All the essential practices of Kadampa Buddhism are included in a series of sadhana booklets prepared by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and published by Tharpa Publications.
A special practice for developing compassion, wisdom, and spiritual strength by relying on the Wisdom Buddha Je Tsongkhapa, and for overcoming obstacles and difficulties on the spiritual path by relying on his Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.
An extensive explanation of this sadhana can be found in the book Heart Jewel, by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Offering to the Spiritual Guide
Offering to the Spiritual Guide, or Lama Chopa in Tibetan, is a special Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa in conjunction with Highest Yoga Tantra. It was compiled by the first Panchen Lama, Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen, as a preliminary practice for Tantric Mahamudra. The main practice is meditation on reliance upon our Spiritual Guide, but it also includes all the essential practices of the stages of the path (Lamrim) and training the mind (Lojong), as well as both the generation and completion stages of Highest Yoga Tantra. By relying on our Spiritual Guide as one with Je Tsongkhapa, our compassion, spiritual power, and especially our wisdom will naturally increase. A complete commentary to this practice can be found in Great Treasury of Merit.
Liberation from Sorrow
Tara is a female Buddha, a manifestation of the ultimate wisdom of all the Buddhas. Each of the Twenty-one Taras is a manifestation of the principal Tara, Green Tara. Tara is also known as the `Mother of the Conquerors’.
Tara is our common mother, our Holy Mother. When we are young we turn to our worldly mother for help. She protects us from immediate dangers, provides us with all our temporal needs, and guides and encourages us in our learning and personal development. In the same way, during our spiritual growth we need to turn to our Holy Mother, Tara, for refuge. She protects us from all internal and external dangers, she provides us with all the necessary conditions for our spiritual training, and she guides us and inspires us with her blessings as we progress along the spiritual path.
Through practicing transference of consciousness, known as ‘powa’ with faith, compassion and concentration we can transfer the consciousness of those recently deceased to a higher rebirth or to the Pure Land of a Buddha. The Powa Ceremony can be done either by a group of practitioners or individually on behalf of one or more deceased persons, or countless deceased beings. By engaging in this practice we also create a great collection of virtue, which will also lead us into the pathway to a Buddha’s Pure Land.
Quick Path to Great Bliss
The instructions on the Highest Yoga Tantra practice of Venerable Vajrayogini were taught by Buddha Vajradhara in the forty-seventh and forty-eighth chapters of the Condensed Root Tantra of Heruka. This particular lineage of instructions, the Narokhachö lineage, was passed directly from Vajrayogini to Naropa, and from him through an unbroken lineage of realized practitioners to the present-day Teachers.
After Buddha Vajradharma had taught the practice he left the mandalas of Heruka and Vajrayogini intact in twenty-four auspicious places in this world. Thus even to this day there are countless manifestations of Vajrayogini in this world who help sincere practitioners to gain realizations by blessing their mental continuum.
In many respects the practice of Vajrayogini is ideally suited to the present day. By relying upon this practice sincerely, with a good heart and a mind of faith, it is definitely possible to attain full enlightenment; but to accomplish such results we must practise the extensive sadhana regularly.
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