Disciples’ Entry into the Mandala during 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment

July 11th 2014

Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India, 11 July 2014 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama has two seats in the Kalachakra Pavilion. One is the grand throne in the middle facing the audience from which he has been teaching for the last several days. The other is a lower seat from which he looks in the opposite direction facing the Kalachakra sand mandala. It was in this latter seat that he sat for four and a half hours this morning going through the various rituals and self-empowerments preparatory to the empowerment he was to give in the afternoon. After a brief lunch he was ready. Once again he came out to the front of the pavilion, walking from one side to the other smiling and waving to the eager crowd in greeting.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 11, 2014. Photo/Manuel Bauer
After he had taken his seat on the teaching throne and various verses of homage had been recited, His Holiness drew attention to the deities and demigods who would also have come to listen to the teachings. He recalled that in Tibet in the last century Serkong Dorje Chang gave a Kalachakra Empowerment, at the end of which he declared that everyone within the boundary of Ganden Monastery had received it.
“I have visualized that all those who wish to be here but have been unable to come will receive this empowerment,” His Holiness said. “There are people in Tibet and China who wanted to attend these ceremonies, but due to various obstacles have been unable to come. I’d like them all to know that I have them in mind as we go through the empowerment.

“Today, we’ll go through procedures for the disciples’ entry into the mandala, the basis for which is cultivating the awakening mind of bodhichitta and an understanding of emptiness. Of course, a Lama with great attainments could give far-reaching blessings that would benefit not only sentient beings but even the rocks and so forth, but the foundation of the empowerment as far as we are concerned is having some understanding of emptiness and a sense of bodhichitta. On the basis of these we’ll be able to accomplish a transformation within ourselves.”

His Holiness explained that we cannot talk about unwholesome deeds as if they were solid entities for they are the result of several factors: another sentient being, a motivation and an act that causes harm. He said we all want happiness, and whether it is a thought word or deed, if an action brings pain and harm it is referred to as unwholesome. If we observe animals like dogs we’ll see that if one of them is particularly peaceful and calm those around it tend to be calm too. Not committing any unwholesome deeds has a similar effect. The important point is to train our minds. If you act on the basis of an undisciplined mind, the result is likely to be negative.

Some of the over 140,000 people attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 11, 2014. Photo/Manuel Bauer
Training the mind is not achieved merely through prayer or the recitation of mantras. An undisciplined mind that gives in to anger and hatred develops aversion for others. The counter force to this is cultivating loving-kindness. When a flood takes place you examine the cause and take steps to prevent it happening again. This is what we have to do too in our inner world; we have to examine the causes and adopt counter forces. Because different objects provoke our attachment or anger we have to remain alert to correct our conduct and restrain ourselves from harming others.

Turning to the beginning of the session of the empowerment, His Holiness explained that he was offering a ritual cake to induce interfering forces not to hinder the ceremonies for leading the disciples into the Kalachakra mandala. He referred to outer, inner and alternate Kalachakra, the habitat in which beings live, the body and mind of sentient beings and the process of Kalachakra by which they can be transformed into enlightenment.

He touched on the qualifications of a Lama who is giving the empowerment. He must have already received the empowerment, done the retreat and so be qualified to give it to others. He also mentioned that the best recipient of the empowerment would be a bhikshu. He affirmed that the Lama had done what he had to do prior to the empowerment and the disciples in their turn had done what they needed to do.

“Yesterday, you were instructed to examine last night’s dreams. If you saw gardens of flowers, that’s good, but if the flowers were predominantly red it’s regarded as inauspicious. Such dreams arise from causes and conditions and there’s no need either to be excited or depressed about them.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking on the ninth day of the 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 11, 2014. Photo/Manuel Bauer
His Holiness spoke about different states of mind, mentioning that during the waking state our five senses are active and functioning. In the dream state they stop so we can gain access to a subtler state of mind. He observed that there are people who due to past propensities are able to separate their minds and bodies, although this may not entail the actual dream body. He told a story a friend had told him of his mother, who was not otherwise regarded as a spiritual practitioner, who had announced that she was going to sleep for a week. It seems that during that time her mind left her body and travelled here and there because she recounted events and details of places that were later confirmed that she could not have known about in any other way.

In addition to the dream state, His Holiness mentioned that the mind is even subtler when there is no dream. Fainting is another occasion that affords access to a subtler state of mind. He also mentioned the dissolution of the elements that make up the body and mind, leading to a subtler state of mind. When the innate clear light is manifest, the eighty misconceptions stop. He said the basic clear light never ceases, nor has it ever been subject to delusion. When the mind of clear light manifests, most people miss it, but a spiritual practitioner who is familiar with it can catch it. He or she can employ it to realize emptiness. The purpose for doing deity yoga is to enable the mind to access this pristine awareness.

His Holiness bestowed the Bodhisattva vow on all who wished to take it, noting that taking the Bodhisattva vow is the start of happiness, for bodhichitta enables us to make progress in the path. At the conclusion of that part of the ceremony he said that everyone should feel most fortunate to have been able to take the Bodhisattva vow and he likewise felt fortunate to have been able to give it.


Members of the audience wearing ritual blindfolds during the ninth day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 11, 2014. Photo/Manuel Bauer
Next, he gave the Tantric vows, followed by cultivation of the All Encompassing Yoga. In connection with developing the mind of bodhichitta he pointed out that sentient beings are the source of all that is good in our lives and the source of all goodness in future lives too. He cited the example that without some being’s provocation it would be impossible to develop patience. In contrast to compassion and concern for others he pointed out that if we remain selfish we will not even fulfil our own goals. Citing a line from Aryadeva’s 400 Verses, ‘What arises in dependence has no autonomy,’ he recommended using it to reflect on emptiness. Finally, the disciples were able to enter and view the mandala.

Before concluding the day’s session, His Holiness gave a reading transmission of the Kalachakra Six-session Guru Yoga composed at his request by his Senior Tutor Ling Rinpoche. He suggested that it would be good for people to recite it every day, which he said he does himself.

There were concluding rituals and prayers to be done before the end of the session. His Holiness then descended from the throne and again came to the front of the platform to interact with the huge, peaceful crowd before driving back to his residence.

Tomorrow, the full moon day, will see the granting of the seven empowerments according to the pattern of childhood.
 

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