Apr 9, 2017

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Lesson 14: Approach Prajna Paramita (acorrect view of emptiness) by Yidam visualization (Tiếp cận trí huệ bát nhã trong thiền quán Bổn tôn)

Lesson 14: Approach Prajna Paramita (acorrect view of emptiness) by Yidam visualization (Tiếp cận trí huệ bát nhã trong thiền quán Bổn tôn)

Right Dharma teaching, wrong method of practicing

Lesson 14: Approach Prajna Paramita (acorrect view of emptiness) by Yidam visualization

The series of lessons on Right Dharma teaching, wrong method of practice from lesson No.1 to No. 10 are the dominant of renunciation on the mentioned methods to avoid from  “right dharma, wrong method”. The view presented from lesson No.11 – No.13 is dominant of “bodhicitta” (“Chub sem” in Pali, “bodhicitta” in Sankrit) with the clarification of the compatible method of practicing spiritual activities. However, it is not enough if there does not mention on the most important factor of Prajna Paramita ( Wisdom – a correct view of emptiness (voidness)

It is known that there are many level of wisdom (a correct view of emptiness). Pagan practitioners only have worldly wisdom. The more formal religions there are, the more kinds of wisdom they get; but they all fall into two extremes: (1) permanent existence (atthitaa) (2) nihilistic non-existence (natthitā). Buddhism avoids both these two extremes, has realized the Middle Path called Prajna Transcendental Wisdom.

Buddhism avoids both these two extremes, has realized the Middle Path called Prajna Transcendental Wisdom

The Lord Buddha once affirmed in “the sutra on the Eight realizations of the Great being” that the Buddhists “consider the realization of perfect understanding as their only career”. It means that wisdom (a correct view of emptiness) is the Buddhist’s career. Prajna Transcendental Wisdom (Prajna Paramita) brings the method of cultivating to eradicate the roots of ignorance and reach the goal of Nirvana. Thus, the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara said: “The Buddhas of the past, present and future also relying on the Prajna Paramita, have attained Supreme Enlightenment.”

What is Prajna Paramita? How to approach Prajna Paramita? I recalled an anecdote in meditation. One day the young monk sat at the edge of the forest to focus on the object meditation of Earth intently. His diligence made the Heavenly Lord admired and the Heavenly Lord came down to pay homage to him and gave a request: “you are so young but vigorous. I am the Heavenly Lord and I have miracle powers (Abhijna), please let me know what you want. If you need rooms, monasteries, food and drink, I would like to make offerings”. The young monk shook his head and said to the Heavenly Lord: “I only need the only one thing which you cannot offer though you have miracle powers and generosity” the Heavenly Lord was surprised and asked the monk to speak out what he wanted. The monk smiled quietly and said: “what I need most is Prajna Paramita, can you make offerings?” The emperor rushed to heaven and said no words.

The basic of Prajna Paramita is Right view. There are 4 aspects of Right view, as follows:

1, Right view on the worship (Taking refuge to the Three Jewel, Buddhists do not worship hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, animals, titanic demons or asuras andcelestials)

2, Right view on the respect (worship those who are worthy of worship, Respect those who are worthy of respect)

Right view on the respect (worship those who are worthy of worship, Respect those who are worthy of respect)

3, Right view on the justification. It means that the justification is based on Buddhist teachings including “Four kinds of mindfulness” (Mindfulness of body, mindfulness of feelings, mindfulness of mind and mindfulness of dharma),  “Four dharma Seal” (All phenomena are empty; all stained emotions are painful; all compounded things are impermanent; Nirvana is true peace), “Four reliance principles” (Relying on the dharma, not on the people who expound it; relying on the meaning, not just on the words; relying on the complete teaching, not on the partial teaching; relying on the wisdom, not on the conscious and perception)

4, Right view on the ultimate liberation. It is the perfect understanding about the truth of suffering (dukkha), the truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya), the truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha), the truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga) – (The Four Noble Truths)

Right view on the ultimate liberation.

Buddhists with Right view gradually approach the Prajna Paramita in different levels. Buddhist practicing dharma without Right view are in vain like building a castle on the sand. This is the reason why many Buddhists having cultivated for ages are the same level with the newcomers entering the door of Holy Order. They do not understand the Buddha’s teachings. They do not have methods to practice the Way. As an example, although they believe the Lord Buddha is the enlightened one, they worship hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, animals, titanic demons or asuras. They bear in mind that “Seven treasure of enlightened one” is the Buddhist’s noble treasure though they still worship the goddess of fortune. Then they plead for such wrong view with a sentence: “Fine words butter no parsnips”. This is the wrong way of cultivation to accumulate bad things from non-virtues, not accumulate merit and wisdom.

The Prajna Paramita is the mode called “emptiness” (s. sunyata). It means that all phenomena [that we experience] have no inherent nature by themselves or all phenomena in their own-being are empty. We draw a conclusion in three main meanings: (1) impermanence (all things are destroyed), (2) having no inherent nature (Dependent Arising), (3) having no independence (interdependence). Contemplation on such three factors is called the contemplation on “emptiness”. “Emptiness” includes 16 subjects to meditate called emptiness meditation.

Emptiness is the true goal of Buddhist practitioners who want to free from suffering. All methods to approach “emptiness” are called the cultivation of wisdom, others are considered accumulating merits. In fact, the methods to collect both merit and wisdom are called “merit and wisdom cultivation”. The merit from Buddhism is different from blessings from other religions as the woman followers of Catholics are named “Seour”. No everyone can collect merit except Buddhist practitioners who have a great spiritual effort to practice the true dharma with the right method.

The Buddhist practitioners keep the precepts, have right view and cultivate to the Path (theory is integrated into practice), they will collect merit quickly. However, it is not simple to meditate on emptiness because there exists 16 subjects of emptiness meditation. Luckily, we, Tantric practitioners, have the efficient method to approach Prajna Paramita (emptiness) easily with no much effort. This spiritual mode is known as “Yidam Visualization”. Here is the clarification:

Yidam visualization is simply to contemplate on the holy body of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas chosen by the practitioner through the holy picture, the statue or the image in your mind (such as Amitaba, Mañjuśrī, Vajrasattva….). In Song Nguyen Tantra House, we practice the mode of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara division, our yidam to visualize is Four – armed Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.

our yidam to visualize is Four – armed Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara

Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is only the picture, statue, but it is represented “emptiness”. Therefore, contemplation on the holy body of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara through pictures or statues (outwardly Yidam Visualization) is to approach “emptiness”. How simple it is. It is the meditation of focused attention and visualization. For more detail, please read the book “one life, one mantra” or the article “Mind betterment” on the site of chanhtuduy.com. At the first stage, the practitioners make Yidam visualization through eyes; then at the stage of having fully qualified with deep devotion, the yogis practice Yidam visualization in mind.

The Guru is guiding Yidam visualization

Besides, Yidam visualization is not only accumulate wisdom, it also helps practitioners collect unlimited merit. In the sutra of “developing the pure energy through devotion”, the Lord Buddha revealed: “you contemplate on the holy body of Yidam Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara once, you can get the countless merit as much as making holy offerings filled with The three-fold great thousand world system—Buddha world to 1000 saints in 100 kalpas.

If you do not have enough deep devotion, you cannot get the good result

Thus, we make a conclusion that Yidam visualization helps yogis accumulate simultaneously merit and wisdom in order to get the path to enlightenment. This is an explanation for the reason why Tantric Buddhism enables practitioners to get the Path to enlightenment an asaṃkhyeya as quick as Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism. However, by this method, the practitioners need to visualize the holy image of Yidam with the deep devotion. If you do not have enough deep devotion, you cannot get the good result; just like the perfect bodhi – seed planting on the spiritually arid land cannot reap a harvest.

So, how to develop the power of devotion in order not to get failure due to right teaching, wrong method, I will make clarification in lesson no.15.

Phuoc Thanh village, date 19thSeptember, 2013

THINLEY NGUYEN THANH

Translated by Mat Dieu Hang


Vietnamese version: Bài 14: GIÁO PHÁP ĐÚNG, PHƯƠNG PHÁP SAI ( Tiếp cận trí huệ Bát nhã trong thiền quán Bổn tôn)

  1. Kính Bạch Thầy.

    Con hoan hỷ tán thán thiện hạnh của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng, đã chuyển ngữ bài viết của Thầy sang tiếng Anh nhằm góp phần mang những bài viết trí tuệ của Thầy, đến khắp các nước trên thế giới giúp cho những chúng sanh có duyên lành được biết đến và tu tập giáo pháp giải thoát của Đức Phật.

    Cầu mong cho tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.

    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy cô vì sự nghiệp hoằng dương chánh pháp.

    Om Mani Padme Hùm.

  2. Mật Phước says:
    Mô Phật!
    Pháp đệ hoan hỷ với thiện hạnh dịch bài ” Bài 14 : Giáo pháp đúng, phương pháp sai ( Tiếp cận trí huệ bát nhã trong thiền quán Bổn Tôn ) mà vị Thầy đã khai thị , từ tiếng Việt sang tiếng Anh của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng.
    Con cầu nguyện sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy Cô.
    Cầu mong tất cả chúng sanh uống được tinh túy cam lồ.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.
  3. Nguyễn Hà Liên says:
    Mô Phật!
    Đệ hoan hỷ và tán thán thiện hạnh dịch bài Pháp của vị Thầy sang tiếng Anh của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng. “Hương của loài hoa bay theo chiều gió. Hương đạo người tu tỏa khắp muôn nơi”. Đệ cầu nguyện hương chánh pháp từ các bài Pháp của vị Thầy sẽ lan tỏa khắp muôn nơi đem đến sự lợi lạc, an lạc cho tất cả chúng sanh.
    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy Cô.
    Đệ cầu nguyện Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng và gia đình đời-gia đình đạo sẽ luôn tinh tấn, hanh thông trong thế sự và thong dong trên đạo lộ Giải Thoát.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.
  4. Mật Diệu Linh says:
    Mô Phật.
    Pháp đệ hoan hỷ tán thán thiện hạnh dịch bài viết của vị Thầy sang tiếng Anh của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng.
    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh hữu duyên sử dụng ngôn ngữ tiếng Anh, được tiếp cận với ánh sáng chánh kiến Phật đà, ánh sáng trí tuệ của vị Thầy lan tỏa khắp muôn nơi lợi lạc cho mọi chúng sanh.
    Con cầu nguyện sức khỏe sự trường thọ của Thầy cô vì lợi lạc của mọi chúng sanh.
    Cầu nguyện Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng đời đạo song hành, thong dong trên đạo lộ giải thoát, thành tựu mọi ước nguyện thầm kín chính đáng.
    Om Mani Padme Hum!
  5. Akshay Kumar says:
    Dear Guru
    I have read this article. It is a very interesting one. Thank you so much. Hope all Buddhist once in lifetime at least practice visualisation technique of avlokiteshwara, so their mind becomes pure.
    May the Guru live long for the sake of all beings.
    May all beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.
  6. Tantra Mahavita says:
    DEAR GURU : Thank you for sharing these articles.Practice of Avalokiteshvara display so that your mind becomes pure is essential in Buddhism .That Guru has health and can live a long time for the benefit of all sentient .That all beings achieve the happiness of Budhha Nature .OM MANI PADME HUM
    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mahavita sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “KÍNH BẠCH THẦY!

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con đọc bài viết này. Con hiểu rằng thực hành quán tưởng Bổn tôn quán âm Bồ tát giúp tâm chúng con thanh tịnh, và đây là một tu pháp cần thiết trong đạo Phật. 

      Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì sự lợi lạc của chúng sanh.

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.

      OM MANI PADME HUM.”

  7. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerable Guru;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    Another very profound explaination about ementeness.

    Thank you very much venerebol Guru.

    OM MANI PADME HUM……

  8. Tantra Mikaya (jane) says:
    Thank you holy Guru for your wonderful and advisable article. I have interpreted it as follows. The right methodology to learn and the correct application of what is learned are the most important for each of us. In each of us, abilities are already present for enlightenment. The path leads us to independent self-responsibility and the help of our holy guru. In the three jewels we can take refuge to follow the path of Buddha. We need a refuge outside of Samsara. Only cultivation in practice, we each, at its own pace, can free us from suffering. Each of us carries his experiences and can strengthen the mind and body with the right method. One example is a cup of tea. The tea is not just made of tea. There are several ingredients and only the right composition gives the desired tea. As much as we wish, enlightenment now comes. This enlightenment takes place through the correct methodology through meditation, knowledge and the strengthening of our mind. For me, through Buddhism and through the Holy Guru many things changed in life. My mind became quieter even in the day-to-day everyday life of Berlin. I was more careful even with small things like washing my hands. Today I smell the soap and do not falter. I do the smallest things more consciously and there is a kind of rest of mind. The emptiness describes the lack of a constant being of a self-nature and our constant I in the constant change of existence. The world is not a world of being in which there are no solid substances and no irrefutable realities. So we look at the world as it really is. The nature of Buddha is our greatest potential that is in us all. The purpose and joy is to recognize our Buddha nature. May all beings be free from suffering and follow the path of Buddha successfully for the benefit of all. May our holy guru be blessed with good health to accompany us on our way through his wise knowledge. I thank you again for this great article. Om Mani Padme Hum
  9. Dr. C H Lakshmi narayan says:
    Respected Guruji,I bow my head at the lotus feet of Guruji.(

    I am Tantra Nirvadeva.

    Hindus , according to their Hindu philosophy worship 4-handed God or or Godess .is this Bodhisattva  Avalokitheshwara with 4-handed is similar to God whom by contemplation and meditation (Yidam contemplation) we get pure Wisdom? (as there is no faith in God in Buddhism).

    Buddhism is Emptiness (shunyavada). Everything is changing every moment including our body which is undergoing change towards old age and death! So no need to feel egoism because what is there to be called as our own as this world itself is an illusion!. This is the real meaning of Emptiness (shunyavada). By contemplation and meditation on  Avalokitheshwara picture or statue we get the pure Wisdom of this Emptiness of Buddhism.

    Request Guruji’s clarification of 4-handed Bodhisattva Avalokitheshwara’s existence similar to Hindu’s 4-handed God or Goddesses.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Long live our Guruji for upholding Dharma.

    Dr.C H Lakshminarayan.

    .

  10. Dr. C H Lakshmi narayan says:
    Respected Guruji,I bow my head at the lotus feet of Guruji.(

    I am Tantra Nirvadeva.

    Hindus , according to their Hindu philosophy worship 4-handed God or or Godess .is this Bodhisattva  Avaflokitheshwara with 4-handed is similar to God whom by contemplation and meditation (Yidam contemplation) we get pure Wisdom? (as there is no faith in God in Buddhism).

    Buddhism is Emptiness (shunyavada). Everything is changing every moment including our body which is undergoing change towards old age and death! So no need to feel egoism because what is there to be called as our own as this world itself is an illusion!. This is the real meaning of Emptiness (shunyavada). By contemplation and meditation on  Avalokitheshwara picture or statue we get the pure Wisdom of this Emptiness of Buddhism.

    Request Guruji’s clarification of 4-handed Bodhisattva Avalokitheshwara’s existence similar to Hindu’s 4-handed God or Goddesses.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Long live our Guruji for upholding Dharma.

    Dr.C H Lakshminarayan.

    .

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Nirvadeva (C H Lakshminarayan) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

      Con xin cúi đầu đảnh lễ dưới chân sen của Thầy!

      Con là Tantra Nirvadeva.

      Tín đồ đạo Hindu thờ cúng vị thần bốn tay. Thưa Thầy, xin Thầy khai thị cho con Bổn tôn  Quán Âm tứ thủ mà hành giả thực hành quán tưởng để tiếp cận trí tuệ có phải giống như vị thần 4 tay trong đạo Hindu không ạ? (Theo con hiểu thì đạo Phật không đặt niềm tin và thờ cúng các vị thần, chúa trời).

      Tánh không điều đặc trưng trong đạo Phật. Mọi sự vật hiện tượng thay đổi trong từng khoảnh khắc, kể cả tấm thân tứ đại của con người cũng thay đổi, trở nên già rồi chết.  Vì vậy con người không nên bám chấp vào cái ngã, không nên ngã mạn. Tất cả những gì trên thế giới này mà con người nghĩ rằng là của riêng họ đều là sự ảo tưởng. Đây là ý nghĩa của tánh không. Thiền quán thánh tướng Bổn tôn thông qua linh ảnh hoặc ngẫu tượng của ngài để đạt được trí huệ tánh không.

      Con xin thỉnh nguyện Thầy khai thị cho con hiểu Quán Âm tứ thủ có đúng là vị thần 4 tay trong đạo Hindu không ạ.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài để ngọn đuốc chánh pháp được lan tỏa khắp muôn nơi.

      Con – C H Lakshminarayan”

  11. Steve Rogers says:
    Dear Holy Guru

    i am Tantra Haramitra

    your words have been good to me. In my walk with your family I am learning to ensure I practice with the right heart, to ensure that the suffering of others is reduced to the upmost of my ability; I am learning to place myself in a place where I consider myself a servant of all sentient beings, so that the opportunities can present themselves where I can reduce suffering; and I am learning the right path through your words so that I can grow in my buddhist life; what I still need to learn is the ability to bring my self to a place of emptiness so that all distractions and previous bad habits, I held, can be removed from me so my practice can be more effective.

    your explanation of the Yidam Visualisation has given me insight of how to focus and empty my thoughts to bring about merit and wisdom.

    I know it will need practice but with your guidance and words, Holy Guru, I will learn and develop.

    thank you for your words.

    May the holy Guru have good health and live long for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha ‘s nature.

    Om mani padme hum

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