02: Mahamudra is the Method of Attaining Buddhahood
|Chapter 02: Mahamudra is the Method of Attaining Buddhahood
To those disciples of mine who take up the practice of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra as outlined in my book, whose meditation practice is accurate and who are being guided by a true master, who keep up a dedicated pace of cultivation, I guarantee that if they should not attain Buddhahood, I shall hold myself responsible.
This Mahamudra is an unexcelled method of attaining Buddhahood. Once an individual practises this teaching, the ordinary mundane mind becomes attuned to the universal mind. In other words, while in the human body, you are one and indivisible with the original nature of the universe. In this situation, you are aware of your self nature and the intrinsic nature of the universe. You are aware that you are truth itself and truth is you. There is no difference between the two.
The term Mahamudra in Sanskrit, or Chakgya Chenpo in Tibetan, means the great seal. It is the quintessence of attaining Buddhahood as practised by great cultivators, known also as the cultivation practice of the Middle Way. It relies completely on the combination of mind and techniques to reach the state of the single Buddha vehicle, through which one perceives the true reality behind all things. The final goal of all cultivators is to partake in the right path, whose fruition is the realm of nirvana, attain Buddhahood and thereby free oneself from the bondage of cyclic existence, and attain complete spiritual freedom.
I would say that anyone who practises the yoga of Mahamudra and gains attainment shall reach the state of wonderful action of the mind and spirit, in which every movement and action reflects the cultivation and attainment of Mahamudra. Thus, one gains spontaneity of expression, which moves one beyond the state of an ordinary mundane mortal.
I once said:
The very act of eating is making offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the devas, and the sentient beings suffering in the six realms. Therefore the act of consuming food is in effect performing the homa ritual, which is the mandala offering performed in Mahamudra.
The very act of clothing oneself is guarding oneself with armour protection, which is termed secret adornment. Hence, dressing up is the spontaneous emergence of the Mahamudra of adornment.
The very act of bathing is cleansing ones limbs, mouth and body. Hence, this constitutes the spontaneous emergence of the Mahamudra of purification.
The very act of speaking is transforming all speech and sound into mantra, for all utterance is the recitation of mantra, and such is the Mahamudra of speech purification.
The very act of sleeping is the Yoga of Clear Light, where the sleeping postures are in fact Mahamudra.
The true meaning of Mahamudra is the complete transformation of the mundane ordinary mind into a holy mind, for every desire is met with an antidote in Mahamudra. Thus, an ordinary person is transformed into a holy sage, for all negative karma borne of ignorance is eliminated, leaving no trace of even a single dust particle. All aspects of truth are continuously revealed in inexhaustible meanings, expressed as infinite wisdom.
I would like to make the statement that anyone who practices the doctrine of Mahamudra, whether an ordained monk or layperson, is one who has vowed to attain Buddhahood. As such, he has accepted the transcendental method and the instructions of the Highest Tantra Yoga, which should be regarded as an act of true renunciation. All the past practices are incomparable to the teachings of Highest Tantra Yoga and Mahamudra, as this teaching encompasses all other teachings and wisdom, and is the supreme teaching that eternally embodies all as one. Thus, by practising Mahamudra, one attains true renunciation.
When the Tantric practitioner of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism attains realization through the practice of Mahamudra, all mundane teachings, all teachings of the Sutric system, all dharma gates, all rules and precepts, all Tantric teachings are shattered. However, those who have not been enlightened will not experience this state of realization. Thus, I shall not elucidate further on this, as any explanation may not result in immediate understanding. This truth is only understood by one who has realized and attained Buddhahood.
I am an accomplished adept who has attained Buddhahood. I have gained supreme victory in this world, and gained the status of a guide to the human and spiritual worlds. In this way, I have demonstrated the process of attaining Buddhahood by my example. I am an enlightened Vajra master. My title is The Emanation of White Padmakumara of the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds, the religious torchbearer, one who enlightens man and succors the world, the Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru, Tantric Master Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu. Those who follow my practice and read my books are indeed endowed with the affinity to attain Buddhahood.
Those who wish to learn from me must meet the following five conditions:
The first condition is to take refuge with the Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru. Why? This is because as the result of my cultivation, I have made spiritual attainments and received the Tantric dharma for attaining Buddhahood. I am the Buddha and the Buddha is me, for there is really no difference. I have the means to deliver sentient beings, and sentient beings who follow my methods of cultivation shall attain Buddhahood. I am the representative of the holy Sangha, and I am a holy Sangha myself. I embody the Triple Jewels, being the unification of the Guru, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Thus, taking refuge with the Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru is equivalent to taking refuge with the Buddha, the Dharma and the holy Sangha. To practise Buddha dharma, we must follow the rules of studying Buddhism. Upon taking refuge, one develops faith. Those without faith who havent taken refuge will find it impossible to enter into the path of Tantric Buddhism. Without the power of blessing and the power of response from the guru, there can be no accomplishment.
The second condition is generating Bodhi mind. This aspiration refers to perseverance in cultivation, with the intention to attain Buddhahood and deliver sentient beings. This is expressed through the Four Immeasurables: May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. This is Immeasurable Loving-kindness; may all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. This is Immeasurable Compassion; may all beings never be separated from the supreme joy which is beyond all sorrow. This is Immeasurable Joy; may all beings abide in equanimity, free from attraction and aversion. This is Immeasurable Equanimity. I want my students who practise my teachings to have the motivation to continue in their cultivation diligently until they attain Buddhahood, and do so in a down-to-earth manner. Upon the attainment of Buddhahood, one must vow to return to deliver sentient beings so that all may attain the fruition of Buddhahood. This is the highest of aspirations.
The third condition is repentance. As the speech and action of ordinary beings are tied to negative karma, so are their discursive thoughts. Hence, the behavior of ordinary beings is distorted, misleading, illusionary, and tied to negative karma. Before starting any practice, human beings are subject to the influence of the defiled mind and have no understanding of the purified mind of self-nature. They are affected by afflictions, impulsiveness, and obstacles. Thus, they are really worthless. The Sutra on the Eight Realizations states, The mind is the source of evil, while the form is the assembly of crimes. The individual whose body and mind is drowning in the deep pool of transgression is completely unaware of his or her predicament. It is therefore necessary to repent and cultivate the Four Preliminaries, especially the Vajra Heart Bodhisattva Practice, known also as the Vajrasattva Hundred Syllable Mantra Practice, to eliminate negative karma through the recitation of the Hundred Syllable Mantra.
The fourth condition is to make offerings to the guru. As the guru is the embodiment of the Triple Jewels, making offerings to the guru is equivalent to making offerings to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. A true guru who accepts the offerings from his disciples does not delight in these donations, but rather he uses this wealth as a means to benefit sentient beings through the completion of his duties and assignments. Through your offerings, the guru may reduce your karma and offer you blessings. The act of making offerings constitutes the path of generosity, and can carry the meaning of renunciation from worldly affairs and Samsara. As offerings are made to the guru, one receives his blessings and naturally gains many spiritual experiences quickly.
The fifth condition is to swiftly attain union with the guru. Those who follow my teachings must first practise Guru Yoga. Know that the yogic power of the lineage guru is the only secret to attaining Buddhahood. Guru Yoga is the first dharma gate that one practises in attaining Buddhahood through Mahamudra. One must recite the guru mantra: OM AH HUM GURU BEI AH HO SA SA MA HA LIAN-SHENG SIDDHI HUM. Form the Guru Mudra where the right hand forms the Teaching Mudra, and the left hand forms the Lotus Holding Mudra. Visualize the lineage holders seated in meditation pose arranged in levels according to the order of lineage transmission. In the uppermost level one finds the presence of Vajradhara, and at the bottommost level sits Guru Lian-sheng. The lineage holders emit a flood of light that enters into the body of the practitioner. The wisdom of initiating Mahamudra is seen in gaining response with Guru Yoga, for the key secret of this uncommon teaching lies in the active supplication of the lineage holders to bestow their guidance and blessings. In this way one gains interaction with the gurus, and receives lineage transmission.
It is only upon the fulfillment of these five conditions that someone truly becomes my lineage disciple.
The Mahamudra practice is the method of attaining Buddhahood. My unreserved revelation of this major practice will likely astonish many senior leaders of Tantric Buddhism around the world. The world shall witness the reemergence of this major teaching that has been transmitted in secrecy through generations. The cultivation heart essence of Master Sheng-yen Lu is derived from a long lineage of gurus, and with the publication of this book, it shall continue its transmission into the future, so that everyone will be able to partake in its precious secrets. But take note that we must practice in gradual steps, beginning with fulfillment of the five conditions, then the practice of the Four Preliminaries, followed by Guru Yoga, Deity Yoga, the Vajra Practices, and finally Highest Yoga Tantra, gaining realization through stages before one can cultivate the Mahamudra.
Thus, this book is precious, and should be considered extremely so, for it is certainly extraordinary. I would like to once again emphasize that the true teaching of actual practice is the Mahamudra of Attaining Buddhahood.
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