Bodies of Buddha as the path, in order to integrate into one’s practice death, intermediate state and birth, which are the bases of purification, the profound paths of the generation and completion stages, which are the means of purification, and the three Bodies, which are the results of purification. However, at this time of degeneration, practice has been reduced to mere recitation of the words of the sadhana.
The original sadhanas found in the tantras are extremely concise, but in their compassion in the tantras are extremely concise, but in their compassion, the lineage lamas have designed longer sadhanas in such a way that merely by reciting then, all the features of the practice are complete and explicitly set out. However, due to the hectic pace of our lives, we find it very difficult to make use of such full sadhanas, and ask our lamas to abbreviate our practice. Therefore, to save us from breaking our commitment to do the sadhana, the lamas have composed extremely abbreviated sadhanas. In response to a request from a Tibetan living in Switzerland to compose a concise sadhana of the Heruka Body Mandala, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche mentioned in his colophon to that sadhana that although it is improper to further condense the practice of the Heruka Body Mandala sadhana, he felt that it might be useful to abbreviate the sadhana, because this is a time when Dharma activity is given the lowest priority.
Ironically, although the short sadhanas are intended for the use of advanced yogis as a guide for their meditation, much as an experienced speaker would use only brief notes as a reminder, and the elaborate sadhanas are meant for beginners who cannot meditate properly without them, yet it is now often the beginners who rely on the shortest forms of the sadhana. Nevertheless, I sympathize with practitioners who are equal in fortune to myself, being grateful when pressed for time that such short sadhanas are available. Therefore, as the full Vajrabhairava sadhanas is very long, and the concise sadhana seems almost too condensed, so that some of the essential features of the practice are slightly obscure, I felt that it might be useful to translate this intermediate-length sadhana of the solitary Hero Vajrabhairava, which is an abbreviated form of the elaborate sadhana. Whenever possible it is best to use the long sadhana, such as the one published in Meditation of Vajrabhairava, and to try to understand the specific aspects of the practice. For instance, the Vajrasattva meditation, although not included in this sadhana, is essential for beginners to make spiritual progress by accumulating merit and eliminating obstacles.
The second text included here is for practitioners who have completed the minimum requirement of the retreat of the Solitary Hero Vajrabhairava, with the compensating ritual fire offering of peace, and are thus authorized and encouraged to do the self-initiation ritual to restore any broken vows and commitments. Therefore, for those who wish to do the self-initiation frequently of daily, the following is a condensed version of the standard elaborate self- initiation ritual, the Magic Wheel to Grind the Masses of evil to dust by His Holiness the seventh Dalai Lama. The elaborate ritual and the full sadhana have been translated for the Yamantaka Cycle translation project under the auspices of Tibet House, New Delhi, but the concise sadhana and self-initiation presented here were not included on the list of works to be translated for the project. If time permits, this should not be used as a substitute for the project. If time permits, this should not be used as a substitute for the full self-initiation ritual by practitioners who do the practice only occasionally. With profound gratitude to kyabje Phabongkha for including such compositions within the vast corpus of his works, these texts are rendered here into English for the benefit of the increasing number of practitioners of this deity. Through ineffable faith in and devotion to the practice of this profound path of the glorious Vajrabhairava, may the virtues amassed by this translation pacify all outer and inner hindrances of all living beings, and may all beings quickly achieve the state of Vajrabhairava. I seek the forgiveness of those who are supreme beings for whatever faults of excess or omission may have occurred here, due to ignorance. May those who are of equal fortune with myself rejoice in this, and offer meaningful criticisms. May those who depend upon such works enjoy the fruits of its boundless merit. May everything be auspicious.
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