Rani Tero Chir Jiyo Gopal

Entities, Tulkus and Servitors

- Zivorad Mihajilovic Slavinski

Deliberate creation of Entities is elaborated with most precision in the magical operations of Tibetan yoga. It is based on thousand-year-old concepts of Oriental philosophy according to which matter is condensed and crystallized psychic energy. Gods, demons and the whole universe are only illusions created by the human spirit – they come from it and return to it. Since human spirit creates the world of phenomena, it is capable of creating any desired object. In the process of creation, a desired and visualized object is endowed with palpable existence. There are two discernible approaches in this field. One of them is identification with a previously imagined and elaborately visualized ideal, which resembles the assumption of “God forms” in the tradition of the magical organization Golden Dawn. The second procedure is similar to creation of “familiar spirit” and homunculus in Western magic.

The first approach is simple. The Yogi should create in his mind a divine being – an embodiment of divine virtues: infinite love and compassion for other beings, profound wisdom, moderation and self-control in behavior, impartiality and tolerance for suffering, etc. Such visualization is repeated until a very clear picture of such a divine being is created in the mind of the practitioner. Then he begins the second phase of the magical operation – assimilation and identification with that being. Once the feeling of oneness is there, the yogi makes permanent efforts to move, speak, behave and think like the divinity.

Many writers have discovered that during the writing of a novel where they become profoundly identified with their fabricated personalities, heroes had a tendency to become independent, get out of control and begin living their lives independently of the already conceived plot. The most prolific American science fiction author, Ray Bradbury, was so fascinated by this phenomenon, which occurred many times during the writing of his novels, that he used it as the theme of his novel The Martian Chronicles. In it, he depicts an encounter of visitors to Mars with personalities from classical literature who have somehow acquired a corporeal existence on Mars.

The second approach is more complex and requires efforts over a long period of time. It is creation of tulkus and tulpas. By means of sharpened visualization it is possible to create a thought form in human shape, which is called tulpa. If reflective concentration is intense enough during a long period, and if it is supported by strong will, often by energy invested by a lot of people, such a form ceases to be a phantasm and incarnates as a normal human being, receives a palpable physical body and an appropriate personality. In that case, it is called tulku or the “phantom body”.

A child born in this way at first sight does not differ from other children. Yet it is usually a personification of a previously deceased person or a divine being or demon. By repeating this process, a chain of tulku-personalities who are identical in many aspects, although they can develop differently, is created. This process lies at the basis of the long succession of Dalai Lamas. In other cases it is also believed that tulku is a reincarnation of a previously existing person, while it, in its turn, was the reincarnation of a personality that preceded it, and so the sequence stretches back to a prominent person who lived in the past.

Several persons wrote about these phenomena. The most famous among them is Dr. Alexandra David-Neel, the celebrated researcher of Tibet. She depicted the Tibetan way of life, their customs and especially their practice of magic in her book Magic and Mystery in Tibet (1967), where she documented her claims thoroughly.

Alexandra David-Neel and Lama Yongden write about the artificially created Entities thus: The Tibetans distinguish between tulkus and tulpas. The tulkus are men and women, apparently living normal lives like our own. Tulpas are more or less ephemeral creations which may take different forms: man, animal, tree, rock, etc., at the will of the magician who created them, and behave like the being whose forms they happen to have. These tulpas coexist with their creator and can be seen simultaneously with him. In some cases they may survive him, or, during his life, free themselves from his domination and attain a certain independence. The tulku, on the contrary, is the incarnation of a lasting energy directed by an individual with the object of continuing a given kind of activity after his death. The tulku does not coexist with his ancestor.

Dr. David-Neel spent considerable time in Tibet and was fascinated by many expe- riences. The greatest riddle of all, she states in her book, was the creation of tulpas, which was based on the secret knowledge of Tibetan adepts. She claims that the phantom beings described by Tibetans, and the apparitions she had a chance to see, have little resemblance to the apparitions which appear during spiritualistic séances. She wrote that while camped in the Tibetan highlands, she was visited by a painter she knew from a previous stay in Lhasa. The man was obsessed with one of the many Tibetan gods. For years he had med- itated daily on the deity and painted its image many times. As he entered the camp, Dr.David-Neel claimed she saw a misty representation of the god hovering behind him.

When a tulpa acquires enough life strength to be able to play the role of a real being, it has a tendency to free itself from the control of its creator. Tibetans compare the process with the behavior of a child matured in its mother’s womb, now capable of living separated from her body, who at a certain moment has a natural tendency to leave its mother’s womb. In Tibet, stories about phantom beings that become disobedient and about the struggle between the magicians and the beings they have created are not unusual. They can seriously hurt and even kill their creator. Dr. David- Neel heard stories from Tibetan sorcerers about tulpas that were sent to accomplish a certain mission, yet after its completion would not return to their creator, but continued to wander as half-conscious and dangerous beings. The same thing can happen when a tulpa’s creator dies before the tulpa is dissolved. At the moment of the creator’s death a tulpa usually either abruptly vanishes or gradually disappears, just like a body does when left without food. On the other hand, there are tulpas created with the intention of outliving their creator, which they do.

Mrs. David-Neel posed the question of whether we should accept such stories as true, or whether we should discard them as products of exuberant imagination. She was so intrigued by this phenomenon that she studied Tibetan teachings about tulpas and eventually decided to create one for herself. To this end, she visualized a cheerful brown-robed monk, based loosely on Friar Tuck in the Robin Hood legends. After weeks of effort, the imaginary monk became so vivid that he appeared to her as if he were physically present – an induced hallucination.

She describes what happened, which may not provide the experiment with a “certain degree of success”, but was a truly fascinating experience that cannot leave many feeling indifferent. Here is what it looked like.

In order to avoid being influenced by the forms of lamaistic divinities she would see daily on pictures, she chose for her experiment a funny and joyful personality in the form of a fat monk of small stature. Then, in isolation, she concentrated on him daily and performed the necessary rituals. She does not specify the rituals. His form took shape gradually, became more solid and looked alive. He became something like a guest in her house. After some time she set out on a journey with her servants, with the fat phantom monk as a member of their group. Although they traveled on horses, the illusory creature persevered. She could see him from time to time during the journey, and she no longer had to think about him in order for him to appear. He performed various activities she did not request. She perceived him mainly optically, but several times she felt his clothes touching her, and once felt the touch of his hand on her shoulder.

His appearance, imagined at the beginning of the process of creation, changed gradually. The fat monk with round cheeks was becoming ever slimmer, while his face acquired a shrewd and evil expression. He became imprudent and started to cause trouble. He obviously got out of Dr David-Neel’s control. Once a shepherd brought butter to her tent, saw him and believed that he was seeing a real lama. The tulpa’s presence started to make her feel nervous and after some time turned into a nightmare. Since she was about to travel to Lhasa, where she was supposed to be calm and undisturbed, she decided to get rid of him. She claims in her book that she had managed to do so only after six months of great exertion. The tulpa she had created clung to life with all his might. She completed the depiction of the experience with these words: “There is nothing strange about the fact that I have created my own hallucination. What is interesting is that others also saw that reflective form at moments when it materialized.”

Franz Bardon was born in the village Opava, in today’s Czech Republic, as the youngest of thirteen children. He spent his childhood and youth there, but not much is known about those periods in his life. Between 1920 and 1930 he earned a reputation as a magician in Germany, by performing on stages throughout the land under the name Frabato. That was also the title of his unfinished novel, Frabato, the Magician, published after his death.

Although Bardon claimed not to have been a member of any occult group, information from true connoisseurs indicates that he was a member of the most famous magic organization in Germany, Saturn Fraternity. When Hitler, who himself was a member of the black-magic order of Tula, came into power, Nazis began to actively persecute and imprison masons and members of all occult societies. Bardon was sent to jail in the beginning of 1942. Some of his disciples assert that Hitler had promised him a high position in the country’s hierarchy if he helped him win the war with his magic, but that Bardon refused. We must treat such stories with caution, for they follow all famous occultists. It would only be natural if Bardon had refused to serve Hitler’s war plans because in his past lives, according to stories spread by his close associates, he was St. Germain and Nostradamus, and before that Apolonius of Tyana, Lao Tse and no other than mythical Hermes Trismegistos.

After the war, Bardon came back to the Czech Republic and continued to teach small groups of disciples. When his books were published in the West during the 1950’s, individuals drawn to his teachings started to visit him in Opava, where he lived at the time. The communist government had no more understanding for such activities than the Nazis, and Bardon was sent to prison again in 1958, where he died the same year.

Franz Bardon is relatively unknown as a magician in the broader occult milieu, although in the narrow circles of his followers he enjoys a reputation greater even than that of Eliphas Levi, Blavatska and Crowley. He made an exceptional effort to provide his followers with the most complete guidelines available without having personal contact with a Master. He made magical procedures public in his books: Initiation Into Hermetics, The Practice of Magical Evocation and The Key to the True Quabbalah. Some of the instructions were previously unknown in occult circles, for, according to Bardon, they were jealously guarded among the most elevated adepts. However, their true value cannot be determined without a practical test.

Bardon was acquainted with Tibetan mysticism, or at least with the works of Dr.Alexandra David-Neel, whose words he cites in several places. He mentions data which a careful reader can spot in her already mentioned book; for instance, the magical diagrams kilihor and the inner fire tummo, which by controlling, Tibetan adepts manage to dry a wet shirt on their bodies while they meditate in open space, exposed to very low temperatures.

In his first book, Initiation Into Hermetics,, which is actually an elaborate description of tarot’s first arcane, Bardon describes in detail four methods for creating elementaries; that is, Entities with artificially made material bodies. Although he calls his method secret, and adds that it is revealed to readers for the first time, if we consider the final outcome, his method resembles the creation of tulpas in Tibetan yoga.

During the last thirty years in occult circles, the practice of deliberate creation has developed, including the use of special kinds of Entities called Servitors or Magic Servants. Although it is based on medieval concepts of bodiless assistants and spirit-servants, it is largely stimulated by Parson’s works, guidelines Franz Bardon offered in his books, and, above all, by the ideas of a man by the name of Austin Osman Spare.

Spare was a painter, mainly draftsman, occult philosopher, writer and magician. He was obviously ahead of his time, for it is only now that his work has attracted admirers and followers, while on his theoretical hypotheses and practical work a new magic discipline, the magic of chaos, was built.

Born in 1886, Spare manifested from an early age an exceptional talent for painting and magic. He learned painting in art school, and magic from a woman called Mrs. Patterson, whom he considered his “mother witch”. She taught him how to visualize spirits and elementals and by doing so enabled his imagination to blossom in its entirety. She was also the one who gave him his magical name Zos. It is hard to determine how reliable Spare’s assertions regarding this woman are, for many of them are unusual. He considered her a true sorceress, for she was, to cite an example, capable of changing her physical form from an old woman to an infatuating young woman.

Spare was a member of Aleister Crowley’s occult organization Argentium Astrum (the Silver Star) for a short while. He left it because he began to work on his most famous book – The Book of Pleasure - in which he presented some original ideas regarding the practice of magic and gave detailed instructions for making sigils – magical stamps that are drawn and activated for the purpose of realizing specific, clearly determined and limited goals. Sigils are believed to cause changes mainly in the practitioner’s mind, and subsequently in his environment. Spare’s attitude toward magic and the universe was confirmed by discoveries made in the fields of quantum physics and mathematics of chaos, and his teachings have many similarities to a branch of Tibetan Buddhism called Jok Chen.

In his next book, The Focus of Life, he emphasized for the first time that chaos was the basis of the natural order of things in the cosmos and of the complete personality: “The more chaotic I am, the more completely I am what I am.” This seemingly illogical assertion is understandable from the point of view of the free personality, which we could also call the quantum personality. The quantum condition is entirely unpredictable; within it unpredictable manifestations occur. Family upbringing or society imposes on the individual restrictions, limitations and rigidity, and these are manifested in predictable conduct. Liberation from such imposed limitations leads to manifestation of absolute spontaneity.

In 1924, Spare published Anathema of Zos, with which he severed the bonds that connected him to the artistic and philosophical circles in England. Since that time, he lived in a poorly maintained basement in London, not caring for fame or money, but he continued to develop his philosophy, to paint and practice magic.

The technique for the creation of magical servants – servitors – presumes procedures that are relatively new in the history of occultism. Servitors are Entities which the practitioner consciously and deliberately creates from energies derived from his own unconscious, or the collective unconscious, by means of evocation, so that they would perform quite specific functions. The practitioner actualizes servitors— that is, creates them from the unconscious— as half-conscious beings which serve to accomplish precisely determined tasks.

According to Spare, the easiest way to create such a being is to use the energy of some practitioner’s obsession. For most magicians of chaos, obsession is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it sends an unambiguous message to the practitioner that he desires something. A practitioner with an obsession shapes a part of his personal and collective unconscious into a half-independent phenomenon that will do the necessary work to fulfill the practitioner’s wish. Another famous practitioner, Phil Hine, in his User’s Guide to Servitors, writes: “By consciously separating parts of our psyche and identifying them by giving them names, characteristics and symbols, we are able to work with them and understand on the conscious level how they affect us.”

A no less famous practitioner of the magic of chaos, Stephen Mace, in his treatise Stealing the Fire from Heaven, writes: “It is the ability of catching spirits, training and harnessing them, so that we can, as we do with energies, manipulate them in our spirit, and cause changes in it and beyond it.” Some practitioners ask whether those Entities exist in the unconscious before being activated by evocation, and answer that this is possible, for magic is metaspacial and metatemporal.

Although deliberate and conscious creation of servitors is emphasized, many persons obviously create them unconsciously, even though they would never associate themselves with magic of any kind. People often personify their pets, cars, weapons, favorite books and songs, and attribute to them traits such as love, protection, good luck and the like. What is most important, while they are doing this, they invest their energy in such acts and conduct.

There are different attitudes toward creation of servitors. However, everyone agrees upon one thing – the practitioner must begin the process of creating Servitors with entirely clear intention, which is the precondition for all magical acts. Clear intention means that the practitioner understands his initial desire with which he begins his magical activity. A Servitor can be used for finding rare books, getting a job, development and improvement of business, protection of home, family, and the operator himself from hostile influences, as well as for creation of desirable personal traits needed in a certain period of life and for the elimination of negative ones. Servitors that have harmful personal traits should be treated as demons. Yet demons are not what the uninitiated believe them to be, but they are groups of uncontrollable moods, characteristics, fantasies and activities. They often appear in vulnerable periods of childhood as a response to traumatic situations in one’s family and social circle. The adult, conscious practitioner realizes that they do not fit into the satisfying lifestyle of a mature person, and therefore makes an effort to eliminate them and by doing so prevent them from disturbing him further.

Once the intention is shaped and clearly manifested, a suitable container from which the Servitor will exercise its influence must be found or made. It can be a graphic figure in the shape of sigil, that is, a magic seal, a talisman or a written text. It is useful to create a suitable personality for an individualized Entity. This is also useful because at a certain moment the operator’s personality must absorb it or reprogram it.

Spare taught that each magical act, and so the creation of Servitors, will have a greater chance of success if one eliminates duality from his mind. For this purpose, he advised that dualistic concepts, beliefs and feelings be systematically eliminated by confrontation. The state that comes into being when the dualism is overcome he named the Neither- Nor state. It resembles yoga meditation Neti-Neti, in which the aspirant searches for his true identity by eliminating everything he is not.

Created Entities resist our desire to assimilate, eliminate or destroy them. This becomes obvious if we pay attention to some negative states of ours that obstinately resist our attempts to control them. They take energy from every available source in our psyche, primarily from negative structures of long standing, such as intolerance and hatred for members of our family or people against whom we have a grudge. When we eliminate such states, energy that was bound in them becomes liberated. It is now at the operator’s disposal, and he can use it to actualize the intention manifested through his Servitor.

Realizing the Neither-Nor state, in other words, the state of Void, enables the Servitor to be filled with energy. If this state is not achieved, there is a risk of the practitioner’s efforts remaining fruitless, for the invested energy will be taken over by uncontrolled and to him unfamiliar Entities that dwell in his unconscious.

[Harsha] The world Tulku is split as Tul, meaning emanation or a magical creation and Ku meaning reincarnated body. The Dalai Lama is often described as a Tulku for he is considered both as the reincarnation of his predecessor and an emanation of Avalokiteshvara. In the case of the word Tulpa, ‘pa’ simply is a particle and the word Tulpa thus means a magically created being. As the article above hints, a Tulpa s not a mere imagination or a hallucination as it can also be seen and experienced by people other than its creator. The tulpas are generally created as automated energy structures that are driven by the specific intent of the creator and lack self-awareness. The typical use of a tulpa is to serve as a consort or mudrA (karma-mudrA) for Tantric practices but they also find frequent use as servitors that protect the creator and assault his enemies. When separated from the creator, the tulpa may become self-aware and gain a certain level of independence and can occasionally turn into a malevolent being. This is especially true when the process of creation of a tulpa goes wrong and subsequently the tulpa gains independence from its creator. Unable to serve the purpose of its creation due to its incomplete or incorrect energetic structure, the tulpa may go out of control and harm sentient beings. Also, if it achieves a certain degree of self-awareness, it will become aware of its own shortcomings, will develop a desire to attain wholeness, gets confused not knowing how and turns malevolent. When a tulpa outlives its creator, it is also possible for it become a tulku, as in the case of Tenzin Rinpoche about who I talked elsewhere on this blog in the context of my experience with the Sadhana of vajravArAhI and my conversation with the tulku.

pashchimAmnAya nAyikA

kubjikA parameshvarI

संवर्तामण्डलान्ते क्रमपदनिहितानन्दशक्तिः सुभीमा
सृष्टिन्याये चतुष्कं अकुलकुलगतं पञ्चकं चान्यषट्कम् |
चत्वारः पञ्चकोऽन्यः पुनरपि चतुरः षोडशाज्ञाभिषेकं
देव्यास्तौ मूर्तिमध्ये ह-स-ख-फ-र-कला बिन्दुपुष्पं खमुद्रा ||

Sri Guru


विधिबिलकमलान्तर्वसदकथहळक्षाख्यरुचिरमणिपीठे |
द्वादशदळकमले श्रीदेशिकराजस्य चरणमवलम्बे ||

हंसाभ्यां परिवृत्तपत्रकमलैर्दिव्यैर्जगत्कारणं
विश्वोत्तीर्णमनेकवेदनिलयं स्वच्छन्दमानन्दकम् |
आद्यन्तैकमखण्डचिद्घनरसं पूर्णं ह्यनन्तं शुभं
प्रत्यक्षाक्षरविग्रहं गुरुपदं ध्यायेद्विभुं शाश्वतम् ||

Gurumandala Mahayantra

सद्गुरुं शङ्करं शान्तं प्रकाशमयविग्रहम् |
चिदानन्दघनं वन्दे चिन्मुद्रितकराम्बुजम् ||

Sutra of the Golden Light

Sutra of the Golden Light or the suvarNaprabhAsottama sUtra is a mahAyAna text that borrows heavily from Hindu scriptures, rituals and practices. It is the Buddhist version of remedies for affliction from the various grahas. It is well-known to those with a good understanding of sUtra and tantrayAna-s as well as Hindu tantra that Skanda was assimilated into Buddhism by Buddhists and represented as one the dharmapAlas - a section of deities guarding Buddha-dharma, most of who are Hindu deities assimilated into Buddhism along with their stotras, mantras and kavachas in apabhramsha. The Chinese represent Skanda as the dharmapAla Hufa Weito Zuntian Pusa . Most Buddhists baselessly deny association of the dharmapAla skanda with the Hindu deity Skanda (in spite of various references to Skanda as the son of Shiva in Buddhist tantras). According to these Buddhists in denial, Skanda was the son of a Buddhist King who protected the relics of the tathAgata from desecration after his passing. Skanda, whose status seems to fluctuate between that of a deva and a bodhisattva, is also described as an emanation of vajrapANi, who bears an uncanny resemblance to daNDapANi in some of the less popular Buddhist Tantras.

If one studies the Sutra of the Golden Light, it becomes clear that Skanda of the bauddhas is clearly a plagiarized version of kumAra - as the sUtra describes him as the head of a group of celestials who protect one from various kinds of graha-afflictions. Some words such as alakShmIH are used as in the sUtra and I shall point out later the significance of such usage.

The sUtra promises relief from various kinds of afflictions.

उपहतेन्द्रिया ये हि सत्त्वा नष्टा हतायुषः |
अलक्ष्म्या परिविष्टा हि देवतासु पराङ्मुखाः ||
कान्तया ये जना द्विष्टाः कुटुम्बादिष्वपद्रुताः |
परस्परविरुद्धा वा अर्थनाशैरुपद्रुताः ||
शोकायासेष्वनर्थे च भये व्यसन एव च |
ग्रहनक्षत्रपीडायां काखोर्ददारुणग्रहैः ||
पापकं पश्यति स्वप्नं शोकायाससमुच्छ्रितम् |
तेन च स्नानशुचिना श्रोतव्यं सूत्रमुत्तमम् ||

"Those whose senses are defective, whose life expectancy is fading, are afflicted by misfortune, have acquired the ire of the devatAs, are hated by the spouse and family, are in conflict, afflicted with decline in material wealth, ridden with grief, fatigue and fear, troubled by the nakShatras, grahas and by excruciating nightmares; such afflicted should bathe well and listen to this sUtra".

शृण्वन्ति य इदं सूत्रं गम्भीरं बुद्धगोचरम् |
प्रसन्नचित्ता सुमनसः शुचिवस्त्रैरलङ्कृताः ||
तेषां सर्वे तथा नित्यमुपसर्गाः सुदारुणाः |
तेजसा चास्य सूत्रस्य शाम्यन्ते सर्वप्राणिनाम् ||
स्वयं ते लोकपालाश्च सामात्याः सगणेश्वराः |
तेषां रक्षां करिष्यन्ति ह्यनेकैर्यक्षकोटिभिः ||
सरस्वती महादेवी तथा नैरञ्जनवासिनी |
हारीती भूतमाता च दृढा पृथिविदेवता ||
ब्रह्मेन्द्रैस्त्रिदशेन्द्रैश्च महद्धिर्किन्नरेश्वरैः |
गरुडेन्द्रैस्तथा सार्धं यक्षगन्धर्वपन्नगैः ||
ते च तत्रोपसंक्रम्य ससैन्यबलवाहनाः |
तेषां रक्षां करिष्यन्ति दिवारात्रौ समाहिताः ||

"Should those with a virtuous intent and calm mind adorn themselves with clean garments and listen to this sUtra revealed to (by) the buddha, through the awe-inspiring power of this sUtra, suffering of all the creatures will be pacified. The guardians of the world (indra, agni etc.), along with their ministers and army chiefs, crores of yakShas, the great goddess sarasvatI, the goddess present by the river nairanjana (Bodh gaya), hArItI the mother of the elementals and dR^iDhA, the goddess of the earth, the kings of the Brahma world and the kings of the deva world, garuDas, yakShas, gandharvas and serpents - arrive with their armies and clans to protect the afflicted, day and night, unfailingly".

The sUtra contains verses clearly modeled after the Hindu versions of vyapohana, abhiShechana, apAmArjana, upasarga-mochana and shAntikaraNa prayogas/mantras/stotras, of course with the apabhramsha characteristic of the bauddhas.

तिष्ठन्तु कल्पानि अचिन्तियानि
देशेन्तु धर्मं जगतो हिताय |
हनन्तु क्लेशान्विधमन्तु दुःखं
शमन्तु रागं तथ दोषमोहम् ||

The list of dharmapAlas includes no exclusive Buddhist deities but only well-known Hindu deities. Considering the fact that this is a mahAyAna sUtra that predates the actual tantrayAna phase, a large portion of the band of Buddhist deities were yet to be conceived at the time of the writing of this sUtra. senApati, vajrapANi, devaputra are listed explicitly in the sUtra. For those familiar with the jaina tantras, the reference to yakShas here, especially to the number 28, immediately rings a bell and indicates jaina influence.

ब्रह्मा च सहांपतिः शक्रश्च देवानामिन्द्रः सरस्वती च महादेवी श्रीश्च महादेवी दृढा च पृथिवीदेवता सञ्जयश्च महायक्षसेनापतिः अष्टाविंशतिमहायक्षसेनापतयश्च महेश्वरश्च, देवपुत्रो, वज्रपाणिश्च गुह्यकाधिपतिः माणिभद्रश्च महायक्षसेनापतिः हारीती च पञ्चपुत्रशतपरिवारा अनन्तश्च नागराजः सागरश्च नागराजः ||

An entire chapter of the sUtra is dedicated to goddess sarasvatI, called sarasvatIdevI parivarta. In what is undoubtedly a steal from Hindu cannon, sarasvatI describes snAna-karma to rid oneself of various graha afflictions. She lists various herbs with which one is to bath during the star puShya.

औषधयो मन्त्रा येन स्नापयन्ति च पण्डिताः |
वचा गोरोचना स्पृका शिरीषं श्याम्यकं शमी ||
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
एतानि समभागानि पुष्यनक्षत्रेण पीशयेत् ||

Thirty herbs are listed here (some of which are difficult to clearly identify on account of the corruption of their actual Sanskrit names), which are to be taken in equal proportions, powdered, mixed and consecrated during puShya nakShatra with the following mantra (which makes no sense for the most part) recited one hundred times:

सुकृते करजातभागे हंसरण्डे इन्द्रजाल मल्लिक उपसदे अवतंसिके कुत्र कुकलविमलमति शीलमति सन्धिबुधमति शिशिरि सत्यस्थित स्वाहा ||

A maNDala is made with gomaya (which philosophically would for no reason be sacred to the bauddhas, if one were to go by virUpa) and flowers are scattered in it (on the lines of puShpAnjali samarpaNa). Golden and silver vessels containing honey are placed within the maNDala. The incense of guggulu is burnt and the goddess (represented here probably by the vessels) is adorned with umbrella, flag and armor. Arrows, mirrors and spears are placed around the maNDala. A boundary line is drawn and delineation of the boundary is done with the following mantra:

अने नयने हिलि हिलि गिलि खिले स्वाहा |

To ensure successful accomplishment of the snAna-karma, an image of tathAgata is bathed with the following mantra:

सुगते विगते विगतावति स्वाहा ||

Those Buddhists who deny idolatry in Buddhism seem severely ignorant of their own sUtra and tantrayAna-s.

The following mantras are then recited - which are borrowed from vedic sUktas, paurANic verses and Hindu tantra.

ये प्रस्थिता नक्षत्रा आयुः पालयन्तु चतुर्दिशे |
नक्षत्रजन्मपीडा वा राशिकर्मभयावहम् |
धातुसंक्षोभसंभूता शाम्यन्तु भयदारुणाः ||

The following mantras indicate plagiarization of graha shAnti rituals from kaumAra tantra; several names of skanda are invoked in this context. It is also interesting to note the invocation of nIlakaNTha, a form of rudra who is frequently invoked by Astikas for graha and viSha shAnti.

समे विषमे स्वाहा |
सुगते स्वाहा |
विगते स्वाहा |
शिखण्डिने स्वाहा |
सागरसंभूताय स्वाहा |
स्कन्दमारुताय स्वाहा |
नीलकण्ठाय स्वाहा |
अपराहितवीर्याय स्वाहा |
हिमवत्सम्भूताय स्वाहा |
अनिमिषचक्राय स्वाहा |
नमो भगवत्यै ब्रह्माण्यै नमः सरस्वत्यै देव्यै सिध्यन्तु मन्त्रपदास्तं ब्रह्म नमस्यन्तु स्वाहा ||

None of the exclusive Buddhist deities invoked in such rituals by the later Buddhist Tantras (popular among the Tibetans or adherents of vajrayAna) are listed in the sUtra. The sUtra simply emulates the graha-shAnti ritual of the Astikas for the most part. Also, most Buddhists fail to understand the difference between brahma and brahmA, dismissing the brahma of vedAnta as a personal god. However, this sUtra clearly calls out brahma several times as the Supreme Being or parabrahman, most possibly on account of copying the rituals and mantras without realizing the implication. To add a Buddhist color, Buddha, in the sUtra, promises to personally accompany the various Hindu deities invoked in the sUtra and rid the one who performs the ritualistic bath ceremony of all afflictions.

kauNDinya, interestingly described as mahAbrAhmaNa (a great brAhmaNa) in spite of an indication that he had sought refuge under the buddha, dharma and the sangha, invokes sarasvatI through the following mantra, which is credited with the power to grant boons and knowledge of sUtra, tantra, piTaka etc.

सुरे विरे अरजे अरजवति हिङ्गुले पिङ्गले वतिमुखे मरीचिसुमति दिशमति अग्रामग्रीतलवितले च वडिविचरी लोकज्येष्ठे प्रियसिद्धिव्रते भीममुखि शचीवरी अप्रतिहते अप्रतिहतबुद्धि नमुचि नमुचि महादेवि प्रतिगृह्ण नमस्कार |

सर्वसत्त्वानां बुद्धिरप्रतिहता भवतु विद्या मे सिद्ध्यतु शास्त्रलोकतन्त्रपिटककाव्यादिषु |

महाप्रभावे हिलि हिलि मिलि मिलि विचरतु मम विचरतु मे माया सर्वसत्त्वानां च भगवत्या देव्याः सरस्वत्या अनुभावेन युवति हिलि मिलि आवाहयामि महादेवि बुद्धसत्येन संघसत्येन इन्द्रसत्येन वरुणसत्येन ये लोके सत्यवादिनः सन्ति तेन तेषां सत्यवचनेन आवाहयामि महादेवि हिलि हिलि मिलि विचरन्तु मम मन्त्रिणो माया सर्वसत्त्वानां नमो भगवत्यै सरस्वत्यै सिद्ध्यन्तु मन्त्रपदाः स्वाहा ||

kauNDinya also bursts into a hymn in praise of sarasvatI:

सुलोचनायै नयनोत्तमायै
सुभाश्रयायै शुभदेशनायै |
गुणैरचिन्त्यैः समलङ्कृतायै
चन्द्रोपमायै विमलप्रभायै ||

There is a chapter devoted to Goddess Lakshmi or shrI which merely offers watered down ideas of the rig-vedic shrIsUkta. It also describes a mantra to invoke the goddess and attain prosperity and success.

नमः सर्वबुद्धानाम् | अतीतानागतप्रत्युत्पन्नानाम् | नमः सर्वबुद्धबोधिसत्त्वानाम् | नमो मैत्रेयप्रभृतीनां बोधिसत्त्वानाम् | तेषां नमस्कृत्य विद्यां प्रयोजयामि इयं मे विद्या समृध्यतु | प्रतिपूर्णवरे समन्तगते महाकार्यप्रतिप्रापणे सत्त्वार्थसमतानुप्रपुरे आयानधर्मितामहाभागिने महातेजोपमं हिते ऋषिसंगृहीते समयानुपालने ||

contd ...

dIpa mangala jyoti namo namaH

shAkta siddhAnta – 12

This worldly soul is technically known as sakala, being endowed with body, senses etc. corresponding to the tattva or bhuvana to which it belongs. Such souls range from the lowest plane to the plane of kalA and migrate from plane to plane according to their karmans. There is another state of the soul in which the mAyIya mala as described above is absent, but the other two malas continue as before. This is a state of pralaya or dissolution in which the soul is free from all the creative principles, is in a disembodied condition and remains absorbed in mAyA. Such souls are called pralayAkalas or pralaya-kevalins. These are bodiless and senseless atoms with karma-samskAras and the root Ignorance clinging to them. When, however, the karmans are got rid of through discriminative knowledge, renunciation or such other means, the soul is exalted above mAyA, though still retaining its atomic state. It is then above mAyA no doubt, but remains within the limits of mahAmAyA which it cannot escape unless the Supreme Grace of the Divine Master acts upon it and removes the basic Ignorance which caused its atomicity and the limitation of its infinite powers. This state of the soul represents the highest condition of the pashu known as vijnAnAkala or vijnAna-kevalin. This is kaivalya. Among these souls those which are thoroughly mature in respect of their impurity are competent to receive divine illumination at the beginning of the next creative cycle. The dawn of divine wisdom which is the result of the anugraha (divine grace) acting upon the soul is the origin of the so-called shuddha-vidyA.

The illumination of a mature vijnAnAkala is either intense or mild according as the kaluSha or original taint attached to the soul has run its course completely or otherwise, the former types of souls are raised to the status of vidyeshvaras and the latter become mantras. The sakala and pralayAkala souls, too, in which the mala is mature, are favored with divine grace and raised to the position of:

1. Mantreshvaras (and AchAryas) and placed in charge of the different divisions of brahmANDa or the planes belonging to pR^ithivI-tattva, and of
2. Bhuvaneshvaras or lokeshvaras with powers over the planes belonging to the higher tattvas beyond pR^ithivI.

The pralayAkalas, however, where mala is immature but karma mature, are associated with subtle bodies called puryaShTaka at the beginning of the next cycle and made to assume physical bodies and migrate from life to life, thus maturing the mala through experience. The shAkta belief in threefold nature of the soul is comparable to the conviction of the Ophites and their predecessors the Ophici in the West – it presupposes a faith that the division corresponds to the degrees of grace and does not imply any essential difference. It is true, however, that according to the dualists, some difference does exist between shiva and paramashiva. The Valentinian conception of essential distinction in human souls has also its parallel in India as evident from the views of sections of Jainas, Buddhist and vaiShNava writers, but finds no recognition in the Tantras.

The states of the soul which follow are not those of a pashu but of shiva himself, though certain limitations still remain. These limitations are those of adhikAra, bhoga and laya according to the dualists (shrIkaNTha in ratna-traya). They are removed in due course of time through fulfillment of experiences etc., in the pure order. The pure order of shuddha-adhvan represents the higher world of pure matter beyond the influence of mAyA.

The successive stages of spiritual perfection consequent on the dawn of wisdom are represented by the tattvas to which the souls are attached. Thus the lowest stage is that of a mantra which corresponds to shuddha-vidyA. The higher states are those of mantreshvaras corresponding to Ishvara-tattva, of mantra-maheshvaras corresponding to sadAshiva and of shiva corresponding to the tattva known under that name. the state of shiva is really transcendent, being that of pure and absolute consciousness, but the true Absolute is paramashiva bhaTTAraka where identity with all the tattvas as well as their transcendence are present simultaneously.

Due to the limitation of its powers the Self is bound. The shAktas hold that there are certain hidden forces latent in chidAkAsha, known as mAtR^ikAs, which reside over the malas referred to above and over the kalAs or letter-sounds of the language. The supreme mAtR^ikA, known as ambikA, has three aspects: jyeShThA, raudrI and vAmA, each of them having a specific function. The kalAs are the ultimate units of human speech with which thought is inextricably interwoven. The mAtR^ikAs beget in each soul, in each act of its knowledge, determinate or indeterminate, an inner cognition (antaH-parAmarsha) and produce a sort of confusion there on account of intermingling with shabda. Knowledge in this manner assumes the form of joy, sorrow, desire, aversion, conceit, fear, hope, etc., under the influence of these forces. This is how bhAvas originate and govern the unregenerate human soul. mAtR^ikAs are thus the secret bonds which bind down a soul, but when they are truly known and their essence is revealed, they help it in attaining siddhi.

These forces function in chidAkAsha so long as the brahma-granthi is not rent asunder. This granthi is evidently the node of identity between spirit and matter and is the spring of ego-sense in man. The moral effect of kuNDalinI is so far clear. It is maintained that if the mAtR^ikA is not propitiated and if the node is not removed, it is likely that even after the rise of truth-consciousness the soul may, owing to inadvertence (pramAda), be caught up in its snares, get entangled in the meshes of shabda and lapse into ignorance or go astray.

The Divine Will is one and undivided, but it becomes split up after the origin of the mAtR^ikAs which evolve out of the nAda co-eternal with this Will. This split in icChA or svAtantrya causes a separation between jnAna and kriyA, its constitutive aspects. This is practically identical with what is described as a divorce between svAtantrya and bodha or vimarsha and prakAsha, which takes place on the assumption of atomic condition by the Supreme Self. In this condition jnAna evolves into three inner and five outer senses, and kriyA into five prANas and five motor organs connected respectively with the vital and reflex activities of the organism.

contd ...

Chatral Rinpoche on Eating Meat

Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche is one of the most accomplished Tibetan Buddhist yogis alive today. In 1947 he had the lofty status of being the head spiritual master of the political leader of Tibet, Regent Reting, but he has always preferred to live as a humble yogi in a simple dwelling without the distractions of fame and fortune. He practices what he preaches without compromise and as a result is beloved throughout the Himalayan region by people of all faiths.

Rinpoche was born in 1913 in the Nyak Adzi Valley in Kham, Tibet to pious members of the Abse tribal group named Pema Dondrub (father) and Sonam Tso (mother). The day after his birth, a local lama named Asey Bigo Tulku Nyima Gyaltsen came to Pema and Sonam’s house to tell them of a vision he had the day before about Rinpoche’s emergence, in which a white donkey loaded down with Buddhist scriptures came to Pema and Sonam’s house and delivered the texts to them. In accordance with this vision, he bestowed upon the newborn the name Trogyal Dorje, which means “Adamantine Wrathful Victorious One.”

Chatral Rinpoche’s family moved to Amdo with their tribal group when he was a small child. At age fifteen, Rinpoche decided to leave his family in order to study and practice Buddhism with the masters of the area. This act of renunciation began his life-long journey as a carefree yogi seeking enlightenment at any cost in order to effectively help other beings with compassion. From the onset, Rinpoche was highly principled, traveling exclusively on foot and refusing a horse when offered. He stayed only in hermitages, caves, or his small tent in order to avoid involvement with householders and their worldly preoccupations.

Chatral Rinpoche received transmissions of the terma cycle of Terton Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1903) from the Terton’s son Dorje Dradul (1891–1959). Rinpoche would later become the Vajra Regent or Chief Lineage Holder of this cycle of teachings, known as Dudjom Tersar. Another one of Rinpoche’s main early teachers was Khandro Dewai Dorje (1899–1952), who was a daughter-in-law of Terton Dudjom Lingpa. She passed on to Rinpoche the terma cycle teachings of Sera Khandro and he became the principal lineage holder of this tradition as well.

At this time, Chatral Rinpoche met his root guru, Khenpo Ngawang Palzang (1879–1941) of Kathok Monastery. The great Khenpo had been the heart disciple of Patrul Rinpoche’s main student, Lungtok Tenpai Nyima (1829–1901), and was considered to be a manifestation of the ninth century Dzogchen master Vimalamitra. Khenpo Ngakchung gave Chatral Rinpoche many teachings and transmissions — particularly of the Longchen Nyingthig tradition — and for the next six years Rinpoche studied under him, completing his ngöndro and practicing trekchöd and tögyal, which are some of the most advanced practices of Dzogchen. Rinpoche studied with other masters at Kathok Monastery as well, in addition to the great Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959) from Dzongsar Monastery, which (like Kathok) is in the Derge region of Kham.

Khenpo Ngawang Palzang knew Rinpoche was very special and acknowledged him to be his closest disciple, explaining that, “His mind and my mind are no different.” He bestowed upon Rinpoche the name Chatral Sangye Dorje, which means “Indestructible Buddha who has Abandoned all Mundane Activities.”

The first time Chatral Rinpoche’s greatness became revealed to others was at a large worship service at Kathok Monastery, attended by several high lamas sitting on lofty thrones. Rinpoche sat in the back on a simple meditation cushion with a few hundred other monks. During the service, Khenpo Ngawang Palzang remarked: “Among all of you here today, there are less than ten people who have one-tenth of my realization. Then, there are less than five of you who have half of my realization. Finally, there is only one person here whose realization is no different from mine, and he is Chatral Sangye Dorje. He can now represent me to transmit the teachings and his merits are the same as mine”.

This proclamation caused quite a stir in the assembly hall and afterward people came to congratulate Rinpoche. Preparations began for a grand ceremony to honor Rinpoche in his new status. Rinpoche was not one for all this attention and praise and so snuck away in the middle of the night with his tent to continue his practice alone in the wilderness. The next day when they came to honor him, they found his room empty with no indication of where he went. Once again, he lived up to his name Chatral, which can be translated as “hermit.”

Chatral Rinpoche once explained, “We abide nowhere, we possess nothing.” In the ultimate sense, this is a profound statement on the impermanence of life and emptiness of all things. In the conventional sense, this is how a yogi like Chatral Rinpoche actually lived in Tibet. Having no household or possessions to weigh on one’s mind, one is completely free to practice the Dharma. As far as the seeming adversity of physical discomforts and irregular meals, Dudjom Rinpoche explained, “When realization becomes as vast as space, all adverse conditions arise as friends.”

In 1947 the regent-king of Tibet, Reting, who was the political leader of the country until the current Dalai Lama came of age, requested teachings from Khenpo Ngakchung, who told him, “I am too old now for transmitting teachings to you. I have a disciple whose mind and realization is the same as mine and he is called Chatral Sangye Dorje. You can go ask him for teachings.”

Regent Reting looked all over for Chatral Rinpoche and found him meditating in a remote mountain cave. Upon hearing his request, Rinpoche replied, “I am sorry, there is nothing special about me and I have nothing to teach you. Please go elsewhere for teachings!” The Regent then produced a letter by Khenpo Ngakchung to support his request, and so Rinpoche reluctantly agreed to go to Lhasa to teach Regent Reting.

People from all over poured into Lhasa to meet Rinpoche and receive teachings and blessings from him. This included high-ranking lamas, political leaders, and common laypeople, who made many offerings to Rinpoche. Naturally, he saw all of this attention as a distraction for his spiritual development. He requested to have some time to meditate in a remote area away from Lhasa. The Regent agreed and sent a large entourage of servants and guards to escort Rinpoche on his journey. After they arrived, Rinpoche asked the group of men to return to Lhasa so that he could meditate in solitude. The Regent did not want his teacher to be alone, so sent some guards back to locate Rinpoche. Along the way, they found a poor beggar dressed in royal brocade robes. Chatral Rinpoche had traded his fancy outfit for beggar’s rags in true yogi style!

Another great spiritual master who came into Chatral Rinpoche’s life was Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, who was an incarnation of Terton Dudjom Lingpa. Dudjom Rinpoche transmitted to Chatral Rinpoche the complete cycle of the Dudjom Tersar teachings, naming him the Vajra Regent of the tradition.

Chatral Rinpoche spent a great deal of his time practicing in caves blessed by Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism and source of the terma teachings that are the basis for many of the lineages of the Nyingma School. Chatral Rinpoche is actually considered to be the mind manifestation of Guru Padmasambhava’s, based on prophecies about Rinpoche’s emergence and his proven wisdom.

In the late 1950s, Chatral Rinpoche moved to Bhutan. He was not forced out by the events of March 10, 1959 like many other Tibetans, but went to Bhutan of his own free will. This may be indicative of his being the manifestation of Guru Padmasambhava’s mind, as Guru Rinpoche had predicted that the Tibetan people would be displaced from their homeland at the advent of the modern age and Chatral Rinpoche seemed to know that the time was right for him to travel to other areas in the Himalayas. When he was asked what this trip was like for him, he smiled and replied, “Completely free, light, and happy.”

Chatral Rinpoche traveled to the neighboring Himalayan region of Darjeeling, where he restored a simple temple and turned it into a three-year meditation retreat center for Longchen Nyingthig practice. This was the first such center built by a Tibetan outside of Tibet. Rinpoche then went to some of the major Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India. While visiting the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment in 1960, he made a firm commitment that would become a famous part of his identity. He said, “I went to Bodhgaya and made a vow to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas to give up meat and alcohol.” Rinpoche is quite unique in his intensely disciplined stance on this issue and this is part of what makes him so revered by those who know him.

Chatral Rinpoche was relentless in his study and practice. In India, he received teachings from Kalu Rinpoche, who became his close friend, and the Sixteenth Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. He received teachings from over one hundred masters in all, from many traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The breadth of his scholarship is evident in his writing, as he quotes texts from a myriad of traditions to support the points he makes in his essays.

Many thousands of people in the Himalayan region consider Chatral Rinpoche to be their root guru because, through his compassionate action and profound wisdom, he is a perfect embodiment of the Buddha’s teachings. However, he is very selective about those he actually gives teachings to. He is fully aware that most of the people who ask him for teachings are not a fraction as serious about their practice as he is, so doesn’t bother to waste the precious nectar of his teachings on an unsuitable vessel. Rinpoche explains, “There are three kinds of Dharma practitioners: firstly, there are those who look like practitioners outwardly, but inwardly they are not real practitioners; secondly, there are those who talk very high, but have no realization at all; thirdly there are those who do not look like practitioners outwardly, but who are in fact genuine practitioners inside.” Rinpoche therefore will not transmit any higher-level teachings to those who have studied with him for less than six years — sufficient time for them to prove themselves as genuine practitioners.

Westerners especially are treated with suspicion. Too many come to see Rinpoche wanting the ultimate teachings of Dzogchen without being remotely qualified to receive or understand them. There is a story of a wealthy person from the United States who set big stacks of American dollar bills in front of Rinpoche, saying that if Rinpoche gave him Dzogchen teachings, then he would give him all of this money. Rinpoche told him briskly to take his money away and declined to give him teachings. The sacred teachings certainly cannot be bought with bribes; one must earn the right to receive them.

Chatral Rinpoche does not spend a lot of his time giving teachings, as only a very few people are qualified to receive teachings like this. Instead, he tirelessly engages in virtuous activity, culminating in his famous annual trip to Calcutta, where he frees seventy truckloads of live fish back into a part of the Indian Ocean where fishing is prohibited, praying for each and every one. He receives donations from around the world for this great act of compassion, which is the subject of one of his essays in this book. Still, he is very supportive of serious practitioners, traveling to his different retreat centers as often as he can to check on their progress. He also graciously offers guidance to those from other faiths who meet with him. Recently, when an Anglican priest asked him for a teaching, Rinpoche said, “Just decide what is the most important thing Jesus ever said, and then take it as far as you can.” This turned out to be the most profound advice the priest had ever received and it served to deepen his understanding and faith.

Chatral Rinpoche makes appearances to support his disciples through dreams and visions. In 997, at the beginning of a weekend retreat in San Francisco, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche told his students that Chatral Rinpoche had appeared to him in a dream, asking that Lama Tharchin and his students accumulate one hundred million recitations of Guru Padmasambhava’s seven-line prayer in order to remove obstacles to Lama Tharchin’s health, benefit all beings, and help bring peace to the world during this degenerate age.

Chatral Rinpoche is renowned for being incorruptible and insistent on doing things the right way. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, when someone dies, it is standard to leave them for three days to allow ample time for the consciousness to leave the body and hopefully enter into a Pureland realm or at least a high rebirth. According to Sogyal Rinpoche, “[Chatral Rinpoche] told people who were complaining that a corpse might smell if it was kept in hot weather [for three days]; ‘It’s not as though you have to eat it, or try to sell it.”

An Interview with Chatral Rinpoche

Question: Why did you decide to stop eating meat? How old were you when you made this decision?
Rinpoche: It is written in many Theravadayana and Mahayana texts that one should not eat meat. There is also a Vajrayana text that says the same thing, that one should not enjoy meat or alcohol. Because of this I am following the instructions of Shakyamuni Buddha. Being a religious person, I don’t take meat or alcohol and at the same time I try to tell other people not to consume these things. This is my reason — I’m just trying to motivate other people. I was forty-seven years old when I went to Bodhgaya and made a vow to all of the buddhas and bodhisattvas to give up meat and alcohol.

Question: Why do you think vegetarianism is an important aspect of practicing the Dharma?
Rinpoche: If you take meat, it goes against the vows one takes in seeking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Because when you take meat you have to take a being’s life. So I gave it up.

Question: Some claim that one can help the animals one eats by praying for them, and thus eating meat is compassionate. Other than for the most accomplished yogis and lamas, what do you make of this claim?
Rinpoche: With supernatural powers gained through certain meditation practices, it is true that there are some realized beings who can revive animals from the dead and help them reach a higher rebirth or enlightenment by consuming small amounts of their flesh. But this is not done for sustenance, only for the purpose of helping that animal. I personally do not have that power and, because of that, I never eat meat. Eating meat in one’s diet is much different than eating flesh to liberate a being through supernatural powers. I am just an ordinary practitioner who really doesn’t have these qualities. So, if I ate meat it would be the same if you or any other lay person ate meat. I would be committing a sin and I would be getting negative karma. I don’t pretend as if I have special powers and eat meat, I just avoid it altogether.

Question: Do you see Tibetan Buddhists in exile making a sincere effort to reduce their meat consumption and become vegetarian, or has meat eating become an entrenched aspect of Tibetan culture?
Rinpoche: In Tibet, there’s only meat and tsampa [roasted barley flour] — there is no other staple food. Tibet is at a high altitude and the climate is tundralike. There are not many fruits and vegetables. After coming to South Asia, you really don’t have to follow the Tibetan custom of meat and tsampa. There are many types of fruits and vegetables, nutritional supplements — all kinds of good foods. Everything is available. So there is really no need to talk about the customs of Tibet as an excuse for eating meat. From my experience, not eating meat has many benefits. I’m eighty-eight and ever since I stopped eating meat, I haven’t had any major sickness. When I sleep, I sleep well. When I get up, I can walk right away. When I read religious texts, I can see them properly. I have very good hearing and can listen attentively. These are the qualities I have experienced from not eating meat. I didn’t get sick or die when I stopped eating meat; no negative consequences came to me. I can travel by vehicle, airplane, or train without getting nauseous or dizzy and I never get headaches. I am a human being formed with flesh and blood like anyone else and am proof that giving up meat does not make one ill like many Tibetans seem to think. I’m telling you from my own experience; only good things have happened to me from giving up meat.

Question: Some monks have told me that since insects are killed in the production of rice and other vegetables, then there is really no difference in eating those things and eating meat. What do you think about this?
Rinpoche: This would mean that you wouldn’t eat anything and would starve to death. If you say you were going to go for a month without killing insects through the food you eat, then you would die. If you die, this precious human life is wasted. So if you just let your body be destroyed, that means you are taking your own life, which is killing in itself. You can always take the insect from the rice when you see it and let it free outside. You don’t necessarily have to kill beings to eat. Although, when we walk we crush many insects under our feet. We may not see them or observe them, but still we must be killing them. Not being aware doesn’t mean that we haven’t created any sin, because after all, cause and effect are always there.



आर्भट्या शशिखण्डमण्डितजटाजूटां नृमुण्डस्रजं
बन्धूकारुणभूषणाम्बरधरां प्रेतासनाध्यासिनीम् |
त्वां ध्यायन्ति चतुर्भुजां त्रिनयनामापीनतुङ्गस्तनीं
मध्ये निम्नवलित्रयाङ्किततनुं त्वद्रूपसम्वित्तये ||

pItha nyAsa

The following are the pIthas used for nyAsa in the mAtR^ikA positions according to mahAmanthAna-bhairava tantra.

01. kAmarUpa
02. vArANasI
03. nepALa
04. puNDravardhana
05. purastIra
06. kAnyakubja
07. pUrNagiri
08. arbuda
09. AmrAtakeshvara
10. ekAmra
11. trisrota
12. kAmakoTi
13. kailAsa
14. bhR^i~Nganagara
15. kedAra
16. chandrapura
17. shrIpITha/shrIparvata
18. omkAra
19. jAlandhara
20. mAlava
21. kulatA (kulUTa)
22. devIkoTa
23. gokarNa
24. marukeshvara
25. aTTahAsa
26. virajA
27. rAjagR^iha
28. mahApatha
29. kollagiri
30. ekavIrA/elApura
31. sopAra/bhUpAla
32. jayantikA
33. ujjayinI
34. charitra
35. kShIraka
36. hastinApura
37. oDukasa
38. prayAga
39. pR^iShThapura
40. mAyApurI
41. urasA
42. malaya
43. shrIshaila
44. eruNDI/bheruNDaka
45. mAhendra
46. vAmana/vAruNa
47. hiraNyapura
48. mahAlakShmI
49. uDDiyAna
50. ChAyAchatra