Drink Each Vajra Word As If It Was Nectar*
Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche’s teaching
“I bow down to the feet of Surativajra.” It is Garab Dorje, “who is the Lord of the Munis returned in the form of a Bodhisattva.” ‘Munis’ means Buddha Shakyamuni returned again into this earth in the form of Bodhisattva. And “who is the keeper of Vajrasattva ‘s treasury of wisdom.” Actually, of course, Garab Dorje is an emanation of Buddha Shakyamuni; and Garab Dorje was the same as Vajrasattva, because he was the keeper, or he had the wisdom same as Vajrasattva. When he was just born, he said: “Whatever Vajrasattva knows, I know.” So that is why we say Garab Dorje was a keeper of Vajrasattva’s treasury of wisdom. And “who is the holder of victory of Vajrapani.” The Dzogchen teachings is given from Samantabhadra to five Buddha families, especially to Vajrasattva, and then Vajrasattva taught the Dzogchen teachings to Vajrapani. Then Garab Dorje had direct vision of Vajrapani and received Dzogchen teachings from Vajrapani as well.
Then homage to Padmasambhava, “Saroruhavajra! Bestow your blessing into my heart, You, who are Lord Amitabha, appearing in the form of a human.” Guru Rinpoche was an Indian master. Therefore, we call him ‘Guru’. Guru Rinpoche, who was in the form of a human, was an emanation of the Lord Amitabha. Amitabha is like the father to Guru Rinpoche. Because of Amitabha’s wisdom and compassion, there appeared Guru Rinpoche in the human ¬¬¬form. So, they are actually the same Buddha or the same nature.
And Guru Rinpoche, “You who are a Vajra holder in the form of a king of Mantra”. After Buddha Shakyamuni passed away, in a short time Guru Rinpoche was born in a lake in a human form. The reason for him to be in this world is to teach or to spread the tradition of Mantrayana. Guru Rinpoche was the first master who spread the teaching of mantras into this world in a great way. Of course, the tradition or the Mantrayana had already existed in the Buddha’s time. The Buddha also turned the wheel of Mantrayana when he was still alive in India, but after that, during the time of Guru Rinpoche, Mantrayana was even more popular, becoming more alive. Therefore, if there is no compassion or no wisdom, or no power of Guru Rinpoche, Mantrayana cannot exist like this, cannot spread like this on this earth. Here said “Saroruhavajra!” I think that also means ‘Lake born’ or ‘Ocean born’, or ‘Vajra that was born in the ocean’. And [Guru Rinpoche is] “the Holder of Mantrayana who “have spread the Mantrayana throughout the world.”
Then homage to Longchen Rabjam. “I place on my head the lotus feet of Longchen Rabjam, who is Manjushri in the form of a Lord of profound secrets; who opened the treasury of Surativajra, Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra; and was dedicated to study and meditation and who led a simple life in the mountains.” Of course, there are many great lineages masters, but here I put some of the most important masters. Through remembering them, we remember and we pay homage to all the lineage masters.
Longchen Rabjam is a very, very important Dzogchen Master in the history of Tibet. After Guru Rinpoche, I think, Longchen Rabjam is the only one or the most important teacher who taught [and spread] Dzopachenpo very limitless, great way. Lord of Longchen Rabjam was known as the “Manjushri in form of Lord of profound secrets” because he composed many important commentaries in Dzogchen teachings. They are the most important books that we study now in the earth probably, especially in Tibet. Therefore, we say Lord of profound secret. And Longchen Rabjam “who opened the treasury of Surativajra, Padmasambhava, and Vimalamitra.” Garab Dorje, Guru Rinpoche, Vimalamitra, these are, we can say, the most important masters for the Dzogchen lineage. In Tibet, Longchen Rabjam very successfully accomplished the Treasury of Garab Dorje, Padmasambhava, and Vimalamitra. We understand that when we say “opened the treasury of such and such masters” means Longchen Rabjam becomes the owner of the treasury of wisdom of those masters. Longchen Rabjam was serious Dharma practitioner that dedicated his life for studying and meditation. Also, he spent his whole life in the mountains, in the cave, was very simple and very little attachment, very great Dharma practitioner. He did a lot of studies. And not only that he also meditated a lot in the places like Samye Chimpu and Kang-ri Thökar. Samye Chimpu was a main place where Guru Rinpoche practiced Dharma and Guru Rinpoche gave many teachings there to his 25 disciples. The 25 disciples, all of them, become enlightened, become noble beings, in Samye Chimpu. And then Longchen Rabjam also picked his own place called Kang-ri Thökar, and he spent most of his life there and meditated Dzogpa Chenpo for many years. He also composed the ‘Seven Treasuries’ and other many important Dharma texts there. So therefore, he was able to give up all the others worldly for Dharma activities. He was very, very genuine Dharma practitioner and very serious Dharma practitioner, very diligent Dharma practitioner. So therefore, he accomplished a lot on his path.
Then Jigme Lingpa, we also say Jigdral Lingpa. “I pray that Jigdral Lingpa will bestow the mind’s accomplishment.” We pray and we pay homage to these great masters because we want to receive blessing from them. Pay homage or pray to them is the only way to receive a blessing from them. Jigme Lingpa or Jigdral Lingpa is the one whose innate wisdom appeared without having to study. Jigme Lingpa was different from most Masters. Because most masters, most lamas or great practitioners studied a lot. Jigme Lingpa, in his past lives had studied a lot. That is one reason. And the other reason is probably he got wisdom through his meditation. Because if we meditate correctly a lot, we can be more intelligent and that is for sure. But the problem is we do not study well and have no meditation. Even though we do some meditation and we do not know what kind of meditation it is, just the mind is like blank or something. But if you know how to meditate and you meditate a lot, then your mind becomes very clear about everything, about the nature of things. So therefore, a meditation is the most powerful cause and condition for your knowledge.
Jigme Lingpa got his own place called Serang Jung. He meditated a lot in this place and became very knowledgeable because of that. So, his innate wisdom appeared without having studied. He saw the vital, profound points of the dharmas Sutrayana and Mantrayana, and was very knowledgeable of these two traditions. Some of his books are very important and popular, clear and profound. Jigme Lingpa became a very important Dzogchen master in the Nyingma tradition. He was able to establish his own tradition called Longchen Nyingthig, and “Who is the great sun of the teaching of the vast expanse of luminosity.”
The teachings composed by Jigme Lingpa called ‘Yeshe Lama’ – that is a very popular and important commentary that everyone in the Nyingma tradition try to receive and practice accordingly. Luckily, we have such meditation centers. Recently, I have built some meditation centers in the monastery and we have a 2-year program for Yeshe Lama practice. That is very common way in all Nyingma tradition in Tibet. Yeshe Lama is an important, clear and completed teaching that one can really accomplish the Enlightenment through this teaching if he practices diligently. Yesterday, we started another two-year course for new practitioners. There are more than one hundred and three people for this year, including monks, nuns and yogis. So, why I explain this: we are not only saying the teachings are important and how important it is, but we actually practice and dedicate our life to this practice, trying try to accomplish something, trying to at least recognize the nature of the mind and to cut down many negative thoughts and emotions, and liberate our thoughts through these instructions.
Yeshe Lama is based on the teaching of Longchen Rabjam, like Seven Treasuries and the Four Branches of Heart Essence Dzogchen Teachings composed by Longchen Rabjam. The teaching called Yeshe Lama benefits so many people. We can say Jigme Lingpa was a great sun like the ‘sun of the teaching of the vast expanse of luminosity’. I think, since we have a karma or connection to these teachings, at least we have the opportunity to hear the name of this Master and at least accepting these teachings. Why do I say that? Because not many people have that kind of karma. Many people do not really have any sort of feelings in the mind when they hear or read the teaching. Maybe, in fact some people think this is nothing, all this maybe not correct; but at least we accept [it] and we somehow like the teaching. This is, I think, a great merit for us. Because of that connection there is a way that we may accomplish something through this teaching if we try to study and try to practice. At least many monasteries in Tibet, including our monastery, everyone tries [to do so]. Especially, those monks at my age. Because we have seen almost everything in this world, and we at least really see many things here, and understand many things. Now we think the most important is to practice and to really make some changes with our minds. Not only some texts, but all the Dharma texts say everything has no meaning. Life has no meaning. Sometimes we do not understand this. But when you are into it, sincerely then you may feel, you may understand. So, I hope everyone tries to be in the Dharma world, to be there with your body, speech and mind together. Right now, we just say Dharma is good, practice is good, but we are not really there. We still in the Samsara. Samsara’s beauty (laugh); beautiful samsara here. So, we are not really into the Dharma yet. But when you are into the Dharma, you see everything differently. You see, you feel everything differently. Of course, we talk about these things in deeper ways and more clearly in the next chapters. But this is what I think right now.
And then “paying homage to Patrul Rinpoche”. After Jigme Lingpa, there are some other very important lineages holders, but we specifically mention Patrul Rinpoche because this small book is a small explanation on his book. Patrul Rinpoche was also a very important Lama in the tradition. Also, he was a very great, accomplished master, thus being called Vajradhara Patrul. “I offer reverential homage to Vajradhara Patrul.” Vajradhara is the highest Buddha in the Buddha realm. This is a common way of calling our own guru. We see them the same as Vajradhara because a qualified guru can give us wisdom of Vajradhara. For a Dharma practitioner, the highest person in his life is a Guru. We should try to have the pure view of Guru, seeing him as Vajradhara. Patrul Rinpoche’s disciplined life followed the example of Lord Milarepa, who lived a very simple life, giving up many worldly stuffs and dedicating his life to Dharma. Unlike high lamas who are very busy cannot give up, Patrul Rinpoche was able to leave everything behind and lead a simple life like Milarepa. Patrul Rinpoche is not only famous for his simple life like Milarepa’s, but also for his knowledge like Manjushri. His teachings are so important and beneficial that many people. In Tibet, [people] from traditions like Kayupa, Sakyapa, and Nyingmapa, study the book “The Words of My Perfect Teacher.” Patrul Rinpoche has a very pure view, “casting existence behind him as being no other than a dream,” which means that he has no attachment to anything.
Patrul Rinpoche is not only a great scholar but a great Dharma practitioner. That is different. We often think someone knowledgeable on the Dharma texts is great, but it does not mean that they are able to give up everything. They have only knowledge, they have beautiful or sharp mouths, but sometimes nasty minds. Patrul Rinpoche had a sharp mouth. Everyone was scared about Patrul Rinpoche and his mouth. He was very direct person, and there was no hesitate for him to point at anyone’s fault. But his mind was really pure and had no attachment. Therefore, he could cast existence behind him and give up everything. It is a very special story of him.
“I bow down with the reverence to Orgyen Kusum Lingpa.” Everyone knows about Lama Sang and Lama Sang’s stories. Some of his stories are very special and amazing. “Who was clearly praised in prophecies by many great beings.” ‘Great beings’ means great lamas who have wisdom to see the future. So those great beings prophesied about Lama Sang a lot: whose emanation he was; what kind of treasures he discovered; what kind of things that could benefit the people and the Dharma… Many important activities that Lama Sang did in his life were mentioned in prophecies by different Vajra masters. I think now most of you probably know these stories because there are some translations English version and probably Vietnamese version of the Lama Sang’s biographies. “Who was the secret illusory manifestation of Vajrapani.” Sometimes we think “illusory” is something wrong but here it basically means ‘secret Illusory manifestation.’ “Illusory” means like a dream, in which things do not have a real existence. It is not true like what we see. The nature of things and what we see are different. Sometimes, we see everything like being very firm and real, but they are actually not. Basically, Lama Sang was an emanation of Vajrapani, “Who opened a treasury of Termas in accordance with the command of Padmasambhava.” Because of Padmasambhava’s blessing and his compassion, Lama Sang returned to this earth and took care of what he should take care. We came to this world because of our karma, ignorance, and negativities. While Lama Sang freely came here because of his aspiration and power. He came here on a purpose. That’s the difference between Lama Sang and us in taking birth.
By the way, recently we have established a thangka of Lama Sang’s life. We are going to publish that thangka or picture biography of Lama Sang. There are 50 different drawings that symbolize Lama Sang’s important activities. We are publishing this book with explanations in Tibetan, English and Chinese. I think this book will help you understand even more or at least get some new ways of understanding of the meaning of Lama Sang’s life. That’s just a piece of information for you.
“I will never forget the kindness of the Vidyadharas of the three Lineages, who drank each vajra word as if it was nectar!” Of course, the lineage holders have a special way of receiving the teachings and the blessings from lineage holders, like Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche was an emanation of Amitabha. He was able to understand everything on his own. It seems he does not have to study things from others, but because of Lineage, which is very important. If there is no existing lineages in between, then that’s not a completed teaching or tradition. So, Guru Rinpoche also went to Garab Dorje, Shri Singha and many other Vidyadharas, Buddhas and Boddhisattva. He received many teachings from them. It is like who drank each vajra word. In the teachings, especially those related to Dzogpa Chenpo, they are not ordinary words, but like a nectar or Vajra, not easy to break. These words are nectar because if you take them into your heart, you can heal your problems, your ignorance and diseases. Therefore, anyone who drinks each vajra word as if it was nectar will accomplish through profound practice and reach the highest of the final accomplishment of the true benefits. These masters took the teachings seriously, like a nectar, thus become very high beings. They accomplished such great result. They got a lot of beneficial from the teachings that they can benefit not only oneself but others. So, two benefits, first to benefit oneself and second benefit others.
“Give me your permission to write with pure mind.” Usually, the tradition for [paying] homage to the Lineages Masters is to repay their kindness, to remember their kindness and to be able to do whatever without any obstacles. For example, if I am trying to write this book without praying to the Lineage holders, I may face difficulties or obstacles and may not be able to finish the work. Therefore, it is the tradition in Tibet and probably in Buddhist tradition. “Through the ordinary merit I have accumulated over kalpas, a little of the stages of the path of the profound Dharma, which is difficult to have the opportunity to hear, contemplate and experience.” If one doesn’t have a great and special merit, one doesn’t have the opportunity to meet this kind of profound teachings or Dharma. If that one does not have a special karma, it’s very difficult to have the opportunity to hear, think and get blessing from that.
In order to write this book, one has to have a permission from the great Linage Lamas. Here, I am requesting Great Lamas for permission to write this book. Of course, it is important to have a pure mind, but most important is to get the permission. Why? Because not anyone can write this book. Even though they have knowledge, it does not mean that they are qualified or they have all conditions to write the book. So, permission given by one’s Guru and the Lineage is very important in Tibetan tradition and in Buddhist tradition, as well. So here [I] request all the lineages masters mentioned above and [those whose] names that are not included in here to give me the blessings, the wisdom, and permission to write this book so that it can benefit people.
End of lecture on 18.12.22
Transcript by Tri Minh Tara & Dieu Hue.
Excerpt from MP 3 Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche teaching 18.12.2022: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VcaWzwpNA0zKOSI0RYMQVHjZjZD7sqUw
* This is the teaching given by Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche on Zoom on December 18, 2022. The lecture has omitted parts about the organization of the lecture. The title is created by the translator for the convenience of the reader.