Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga (Ganden Lha Gyäma)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Tushita Meditation Centre, Dharamsala, India 1986 (Archive #266)
Ganden Lha Gyäma: The Hundreds of Deities of the Land of Joy

In this commentary, Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaches on the Ganden Lha Gyäma practice, often translating the Tibetan verses line-by-line. The teachings were given by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Tushita Meditation Centre, Dharamsala, India at the end of the Second Enlightened Experience Celebration held in March 1986.

The teachings were edited and assembled in this format by Uldis Balodis. First published by Uldis Balodis and Kopan Monastery in 1990. Lightly revised by Sandra Smith, September 2020. Tibetan terms checked and revised by Ven. Gyalten Lekden, September 2020.  

Please note: A Highest Yoga Tantra initiation is not required for Ganden Lha Gyäma practice, however, this teaching includes specific instructions suitable for Highest Yoga Tantra initiates. Rinpoche also teaches on more general lamrim topics including the preliminary practices, refuge and karma.

This commentary is now available for download as a PDF file.

8. The Preliminary Practices from Jorchö

When taking refuge at the beginning of Lama Chöpa, instead of going straight into the text, I find it effective to start by meditating on renunciation of samsara; then to take refuge for the sake of all sentient beings in order to liberate them from the suffering of samsara, specifically the two types of obscurations. That is how the Jorchö practice begins. If you do the practice of refuge in this way, following a prayer which reminds you of the depthless and unbearable suffering of samsara that you are experiencing and that other sentient beings are experiencing, it is very effective and the refuge practice becomes very sincere. It is normally explained that the causes of refuge are the fear of samsara and devotion to the Triple Gem, so when doing Lama Chöpa instead of straight away saying, “From the state of exalted white virtuous mind ...” [LC 2] and then Namo Gurubhya, Namo Buddhaya ..., [LC 3] if the prayers from Jorchö are recited it is very effective and very powerful. So I thought to go over those prayers.

In the Jorchö after the refuge prayer, La ma la kyab su chi o/ Sang gyä la kyab su chi o/ Chö la kyab su chi o/ ge dun la kyab su chi o, there comes the prayer Sang gyä chö dang tsog kyi chog nam la..., for generating refuge and bodhicitta. If you are going to do the practice according to the Jorchö, then before the Ganden Lha Gyäma practice of visualizing Lama Tsongkhapa (the second field of merit), being pleased by your generation of bodhicitta a replica of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha absorbs to you and you become enlightened in the essence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and you enlighten other sentient beings in his essence. After that you do the practice of the four immeasurables and after that the generation of special bodhicitta.

Refuge and bodhicitta (from Jörcho)

Sang gyä chö dang tsog kyi chog nam la
Jang chub bar du dag ni kyab su chi
Dag gyi jin sog gyi päi tshog nam kyi
Dro la phän chir sang gyä drub par shog.

I take refuge until I am enlightened
In the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Supreme Assembly.
By my merits of generosity and so forth,
May I become a buddha to benefit transmigratory beings.

“To the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha I go for refuge until I achieve enlightenment.” Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are the resultant refuge, that which we are going to achieve. “I go for refuge until enlightenment” is the causal refuge. “Due to the merit of practicing charity and so on…” refers to the merit accumulated by practicing the six paramitas—the merit of method and the merit of wisdom. “May I achieve enlightenment in order to benefit all the migratory beings.” How? By accumulating the two types of merit.

Because the mind is empty of existing from its own side, that is, it is a dependent arising, it can be separated from the two types of obscurations. That is achieved by listening, reflecting and meditating with such a mind (not having true existence) on the teachings which explain that the mind does not have true existence. We achieve the two kayas by listening, reflecting and meditating on the wisdom realizing the emptiness of the mind, that it does not have true existence, in conjunction with the method aspect, bodhicitta. Relating it to tantra, we practice the generation stage and then the method—illusory body—in conjunction with wisdom. We are then able to benefit all the migratory beings without the slightest mistake.

Dro la means migrator. It has two interpretations. One reason we are dro la, migratory beings, is because whether we are eating, whether we are sleeping, sitting, walking, whatever we are doing, we are constantly running toward death, getting closer and closer to death. Without stopping for one minute or one second we are getting nearer to death; we are in front of the Lord of Death. Even if we are singing, even if we are lying on the beach, even if we are laughing, whatever we are doing we are constantly going toward the Lord of Death. In other words, these activities could be called “dying”. I find it quite effective to call them dying. Normally dying refers to the time of having trouble breathing; normally when the later signs of death are happening people call it dying because then it is definite that the person is dying. They are not dead yet, but we call it dying because certain things are happening. When there is no hope. Similarly, if we refer to ourselves now as dying, “I’m dying,” it is very effective for controlling the mind, because in actuality we are constantly running toward the Lord of Death without a minute’s or second’s break. I think it was the Thirteenth Dalai Lama who said, “[The person is] running like a messenger in front of the Lord of Death, so even if we refer to him as ‘alive’ he is in danger of dying.” So, thinking, “I’m dying,” is very effective during sessions and break-times. But if you say that to somebody while you are strong and healthy they might think you are crazy!

The other meaning of dro la is that being under the control of karma and delusion we migrate to the various realms because of the consciousness migrating to different bodies. So, without freedom, we suffer.

After that, a replica of Buddha absorbs into you and you become enlightened, having the essence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then you send forth beams of light from each of your pores, and on the tip of each beam are Guru Shakyamuni Buddhas which sit on the crown of each sentient being. Nectar rays flow down into each sentient being and purify the two obscurations and generate the whole path. Then the crown buddhas absorb into them. You then generate great joy by thinking, “How wonderful it is that I have enlightened all the sentient beings into the state of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha.”

The four immeasurable thoughts

Think: “I have just visualized this, but actually they are not enlightened; they are suffering in samsara. And the reason they are still suffering in samsara is because they are under the control of attachment and anger, thus they discriminate and see some sentient beings as close and some as distant.” Then generate the four immeasurable thoughts.

The first one is the immeasurable thought of equanimity. Sentient beings are still suffering in samsara because of being under the control of anger and attachment and thus discriminate between sentient beings as being close or distant, so generate the immeasurable thought of equanimity. First comes the immeasurable wish: “How wonderful it would be if all the sentient beings were to abide in equanimity, free from anger and attachment and discriminating some sentient beings as distant and some as close.” After that comes the immeasurable prayer: “May they abide in equanimity,” and the immeasurable thought of taking responsibility for others: “I will cause them to abide in that equanimity.” Then the immeasurable request: “Please Guru-Buddha, grant me blessings to be able to do this.” The remaining immeasurable practices follow that pattern—the immeasurable thought of loving kindness, immeasurable compassion and then immeasurable joy.

The practice of generating the four immeasurable thoughts can be repeated more than once. The purpose is this: as when her one beloved son is sick a mother will think about him more, over and over, and her compassion will thus increase, by reciting the prayer of the four immeasurables and doing the meditation many times over, your loving kindness and compassion will increase. There is no rule saying that if you recite it more than three times you will be jailed or kicked out or something! So when you are not with a group of people, as His Holiness mentioned and as it is sometimes mentioned in the scriptures, you can generate the bodhicitta by reciting the prayers seven times. In the Vajrayogini practice it says to recite it seven times. So, you can recite it many times in order to expand the bodhicitta.

While you are saying these prayers you can do the tonglen practice. When you are generating the immeasurable thought of equanimity be aware of how sentient beings are suffering through creating karma under the control of discriminating thoughts such as anger and attachment. Think of just the human beings on this earth that we can see by traveling around—just their problems are unbelievable. It is unbelievable how much the human beings just on this small earth are suffering. All their problems arise because of these discriminating thoughts. For example, even without thinking of the sentient beings suffering in the narak, the animal, the preta and deva realms, or other human continents, right now your friends and people you know are having problems, suffering due to being under the control of discriminating thoughts like anger and attachment. When you think about it, when you look at the world, it is so unbearable for your mind. They are so many and suffering so much, repeatedly. Not just having the problem of being under the control of the discriminating thoughts like anger and attachment once; their lives are constantly tormented for the entire thirty or forty years. Even if they live for very long, say one hundred years, the entire life is lived in suffering and problems resulting from discriminating thoughts—attachment and anger. First of all there are such great mental sufferings, and secondly physical sufferings. Because of mental unhealth they also physically unhealthy.

While you are reciting the prayer three times do the taking-on of their anger and attachment, and that which causes all their problems—the true cause of sufferings and the true sufferings, the two obscurations. Take it right inside your heart onto the self-cherishing thought which brings everything undesirable to you and to others; that which interferes with succeeding in all of your wishes and the wishes of all sentient beings. All that is absorbed.

His Holiness explained the tonglen practice during the commentary on Lama Chöpa: you can visualize the sufferings and their causes as pollution or as fearful sharp weapons such as the wheel of sharp weapons that Vajrabhairava holds. These completely destroy the self-cherishing thought. Also they can be visualized in the form of ugly, terrifying creatures which completely devour the self-cherishing thought. Use whichever is most effective. If visualized as pollution you absorb it into the self-cherishing thought, the I that you feel inside the heart, inside the chest. Not outside, but inside the chest. Not in the belly, not in the head, but inside the chest. The I that you feel there, that you feel is so precious, about which you constantly feel, “I’m the most important. This I is the most precious and most important.” The I that you care most about and are concerned that might get cold or might get a headache, that might get sick or might fall down! That you are always trying to protect against something which might happen. That I which you feel inside your chest. which you cherish the most among all the sentient beings.

Everything is absorbed onto this I and it becomes completely non-existent. Like a mirage: in the distance there is an appearance of water because of sand in the hot sun, but when you actually reach that spot you do not find one drop of water. Water is non-existent on the basis of that sand; there is not even one drop. Likewise this I that you cherish so much is completely non-existent right there. When you feel this is really non-existent, without even the slightest trace left, then you are seeing the emptiness on the I. Try as much as possible.

If some fear arises in your heart that means your meditation on shunyata, such as when reciting the Heart Sutra, has been worthwhile, it has affected your mind. Why worthwhile? Because the meditation was able to harm the ignorance grasping the I. That is why the fear arises. If your meditation is unable to harm the ignorance grasping the I, fear will not arise. Even though the I is merely labeled on the base of the aggregates, it does not appear to be merely labeled but appears as if it is existing from its own side. Ignorance holds that as one hundred percent true. Then the self-cherishing arises on the basis of that falsely appearing I; it holds the truly existent I as so precious, so important. So when the meditation comes nearer to the object of ignorance—the truly existent I, which is in fact completely non-existent—you start to have some degree of awareness that the non-existent truly existent I is non-existent. That that which is false is false. So when that awareness regarding that which you cherish so much starts to arise, fear also arises. The pollution is absorbed onto the I, or the I is devoured, and this I that you cherish so much becomes non-existent. Meditate on the emptiness by concentrating one-pointedly for a while.

Then you can practice taking again or practice the immeasurable thought of loving kindness and dedicate. Just before you meditated on the precious I that you cherish so much as being non-existent. Now, as you dedicate, be aware that that I does not exist; it is completely non-existent. That I does not exist, but what is left—the I which is meditating and performing the dedication—is the I which is merely labeled on the aggregates. Because the mind is doing the action of dedicating the body, possessions and merits to the all the sentient beings, you have the thought, I am dedicating to other sentient beings. The I is merely labeled on the aggregates according to that activity. So, with the awareness that I is merely labeled, that I is a dependent arising, dedicate to other sentient beings. As you have discovered, the subject—you, the I doing the dedication—is merely labeled on the aggregates, so likewise your merits, body and possessions, as well as the sentient beings, are merely labeled.

When you generate the four immeasurable thoughts such as immeasurable loving kindness, compassion and joy, first of all you create infinite merit just generating each of these. But if on top of this you do tonglen with each one, when you do the taking-on of suffering infinite merit is accumulated because there are infinite sentient beings. And when you do the dedication you do it to all the sentient beings so again infinite merit is accumulated. So, through knowing this skillful means and putting it into practice you can accumulate inconceivable merit in a very short time; then that much work is finished.

Special bodhicitta

For the sake of all mother sentient beings
I shall quickly, quickly, in this very life,
Actualize the state of the primordial Buddha-Guru-Deity.

I shall free all mother sentient beings from suffering
And lead them to the great bliss of buddhahood;
Therefore, I shall practice
The profound path of Guru-Deity yoga. (1x or 3x)

The special bodhicitta is the motivation to practice tantra, especially Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra: “At any rate I must achieve enlightenment...” This means, “No matter how long it takes and no matter how hard it is to practice the path to enlightenment for the sake of other sentient beings, I'm going to do it.”

“To reach enlightenment quicker and quicker for the sake of all mother sentient beings through the profound path of guru yoga, I’m going to meditate on lamrim.” I mentioned the meaning of “quicker and quicker” earlier. This is the generation of special bodhicitta.

Then, as His Holiness explained, the lineage lamas of the experiential path at the rear absorb into Vajradhara, the lineage lamas of the extensive path on the right absorb into Maitreya Buddha, the lineage lamas of the profound path on the left absorb into Manjushri, and then the deities, the protectors, dakas and dakinis completely absorb into the guru. The thrones absorb into the lotus. All of your own gurus absorb to the root guru and the root guru goes into the heart of Shakyamuni Buddha. I think the other figures melt into light and are absorbed but the root guru enters the heart without melting into light. Now Guru Shakyamuni Buddha turns into blue light and absorbs into you, and you instantly arise as Yamantaka, with one face and two arms and embracing the mother. Due to the embrace you experience the transcendental wisdom of non-dual bliss and voidness. You then send beams to all the sentient beings and transform all environments into mandalas and all beings into Yamantakas. They all absorb back into you. This is like the beginning of Lama Chöpa, and you can do this at the beginning of the Ganden Lha Gyäma. Also you can do the four types of offerings—outer, inner, secret and suchness— and also at the end the practice of the guru entering the heart.

Now you are Yamantaka, with one face and two arms. The short way to arise as Yamantaka, without doing the dharmakaya and sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya meditation, is thus: Guru Shakyamuni Buddha melts into blue light, absorbs into you and you then instantly arise in the form of Yamantaka.

Dharmakaya meditation

It may be beneficial to explain the elaborate method as it may be of help for doing other dharmakaya meditations. When you do Vajrayogini practice and so on there are some slight differences, but it may be of help. So, you are Yamantaka, with one face and two arms. To begin you can generate the motivation: “In order to lead all sentient beings to the dharmakaya state I’m going to do the dharmakaya meditation.”

You, Yamantaka’s holy body, absorb into the HUM. Think that the appearances which will come are the signs of death. As each of the signs happens, it is very effective to think and say the words: “These are the actual signs of death.” That gives you the impression that you are dying now, that you are not just making something up. It is very good to do this meditation with the feeling, “I’m dying now.” Then you will be more careful and less distracted, as if it is really happening—in the way the military train.

Now the mirage-like sign of death appears due to the earth element sinking into the water element. It is like the illusion of water. Look at the mirage and think, Now the mirage-like sign of death is appearing. Then think, “This time I must recognize the clear light; this time I will not miss it. I’m going to recognize the clear light and I’m definitely going to meditate on bliss and voidness.” Make this strong determination and right after that look at the mirage-like vision: there is an appearance of a mirage and on that you have labeled “mirage-like vision.” Your thought has merely labeled mirage-like vision, therefore true existence on this mirage-like vision is completely non-existent. Now, that wisdom which is aware of that emptiness is in the nature of great bliss. Stay on that and concentrate for a short while. Your main awareness is of the vision which is sealed with bliss and voidness, but a part of that mind is in a state of expectation because the next vision, the smoke-like vision, is about to happen. One part of your mind is waiting for that—it is about to happen. Then it happens.

The mirage-like vision has gone and now a smoke-like vision arises. Think, “The mirage-like vision has gone and now the water element is absorbing into the fire element, and the death sign of the smoke-like vision is happening.” A part of the mind is thinking, “This is happening,” and a part is preparing to recognize the next vision which is about to happen: The vision like fire sparks emitting is about to happen. Concentrate more on the smoke-like vision with just a part of the mind expecting the next appearance. Then again think, “This time I must recognize the clear light and definitely meditate on bliss and voidness.” Make a strong determination, or preparation. This smoke-like vision is like a house filled with smoke, or like a house full of incense when you have lit a lot of it. Now, this looks like it is unlabeled, as if it exists from its own side. But actually that is not true; on this appearance the thought has merely labeled “smoke-like vision.” True existence on this smoke-like vision is completely not there. And the wisdom which is aware of the emptiness of the smoke-like vision is in the nature of great bliss. Meditate there for a while.

I am not going to go through each vision in detail; use the above as an example—the rest of the meditations follow the same pattern. The main point is this: when the death sign of the mirage-like vision arises you meditate on emptiness and bliss. Now, when the smoke-like vision arises the experience of its emptiness should be stronger than the previous experience of emptiness, and the bliss should be stronger than the previous bliss. That is the technique for doing this meditation. So, when the vision like fire-sparks emitting arises, the emptiness is stronger and the bliss is much stronger than before.

Then comes the flame-like vision. It is not of the actual flame. His Holiness Zong Rinpoche used to always say this. His Holiness the Dalai Lama said the same thing. It is not the actual flame but the glow of it. When one lights a brass butter-lamp there is a kind-of yellow or white glow; it is not so much the light itself but its radiance, the brightness around it. But in the texts it seems like the light itself is being referred to. Now the experience of emptiness is much greater and because of that the bliss is much greater. With the white vision it is again much greater. Then comes the red vision, and then the dark vision. Then during the clear light the emptiness is greatest and the bliss is greatest.

I do not need to explain how the HUM gradually absorbs during those visions—I think you already know the various colors of HUM through taking LSD! It is explained in The Way of the White Clouds. During the time the nada is absorbed you experience the dark vision. The clear light appears after the whole of the nada has been absorbed. The appearance is like a very clear dawn in autumn. The understanding you should have is of emptiness. At this time you can think, I don’t exist. If you have difficulty feeling emptiness but just see space like when looking out of the window of an airplane, instead of meditating just on space it is better to think, I, the meditator, is completely non-existent. Thinking that hits the mark, because the I which appears to us and the I which we believe in is nothing other than the truly existent I. That is the only thing to point to, so since we do not feel that it is non-existent, to think, I, the meditator, I, self, is completely non-existent, is a way to cheat that false idea. So, just meditate on it being completely non-existent. Even if you cannot recognize the object of refutation—a truly existent I—by thinking, I, the meditator, is non-existent, you naturally feel that the truly existent I does not have the slightest existence at all. Completely take that view and hold that for as long as you can.

Now, that wisdom which is aware of the emptiness is experiencing great bliss—bliss which if it were materialized would not fit in the sky. They are oneness. The entire experience of emptiness is pervaded by bliss. Bliss is emptiness and emptiness is bliss. Like having put water into water—you cannot separate them. Feel the oneness. Then, on top of that, think, “This is my actual resultant-time Yamantaka’s holy mind, dharmakaya.” Completely decide, “This is it.” It is kind-of that you have achieved now what you expect to achieve in the future. Hold strong divine pride thinking, “This is it.” Now, on this valid base you label, “This is I.” So here again there are four things: the appearance is clear light, the understanding is of emptiness, the experience is of bliss, then holding divine pride of that as one’s resultant-time dharmakaya. In the mantra OM SVABHAVA SHUDDHA SARVA DHARMA SVABHAVA SHUDDHO HAM the last syllable, HAM, means “I.” Stay there for a while. The most important aspect is the emptiness. Please do it like that.

That process of meditation helps to recognize the clear light as well as to immediately remember emptiness and experience bliss. Usually it is explained quite simply, but His Holiness Zong Rinpoche used to explain these details. Rinpoche was the one from whom I heard the explanation on these five stages. Then I discovered that this way of meditating with the details comes from Lama Tsongkhapa’s explanation on the five stages. With each appearance you have to practice the four mindfulnesses. This is an incredible preparation for recognizing the clear light and being able to meditate on bliss and voidness.

Using the first vision as an example, the first mindfulness is to recognize the mirage-like vision. The second mindfulness is that the smoke-like vision is about to happen. The third mindfulness is to make the determination to meditate on bliss and voidness when the clear light vision comes and to recognize it as the dharmakaya. The fourth mindfulness is to meditate on the bliss and voidness of the mirage-like vision. This cultivation of the four mindfulnesses is the same whichever vision is appearing. That is Lama Tsongkhapa’s advice.

So, this might be helpful for a clearer idea of how to meditate on the dharmakaya when you are doing sadhanas, especially when you do retreats, since that is generally the only time we do the long sadhanas! That is the only chance to do it perfectly.

I hope the explanation of the dharmakaya meditation will help your practice of other sadhanas. Most sadhanas, whether short or long, have a dharmakaya meditation; that is the most important part. Even if you do not do the other meditations much, you should meditate on the dharmakaya section. His Holiness Serkong Rinpoche often and strongly advised this. You should meditate on the dharmakaya section of the sadhana precisely. It then becomes a preparation for death. You then prepare for death every day. And this powa, which you do by yourself, is the best.

If it is difficult to feel the emptiness when you meditate on dharmakaya, if the I is solid like a rock and you do not feel emptiness at all, instead of trying to see the object of refutation and trying to feel the non-existence of it, leave that aspect of the meditation. In that case the most powerful way to feel emptiness is to just meditate on being merely labeled. Just think of that, just work on that. In the Three Principle Aspects of the Path Lama Tsongkhapa says:

Without the wisdom realizing ultimate reality,
Even though you have generated renunciation and the mind of enlightenment
You cannot cut the root cause of circling.
Therefore, attempt the method to realize dependent arising.

“If you do not have the wisdom realizing real nature, even if your mind is well-trained in renunciation and bodhicitta you cannot cut off the root of samsara. Therefore, attempt to realize dependent arising.”

These last words—“Therefore attempt to realize dependent arising”—have incredible taste. They contain all the secrets for realizing shunyata. All advice is contained in that. It is unbelievable advice. He does not say “Therefore you should realize emptiness.” Instead he is saying “Therefore you should attempt to realize dependent arising.” It is so powerful, like the atomic bomb. It is the safest way to protect yourself from the two extreme views. It was Aryadeva, I think, who said that if we fals into the extreme of nihilism, thinking that nothing exists, the karma is much heavier than that of killing I think it is ten million human beings. The word is chewa, but I do not remember what that number is exactly. Therefore the safest and quickest way to realize shunyata is to meditate on dependent arising.

So if the “object of refutation” and “true existence” do not make sense to you, if you do not recognize the truly existent I and do not recognize that the truly existent I is false, it is best to leave it and just meditate on how the I is merely labeled. Just work on that. While you are in the clear light there is an I which appears to exist from its own side. So right on top of that think, The I is merely labeled. Just meditate on the meaning of the I being merely labeled. “I” is a name; a name does not exist from its own side, a name is given, imputed by the mind. We can completely agree with that. This I is merely labeled; concentrate on just that. Try to feel that. This automatically eliminates eternalism, the view of a truly existent I. In this way you can feel the emptiness, that a real I existing from its own side is non-existent. By making the effort the understanding that this I is merely labeled comes naturally as the answer, or experience, in your heart.

The logic that the I is a dependent arising eliminates both eternalism and nihilism. Firstly it ceases the view of eternalism, that the I is truly existent, because through understanding that the I is a dependent arising—merely labeled—you realize that the I is empty of existing from its own side. And through understanding that the I is empty of existing from its own side the realization that the I is a dependent arising—merely labeled by thought—comes as a result. That is the realization of the conventional truth of the I. Unshakable faith in the existence of the I comes. That is how the logic that I is a dependent arising eliminates both eternalism and nihilism. Therefore this logic is called the King of Logics.

During thought training teachings His Holiness Ling Rinpoche said that the object of refutation is the non-differentiation of the base from the label. We are unable to differentiate the base to be labeled from the label which is imputed on it. It is possible that a person will understand that the base and the label are mixed before he recognizes the object of refutation; for example, that the table appears to exist inside the base of the table. I think how well a person is able to recognize the object of refutation depends on how much he understands emptiness. According to its function of dispelling darkness, when you see light your thought labels, There’s a light, on that. However, not being aware that you yourself have merely labeled it “light,” it appears that the light exists from its own side. Similarly, when the light goes off there is darkness and you cannot see things and immediately your thought labels that “darkness.” Even though the darkness is labeled by your own thought, due to not being aware of this what appears is unlabeled darkness. What you believe, or what appears, is unlabeled darkness, darkness existing from its own side. Darkness existing from its own side is itself the object of refutation.

So when you meditate on the appearances, it appears that the white vision exists from its own side, that the red vision exists from its own side, that the dark vision exists from its own side and then that the clear light also exists from its own side. That which appears to be existing from its own side can be seen to be empty just there, empty of existing from its own side. In this there is a possibility to feel the emptiness. Then you can meditate on that wisdom experiencing bliss, and then the remaining part of the meditation can be done.

Then on a lotus and sun and moon discs you manifest as a blue light one thumb-length high. Hold the divine pride, “This is my actual resultant-time sambhogakaya,” for a while and then manifest again as Yamantaka with one face and two arms, embracing the mother, and marked with the three syllables OM AH HUM. Hold the divine pride, “This is my actual resultant-time nirmanakaya.”

After this you generate the second merit field—Lama Tsongkhapa and his two disciples. If you are doing Ganden Lha Gyäma the elaborate way, after meditating on the divine pride of the nirmanakaya, you can bless the inner and outer offerings as done in the Yamantaka sadhana—the way it is done in Lama Chöpa.

Summary of the preliminaries

In the graduated practice of the Hundred Deities of Tushita first comes the section on how to meditate on refuge with the recitation for taking refuge to the Guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and then all together.

After that recite the short prayer sang gyä chö dang tsog kyi chog nam la... which is for taking refuge and generating bodhicitta. After that a replica of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha absorbs into you and you become enlightened in the essence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then you enlightened all the sentient beings by emitting Guru Shakyamuni Buddhas on the tips of beams, which rest on the crown of each sentient being and purify them. Then they are absorbed, which enlightens the sentient beings in the essence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha.

After that comes the practice of the four immeasurables, and then the generation of special bodhicitta. The merit field is extremely pleased that you have made the vow that you are going to sacrifice yourself in order to work for sentient beings. The merit field absorbs to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, he melts into light and absorbs into you.

You then generate into Yamantaka father embracing the mother, and purify the environments and the beings, transforming them into Yamantakas within mandalas. They then absorb back into you. Then comes the meditation on the absorptions, then the meditation on clear light, dharmakaya. This is the generation stage meditation which leaves the potential to purify the impure, or ordinary, death. Meditating in this way according to the path is the cause to achieve the resultant dharmakaya. Then you utilize the intermediate state into the path to achieve the sambhogakaya: from the dharmakaya you manifest as the sambhogakaya in the form of a blue light and hold the divine pride of being the sambhogakaya. Then utilizing birth into the path to achieve the nirmanakaya: from the sambhogakaya you manifest in the form of Yamantaka father and mother, the same as you visualized at the beginning. You hold the divine pride of being the nirmanakaya. Then you bless the inner offering and the outer offerings as in the Yamantaka sadhana.