Teachings From the Vajrasattva Retreat

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Soquel, CA USA 1999 (Archive #1055)

This book is an edited transcript of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's teachings at a three-month Vajrasattva retreat held at Land of Medicine Buddha, from February 1 to April 30, 1999. The teachings cover many lam-rim topics, purification practices, mantras, pujas and more.

Chapter 25: February 22-b

MORNING: SECOND SESSION

Conclusion of Thirty-five Buddhas practice

Due to the power of the holy names of the Thirty-five Buddhas and the beams emitted by them, you are purified of all defilements, negative karma and downfalls collected from beginningless rebirths until now.

“In emptiness there is no creator, no I; there is no action of creating negative karma; there is no negative karma created.

“I dedicate all the merits collected through having done prostrations, made offerings, confessed, rejoiced, and requested the gurus to have stable lives and to turn the Dharma wheel, to my achieving enlightenment in order to benefit all sentient beings.”

Motivation for Vajrasattva practice

Think, “Even in one day I collect so many defilements, negative karmas, downfalls and degenerated samaya vows. And I have collected an unbelievable number of negative karmas in this life. On top of all this, I have collected an unbelievable number of negative karmas during my beginningless rebirths. The thought of reincarnating again in samsara, especially of entering again into the sufferings of the lower realms, is unbearable.

Besides the fact that it is the most unbearable suffering, I’ve already experienced it numberless times during beginningless rebirths. I can’t stand for even one second not to purify all these defilements, negative karmas and degenerated samaya vows.”

Feel in your heart that you are going to die during this hour. Think, “Before my death comes, I must purify. Without even a second’s delay, I must purify all these defilements, negative karmas and degenerated samaya vows.”

Then think, “Just like me, all sentient beings—the source of all my past, present and future happiness—have suffered numberless times during beginningless rebirths in samsara, especially in the lower realms, and have collected numberless times all these negative karmas. I must liberate them from all their suffering and its causes and bring them to enlightenment as quickly as possible. To do this, I must achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible. Therefore, I’m going to purify all my defilements, negative karmas, downfalls and degenerated samaya vows by doing the Vajrasattva meditation-recitation.”

Concluding practices

Now practice the power of not committing negative karma again, by thinking, “From now on I will abstain from all the negative karmas that I can abstain from and I will abstain from those that are extremely difficult to abstain from for one day, one hour, one minute or at least a few seconds.”

Guru Vajrasattva is extremely pleased by this promise and absorbs within you. Your body, speech and mind become inseparable from Vajrasattva’s holy body, holy speech and holy mind.

“Until I achieve enlightenment may I never transgress my samaya vows. May I lead all sentient beings to Guru Vajrasattva’s enlightenment by myself achieving that enlightenment.”