The Third Extraordinary Preliminary Practice:
Accumulation of Merits ~ By Yogi Practice
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004.
Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon
Teaching Chapter 12 and Practice Chapter 11
In the teaching this particular chapter is placed here, I am teaching it here. But in practice, I think it is more appropriate for you to practice it when you finish all the four foundations. Four extraordinary foundations, after the Guru Yoga, then you practice this. You will be more ready. Otherwise, if you are very sensitive or you are very new in the Dharma practice, maybe this will be a little bit too much. But something very strange is everybody likes this practice. This practice is to chop yourself into pieces and make offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, make offering to the protectors, make offering to all your mother sentient beings, make offering to all the hungry ghosts, you know? And I thought people would have difficulties, but after today, everybody likes this practice, a lot. I think one reason is maybe you would like to overcome the attachment to your body. Maybe that's one reason. Another thing is maybe they feel this is exotic and unusual.
So you say refuge and Bodhicitta as usual. Then you physically and mentally calm down. Just relax. And then you get to calm, abiding and harmonious state. Then you say "Phed" very loud and very forceful. And as you say that from your heart direction, your nature of mind manifest in the form of Vajrayogini. So when you say Vajrayogini and Vajravarahi, although it is the same thing, but there is a difference. The Vajravarahi is most sacred. It has a head of pig on her crown sticking out in between her hairs. Because pig represents ignorance. In three animals that represent three poisons in the wheel of life. Pig presents ignorance, rooster represents attachment desire, and snake represents anger. Then they are holding others tails by their mouths and going in circle in the middle of wheel of life. But don't to misunderstand it doesn't mean pig is bad; it doesn't mean rooster is bad; it doesn't mean that snake is bad. Now, the Vajravarahi, the pig represents ignorance, the transformation of ignorance is wisdom. That's why to symbolize that transformation, she has a pig on her head, sticking out of her hair. Not in the sky, not a full pig in the sky. You know, a head of pig is sticking out within her hair from the hair. Vajrayogini is exactly like Vajravarahi but no pig head. But sometimes even for Vajravarahi in the text is used the name Vajrayogini, sometimes. But Vajravarahi word is never used for Vajrayogini; Vajrayogini is never called Vajravarahi, never. It is the same thing like Buddha is sometimes called God. Deity, Buddha, they all sometimes called God or Lha, Lha Sakyatuba, Yidam Kye Lhatosk. Lha Sakyamuni, you know, Sakyamuni. But Gods are never called Yidam or Lha, Yidam or Buddha. So the same way.
So now when you are calm, then you make the word "Phed" very loud. And then from your heart direction, then your ultimate Buddha essence limitless wisdom manifest in the form of Vajrayogini. And then she manifests in front of you and facing you in the space. So in right hand, she holds a very sharp blade, which is like a cut hooked blade, like a half moon, but top is a little bit hooked. And in the left hand she holds a skullcap filled with nectar. So in between Vajrayogini and you, manifest three skulls, three full skulls facing three directions. Sitting on the, you know the chin, so it's not upside down skulls , just like this but skulls facing three directions. Very clean, white, and very big, the size of each one is like a mountain. So then the Vajrayogini who holds the blade here like this, with the vajra on top as a handle. And holds the Kapala here, and her right foot is up and standing on her left foot. Then she makes this gesture, like this, is one gesture, like this. And it cut your skull from here to here very clean. And that sits on top of the three skulls and it become a huge skull cup container. Huge. Because those three are like three mountains so it is very big skull. But this part is facing you, this part is facing you. And very clean, outside is white; inside is red, very clean. And here, this part has a letter Ah, long Ah which represents emptiness. Ah. So the skull is like this, that means your head is upside down, right? So Ah is correctly like this, not upside down Ah correctly. And red color, shining. Then Vajrayogini will use her blade, and first she is standing this way, so now she did this so your skull is cut, right?
Making offering to Buddha, Bodhisattva, and Deity
Then she makes that kind of movement, and so from here to here is cut. And then this kind of movement, so from here to here is cut. And then pushed and it lands in the skullcup. This part, the right part of your body, here to here. That she will cut it into pieces like this, and it all becomes many, many small pieces. So you see the movement, one, then two, then three, then like this. You say that, after that visualization. So it means this is your karmic body, countless life time of karma manifest as this body. And so it is cut into, the upper part is more, how do you say, this part is most sacred. And upper part is second most sacred, and the right side is more sacred than the left side. So that way it was in the skull cup which is already purified and became a container with an Ah which represents emptiness.
Then as you say which you are already taught then. So this purifies this meat, which is the result of the countless life time of karma, meat and bone and everything, and transforms into wisdom nectar. Because essence of this is nectar; there is nothing ultimately negative. Ultimately everything is positive. So, ultimate essence of everything is emptiness and perfect. So it transforms into nectar, ocean of nectar, the color is perfect, the smell is perfect and taste is perfect, and everything is perfect, everything is most clean. Which is ganlu (nectar), not meat soup. So then again, it is blessed by Om , Ah, Hung,
Om blesses the physical aspect of it; Ah blesses the manifestation of it, the perfect ocean of nectar; And Hung blesses the essence of it as the supreme joy, supreme non-duality essence. Om , Ah, Hung. So you say Om , Ah, Hung three times. So as it is purified, then all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of all directions is invoked, invoked by your sincere offering, so they are invoked. Invocation is only our perception, because they are all-pervading, and for them they don't have here and there.
So the translation after that is the practice of yogi merit accumulation. Refuge prayer, Bodhicitta prayer, lineage prayer optional, meditates until calm. "Phed", say loudly, see the transcription for visualization, but see your note for visualization in this case. Then first offering the right upper half of, half to the Buddha, upper half means upper half of your body, Buddha, Bodhisattva, and Deity, see the transcription in this case in notes for visualization. Transformation, see the transcription for visualization, now you have your notes. This is also one of the thing everybody so familiar and they really enjoys this practice, this particular visualization. So from all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Deities, a light like a rainbow straw, you know, manifest from their mouths, straw, like when you drink Coca Cola with a straw, you know, like that, manifest from their mouths and go into the ocean of nectar. So their tongue vajra tube, you know, so that's what it means, that's how we visualize. And for our perception, then they all received our offering, and it was the most sacred offering for them. Offering of devotion; offering of compassion; offering of non-dualism; offering of transformation.
So as this is happening, what you say is t hat means to the gurus. The root of blessing, the gurus of the lineage. Offering this great ocean of wisdom nectar to all the gurus of the Kagyu lineage. Then next is it means I offer this to the root and base of attainment and Siddhi, the Deities assembly of the Gods. So here the Lha Tsok means assembly of Gods, but here it means Deity. Doesn't mean Dai Wa. It means Dai Wei Ta, the Deities. Then you also spell out the particular offerings which are in the most trantric text and ritual. First drinking water; second, the washing water, water to wash the feet, to wash. Shab Sil we call it. When Buddha came to visit devotees, devotees washed Buddha's feet with very clean water. Also we need water to wash. which means flowers, which represent beauty. it means incense, it represents smell, and smell to expel the dirtiness and make the environment clean and fresh, smell; means lamp, that means expel the darkness and reveal the light. Then, that means perfumed water, perfumed water, representing again purification and smell to stay, water would stay, incense would move but perfume would stay, apply. means food, it is nourishment; And music, to harmonize everything, to harmonize. Then when you say this, then all the offerings is made and all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Deities and Gurus received my offerings. Then they dissolved into emptiness. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas we invoke them, so they manifest, and we make offerings, then we offer them and now the manifestation dissolves. Then we keep in that state of being one with all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Gurus and Deities so in that oneness we try to remain for a little bit. And then the next offering.
Making offering to Wisdom and Dharma Protectors
So now the first one is, like this, like this, like this, like this and like this, right? Now the second one is like this, and no two movements, just like this, and then just push into the, throw into the Kapala. The container, the left part of upper body. Vajrayogini like this means from here to here, not from here to there, here to here. Then the purification, transformation, blessing all of these is the same. which is second left upper half of the half to the Dharma protector, see the transcription here in the note. Transformation
So again it is filled with sacred, precious nectar and just like before, and it is blessed. Everything the same. So then in front of you, in front, you know, that means in front of Vajrayogini, there is a skullcup. In front of the skullcup above, then all the Protectors manifest. So all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas also manifest. This you don't have to translate. This is Tibetan word for that. So all the wisdom protectors, as well as their retinues to protect the Dharma, they all manifested like clouds in the sky, so many. And then you make sincere offering, they also take your offering the same way as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas did. So they accepted your offerings, and they are filled with stainless great union, the joy, and they are filled with it. So then after that, then they dissolve into emptiness. Again, of course, you say ...... etc. But the same as the Gurus and Deities. Then they dissolve into emptiness. In this space all wisdom and Dharma Protectors manifest, and you make offering and then dissolve.
Making offering to all mother sentient beings
Now, the third offering. So then Vajrayogini only have to make one blow, straight blow, straight cutting. The lower half of your body, straight, then she throw away like this. So that way right part throw into the Kapala. Now only left part of lower part of body is left.
In the skull again, cuts it into pieces. Then the purification and transformation into nectar, the mantra and everything is same. So your, all of our mother sentient beings (mother, father, brother, sister, all sentient beings) they all invoked. And then whatever kindness that they shower on us for countless lifetimes, you know. In the teaching it says: how many times your mother cries for you because she cares for you and you don't behave, so or you go sick, or she cries for you, that tear is more than all the oceans in the whole universe. So we are repaying them, mother sentient beings. We say mother sentient beings because we can't say everything, you know. We have to say mother sentient being, father sentient being, brother sentient being, sister sentient beings, husband sentient being, wife sentient beings, son sentient being, you know, daughter sentient being. It's true. It's true and so we cannot say all of that. So therefore, mother is the most closest to us. She kept us inside of her for nine months, then she gave birth to us, and she gave us her milk. And she cares for us until we, you know, long as she lives. Let's put it that way, long as she lives. Some mothers are more capable; some mothers are less capable, but they all care.
Now then we say the special blessing mantra. Because offering to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and wisdom protectors is one thing. But giving to all sentient beings is another thing, because they have to receive it. And receive it, so therefore, they has to be Buddha and Bodhisattva's blessing to receive it. Otherwise, how can we make them receive it, you know. So therefore we say mantras and names of particular Buddhas and specially to bless this offering and that they receive it. So we use four particular Bodhisattvas' names. And at the same time, Avalokitesvara's the mantra, and then also, of course, all these Bodhisattvas are un-separable from all the other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Avalokitesvara as well. So this mantra and this pray is like, you say cha tsa low, cha tsa low means I prostrate, you know. So salutation these Buddhas. So the mantra, the prayer, and the prostration and salutation. So it means I prostrate to the Buddha Rinchenmang; I prostrate to the Buddha Sukdhampa; I prostrate to the Buddha Kujamley; I prostrate to the Buddha Jikpa Thamchat Thangtalwa. And then you make this gift and offering to all mother sentient beings, from heaven to hell. And they all receive according to their needs, not necessarily drink with a straw, you know. But whatever it is; who is lacking food, it is food; who is lacking money, it is money; who is lacking clothes, it is clothes; who is lacking house, it is house; who is suffering in hell, then it is liberation from that, who is lacking wisdom, it is wisdom; etc, etc. Whatever they need, it becomes that. So it becomes whatever you need, and then your mind should be filled with stainless bless. So bliss. So that it is pure harmony may arise within you. Sometimes that happens to us as well. When something that we wish for very long, when it really happens then that moment we feel so contented, so much in harmony, so peace, so much in peace, and so much joy, it is almost non-dualistic.
But of course, ours one, most of the time is not sak may, not stainless, it is stainful. Sak may is translated as stainless; sak chey is translated as stainful, but it is not exactly stain. Sak Pa means fall down, you lose it; So you get up, lifted somewhere, and then you can again fall down. So it's Sak pa thang cheypa. And Sak pa may pa means you only progress further. So ours one because we are attached to it, we are so happy with it, we really like to hold on to it, then it becomes another samsaric thing. And then it will glue us further in the samsara. Our Gaeywa becomes sak chey gi gaeywa not sak may je gaeywa, so we are praying for sak may je gaeywa. I give this the greatest gift whatever is the most beneficial and necessary and wishful by all mother sentient beings. And make this gift of my beady, most wish-fulfilling gem for all sentient beings. And may this fulfill all of your wishes and may it fill you with stainless joy and comfort.
Making offering to hungry ghosts
Then the fourth stage of yogi accumulation of merit. Then Vajrayogini again, straight, the blade straight down, and throws away our left side which is like this by the Vajrayogini, so into the Kapala and cut into pieces, and then it is purified, and blessed into the nectar, ocean of nectar. Now the transformation and Om Ah Hung just like before. The translation is: the left lower half to hungry ghosts and beings like hungry ghost. Transformation, then after that, then the mantra and also the Buddhas' names blessed the nectar. So that all the hungry ghosts, led by the queen of the hungry ghost, which is described the king and queen of the hungry ghosts, which is known as Kala May Bar, that means from whose mouth the fire is burning, so mouth is burning with fire, and so king and queen of the hungry ghost is that one, and so then and all the hungry ghosts, so we give this nectar to them, so they will not be hungry ghosts anymore. Then the amount of hungry ghosts is countless, and it is described by millions and millions of river Ganges , grain of sand equivalent. That means river Ganges is all the way from the beginning to the ocean, how many grain of sand will be there. So Millions and millions of river Ganges sand, that means millions and millions times more. So it means countless. So they all invoked and then they will receive this nectar according to whatever is their need. And so for that Buddhas names' blessing, Avalokitesvara mantra blessing will make that happened and with your devotion and your compassion to make that happened. So that is the recitation, here what you are saying is: may all these hungry ghosts be totally satisfied and their joy become stainless joy and finally may they all reach the realization of Buddhahood.
Concluding practice and dedication
And then the concluding prayer, of course, after that then all the hungry ghosts disappear, and then concluding prayer. So that is the conclusion recitation, and then now I will recite the translation. May all the glorious ones be pleased with the offerings. May all the glorious, glorious ones means Buddha. So may all the holders of the Samaya their samaya be fulfilled. So protectors' Samaya is the Protector of Dharma. May all the wishes all desires of the six realms be fulfilled, it means mother sentient beings. Then particularly for our parents, may the kindness of our parents be returned. So the last one is a little bit long; so I have to do it part by part. Any spirit who comes here, wherever they may live, on land or in space, may they be kind and compassionate to all sentient beings. May they conduct themselves at all times according to the Dharma day and night. So after that, then the skullcup and the skull everything dissolves, and then Vajrayogini also dissolves, and what remains there is the emptiness. Of course, who is visualizing all of this, who is dissolving all of this, that is your nature of mind, so that remains. So you remain in that state of emptiness and clarity and union for some time. And then you can do regular dedication prayer, or longer dedication. Now that is the yogi accumulation of merit.
Because the yogi means who renounce everything or samsara, samsaric activity; And who wish to attain Buddhahood in this life if possible, so everything is given up and only practicing Dharma, that is yogi, real yogi. And we all wish to be yogi. And we all maybe in our heart, seventy percent is yogi; but in our environment and in our action, in our sort of habit, we are five percent yogi. We wish to be yogi in our heart, but in our real life, we are not exactly yogi. One hundred percent yogi, no; some percent yogi, yes. Yogi actually means practitioner, but in the real, highest of yogi is like Milarepa. That is a really yogi. So sometimes a little bit funny these days. So people learn about these things from maybe books or something, and then they think they have to implement it which is true we have to implement it, but implementation becomes little strange. They go to the shops where they sell old things and look for an old Buddha which is made out of wood and all cracked. Because they know, they know, they should not have attachment even to the Buddha. So they put that in their very fancy shrine, but they are wearing Patek Philippe watch and driving Jaguar. So it is very funny. So that is like up side down.
So we should, long as we have attachment for anything, then we should make Buddha the best possible way. If we can, we make Buddha out of solid gold. But attachment should be seen as attachment of all kind. Not attachment for this against this, attachment for this against that, it is the same thing, all attachments for and against is same attachment. If you are a true yogi, does not matter your Buddha is made out of emerald or made of out of a piece of stone. Same. If we are not, then we better make Buddha out of emerald, not out of ordinary stone. Accumulation of merit. When I have diamonds on my finger and I make Buddha out of rock that is pretty bad karma actually, not exactly bad karma, but sort of. So we are not one hundred percent yogi, but yogi accumulation of merit is very very sacred practice. And if you are ready for it, it would be very good to practice; But if you are not ready for it, then you shouldn't do it. That's why in the regular four foundation, it is not there. But in the Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty, it is there. It does not mean even you are not ready, you do it, your body will fall into pieces, it doesn't mean that. Nothing will happen. But if you have too much attachment for your body, and your perception is very worldly and solid, you will not do it sincerely. You can't do it sincerely. So when you can't do it sincerely, then there might be strange side effects. Therefore, I recommend you not to do it before the Mandala offering; do it after the guru yoga. And I put a very short time for it, I think it was one week or ten days very short time.
But I am not discouraging you to practice this. I really like this kind of practice. You know, the other Chot. The body, giving the body away to all the spirits and making offering, that a huge big, big practice of chot. In which your body is put down like, your skin is put down like a big earth, golden earth, and then on top of that all your organs, and head and everything is like a mountain, Milu, sun, moon, you know, all the continents like that. And then you make offering. It is wonderful. But those people who are not ready for it, who don't understand it clearly, who have different perception of Dharma practice, different perception of life, and for them it is quite something.
I like to tell you one story; it's a real story. There was one master practice chot and he was practicing in cemetery at night. Then his friend went there, and he saw his skin is down, everything is like that, exactly. He took a small stone and put it in the corner and went home, back to the monastery. Then his friend came back from the cemetery after finishing the chot and complaining there is pain. He didn't say anything, he knows what it is. Then that night the yogi went again to do the chot in the cemetery, then he slowly went after then the stone is here he took it out. And he came back and said today I am very well. So with this I will conclude the yogi accumulation of merit.
When "Phed", you know, then your mind becomes the Vajrayogini, then your body is just the body, no more mind in there. That is one thing, your mind becomes the Vajrayogini, so your body is just there, body. That is one thing, maybe that wasn't that clear for you. Maybe you understood that, maybe you still think your mind is still in your body. The "Phed", then your mind becomes the Vajrayogini, so body is just body, no mind. During the dissolution, then first the skull, three big skulls, size of mountain, or size of moon, or whatever it very big, and skull itself very big, inside everything is offered already, so everything dissolves into the Ah, and Ah dissolves into the Vajrayogini, and Vajrayogini dissolves into the Ah, that Ah dissolve into the Bindu, just the energy, like tip of a candle light, you know? Very very energetic, but not the candle light, the tip of candle light. and that dissolves into emptiness and then remain in that state of mind. Which will nothing left but nature of your mind.