Chakrasamvara & Vajrayogini
This is a free platform (and a non-profit project of Vajra Mandala) with the sole purpose of preserving the Vajrayana lineages of Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini. It contains practice resources and teachings for tantric practitioners who have received initiation into Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini.
Initiates of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism are welcome!
An Introduction to Chakrasamvara and the advantages of this Instruction
This instruction on the Heruka practice has many advantages. Unlike other tantric deities, the more degenerate the time, the more the power and inspiration of Heruka increase. In the case of tantras like Yamantaka and others, the more distant the transmission of the lineage becomes, the longer it takes the practitioner to attain realizations through that method. In the same way, the inspiration and the force of that path deteriorate. Unlike those tantras, no matter how distant the transmission of the lineage is, as the times become more degenerate, the inspiration of the practice of Heruka and Vajravarahi increases. Also, less time is needed for the practitioner to attain results through this method. This praise of Heruka tantra, telling its great advantages, is riot an exaggeration written by poets to describe the tantra’s beauty. It has special significance and a reason to prove it: the more degenerate the time is, the more the embodiments of the emotional afflictions, such as harmful spirits in the form of Ishvara and others, become powerful. The increase in their power is indicated by the increase of desire, hatred and other negative forces within the mindstreams of the beings living in that universe. When Ishvara’s power increases, it is natural that the opposing power of Heruka Vajravarahi increases. Therefore, the time needed to bring the result through such method and path also becomes shorter. This is one reason.
Another reason is the mandala which was originally emanated when Buddha gave the Heruka tantra at the peak of Mt. Meru has not been re-absorbed. Because of this, the time needed to actualize this method becomes shorter. The beings on this earth reap a special advantage from practicing the Heruka tantra because the principal deity of the mandala originally created at the peak of Mt. Meru faces towards our world. Also, the heroes and heroines, as well as their retinue, still reside in the 24 sacred places on this earth. When a sincere person practices the Heruka tantra, the dakas and dakinis visit him/her, coming as swiftly as the speed of the mind to bless and help that practitioner on the path. In his commentary on the root tantra of Heruka called Complete Elucidation of the Hidden Meaning, Lama Tsongkhapa explained, “In this world the resident mandala (referring to the heroes and heroines that were emanated by Heruka) still dwell in the 24 sacred places in this world. Their power and force will not deteriorate as the times degenerate and they will come as swiftly as the speed of the mind to wherever the practitioners are in order to assist and to bless them. I shall explain the tantra which possesses such advantages.”
All these benefits are also explained in the root tantra itself.
There are other advantages as well. It says in the root tantra that when the Heruka tantra is practiced even by barbarians or people with very strange behavior, those people, their friends, the people living in the area, as well as the environment where they do this practice become objects of veneration and are blessed by Heruka and the mandala deities. Lama Tsongkhapa said in the Complete Elucidation of the Hidden Meaning, that it is beneficial if we venerate and make offerings to the places where such practitioners live and to their friends. Practitioners of Heruka are blessed by Heruka, Vajravarahi and their entourage of mandala deities by their entering into the practitioners’ hearts or minds. Because the hearts of the yogis and yoginis of Heruka tantra are blessed by Heruka, Vajravarahi and the mandala deities, all beings born at the same time as they are — even insects and animals — as well as those that they have contact with, receive a great store of positive potential. This has been explained in the root tantra. The root tantra also explains that people who have the slightest contact with Heruka practitioners — who have even glimpsed them — and those who have a friendly relationship with them will accumulate great positive potential. They will be able to abandon karmic obscurations and be reborn as universal monarchs who create conducive circumstances for others to practice Dharma. Also, all the powerful attainments and activities received with great difficulty by practicing other tantras, such as Guhyasamaja and Yamantaka, can be easily accomplished by yogis and yoginis of Heruka tantra, merely by practicing meditative stabilization.
Having generated themselves as the deity Heruka, when the yogis or yoginis make offerings to Heruka/ themselves in the form of the deity, positive potential equal to making offerings to all the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and deities of the sacred places will be accumulated. The reason for this is that by generating themselves as Heruka, they see themselves as the embodiment of all the mandalas of the three secrets. The mandalas of the three secrets refer to the body, speech and mind of all the Buddhas, the physical embodiments of which are Vairochana, Amitabha and Akshobya respectively. The meaning is that Heruka embodies all the body, speech and mind of all the Buddhas. Therefore, offering to oneself as the deity accumulates the same positive potential as offering to all the Buddhas and all the deities of the mandala. These advantages have been told in the root tantra and explicitly mentioned in Lama Tsongkhapa’s commentary on the root tantra, Complete Illumination of the Hidden Meaning.
The distinctive features of Heruka or Chakrasamvara can be understood by the meaning of the name itself. There are two etymological explanations of the name Chakrasamvara (Integration of All the Wheels): 1) integration of the body, speech and mind of all the heroes and yoginis, 2) integration of all phenomena into the aspect of one deity, Heruka.
Another advantage is if we intensely practice the two stages (generation stage/ Sadhana and completion stage/ Tummo) of Heruka tantra, we will be able to achieve Buddhahood within this short lifetime. If it is not achieved, then without having to abandon the gross physical body, we can go to the pure land of the dakinis, having been led there by Heruka and the mandala deities. Or, we will be able to take rebirth as a universal monarch possessing all the necessary conditions and facilities for continuing the practice and progressing along the path. For those who have practiced intensely but still cannot enjoy these privileges, it is said that although they may still have to experience death, it will only be a process of changing bodies, leaving the old body and taking a new one. Death will just be like a pause in the practice. Through successive rebirths as a human being endowed with all necessary conditions for practice, we eventually will be led to the pure realm of the dakinis, the external dakini land, by hosts of goddesses and dakinis holding flowers. There we will be received in a ceremonial and grand way. By being led to the external dakini land we will experience the internal dakini, the experience of the ultimate clear light. This also is explained in the root tantra. Being able to be reborn in a pure land is said to be a unique feature for a practitioner of Heruka or of mother tantra. Being born in the pure land of the dakinis is beneficial because even though we may be an old person, once we get there, we immediately become very young — 16 years old. Going to dakini land without abandoning your old body means that you take that body with you. Once at dakini land, the body transforms into that of a sixteen-year-old. It is still a gross body. We will have the opportunity to receive teachings directly from Heruka and Vajravarahi, and we will have all the necessary conditions for progressing along the path. We can also prolong our lifespan once we get there, and through super-natural power, we can visit other pure lands of Buddhas’ emanations and receive teachings. Thus, we will be able to realize Buddhahood within that lifetime. It is said that merely by reflecting or meditating on the Heruka tantra and just by reading or copying it, venerating and respecting it, we will accumulate enough positive potential to take rebirth as a universal monarch, thus being able to make the conditions for others conducive for the practice of Dharma.
There is danger that people like us doubt, “Is it really true that the tantra possesses such great advantages?” We have to avoid this doubt because it is harmful. To help us abandon it, the great advantages of this tantra have been explained. But whether this tantra actually possesses these advantages or not is determined by the way we practice it. Lama Tsongkhapa said that the person who can actually enjoy the privileges and advantages of this tantra is very rare. We must reflect upon the rarity and preciousness of the tantra and then engage in the study, contemplation and meditation of it. Lama Tsongkhapa gave this advice with great compassion and directed it towards us, his followers. The great Sakya Pandita, Dragpa Gyaltsen, said, “If someone is really serious about receiving the full enlightenment, there is no superior meditational deity than this.” Therefore, on our part, it is important not to lose any time and not to be distracted by frivolities and senseless activities. We should study and practice this great tantra.
Copyright © 2023 - Vajra Mandala