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Keywords and main points: Vajrapani short mantra, Padmasambhava short mantra, Simhamukha

mantra. Tara short mantra, Vajrasattva short mantra, significance of 1 M recitations as deity yoga
connection, importance of protector practice, authorizations for deity yoga practices, book "Dakini
Teachings" by Guru Padmasambhava.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is in ourselves, that we are slaves."
Julius Caesar, in the play by Shakespeare

This is a long post. It covers a lot of tantric Buddhist theory and practice. It was originally written as a
direct response to Matt in a thread he started on this tribe Tibetan Buddhist. It grew, because I had to
provide the right context and an overall view, one which is so often lacking, and certainly not well
communicated among the claimed sangha.

I know about major empowerments and sustained deity yoga practice. I have over sixty eight full
Vajrasattva empowerments, and have been practicing mantrayana for thirty years.

I myself am not a Tibetan Buddhist per se, but rather a Sanskrit Buddhist. I did well over ten thousand
hours of Sanskrit recitation as Vajrayana sadhana, and am providing a clear and definite response to
specific and general issues regarding Mantrayana practice, including a whole set of teachings by
Padmasambhava, as a book reference.

Why? Well, it's a primary teaching responsibility, and this is how I teach. Nobody here can break this
teaching, in whole or in part. I'd be amused to see anyone try. This teaching is classical, tested, and
proven. And quite universal, really. Works great for householders.

It is not intended as specific guidance for any one person, nor is there any claim made for efficacy
regarding any one specific need. I always explicitly disavow such claims.

If you know of anything better, by all means do it. If you somehow dislike this classical mahayana
dharma or somehow can't understand it, then you probably can't be helped anyway. It's all completely
straightforward, and the confusion is, sadly enough, yours alone.

KT


Re Matt
"It seems in the texts I have encountered it usually says that one needs to recite a mantra at least a
million times or more before "definite signs will occur." This was referring to the "approach" mantra,
while the accomplishment and activity mantras followed. Has anyone actually gone far enough to know
what happens when you recite a million mantras? Do you obtain definite siddhis? "

Matt, you ALREADY have the connection.
We all struggle with concerns about the purity and strength of our inner connections, I do too.

The point is to go forward and go upward, at least a little bit, every single day.

It is quite common to recite 1 million *short* recitations of some deity or other per year. That is in fact a
very basic practice. You can do mantra washing dishes, you can do it silently in public [ e.g. on the bus ],
and so forth. I do it walking around the lake, or while a passenger in the car.

I will address your specific concern with my own definite experience.

I have done 1 million each of
Vajrapani,
Vajrakilaya,
Hayagriva,
Tara,
Mahakala,
Fierce Guru Padmasambhava [ Dorje Drakpo Tsal ].

One way or another I have obtained some result with *each* of these, with all of them. Thank goodness,
seems like almost all my friends are the Upstairs kind.

Let's talk about Vajrapani, a major healing and protective practice for me.

In the mid 1980's Vajrapani practice and the Thirteen Golden Dharmas of Sakya [ tantric transmissions
given by H.E. Luding Khen Rinbochay which include the Four Armed high aspect of Vajrapani ] literally
saved my life.

I was in a very bad place, physically and spiritually, despite years of yoga practice, squeaky clean living
and so forth. A yoga teacher and tantric master from North India wanted me off the the scene, and he
definitely knew how to "reach out and touch someone."

The Thirteen Golden Dharmas [ empowerments ] saved me. They saved my physical life, together with 1
M short Vajrapani recitations
HUM VAJRA PHAT

This is a restricted mantra, though openly published in quite a few places. I will of course not give the
extended Vajrapani mantras here, nor the hastamudra / sacred hand gesture.

Anyway, between recitations 900,000 and 1M of Vajrapani, I developed and then lost some very small
skin sores on my feet and a number of basically painless blisters. That was definitely the result of the
burning power of Vajrapani practice, which literally expelled bad karma through the soles of my feet,
just like the classical texts describe in tantric purification practice. Junk comes out of you, sometimes
etheric, sometimes in literal fashion.

My problem was not drugs or alcohol or smoking, my problem was frustration, unhappiness, anger, and
oh yes, for those months and years, the world class psychic attack. Sigh. Well, I'm still alive, I passed the
test. Maybe the three year retreatants could also, but I don't expect that to be true in general. This guru
was one Blue Meanie!

You won't have to worry about world class psychic attacks, they almost never happen, and anyway, this
heavy duty [ non Buddhist ] tantric teacher died quite a few years back. I still use his really great yoga
manuals, have a big stack of them, and bought two more this year!

So, we can learn a lot by trial and challange and especially from our own "worst enemies." The Dalai
Lama said very plainly that of all his teachers, the Chinese were the best, the most important.

Even if we are not presently challenged by genocidal Islamists [ who destroyed the great Buddhist
universities of Nalanda and Vikramasila in Old India ], nor the Communists [ who wiped out much of
Buddhist civilization in Tibet, China, Cambodia, and so forth ], we all still have problems and challenges.

It's not just sickness and old age and death, not just economic change and the skyrocketing costs of
health care.

Our worst enemies, or our best friends, are we ourselves.
Matt, you are your own best friend. You've gotten experience, you've tasted the experience of Dharma
as tantra. Knowing this even once, you should go forward, and go forward every single day. It's your life,
your magnetic field, you vibration, and your karma and your evolution.

People and situations and emotions can come and go, but you have to be your own light and continue to
take refuge in yourself through practice.

I have had many many many spiritual breakthroughs. I could use a couple more. It's not about bein
greedy. I've relied on the practices to keep me whole and together and functioning under different
conditions of challenge, like the one mentioned above.

But dharma is not primarily about psychic or energetic experiences or visions, although those may be
meaningful and indeed real breakthroughs.

Dharma is about developing Wisdom, Compassion, and Power [ jnana, karuna, bala ]. If you are
developing a clearer sharper mental state, if your heart is more open and sensitive, if your spiritual
strength and magnetic field are even a few percent stronger than a year back, then that is real progress,
and something to honor. The changes can be subtle, the point is to make the progress stable and to
continue to go forward.

We all need power practices to purify and protect ourselves. Vajrapani is such a practice, and a very
good protector sadhana if one has not established a protector practice for oneself.

My general recommendation to Buddhist tantrikas is this:
Do A Million Short Protector Recitations, like say the Vajrapani Four Syllable Mantra.

In my understanding and personal experience, 1M protector recitations is of vital importance on all
levels, just as a basic foundation, and Vajrapani, the protector aspect of Vajrasattva, is central and
universal to all the schools, even the ancient Chinese Shao Lin School [ of Kung fu ], the Chinese schools
in general, and the Japanese school known as Shingon.

A full Vajrapani is completely bestowed in many major empowerments, such as Dzogchen Breakthrough
- Patrul Tsik Sum Ne Dek, any high Vajrasattva empowerment such as Cakrasamvara, Kalacakra, even in
a major transmission [ not permission blessing ] of goddess yogas such as Vajrayogini, Cittamani Tara,
and so forth.

Vajrapani is the principal protector of the Medicine Buddha. So, if you have a Highest Yoga Tantra
empowerment of Medicine Buddha, and any Dzogchen Medicine Buddha Padmasambhava includes
Medicine Buddha, then clearly you have a High empowerment of Vajrapani. Too bad basically no-one
knows about Vajrapani within the Medicine Buddha, even after a high transmission of same.

Many many people in the West have a major Vajrapani empowerment without knowing it, in fact it is
common for western tantrikas to have a buch of Vajrapani empowerments [ folded in though the
various major transmissions ] and be completely unaware of this remarkable and important blessing! So
they can practice, they just don't know they can practice.

I M short Vajrapani done in a focused fashion, like say in a year's time, is a profound way to purify
karma, remove obstacles, defend one's magnetic field, remove depression and so forth. It does work for
some, and of course no claim is made that it works for everyone, or "handles everything". It is wrong to
make any *specific* claim of applicability for any one person, that any one person will get the hoped for
result.

It is known to work, it did work for me, and in the case of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, the practice of
Vajrapani, by itself, restored his sight. He was blind, and Vajrapani practice restored his sight. So
profound results do happen, we just can't claim they work in general.

It was the combination of tantric transmissions and protector recitations that saved my life in the
eighties. After getting a stack of Sakya transmissions, I broke through a life-threatening psychic danger,
although not getting out of the woods by any means. I was however able to rebuild my very torn or
shredded magnetic field, and was strong enough to practice more and to receive more transmsissions.

In particular, I soon received three major cycles of key Kagyu transmissions from Kyabje Kalu Rinbochay,
in Vancouver, Salt Spring Island, and Seattle. E.G. Kalacakra Master Empowerment, Mahakala,
Hayagriva, Milarepa, Phowa, Six Yogas of Niguma, Medicine Buddha, Amitayus.

The Kalu Rinbochay transmissions of Hayagriva and Mahakala became a primary focus, and that was
what got me through in the longer term. But it was a short and powerful empowerment of Vajrapani,
and the short and powerful practice of Vajrapani, that
a] got me out of a near coma
b] got me back on my feet
c] made it possible for me to practice and heal myself, shredded magnetic field notwithstanding.

And I could have practiced a lot more, and a lot better. I *should* have completed, in one year, a million
Simhamukha to go along with the Vajrapani! Both were in the Thirteen Golden Dharmas of Sakya. But
no one told me about the practice and I had no text. I did not know it was a crucial and powerful
protector practice, nor how to do it.

So let's talk about Simhamukha, to help the western students.

If you have ANY Longchen Nyingtik empowerment in full, such as Rigdzin Dupa, or Dechen Gyalmo,
Patrul Tsik Sum Ne Dek etc., you have a FULL Simhamukha transmission [ as well as Vajrapani and
Vajrasattva ]. Why? Simhamukha is the principal guardian of the Longchen Nyingtik cycle of Great
Treasure Revealer Jigme Lingpa.

This year many people in many parts of America received full Simhamukha empowerment, because
Lama Wangdor Rinbochay gave Patrul Tsik Sum Ne Dek on an extended coast to coast tour.

So this is in itself a powerful practice for protection and purification, once people figure out they can
actually do this, and how much it will help them.

For their benefit, here is the basic mantra:
A KA SA MA RA CA SHA DA RA SA MA RA YA PHAT!

It's a highest yoga tantra practice, and thus restricted to initiates only, even though the mantra has been
published all over in public books and websites. I am confirming that this is the correct mantra [ for
Nyingmas etc. ], and it could possibly be of great help to some of you who have the authorization.

As with Vajrapani, so with Simhamukha: authorized practitioner can do the 1 M recitations, and perhaps
get some good result, even without the text.

I have different kinds of Sakya Simhamukha practice texts, and different kinds of Nyingma Simhamukha
practice texts. That is valuable and important, but the main focus is always the same : authorizing
empowerment and correct practice and conscious commitment to samaya, as in Mahayana vows.

I do *not* claim to know what practice is most appropriate or most beneficial for any one person, nor
have I any idea what manifest results will come of practice. This is a very very general discussion. In
particular, it is often the recommendation or personal guru direction to begin Protector practice only
AFTER Vajrasattva and guruyoga.

For many people that will be appropriate as a stepwise progressive path. Sometimes a person needs to
jump in, and ramp up with daily protector practice. In all cases, use yogic common sense. Don't strain or
force anything. It's like athletics. It's a system.

Still, doing 1 M recitiations of a short protector practice, at some point, is very important. Doing 1M
recitations of some deity each year is a baseline of practice. This means in the course of five or six years
a person can reasonably expect to complete the basic requirement [ 1 M recitations for one diety yoga ]
which establishes the connection with several deities.

If you are Kagyu, whatever Kagyu lineage, you are *expected* to do
a) 100,000 long Vajrasattva *after* Vajrasattva-authorizing empowerment
b) 1 M guru yoga recitations *after* receiving the empowerment, such as Milarepa or Karma Pakshi.
That's the baseline.

If you are Nyingma, you are *expected* to do
a) 100,000 long Vajrasattva *after* Vajrasattva-authorizing empowerment
b) 1 M guru yoga recitations *after* receiving the empowerment, such as Padmasambhava in particular.
That's the baseline.

There are very good reasons for this kind of approach. Vajrasattva purifies obstacles and clears the
magnetic field, and connects one with all the Hundred Familes of Buddhatantra. Guruyoga connects us
with the lineage.

This kind of approach [ Vajrasattva plus Guru yoga ] is not strictly speaking necessary across the board
for everyone. But it does cover a lot of ground.

Simply put,
a) if you do the 100K Vajrasattva, a lama has to give you *some* respect.
b) if you do the 1 M guruyoga, a lama has to give you *some* respect.
a) if you do the 100K Vajrasattva *and* 1 M guruyoga of Any Kind, a lama has to give you some real
respect as an actual tantric Buddhist, no matter their lineage or yours.

There are other ways, of course.

Here is a basic short mantra for Vajrasattva:
OM VAJRASATTVA HUM

Here is another
OM VAJRASATTVA AH

Once initiated for Vajrasattva, and not otherwise, one can do 1M of these short Vajrasattva, in one
formula, not both. That is also a real practice connecting one to Vajrasattva, and thus worthy of respect
among the claimed-to-be sangha.

It is easy to do 1M short Tara mantras. Here is the basic short and universal Tara mantra:
OM TARE TAM SVAHA
It is quite common to complete 1M of the standard
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA

It is easy to do 1M short Padmasambhava recitations. Here is a little known but valid short and universal
mantra for Padmasambhava, which I have in Tibetan and Chinese script. It is

Padmasambhava:
OM PADMA VAJRA HUM

To do this one MUST have a Padmasambhava guruyoga empowerment. But it is only six syllables. Ig a
person cannot complete 1 M recitations of 6 syllable Padmsambhava in one year, then the problem is
one of time management and commitment, not difficulty or elaborateness of practice. I did 1 M fierce
Padmasambhava in one year, and that was 17 syllables, not 6 or 12.

Here's the deal : you can do more than you think, more than you know to be possible. And, it will take
time and commitment.

Padmasambhava made it clear that SOME daily practice is a requirement of highest yogatantra. You can
read that in the book "Dakini Teachings" which talks about the perspective, the vows, and so forth very
clearly and concisely. I have vows of daily sadhana, daily practice. Since tantric empowerment and
practice quite literally saved my life, I never consider this a burden, but rather a source of life and
healing and wisdom.