Essential Practices for Protection from Coronavirus COVID-19

Essential Practices for Protection from Coronavirus COVID-19

Date of Advice:
February 2020
Date Posted:
March 2020

In this advice, Rinpoche recommends Vajra Armor mantra and The Prayer Liberating Sakya from Disease as the main practices for protection and healing from coronavirus COVID-19. Rinpoche also advises that bodhicitta and tonglen are essential practices at this time. Read Rinpoche's previous advice about coronavirus here. See also the new FPMT webpage: Resources for the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche at the Light of the Path Retreat, North Carolina, USA, May 2014. Photo: Roy Harvey.

My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
I don’t know if students are doing this: I told Chinese students in Mainland China that they must do Vajra Armor to not get the disease, coronavirus (COVID-19). If they get the disease, by doing this practice they will recover, otherwise they may die.

Many people became great healers by reciting the Vajra Armor mantra in the past. There is one lama who helped an American monk’s father, a long time ago, before we got the land for Maitreya Institute in Bodhgaya. The monk’s father had cancer and I think this lama did some puja for him and maybe he recovered. So this lama became famous as a healer after doing that, and he healed other people too.

When this lama, who was known as a great healer, went to Holland, there was Drepung Loseling geshe at our FPMT center there, who asked him what mantras he used to heal people. The lama said White Tara, but he didn’t mention exactly the mantra. Then the geshe asked him for White Tara initiation, which that lama then gave him. Later in my room in Bodhgaya, the lama told me that actually the main mantra that he uses is Vajra Armor.

There are many healers at Sera Monastery. I met one man who was the father of Lama Pasang’s disciple. He became a great healer and he healed many people. I don’t know who he is. It seems he didn’t know much Dharma and lamrim, but he became a great healer by reciting this mantra. This is what I have come to know, that there are many healers who use this mantra.

If you recite one mala of the Vajra Armor mantra a day it is so powerful to heal people, besides giving protection.


The other practice is a prayer by the great yogi Thangtong Gyalpo. In the past there was this contagious disease that happened amongst the Sakya [practitioners] and many people died, so he wrote The Vajra Speech of Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo: The Blessed Prayer Known as “Liberating Sakya from Disease” and then all the Sakyas were healed from the disease. This amazing miracle happened. This prayer is good for oneself and also for China and other countries to not get diseases such as coronavirus, and to be healed if you have it. So this is good to recite to help, including for oneself.

The other practice is Black Manjushri but its OK if you mainly do these two things—Vajra Armor and The Prayer Liberating Sakya from Disease—unless you are doing Black Manjushri normally. It is very important to do these two practices, otherwise just reading this or just reading that, you are not doing much specifically for this disease.

Please tell the students at the centers, before they get too much suffering, before the disease comes to the centers and spreads to the centers. Please make an announcement. Tell the students, however you make announcements. Thank you very much.

If you get this disease, don’t worry. Anyway, without the disease we can die at any time. There are so many conditions and we can die at any time, even without the disease. Now with the disease, people come to know that we can die any time, just suddenly. This is what people who don’t know, who don’t think, who haven’t met the lamrim, who haven’t met Dharma, are afraid of. But as we are Dharma practitioners, we know about impermanence and death. We know we can die at any time—any day, any hour, any minute, any second. So, we have to think like that.

The essential idea is bodhicitta practice. If you get the disease, experience it on behalf of all sentient beings. Do tonglen, so then you die with tonglen, you die with bodhicitta. His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that this is the best way to die, with bodhicitta. So you die with tonglen, taking all the sufferings and their causes into your heart and destroying your mara, the self-cherishing thought, the ignorance holding the I.

Or at least you can recite this prayer by Choje Gotsangpa. He was a great Kagyu lama who didn’t like having a monastery or center or any group. He didn’t like that and he didn’t have that, so he went to other monasteries and groups of people; he went there but he never made a center or monastery himself. Anyway, he said:

By my experiencing this [disease]
May all sentient beings be free from disease and spirit harm,
May they be free from these conditions and their cause, created from beginningless rebirths—the negative karma and defilements.
May all beings be free from that and be totally pacified, and may they achieve enlightenment.

Recite this verse as if you are reciting OM MANI PADME HUM. Recite this verse in the same way you recite a mantra, reciting it as much as you can—for example, while you are walking—in the same way that Tibetans recite OM MANI PADME HUM. Probably Western people only recite mantras when they are sitting down, but Tibetan people recite them while walking or shopping. So you can recite prayers like that.

So do the meditation and the prayer that I just mentioned with bodhicitta, and make the best use of your death to achieve enlightenment quickly for sentient beings, so that sentient beings may achieve enlightenment quickly. You turn poison into medicine, into nectar, like that.

Thank you very much.

With much love and prayers ...