In Preparation to Receive Vajrayogini…

23 May

A Haunting Beauty

A very old statue of Vajrayogini at a shrine in Nepal

A week ago, Tsem Rinpoche forwarded a bunch of audio messages that formed an advice given to an old friend. It seemed that this person had made plans to fly over to the monastery to seek out his aging lama in order to request for a Vajrayogini initiation. Now, Rinpoche forwarded the advice to me and a few others with the hopes that we make take the advice. I actually transcribed the advice and edited out the personal stuff while retaining the Dharma information (including the Tibetan phrases which I tried to faithfully recreate as much as I can hear it ) to share here for all of you…


It’s important that you Yaya Zhiwa Gyab – you make requests to your teacher humbly again and again for the full Vajrayogini initiation and commentary. However, these few weeks before you get the actual initiation and commentary,  it would be very good to visualize Vajrayogini and your teacher as one and to offer a full mandala offering.

Om Benza Bhumi Ah Hum Wang Chen Ser Gyi Sa Shyi.

Om Benza Rekhe Ah Hum Chi Chak Ri Khor Yuk Gi

etc etc

To offer a full mandala to your Guru who is one with Vajrayogini and focus very strongly and visualize all the wealth, animals, mountains, trees, moon and stars, nice environments, food, people – beautiful women, beautiful men, beautiful houses, beautiful jewellery, money and everything in the world is within this mandala. You visualize this very strongly and clearly. You offer it up to your Lama and Vajrayogini.

Yidam Dang Lama Dag Trugpa Kangso Du Zheyba –  they accept. Think that they accept and you have collected a lot of merit. When you do this every single day before you actually get the initiation, you will remain alert, awake and clear and be able to absorb the information easily on the actual day. Since you are going to make such a long trip over and its a very special event. You want it to be perfect. Tamche Ma Yum Ba – You want to have no obstacles come your way. To receive this kind of high and powerful initiation that would benefit yourself, obstacles always come as you already know. So, it would be good to do this practice every single day to prepare the way.


 A mandala offering set held by Rinpoche that is filled with fake pearls visualized as real 

When you offer the mandala every single day, it shouldn’t be just our finger intertwine into a mandala offering mudra. It should be an actual mandala set with whatever items you can put on it including coins, crystals, precious objects or whatever you can afford. Since you don’t have a lot of material wealth that you can offer up to your lama, you can offer the visualized inner, outer and secret mandala*. So by doing this mandala practice every single day and offering to a lama, it is very powerful way to generate tremendous amounts of merits.

If we are very wealthy, it would be very good to make offerings to our lama-yidam every day for as much as possible in order to gain merits that can be transformed into practice and gaining realization of Bodhichitta and Shunyata. On the other hand, for the poor, it is not always easy to make vast amounts of offerings so we can engage in mandala offerings. Jetsun Mila or Jetsun Milarepa had no money, no house, no resources, no bank accounts and no sponsors. He had nothing. People would offer him some food once in awhile. He chose this way and therefore, he offered mandala every single day to his lama,  Jetsun Marpa.

Through making mandala offerings every single day, Milarepa gained great amounts of merit and when he did his practice. he became enlightened. The same goes with the King of Dharma of the Three Realms, Kamsum Chokyi Gyalpo Lama Tsongkhapa Chenpo. Same thing he did, same thing when Lama Tsongkhapa stayed in retreat. Kamsum Chokyi Gyalpo Lama Tsongkhapa Chenpo The King of the Three Realms. The Lord of the vast mandala of Sutra and Tantra, Lama Tsongkhapa also manifested poverty until Gaden was built. Before Gaden, he stayed in a cave with his main students and without a lot of money and resources, he made mandala offerings and he didn’t even have a mandala set. He actually used stones and a flat rock surface as the surface of a mandala and you know, we are suppose to hold the mandala with our left hand and in the beginning we are suppose to rub it with our inner palm – left and then right and then left on the mandala to purify it before placing the grains of sand, rice or whatever on it.


The actual picture of Lama Tsongkhapa’s holy stone mandala base and the groove was etched because of ritually wiping it with his bare hands.  

When Lama Tsongkhapa used his right forearm to wipe the mandala, he wiped it on the rock and he did it so much that he tore his flesh, yet he never stop offering mandala and in the end, he offered over 1 million mandala offerings. After which he did the mandala offerings, prostrations to the 35 Confessional Buddhas and so on. In the end, he had a direct vision of Lord Manjushri. From then on, Manjushri would appear to him and talk to him. But Lama Tsongkhapa was so humble, even though Lama Tsongkhapa saw Manjushri, he didn’t think he was capable of seeing, Lama Tsongkhapa and… Manjushri told Umapa, the great Nyingma lama to tell Tsongkhapa that he is really appearing to him. So, Lama Umapa who was one of Tsongkhapa’s teachers told Tsongkhapa, “It is really Manjushri appearing.” Henceforth, Lama Tsongkhapa believed that it was Manjushri appearing to him. But this arose partly due to Mandala offering.

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Many years ago, when His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to Los Angeles and stayed at our center Thubten Dhargye Ling in LA, I was chosen as Zong Rinpoche’s cook, attendant and cleaner. So, everyday, I would clean Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s room. I would cook him breakfast and dinner, someone else did lunch. For every single day except Sunday, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche would give Dharma teachings, initiations and empowerments for 6 months. I was very fortunate as I lived and stayed with Kyabje Zong Rinpoche when I was 18 years old in 1983. I was 18 and I received so much teachings every single day after I cooked dinner and cleaned up.

After teachings, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche would retire to his room and I would go in front of Zong Rinpoche’s room and make 100 full prostrations – Chak Sem. I would pray to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche that all the teachings, initiations and practices he gave me would never be forgotten and are absorbed easily into me and that I would be able to practice it very deeply. At that time, I didn’t have any money. So I offer my body, speech and mind every single day quietly without anybody knowing. Geshe-la already went to sleep. Geshe Tsultrim Gyaltsen was the teacher of the center and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche went to sleep and so did all his attendants and students. I would secretly and quietly do 100 prostrations in front of Zong Rinpoche’s room every single day for 6 months because I believed Zong Rinpoche is Heruka Chakrasamvara– Khorlo Demchog and I would do prayers to Demchog and Zong Rinpoche as one. I would absorb, understand the teachings and kept my samaya – damtsig with my guru very pure.

Now that you are arranging to fly over to your monastery to see your wonderful teacher who was of the old generation from Tibet. Their generation is dying out so it is important for us to get there to receive teachings, practices and to receive lineages. I am very very happy that you are requesting your teacher to confer on you the Vajrayogini initiation and after that just like your previous life because I felt very strongly that your previous life did vajrayogini practice. So, it is very good for you to continue again and pick up from where you have left off as the saying goes. What’s important is the initiation and commentary – Katrik from Kensur Rinpoche, your teacher along with the oral transmission, the rituals and the lung.

You have to make it a point to learn how to do the Daju because sometimes when we transgressed our vows, we can purify by doing Daju or self-initiation and also the jinsek (fire puja). Daju and Jinsek – you can ask from other monks but the transmission and initiation, you should get from your teacher. Therefore, practice this deity very well. It is supreme and it is number one as it is the most suitable for us at this time and it is in the most simplest form because it is Zhechig Chanyi – 1 face 2 arms only. By doing that and doing Vajrayogini’s practice, you will send many people to Dakpo Kacho or to the real Kechara Paradise. I really want that to happen and I really rejoice.

Before you receive the teachings and practice and in the future you can inspire others in your country. A lot of your countrymen, sorry to say are poor as they live in the nomadic areas, it would be perfect for them to do the practice. Wealth doesn’t help Dharma practice in some cases. So, if you do your practice well, you will inspire many to practice and eventually ascend to Dakpo Kacho or Kechara Paradise. Perhaps, you can help to set up  a special Vajrayogini chapel with a large Vajrayogini statue that is covered so people can do the practice quietly because her image is not to be seen by the public easily because it is very holy.


Rinpoche performs a full length prostration to the current incarnation of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche 

So you must prepare for this initiation by requesting your teacher many times and collecting the merits to receive it so that obstacles don’t arise. It is very important that you collect a lot of merit and one of the ways is through making mandala offerings – the extensive long mandala offering with visualization with good motivation to Vajrayogini and to your Guru. Why to Vajrayogini? Because that is the initiation you wish to receive. Sangye Jangsem Pawo Khandro Chokyong Sumgyi Tamche…dissolved. All Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Yidams deities, Dharma protectors and Dakas and Dakinis all dissolved into Vajrayogini and then Vajrayogini becomes the essence of the 3 Jewels – past, present and future and then she is also one with your Guru and you offer this mandala to her every single day. That would be very powerful.

If you have time, the mandala offering is very good and also to do the Tongshak to prepare which is the 35 Confessional Buddha practice and also to do full length prostrations however many you can do every day – 21, 50, 108. Up to you and then you do the prostrations to Vajrayogini herself and again visualize her as one with your Guru, What’s very important is to visualize full Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and deities as one with Vajrayogini and then make the prostration. It would be more effective this way. This are practices that you may do before initiation so that obstacles do not come and before you make the trip to the monastery, you should do your protector practice.

Your protector should be Gonpo Chadrugpa – Six-armed Mahakala. You should do a Mahakala puja and golden drink offering. If you can, you should do a Mahakala golden drink offering every day in order to destroy obstacles. Why? Because when you receive this initiation and you practice it, you will gain immense blessings and purify a lot of karma. So, since we have a Dharma protector such as Mahakala in your case. What’s important is to use the Dharma Protector, to solicit – Topa  and to request and to ask for him to grant his protection and actions. So, this is very very important. Duen Nyampa Nga Kabla – During the 5 Degenerate times, which is now, many obstacles arise when we want to do powerful practice. But you know all that. I am just sharing with you. So, I offer all these to you with humility and love and care and I thank you very much.

Tsem Rinpoche

* – An outer mandala offering (phyi’i mchod-pa) is of external objects such as water, flowers, incense, and so on, or of the desirable objects of the five senses. An external mandala is an offering made of an external world-system.
– An inner mandala offering (nang-mchod) is of aspects of the body. These may be either aspects of the gross body, namely the five aggregates and five elements or, in Kalachakra, aspects of the subtle body, namely the ten subtle energy-winds. Five meats and five nectars, purified, transformed, and multiplied, represent the two sets of five or the ten. An internal mandala (nang-gi dkyil-‘khor) is an offering made of various parts of the gross body, with the spine or trunk imagined as Mount Meru and the four limbs imagined as the four island-continents.
– A secret or hidden mandala offering (gsang-mchod) is of blissful awareness. Alternatively, it is of the nonconceptual blissful awareness of voidness with the clear-light, subtlest level of mental activity (a clear-light mind). Similarly, a secret or hidden mandala (gsang-ba’i dkyil-‘ khor) is an offering of a blissful awareness or of a nonconceptual blissful awareness of voidness with a clear-light mind. ( source – Berzin Archives )

2 Responses to “In Preparation to Receive Vajrayogini…”

  1. Alexis Soh May 24, 2014 at 1:18 am #

    Thank you David for this blog.. it is a good remainder of why we should constantly offer to our Guru and the Buddhas to accumulate vast amount of merits. I have created the causes to practice VY and I should get along doing the preliminaries especially the 100k full prostrations before I get too old to move.

  2. sweekeong July 11, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    Thank you Pastor David for transcribing the audio message. There’s so much information from Rinpoche on what to practice and how to practice. What was mentioned many times, which I feel is the most important, is one needs to do prior homework and practices by clearing own obstacles even before receiving the initiation itself.

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