Burning Offering to Dorje Khadro

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Dharamsala, India 1986 (Archive #638)

What is presented here is both the sadhana and a commentary. The sadhana was translated by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and first published by the International Mahayana Institute, Nepal, in 1975. The commentary was first given at Tushita Retreat Centre, India, in July 1986. A revised edition was published in 1996 at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Transcribed and edited by Ailsa Cameron.

Download a Chinese version (pdf) translated by Lobsang Dhargyey.

Dorje Khadro
Commentary: The Actual Meditation

The first part, generating the fire into the deity has four practices:

1) dispelling the interferers of the fire
2) purifying the fire in emptiness
3) generating the fire into the deity
4) making offerings and praising Dorje Khadro

1) Dispelling the interferers of the fire

Recite the mantra OM VAJRA AMRITA KUNDALI HANA HANA HUNG PHE. This is the mantra to dispel interferers. It is the common one that can be used in all four tantras and is often used in the lower tantras. The mantra is that of the deity Dutsi Kyilwa. I think this deity may be in the Rinjung Gyatsa. The mantra is calling Vajra Amrita Kundali (the Sanskrit name of the deity) to control, control, destroy, destroy. I think that's the brief rough meaning of the mantra.

While you are reciting this mantra, you should do this meditation: from your own heart, the wrathful deity, Amrita Kundali, is transformed. His holy body is green-blue in colour, and he has one face and two arms holding a variegated vajra and bell. The variegated vajra (a double vajra which has different colours) is in his right hand. His left hand holds the bell. He is adorned with wrathful ornaments and flames are emitting from his holy body.

For peaceful Buddhas like Shakyamuni Buddha, beams are emitted. But for the protectors or wrathful deities, there are flames. Having so many flames emitting from the holy body, shows the wrathful manifestation. They are not ordinary flames; the essence of the flames is the same as the beams: it is the deity's own transcendental wisdom in the form of flames being emitted. In thangkas and pictures, the beams are only coming from behind, but in reality they're coming from all around the holy body. You can't draw that in paintings, so you can only see them coming from behind. His Holiness Zong Rinpoche often used to say that the flames are coming from all the holy body.

Innumerable wrathful deities of Amrita Kundali are transformed and emanated from your heart, dispelling the interferers to the burning puja who are abiding at the fire. They are destroyed by this deity. So many billions of Amrita Kundalis are transformed; they chase all those interferers beyond this earth, and then destroy them. Then all these deities absorb back to your heart from where they were emitted.

2) Purifying the fire in emptiness

With the mantra OM SVABHAVA SHUDDHA SARWA DHARMA SVABHAVA SHUDDHO HANG. OM means all the Buddhas' vajra holy body, speech and mind. When AH, O, and MA, which signify all the Buddhas' vajra body, speech and mind are put together, they form OM. By meditating on and realizing what is explained about the meaning of the rest of the mantra SVABHAVA SHUDDHA ....., by completing that realization, your own impure body, speech and mind get purified. Then your body, speech and mind are transformed into Buddha's vajra holy body, vajra holy speech and vajra holy mind.

SVABHAVA is nature. SHUDDHA is pure. SARWA DHARMA, all existences. This DHARMA means existence and SARWA means all. Again SVABHAVA, nature. SVABHAVA SHUDDHO HANG, that pure nature is me. That is the straight meaning of the mantra. Putting the meaning of the mantra together: "All the pure nature existences are the pure nature, me."

When you recite this, meditate on the meaning. When you look at the fire, when you think of the fire, it's a fire that's not merely labelled but which exists from its own side. There's a truly existent fire, which actually doesn't exist - it's empty. And then there's this ordinary fire, the appearance of an ordinary fire. There are two types of impure view: one is the view of an ordinary fire, and the other is the truly existent fire. Both become empty. The fire becomes empty where it appears; it becomes empty there.

Strongly concentrate on the emptiness of the fire. It's similar to what I mentioned in the tsa-tsa commentary. The thing is, you see, to think that your transcendental wisdom seeing the emptiness generates in Vajra Daka.

3) Generating the fire into the deity has four basic outlines:

a) the limb of nearing, which is generating the samaya being.
b) the limb of nearing the attainment, which is blessing the three places of body, speech and mind.
c) the limb of attainment, which is the entering of the transcendental wisdom.
d) the limb of great attainment, which is initiating and sealing with the owner of the race, which means with one of the Dhyani Buddhas.

a) The limb of nearing, which is generating the samaya being.

While you are concentrating on emptiness, unmoved and undisturbed from that concentration, that wisdom realizing emptiness is experiencing great bliss. That wisdom realizes emptiness and experiences great bliss. This is the essence.

Now this wisdom manifests in an extremely flaming triangle-shaped fire. In the centre of this, there's a blue syllable HUNG. This HUNG itself is light; it changes from that form, melting into light and manifesting as a blue five-pronged vajra. The tips of the five prongs don't touch. There are different kinds of vajras: some have the prongs completely touching; on other vajras, the prongs curve away from the centre prong. These are wrathful vajras. Visualize a standing blue one like that. The centre of the vajra, where there's the round circle, is adorned inside with a blue HUNG. This vajra instantly transforms into the wrathful holy body of Dorje Khadro.

The purpose of generating the deity in this way, with the syllable first, then the vajra with the syllable HUNG, then generating the complete holy body, is explained by Lama Ketsun Yonten Gyatso: He says the first HUNG signifies the very subtle wind and mind. The vajra which comes out of that signifies the gross mind. The HUNG at the navel of thevajra signifies gross speech. And generating the complete holybody signifies the gross body, and having purified it. Theordinary impure subtle mind and wind, gross mind and speech, and then the gross body, are purified.

You are not purifying Dorje Khadro's impure subtle mind and wind, and gross mind, speech and body, but your own. Don't think you purified Dorje Khadro. Another lama thinks that this should also be related to your own result-time Dorje Khadro: "This is my future result-time completely pure holy mind, holy speech and holy body."

Dorje Khadro's holy body is deep black, like dark rainclouds. He has three very round, very red eyes. He has two arms, the right one holding a blue wrathful five-pronged vajra, and the left holding a bell made of the special material, namchak. I don't know exactly what kind of material it is, but I think it's a very strong kind of iron that, due to the elements, drops from space when there's thunder. I'm not exactly sure. Anyway, it's a type of iron that's very strong, and the bell is made of that.

Both his hands are in the fist mudra, the vajra fist, joined back to back. The two little fingers, the pinkies, are joined, and the pointing fingers are stretched out in a threatening gesture. This is called binding in the mudra of hungdze; it comes in the self-initiations like Vajrayogini.

His holy mouth is opening towards space and the tongue is wide, round and rolled up. He is very glorious and magnificent looking. He has four very fine, sharp fangs and is grinning. Grinning? (A student demonstrates a grin.)

No, not like that! That's completely the opposite. He's snarling.

On his crown are five dry skulls, the height of each skull equaling the width of five of Dorje Khadro's fingers. How big they are depends on how big you visualize Dorje Khadro. Between the five skulls are two garlands of black vajras. Like the beads on a mala are kept together by threads, here the skulls are kept together by these garlands of black vajras, one upper and one lower.

On the crown of each skull is a pointed jewel ornament, like Tara's crown ornaments. From the mouth of each skull hang tawa tache. Tawa are the ones which go round and hang between the mouths of each skull; tache are the ones which hang straight down. Dorje Khadro is wearing a garland of fifty fresh human heads, dripping with blood and threaded together with human intestines.

Wearing bones and intestines looks kind of funny, but they all have great significations. Even just visualizing the material has great benefit for the mind, and knowing the meaning and visualizing these materials and ornaments are very effective. The five skulls signify the five Dhyani Buddhas. I don't remember the meaning of the fifty fresh human heads, but anyway, they're dripping with blood and threaded through the mouths with intestines. They're worn around Dorje Khandro's neck and come down to his thigh, just above the knee.

To cover his lower holy body, he's wearing an underskirt of a fresh tiger's skin. The furry side of the skin is turned to the outside, and the head and four limbs are still joined on. The head is to the right. The skin is fresh and hasn't degenerated.

Dorje Khadro's holy limbs are fat and short, and he has a big hanging belly. His hair is orange and flowing upwards, very beautifully. His eyebrows and moustache are orange flames. His holy face is very changeable, with wrathful wrinkles between the eyebrows. He has all the qualities of the wrathful and arrogant aspect, and is extremely brave in destroying sentient beings' obscurations and negative karma, not leaving even the slightest stain behind.

He's not sitting cross-legged; his legs are in a kind of round shape, with the knees looking like a swan's wings. The heels of his feet aren't touching; there's about a handspan between them.

b) The limb of nearing the attainment of the deity

This is blessing the three places. "Visualize on Dorje Khadro's crown a white OM; neck, red AH and heart, blue HUNG." You should think that at Dorje Khadro's crown is a moon disc on which is a white OM, the essence of which is the vajra holy body. At his neck is a lotus with a red AH in the centre, the essence of which is the vajra holy speech. At his heart is a sun disc with a blue HUNG in the middle, and the essence of that is the vajra holy mind.

c) The limb of attainment

It is the entering of the transcendental wisdom. "While you are reciting that part of the prayer, visualize beams emitting and the transcendental wisdom being invoked, absorbed and becoming non-dual." From Dorje Khadro's heart red beams, like hooks, are emitted. The transcendental wisdom being, which is similar in aspect to the samaya being you've generated in the front, is invoked from the natural abode. The five Dhyani Buddhas are also invoked at the same time.

Why does it say "invoking the wisdom beings from the natural abode"? As I mentioned in the very beginning, Daka or Khadro means great bliss covers all the absolute nature; it directly perceives the absolute nature, like having put water into water. It is inseparable from all the emptiness.

You invoke the transcendental wisdom from that natural abode. "Natural" is the emptiness of all emptiness, and "abode" is related to the transcendental wisdom abiding in emptiness all the time. It never separates from emptiness; it's unified with emptiness forever. You invoke the transcendental wisdom from that, so that's why it's called "invoking from the natural abode".

Then there's the mantra DZA HUNG BAM HO. When you say DZA, the transcendental wisdom is hooked onto the crown of the samaya being, Dorje Khadro. When you say HUNG, the transcendental wisdom enters the samaya being. At BAM, they become inseparably oneness, and at HO, Dorje Khadro is extremely pleased, and possesses the transcendental wisdom.

There are mudras for each mantra. For DZA, the mudra of hooking or invoking; for HUNG, the mudra of leisure. BAM has the mudra of chaining, and HO might be the mudra of bell. These, however, I'm not sure of and they have to be checked.

Invoking the transcendental wisdom helps ordinary people like us to have more faith in our mind that the deity exists. It's done to give more faith.

d) the limb of great attainment, initiating and sealing the crown

The empowering deities, the five Dhyani Buddhas, were already invoked with the wisdom beings, and now they initiate Dorje Khadro. At Dorje Khadro's crown is Akshobhya Buddha. Normally whenever we take initiations like Yamantaka, in the Dhyani Buddhas' initiations, whichever Dhyani Buddha is the crown you visualize in the centre, and all the others are around. That's the way to meditate, whenever we take an initiation, and particularly during the five Dhyani Buddhas' initiations.

The crown of Dorje Khadro, the possessor of Dorje Khadro's race, is Akshobhya. All the Buddhas are encompassed in the five Dhyani Buddhas and here, Dorje Khadro is encompassed in Akshobhya. However many billions of wrathful and peaceful aspects of Buddha there are, are encompassed in the five Dhyani Buddhas. These five can also be encompassed in three: Vairocana is the encompassment of the vajra holy body, Amitabha of vajra holy speech and Akshobhya of vajra holy mind. Then even these three are encompassed in one, Vajradhara. I'm not sure that "encompassed" is the right word. Condensed? Compressed?

Anyway, when any sentient being becomes enlightened, it's in one of the races of the five Dhyani Buddhas. The race you'll get enlightened in, is shown when you take an initiation. When you offer the flower, the principal deity of the mandala reveals in which Buddha race you have the karma to become enlightened. The name that is given to you, the disciple, shows that if you practise that Dhyani Buddha, or any of the deities in that race, you will get enlightened quickly. This is because you have more karmic contact with that particular Buddha and his race.

So, Akshobhya is in the centre, and the other Dhyani buddhas are around. They're just there. Their wisdom mothers carry vases of nectar, and all of them initiate Dorje Khadro with it. The residue of the nectar comes out of Dorje Khadro's crown and gets transformed into Akshobhya. Dorje Khadro has nothing to purify; this meditation technique, thinking in this way, is to purify your own stains. There is no reason to offer bath to the merit field because their holy bodies aren't gross and dirty like ours. They don't have the same reason to wash that we do, but we offer baths to them to purify ourselves and sentient beings. So think the same way now: the holy body of Dorje Khadro is filled with vase water and all the stains are purified.

In the same way that the buddhas don't need washing, they also don't need offerings. If we offer enjoyments to ourselves like food, drink, clothes. music and environments out of worldly concern - attachment to this life's happiness - it all becomes non-virtue. If it's done out of attachment, it becomes the cause of samsara. If it's done out of self-cherishing thought and not for the sake of sentient beings, it doesn't become the cause of enlightenment. If these sense objects are used and enjoyed with the wrong conception of true existence, it becomes the main cause of samsara. If enjoying sense objects is not possessed by the motive of right view and awareness of dependent arising, by the thought renouncing samsara and by bodhicitta, enjoying them doesn't become the remedy to cut the root of samsara. It doesn't become cause of liberation for self, and doesn't become cause of enlightenment. It all becomes the opposite, all the undesirable things.

When we offer drink, food, clothes, perfume, environments and everything to the merit field, it all becomes a cause of happiness. You offer all these enjoyments to Buddha, either visualizing Buddha in front of you or even offering to statues. They are Buddha. Every single offering of the enjoyments becomes the cause of your achievement of enlightenment. It becomes the cause to finish all the obscurations, and to have all the qualities and realisations of Buddha.

It's not that Buddha suffers if he isn't offered these enjoyments, that he's unhappy without perfume and all these things. It's not that. Buddha doesn't need these things; he doesn't suffer without them. But what happens if you offer them is that you collect infinite merit. By remembering Buddha, what we're giving to ourselves (since we are going to use these things anyway) becomes the cause of inconceivable merit. Offer to Buddha by meditating on yourself as the deity, generate Buddha in front, or offer to a substantial manifestation of Buddha's holy body such as a statue. Then you collect infinite, inconceivable merit.

That's why, I think, in all sadhanas and deity meditation practices, Buddha gave the method of making offerings. The basic meditation on dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya - the first stage of tantra, the generation stage - is completely involved with these offering practices. The sadhanas begin with offerings, they're in the middle and also at the end. The whole practice is Buddha's skillful means of guiding us sentient beings, leading us to accumulate the cause of enlightenment, the state of having finished all mistakes and completed all realisations.

So, the residue of water comes out of Dorje Khadro's crown and is transformed into Akshobhya, who is blue and holds a bell and vajra.

d) Making offerings and praising Dorje Khadro.

If you have actually performed the offerings on the altar, you need to follow the general practice of first dispelling the interferers abiding in the offerings by transforming wrathful deities, in this case Vajra Kundali; and secondly, purifying in emptiness. Then generate the offerings with the three qualities: in aspect the different offerings, in nature empty, and in function generating great bliss. It causes whoever receives the offerings to generate extraordinary infinite bliss.

Then recite OM AH HUNG three times, blessing the offerings in the essence of the three vajras - vajra holy body, speech and mind of Buddha. This way of blessing is according to maha-anuttara yoga tantra, since Dorje Khadro is a maha-anuttara practice. If the offerings are mentally transformed and not actually performed physically on the altar, you don't need to bless them with this practice.

To actually offer them, from your own heart transform the offering goddesses. Don't transform just one, but numberless goddesses carrying the offering. It is also good if each goddess herself becomes an offering for the six senses. If you can meditate like that, there's more merit. The more qualities to offer to Buddha you can visualize for the offerings and the goddesses, the more merit you accumulate. It's the same with the goddesses in the mandala offering. So imagine there's a scented smell coming from the goddesses, to offer to Buddha's nose sense. Their beauty is an offering to Buddha's eye sense, and they are singing very enchanting songs and praises to offer to Buddha's ear sense. The more that you can think like this, the more merit you accumulate.

These offerings are made through concentration and by reciting the offering mantra. If you offer mudras at this time, again more merit is accumulated. First snap your fingers at your heart and transform the goddesses from the heart syllable of whatever deity you generated in at the beginning. Snapping the fingers is to remind us of emptiness and dependent arising. By depending on the one who offers, the action of offering and the object of offering, "offering" is labelled. To whom you are offering is the merit field, holy objects, so the action becomes offering and not making charity. Due to the action, the objects become objects of offering and you become the subject who offers. By depending on each other, "offering" is merely labelled. By depending on each other, the subject who offers, the action of offering and the object of offering, are merely labelled. Therefore there's no subject who offers, no action of offering and no object of offering that exist from their own sides. What appears as existing from its own side is empty. Snapping the fingers is to remind you of the emptiness and dependent arising of the three circles.

For AHGAM, transform numberless goddesses carrying drinking water, and immediately generate bliss and voidness in the holy mind of the guru, Dorje Khadro. Whenever we make offerings, whenever we think of Buddha, it's very very good, and very effective for the mind to always remember and relate with the guru. In this way everything becomes guru yoga practice. Any Buddha, even yourself transformed in a deity, is the guru. The essence of Guru Tara, Guru Vajrabhairava, even yourself transformed into the deity, is the guru.

H.H. Zong Rinpoche gave the very profound advice: "When we have the appearance of the guru, the essence is the deity. When we have the appearance of the deity, the essence is the guru. By doing the guru yoga practice of thinking that the essence of the guru is Buddha, you receive greater blessings. And by stopping the ordinary impure appearance of the guru and visualizing him in the pure form of a deity aspect of Buddha, you receive quicker blessing. If you don't think of the deity as the guru, the blessing you get is like the horn of a rabbit." The usual understanding is that rabbits don't have horns, so it's used very commonly as an example in all the philosophical scriptures. It seems rabbits' horns don't exist, since they're used as an example of non-existence.

If the essence of the deity, the guru, is missing, the blessing is like a rabbit's horn. The point of what I'm saying is that it's a greatly skilful, quick way of finishing the work of accumulating merit. When you finish the work of accumulating merit, at that time you become enlightened. It's the quickest way of accumulating the greatest merit.

When you do the yoga practice of eating, you visualize a deity, but it's always very helpful to have awareness of the guru. The deity is the transcendental wisdom of non-dual bliss and voidness, the dharmakaya, which is the absolute guru. Naturally, without that guru, there is no way to correctly meditate and generate yourself in the deity. Even if you are visualizing the deity outside, in reality it's the absolute guru. The essence of the deity is the dharmakaya, the transcendental wisdom of non-dual bliss and voidness. All these billions of different Buddhas and deities, whatever names they are called, are one thing: they are all the transcendental wisdom of non-dual bliss and voidness, which is the absolute guru. By being aware, they are one. Those deities and the gurus who appear in ordinary forms giving initiations and teachings on sutra and tantra, are one. With this awareness, make the offerings.

I think maybe I explained in the Gaden Lhagyäma teachings that even when you make offerings of incense, water, light or whatever to the holy statues and pictures of Buddhas in your own room, think that all of these are embodiments of the guru. "The guru is manifesting in all of these to guide me, to lead me to enlightenment. Only so I can accumulate merit has he manifested in material, as statues and paintings in different deity aspects." Then each time we make offerings it becomes a guru yoga practice, and you remember the extensive kindness of the guru. It's like every single time you accumulate merit is connected with the guru, so recognise and remember that kindness.

The essence of what I'm trying to say is that if you offer a bowl of food, a candy or a cup of water to the guru's pores - his disciples, relatives, friends, or even his animals - the merit is far greater than making offerings to all the Buddhas and Buddha statues of the three times. Remembering in your mind that the disciple has the same guru and offering him something, anything, no matter what quantity, has unbelievable, inconceivable merit - more than offering to all the actual living Buddhas and bodhisattvas, and all the holy objects, like statues. And just the number of statues existing is uncountable.

So, you see, the guru is the greatest, highest object of merit. If even making offerings to his disciples is like that, there's no question about making offerings to the guru. Also, obtaining and putting into practice the advice and teachings that are given, and doing guru yoga practice and service are the same. So, in everyday life, when you do the yoga practice of eating, visualizing yourself as the deity, when you do sadhanas or offerings to the altar in your room, always remember the guru and then offer. It's unbelievably much greater merit. That's the point of what I'm trying to clarify and emphasize.

If you make offerings thinking of just the deity, just Shakyamuni Buddha, it has unbelievable merit, but it's much greater if we remember the essence of the guru. As it's explained in paramitayana and tantra teachings, enlightenment and quick enlightenment are just a matter of the individual practitioner's skill. It's dependent on how skillfully the practitioner purifies, and how skillfully he accumulates merit. Remembering the guru is the most extensive merit you can accumulate in a few seconds. Also it benefits the mind in many ways. By practicing guru yoga like this there's always the appearance of the guru; and so, even if physically you're very far away, you're never separated from him.

So that's Guru Dorje Khadro. With this awareness, make the offerings.

After having generated bliss and voidness in the holy mind of Guru Dorje Khadro, the goddesses absorb back to the heart syllable. As they absorb, snap your fingers. This sound is easy to understand. It exists by dependent arising. Without gathering all the conditions and the label, without the fingers meeting together, the sound cannot exist. It's easy to understand so it's used as an example, the same way the practice of offering is.

The second offering is PADAM, and the mudra is the feet cleaning mudra. For the flower offering, PUPE, the hand mudra is like sprinkling flowers. The mudra for DUPE, the incense offering, might be showing carrying incense. I'm not sure. Incense is offered to the nose. ALOKE is the light offering to the eyes, and GÄNDE, offered at the heart, is scented water for the holy mind. NIUDE, the cake, is offered to the tongue. Bend your two pointing fingers when you perform the mudra. Then lastly, for music, SHAPTA, the mudra is like playing cymbals.

Transform the goddesses by snapping the fingers, do the mudra of the offering and then snap the fingers again. Each offering is numberless - the more you can think, the greater the merit. For the praise, there is no Tibetan prayer here, but in English it says:

To you Vajra Akshobhya, great wisdom,
The vajra sphere so very wise,
Your three vajras of body, speech and mind being the three mandalas,
To you who have this knowledge, I prostrate.

To you Vajra Akshobhya, Mikyö Dorje. Akshobhya is the name of one of the Dhyani Buddhas. By purifying the impure aggregate of consciousness, it's transformed into Akshobhya. In tantra practice, and in particular, in the co-operative generation and completion stage of maha-anuttara tantra, there are four major types of initiation you receive: vase, secret, wisdom, and absolute or word initiation. During the vase initiation, there are the five Dhyani Buddha initiations, then there's the vajra guru initiation.

When you take the initiation of Akshobhya, it leaves the potential on the mind, or I, to purify the impure aggregate of consciousness, to purify ignorance and achieve Akshobhya. Taking the Vairocana initiation leaves or plants the potential on the mind to purify the impure aggregate of form and achieve the Dhyani Buddha, Vairocana. Taking the Amitabha initiation leaves an impression on the consciousness to purify the impure aggregate of cognition and to achieve Amitabha. The potential is left on the consciousness, so it's labelled "leaves impression on the I"; it might be like that. Taking the Ratnasambhava initiation leaves the potential to purify the impure aggregate of feeling and to achieve Ratnasambhava. And taking the initiation of Amogasiddhi leaves the potential to purify the impure aggregate of compounded phenomena and to achieve Amogasiddhi. The aggregate of compounded phenomena is all the rest of the thoughts left after having taken out consciousness, feeling and cognition.

Also, when we take the five Dhyani Buddhas' initiations, it leaves the potential to purify and cease the five delusions of ignorance, attachment, anger, pride, and jealousy, and to achieve the five transcendental wisdoms. The advantage of taking initiations more and more, therefore, is that it becomes more and more powerful. If you plant more and more seeds, it's more powerful and, in that way, quicker to cease the continuation of these impure aggregates and to achieve the pure transformation into the aggregates of the Dhyani Buddhas. That's the great advantage of taking initiations again and again.

It's the same advantage to take the secret, wisdom and word initiations again and again. Each time you take the four types of maha-anuttara initiation, it purifies even the heaviest negative karma of having broken the root tantra vows. If the mind is covered and stained more and more by obscurations, downfalls and negativities, there's no opportunity for realisations. It becomes more and more difficult to receive them. So this is another great advantage of taking initiations again and again. It purifies a lot of heavy obstacles and makes them thinner and thinner, even though the obstacles have been received already. It's a very skillful method to generate the path of realisations.

To you, Vajra Akshobhya. Akshobhya means immovable, unable to be disturbed by delusions. Not only are the disturbing thoughts ceased, but even the subtle obscuration, the potential left which disturbs the achievement of the fully knowing mind, is purified and ceased completely. There's no way for delusions to rise again in Akshobhya's mind and cause harm like they do to us, destroying and overwhelming us, and not giving us the freedom to do what we want. We are moved by delusions; Buddhas are unmoved by delusions. When we meet different objects, we are moved, disturbed, overwhelmed by anger, attachment, ignorance, jealousy, pride and wrong views. Because of not having removed the seed of disturbing thoughts inside us, because of not continuously practicing the remedy and not constantly watching the mind, we get moved and overwhelmed by delusion. So, Akshobhya is unmoved by delusion.

Vajra means the vajra holy body, speech and mind of the Buddhas. As I mentioned before, all the Buddhas are condensed into these three vajras of holy body, speech and mind. All the Buddhas' holy bodies are embodied in one aspect, Vairocana. All the Buddhas' holy speech is embodied in Amitabha, and all the Buddhas' holy minds are embodied in Akshobhya. Akshobhya is called Vajra because he is the embodiment of all the Buddhas' holy minds - the transcendental wisdom of non-dual bliss and voidness, which is the definite meaning of vajra.

It says "great wisdom", not just "wisdom", but adding the word "great", because even those Aryan yogis of the second stage of tantra who are not enlightened but who have achieved the right-seeing path and path of meditation, have wisdom. They have achieved the simultaneously-born bliss and transcendental wisdom which is experienced by drawing the wind from all the veins inside the central channel and absorbing it there. Then, by going through the twenty-five absorptions, clear light is experienced. The subtle mind of clear light experiences the transcendental wisdom of simultaneously-born bliss. The yogis who have experienced the clear light of example and meaning, and then unification, have the wisdom of clear light, but not the great wisdom.

This great wisdom is the ultimate wisdom of clear light, the transcendental wisdom of clear light which is completely separate from even the subtle dual view, and doesn't have the slightest stain. That is the great wisdom.

The vajra sphere. Vajra is the transcendental wisdom. Just relate it back to the words before: the great transcendental wisdom, the ultimate clear light. By developing this transcendental wisdom of clear light more and more, until there's nothing more to develop, you attain the vajra. This is the ultimate wisdom of clear light that has completely ceased the subtle dual view. Sphere means that that vajra, the transcendental wisdom of clear light, is holding its own essence, its own nature.

In other words, the transcendental wisdom, the vajra of the great wisdom, is abiding in clear light, oneness with emptiness, like having put water into water. By having cut off the subtle dual view, it is oneness. That vajra is holding its own nature so it's called "sphere". That great wisdom, inseparably oneness with the clear-light emptiness, of one taste, as if water had been put into water, that itself is the sphere. Because of holding its own nature, "sphere" is said.

So very wise. Why does it say "very wise" or "extremely wise"? Because if it was just "wise", that could mean even the Aryan beings, the meditators of the right-seeing path and the path of meditation. These Aryan beings realize the two truths; they directly perceive shunyata - the absolute truth - and the conventional truth. But while they're doing equipoise meditation concentrating on emptiness, they can't see the conventional truth. When the conventional truth appears to their minds, they can't do the equipoise meditation of concentrating on emptiness.

While their minds are abiding in emptiness, the dual view is absorbed. For these beings' minds, there's no separation of subject and object, no thought of "this is emptiness and this is the mind concentrating". But when they're in the equipoise meditation, one-pointedly concentrating on emptiness, they can't see conventional truth. And when they see the conventional truth, like when they think "I", Aryan beings' minds cannot at that time do equipoise meditation on the emptiness of the I. When they meditate on the emptiness of the I, they can't think: "I". I does not appear. The conventional truth, the truth for the all-obscuring mind, does not appear. Even Aryan beings can't do post-meditation and equipoise meditation together; but they do realize the two truths, so therefore "wise" is said.

Now we add "great" to "wise". "Great" means only Buddha. Why? Because Buddha not only realizes the two truths but, relating to the I, when he sees the emptiness of the I, he sees the I. He doesn't just see the I, but that same mind which sees the emptiness of the I, sees the I. That same mind sees both truths. One mind sees the I and the emptiness of the I. Buddha's holy mind constantly sees both the two truths, the absolute I and the I. The same mind that sees the emptiness of the I, sees the I. He sees every existence, the absolute truth and the truth for an all-obscuring mind.

Only Buddha can simultaneously have both equipoise meditation and post-meditation. While Buddha one-pointedly abides in the emptiness of conventional truth, that same mind simultaneously sees the conventional truth. Buddha has unbelievable, inconceivable qualities. Being able to do this is a quality only of Buddha. That's why we say "so very wise", and not just "wise". There are big differences.

You can also say it like this: Buddha's mind which sees me, sees all other sentient beings. That same mind seeing me, sees all other beings. Buddha's mind which reads my thoughts, reads all other beings' minds. If this wasn't the case, Buddha's mind wouldn't be omniscient. That's what happens if you believe that Buddha's mind seeing the emptiness of the mo-mo can't see the mo-mo. That wouldn't be an omniscient mind because it would be seeing only emptiness, and this would be the same as the mind of an Aryan being who is still following the path. There would be nothing more transcendent, no special quality. But, if the mind sees all other existences, why is it called "the wisdom seeing absolute truth"? Because absolute truth exists, just by that; it is labelled on it. But it doesn't mean that mind doesn't see other things.

Your three vajras of body, speech and mind being the three mandalas. I'm not quite sure what this means. Perhaps this may be one way to understand it: the meaning of mandala, kyil kor in Tibetan, is taking the essence. If there's some precious thing that people like very much, they go to wherever it is and, by being around it, try to get it. If there's something that's urgently needed, many people come round it and try to get it, to take its essence. The vajra holy body, speech and mind are the essence. They are our goals to achieve. They are the very essence, the main goal of practicing Dharma. They are the main thing to achieve in order to do the works for sentient beings. So maybe mandala can be understood in that way: that the three vajras are the mandala, the main essence, the very essence you should take.

To you who have this knowledge, I prostrate. Yeshe Dorje Khadro, the transcendental wisdom vajra space-goer, to you I prostrate. Yeshe means knowledge, the transcendental wisdom of great bliss. It's the same meaning as the previously explained great wisdom. That's the vajra, dorje. Space-goer, khadro, means that vajra, the transcendental wisdom of great bliss, goes on the space of emptiness, directly perceives it. To explain the meaning extensively, that vajra completely covers the emptiness, like space. Not only does it cover all emptiness like space, but it covers all the conventional truth as well. This is the extensive way to describe the meaning of Dorje Khadro. To you Dorje Khadro, I prostrate with respect and devotion.

The second part is absorbing the negative karmas to the sesame seeds you're going to burn. In this particular meditation technique, you have to be in your ordinary form at this point. Generally, after you've received initiation, you have to clarify yourself in the holy body of the deity all the time. It's a commitment, a vow, to do this, but here, for this particular purpose, you don't. In the prayer it says: "Abide as ordinary", so you don't have the divine pride of the deity but instead the divine pride of the ordinary person.

From your crown to your heels, visualize your body like a membrane - the very thin cover with which baby animals get born - that's filled with air, like a balloon. It's completely hollow inside. At the centre of your heart is the syllable of negative karma, a black PAM. In the centre of your navel is a red RAM which transforms into a standing triangle- shaped mandala with the one-angled side pointing to the front of your body.

Even though you're sitting, the visualization is made as if you're standing. Below your heels is a blue syllable YAM which transforms into a blue air mandala, shaped like a half moon. The curved edge is towards your back and the straight edge to your front.

From the black PAM at your heart red-black beams like hooks are emitted through all your pores. They hook all your own and all the three realm sentient beings' negative karma, obscurations and even the subtle impressions of the body, speech and mind. They absorb as black beams to the heart PAM. Then the wind mandala below your heels begins to move very violently, enters through your heels and comes up through your body, through the legs. It's like the bellows the blacksmith uses to blow on the fire and make the iron extremely red. That's the Tibetan style. They're made of skin and when you open them, air goes in and as you push these things down, air goes on the fire.

So just like that, air comes up through your heels and the fire mandala at your navel begins to flame and burn very much. The triangle-shaped fire is pointing upwards, and it's so hot and flaming and very radiant. This fire gradually chases the PAM up from your heart and, as your breath goes outside through your nostrils, the black PAM comes out in the form of scorpions. These absorb to the sesame seeds you have prepared in front. All the negative karmas, obscurations and vices of having degenerated samaya of all sentient beings absorb to the seeds in the form of scorpions.

One lama's meditation technique is that the cause is the scorpions' flesh and skin, the aspect is the sesame seeds and the essence is the five nectars. In this way it has three qualities. Five nectars is du tzi nga in Tibetan. Du means the five delusions and tzi means the five transcendental wisdoms. Then saying "five" makes sense, but in English it's not clear when you just say "nectar". Du means mara, which is the five delusions; and tzi is the medicine, which is the five transcendental wisdoms. Nga means five. That's one lama's explanation.

However, a scorpion absorbs to each seed. Think that each sesame seed is all the obscurations, negative karma and vices of having degenerated samaya of you, yourself, and all sentient beings. Each sesame seed. In aspect they have the ugly forms of scorpions, which is digpa rachen in Tibetan. Why scorpions and not slugs is because of the name, I think, "evil one with horns", as I explained before. The title is the result of negative karma. Because of negative karma you get that ugly, terrifying body and then, with that body, create more negative karma. So because of the Tibetan name digpa, negative karma, scorpions are visualized rather than snakes or slugs. It's very important to think that each sesame seed is in the aspect of a scorpion, and that the essence of them is your own and all sentient beings' negative karma and vices of degenerated samayas accumulated for beginningless rebirths.

The third part is how to actually burn the sesame seeds. When you do this part, the mantra and the offering of sesame seeds have to go together. It's the same with all fire pujas; you can't recite the mantra and not offer. Doing that is like cheating, and only accumulating vices. The mantra and offering come together. I think offering without mantra doesn't make any negative karma, although it doesn't say that here. But reciting the mantra and not offering is like cheating, like saying that you're giving something, but you don't actually give it.

One very important thing to remember is that you, Dorje Khadro, and the sesame seeds - the three circles of subject, object and action -are all illusory. How? By combining emptiness and appearance. There's no such thing as a subject of offering if there's no action of offering. There's no object of offering if there's no action. And there's no action if there's no object or subject.

All of these are dependent; nothing exists from its own side. The only thing that exists is what is merely labelled. Dorje Khadro is merely labelled on this transcendental wisdom of great bliss and voidness that took this form. Nothing exists except what is merely labelled on the base by thought. Meditate on this meaning. "Emptiness is unified with appearance" - all three, the whole thing, are illusory. This might be the rough meaning of that.

By offering sesame seeds which in essence are the five nectars, to wrathful Dorje Khadro's holy mouth, he happily takes them and is delighted. His holy mind is completely satisfied with great uncontaminated bliss. Think this after offering the seeds. Your own and all sentient beings' degenerated samayas from beginningless lifetimes, are completely purified. All sentient beings become enlightened.

H.H. the Dalai Lama said there's more merit if you mix the seeds with butter. Also, when you are actually offering, take the seeds in your right hand between the thumb, ring finger and middle finger, and offer them with the palm facing outwards. Don't just drop the seeds in the fire with the back of your hand towards Dorje Khadro.


OM is the syllable of the three vajras, as I've already mentioned. AH, O and MA combine to make OM, and signify the vajra holy body, speech and mind of Buddha. By reciting OM you receive seven benefits such as fortune and auspiciousness, which are explained in the tantric text Dorje Tsemo, but I don't remember all of them.

VAJRA DAKA has already been explained. KHA KHA means eat, eat - like in Hindi. KHAHI KHAHI also means eat, but you see the difference more easily in Tibetan. KHA KHA is sö sö, and KHAHI KHAHI is sö shig sö shig. It's more imperative, more firm. The meaning is basically the same but, as Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche explained, there are slight differences.

SARWA PAPAM means all the negative karma, all the digpa, all the evils. That means all the actions, all the negative karma, which result in the suffering of suffering - why I say "suffering of suffering" is to make it more specific, because most of the temporal samsaric pleasures come from virtue. The sufferings of suffering are caused by negative karma. The definition of negative karma is "done out of disturbing thoughts and resulting in the suffering of suffering"; the ripened aspect result is lower realm rebirth. If the negative karma is completed, the ripened aspect result is rebirth in the lower realms. That's the first result.

The second one is that even when you are born in the happy transmigrator's body of a god or human, you experience the result similar to the cause. If, for example, the negative karma was killing, then even if in this life you're born as a human or deva, other beings cause your life to be short, because you caused others' lives to be short by killing them in the past.

The third one is creating a result similar to the cause. This means that even when you are born as a happy transmigrator, because you have the habit, the previous karma of killing, you kill again. Creating the same negative karma again is the result that is similar to the cause.

The fourth one is the possessed result, to do with the place. Even though you're born as a human being, you're born in a place where, for example, there are a lot of wars, life-dangers and contagious diseases. Somehow you have to live in a place where there's a lot of killing. Also, I think, it means the power of enjoyments decreases. Enjoyments like food are scarce. medicine doesn't have much power or effect. And enjoyments of food like plants and fruit don't have much potential any more, or effect on the body. Also, even the things which are the means of living, harm the body and become the cause of disease. This is also a result of miserliness, one of the ten non-virtues. When you have enjoyments you find something undesirable in them, like finding the food you eat to have a sour taste.

So the complete action of killing has four results. An incomplete action would have some of them. Depending on how much is completed, the suffering result is received.

SARWA PAPAM, all the evils, includes both the negative karma of the actions and the evil mind which commits the evil actions.

DAHANA means burn.

BAKMI KURU means to become dust; like some concrete thing is completely destroyed and becomes dust, all the evil negative actions are completely destroyed.

SOHA means to establish the root, the base.

Let's go back to the previous explanation about the four results of negative actions. The most harmful one is not so much the rebirth in the lower realms of the evil transmigrators, as creating the evil action again. Suffering in the lower realms is not the worst thing, not the most painful thing, when compared to creating the result similar to the cause, repeating the same negative karma again. Compared to this, being born in the lower realms and experiencing those sufferings, even if it's for aeons, is not so greatly harmful. That experience is not forever. It's only for a certain length of time then it's finished and, if you have other negative karma, you have to experience that. But creating the negative action like killing again is the most painful one. That is the worst! This is much more harmful and dangerous than rebirth in the lower realms.

Why? Because if you don't experience the result similar to the cause of killing again, if you stop doing the action, you don't get born in the lower realms and don't experience those four sufferings again. If you repeat the negative action it leaves an impression on the mind, and again the habit continues to the next life, so again you do it. As long as it's not purified, as long as it's not stopped, it continues on and on and on. Then, as well, you have to experience all those other problems and suffering results that repeating the action brings.

So never experiencing those four kinds of suffering, having a complete end to them, depends on stopping the repetition of negative karmas like killing. The whole thing depends on that. To not develop the lower realm hot and cold sufferings of the narak, creating the result similar to the cause must be stopped. This is the one which makes the suffering endless. If it's stopped, not only is the suffering of suffering stopped, but the suffering of samsara. By living in vows and abstaining from killing, you get the cause of liberation, at least. Not only do you not need to experience the suffering of suffering, but it makes an end to samsaric pleasure, which is only suffering. And it leads to even the fundamental suffering of samsara, the pervasive compounding suffering of being under the control of karma and delusion, having an end. Living in vows, abstaining from negative karma, results in achieving liberation.

That's why the opposite of the ten non-virtues is so important. By understanding the negative side, you can understand the positive side of how important it is to live in the vow of not killing others. You can understand how moral conduct is so important, and the source of all happiness.

After the mantra, the text says: "May all the obscurations, negative karma and degenerated samayas which I have accumulated from beginningless time shintim kuruye soha", which means "be pacified completely." You recite the mantra and offer with it, then make this request. The actual word is "I", but as you have visualized each sesame seed in the essence of your own and all sentient beings' obscurations, negative karma, degenerated samayas and non-virtue accumulated for beginningless samsaric rebirths, it's very beneficial to remember all sentient beings. "May that all be shintim kuruye soha, pacified completely."

So here is a little more explanation about SARWA PAPAM, the obscurations and negative karma. What's the difference? Actually the Tibetan words make it more specific: digpa and dripa. Dripa means obscurations, something which blocks seeing. Digpa is evil. Here it says digpa means actions done out of disturbing thoughts which bring undesirable ripening aspects, or undesirable results. Dripa is what blocks the generation of the special qualities, the realisations. Dripa interferes in the generation of the realization path, the bhumis; it interferes in the achievement of enlightenment.

Dripa, the obscurations, are divided into two types: nyön drip and she drip, disturbing thought obscurations, and obscurations to fully knowing all existence. How do we differentiate these? The first one, nyön drip, happens when delusions like the three poisons arise, then ignorance grasping at things as truly existent, those disturbing thoughts, leaves an impression on the mind. Using the word "impression" makes it easier to understand. The seed or the impression that is left on the mental continuum by the ignorance grasping at true existence, the impression which has the function to produce ignorance grasping at true existence and delusion, is nyön drip. That part of the impression is called the disturbing thought obscuration.

In other words, the part of the impression that produces delusions and disturbing thoughts is the disturbing thought obscuration, because delusion rises and again obscures the mind to see reality, emptiness. It ties us to samsara. Basically ignorance and then attachment and other disturbing thoughts tie us to samsara. This obscuration doesn't allow us to generate the path and liberation. These delusions and especially that impression or seed left by ignorance grasping at true existence (which is what produces the other delusions) are the main interferers. This impression doesn't allow us to achieve enlightenment, but mainly it doesn't allow us to achieve liberation. It's more harmful and disturbing to the achievement of liberation. Without purifying or ceasing the delusions and the seed of delusion left by ignorance grasping at true existence, we cannot even achieve liberation. The source is the disturbing thought obscuration.

Now, to look at she drip, obscurations to fully knowing all existence. There is a part of the seed left by the ignorance grasping at true existence which produces the appearance of true existence. As I explained the other night, when what you have recorded in a film, is put together with a machine, it projects there. Like that, because of this impression that has been planted on the mental continuum by ignorance grasping at true existence, when you see things, when sense objects appear to you, they appear as truly existent.

The truly existent appearances are false; they are completely contradictory to reality. So why do they appear like that? Why should truly existent sense objects and truly existent subjects appear? Why do things always appear in this way even if they don't exist in reality like that? Why, from the first second the consciousness takes place in the fertilized egg in the mother's womb, does the I appear as truly existent and ignorance grasp on that? And after birth, when the six senses are functioning, why does everything appear as truly existent, even though not even the slightest atom exists in that way? Things are merely labelled but they never appear to me in this way. Why?

It shows that not only in this life has it been like that, but that we have been completely trapped in the iron cage of true existence from beginningless rebirth. We are completely trapped in this hallucination; we are overwhelmed by the ignorance of true existence. This ignorance is like a drug that affects the mind so that we see things in a kind of opposite way. By taking this drug we see everything in a completely different way from what we normally do, or how normal people see things, and how they exist. While under the control of the drug you see, for example, all the dust as moving creatures and when the effect of the drug is gone, you see it in a normal way.

Like being hallucinated when taking drugs, we are completely trapped, as Lama Tsongkhapa says: "in the iron cage of true existence". Suffering greatly like this during this life proves that the past life has been this way. If the past lives didn't have suffering, there would be no reason at all to have such suffering, such a hallucination, from the very beginning of this life. The continuation of rebirth didn't have a beginning. Being overwhelmed by the ignorance of true existence, being completely hallucinated, is the fundamental suffering of samsara, the foundation of the whole problem. The continuation of this suffering had no beginning.

When you think scientifically and logically about how this didn't have a beginning, you get so fed up. Having this ignorance for even a second is like having a fire inside the body, in the heart. You can't stand it! This ignorance is your great enemy that you can't stand to see for even a minute. You want to be liberated from that, and also from the hallucination. Thinking in this way makes you have incredible joy to meditate on emptiness. Seeing how harmful this ignorance is makes renunciation arise, and incredible desire to meditate on and study shunyata. You can't wait for even a second. You feel incredible happiness to have the rare and difficult-to-find opportunity to hear about and meditate on shunyata.

It's easy to receive correct teachings on moral conduct and the method side. But to find teachers who have done the correct practice of meditating on shunyata and have attained correct realisations is not so common. Shunyata is a very subtle and profound subject. Because of that, even if the word "shunyata" is used and even if the teacher is learned in many other ways, shunyata may not be explained exactly and completely. Many followers receive teachings on shunyata, but they're not complete and they're very gross - only first or second or sometimes third level realisations.

But the teachings we have heard have been completely correct and well-explained, from qualified teachers. Having made a lifetime study on the subject of the two truths, examined them thoroughly and reflected on the meaning, these teachers have found a perfect and unmistaken realization. On the basis of that, they've practiced tantra and achieved second stage realisations of clear light and the illusory body. Therefore, we're extremely fortunate to have met these teachers and received these rare teachings. Thinking in this way helps your guru-yoga practice, especially the kindness of the guru part, when you remember that they've revealed shunyata. At the same time, think of how many sentient beings have the wrong understanding of shunyata.

The part of the impression left by ignorance which produces the truly existent appearance - both the appearance and that impression - is called shedrip, the subtle obscuration. It doesn't interfere in achieving liberation, because even arhats have truly existent appearances. Unless the seed of ignorance is completely removed, in post-meditation the subtle obscuration interferes to fully know all existence. When not in equipoise meditation, even arhats and eighth or ninth level bodhisattvas are obscured by this. It mainly interferes with the achievement of enlightenment, with fully knowing all existence. That's why it's called the obscuration to knowing. It's very good to remember this.

And as well as the two obscurations being purified, it says "degenerated samayas". During initiations we take the samayas of the five Dhyani Buddhas and, after the vajra guru initiation, we take the three samayas of holding bell, vajra and wisdom mother, and generating the experience of bliss and voidness. We also take commitments to do the tantra practices of eating and sleeping yoga, transforming those activities into the quick path to enlightenment. We need to purify the degenerations of those samayas.

We have made a commitment to Vajradhara to not transgress those samayas. Samaya is damtsig in Tibetan. According to H.H. Zong Rinpoche, dam means commitment or pledge, and if you transgress that pledge taken at the time of initiation, you will tsig, burn, in the naraks. This is a very effective way to think.

Saying SHINTIM KURUYE means "may all those degenerations be pacified".

SOHA means to take root in the heart. Purifying the obstacles establishes guru devotion, which is the root of the path, and then on that basis all the realisations come. You achieve the method and wisdom path, and the goal. By realizing the path from the beginning up to enlightenment, by realizing the three principles of the path and then the two stages of maha-anuttara yoga tantra, you achieve what is signified by the OM, the three vajras.

At this point, if you are doing the Dorje Khadro practice for someone who is dead, or to purify a living person, put the person's name in the mantra. You say: "all the obscurations and negative karma accumulated by ............". For example, if your father or mother are dead, you can purify for them, and for all sentient beings as well.

Then there are offerings again, and the praise. It's explained in the teachings that there are three hundred and sixty different types of demon or spirit harms. Many times when somebody is sick, it is related to these harms, to these do"n. "To you Dorje Khadro, who completely destroys all these, I prostrate."

"In the centre of the blazing wisdom fire is Vajra Daka, the transcendental wisdom of non-dual bliss and voidness of all Buddhas, the absolute guru. In order to purify sentient beings, you took this particular aspect of Vajra Daka, manifested in this holy body form of a dark and wrathful cannibal with a short, fat body so quick to do the activities for others. In each second you liberate countless beings from samsara and guide them to enlightenment. Just by remembering this aspect, Vajra Daka, for a moment, all the hosts of outer, inner and secret maras, all negative karmas and obscurations, get destroyed. To the great wrathful eater, Vajra Daka, who completely destroys all of these without leaving the slightest one behind, I respectfully prostrate with my body, speech and mind."

Next, is asking for forgiveness: "Whatever I have not found, not completely understood and anything I have been incapable of, for all these mistakes please excuse me, please have patience."

This is a very good example (Rinpoche indicates the clouds of insects around the light), flies trying to get into the flame. It can be related to this life and in particular to the sufferings of next life and the lower realms. These flies and moths see the light as a beautiful palace (that's what it says in the teachings), and are so attracted to that. Even though they feel hot, they still try to get inside, and even if they get burned and fall away, they still come back. Even if we experience problems through some action, we do it again. Alcoholics are just one good example. No matter how many problems come, we repeat the action again and again, even in this life. We repeat the action, get more problems and repeat it again, even in this life.

These creatures getting inside the light and dying can be related very well to the meaning of hallucination. Firstly, even though the I is merely labelled, we grasp onto it as truly existent. And secondly, even though life and everything is impermanent (and that's gross impermanence, not even talking about subtle impermanence), changing minute-to-minute, things appear as permanent and we grasp onto that. What those insects are doing, so are we!

And thirdly, we can relate this example to following various actions, like anger. As I mentioned before, you made up the undesirable person with your own mind. By some other reasons you could see them as extremely kind, but instead you made the person bad in your mind and projected that. "What he does is bad", and so on. Instead of thinking: "He's kind" and practicing patience, you've labelled "bad" and he appears bad.

All objects of jealousy and pride are made up and believed in, in the same way. Like the insects getting inside the fire and burning, we also, due to our hallucinations, are burning ourselves in the hot naraks and experiencing lower realm and samsaric sufferings. It's just like the fly who gets inside the flame and burns. Nobody is forcing him. This example fits us very well, and is a good meditation for developing renunciation.

Then the transcendental wisdom that you invoked returns to its natural abode and the samaya being, Dorje Khadro, becomes oneness with the appearance of the ordinary fire. At this point there's a mudra to do, the vajra fire mudra, but I don't know it.

Until the fire stops, you can't disturb it. But if, for some reason, you really have to put it out, pour milk or blessed water on it. If you're doing Dorje Khadro retreat, collect all the burned sesame seeds in your retreat place until it's finished, because those leftovers are blessed. You do the same with them as anything you've offered to the triple gem. You can't throw offered water or whatever in a dirty place like roads or bathrooms; you put it in a clean place. In the lam-rim teachings it says to throw offered water where people won't step over it. So you can put the ashes in rivers to purify the creatures there, or carry them up on high mountains and scatter them to the wind. Wherever you leave them, it must be a clean place.

According to tradition, the lama should now make the Dorje Khadro practice with the disciples. Besides giving the commentary, the words, he should show the actual practice.


"Due to these merits, may I and all sentient beings never be separated from and always be guided by the supreme mahayana virtuous friend. May we always drink the nectar of their holy speech without satiation."

"Due to these merits, may I and all others (if you did the practice specifically for someone, mention the name here) complete the practice of renunciation, right view, bodhicitta, the six paramitas and the two stages, and may we quickly achieve the state of the ten powers (which are Buddha's qualities)".

Then make the auspicious prayer expressing the truth: "By the powerful unbetraying triple gem, the unbetraying spheres of existence (which means emptiness) and unchangeable dependent arising, may I and all sentient beings accomplish all good prayers and quickly achieve the state of omniscient mind. May all this be auspicious to happen."