Bodhgaya, Bihar, India - His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Gaden Phelgyeling Monastery under a cloudless sky this morning for the short walk to the Kalachakra Ground. As usual he waved to the crowd, saluted the images of enlightenment and greeted the Lamas gathered around the throne before taking his seat on it.
After a group of Laotian monks had chanted the Mangala Sutta in Pali, students from the Maitreya School chanted the Heart Sutra in Sanskrit, followed by a group who gave a strident recitation of it in Chinese. His Holiness advised that, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 10th Panchen Lama’s death, the gathering could recite the Samantabhadra Prayer while he undertook the preparatory practices for the first Manjushri permission he was going to give.
“This ‘Manjushri Cycle of Teachings’ derives from the close lineage of Lama Umapa, Pawo Dorje,” His Holiness explained. “Even when he was a young boy herding sheep he had visions of Manjushri, particularly of an aspect black in colour. Later, he had visions of Manjushri daily. The ‘Manjushri Cycle of Teachings’ is unique to the Geluk lineage and includes guru yoga, the Solitary Hero Manjushri sadhana, blessings and so forth. Lama Umapa gave it to Je Tsongkhapa, from whom it was passed down to Jampel Gyatso, Kedrub Geleg Palzang, Baso Chökyi Gyaltsen, Chökyi Dorjé, Lobsang Dondrub, Kedrub Sanggyé Yeshé, Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen, Konchog Gyaltsen, Panchen Lobzang Yeshe, Lobzang Zopa, Lobzang Palden Yeshe, Lobzang Jampal and so forth.
“I received it from Tagdrak Rinpoché when I was a child. There are different ways to prepare to give cycles of teachings like this. You can do preparatory rites for all the permissions at one time and then give the permissions one after another, or you can prepare for each permission separately before giving it. I’m going to follow the latter procedure and I’ve asked Jado Rinpoché to assist me by following and reading out the relevant meditation instructions because they are not always presented consecutively in the text.”
His Holiness reminded his listeners that when the subtle mind of clear light and the subtle energy which is its mount are thoroughly purified they transform into a Buddha. He remarked that the text begins with powerful verses for taking refuge and generating bodhichitta:
In order to liberate others you must be free from the swamp
Therefore, in order to achieve Buddhahood
For the sake of others---
I seek refuge in the Sugatas.
The remedy, in the form of the path taught by the Founder,
Is to integrate the Sutra and Tantra teachings Within your mind-stream for the benefit of others--- So, I seek refuge in the sacred Dharma.
In order to beseech the Sangha who uphold the Dharma,
Who are those who actively follow the Dharma,
To assist me on the path—
I seek refuge also in the Supreme Community.
He proceeded to guide the disciples through the necessary visualizations, such as those for developing discursive, clear, quick, profound and creative wisdoms, as he gave the permission of the Solitary Hero Manjushri. Next, after performing the preparatory meditations, he gave the permission of the Manjushri Body Mandala, which he followed, after the preparatory procedures, with the permission of Secret Manjushri. As he concluded today’s session he mentioned recitative commitments of receiving this cycle of teachings, but added that what is most important is to meditate on the awakening mind of bodhichitta and emptiness.
His Holiness will continue to bestow the Manjushri Cycle of Teachings tomorrow.