Three Vajras

Aganiya Sutta (Origin of the World, Genders and Castes), Digha Nikaya 27

Introduction Two young Brahmins, Bharadwaja and Vasethha, to whom the Tevijja Sutta’ (Digha Nikaya 13) first conversation is devoted, took refuge in the Three Jewels and began to live among the world renounced followers of the Blessed, preparing to be accepted into the Sangha. Other Brahmins strongly criticized and insulted them in every which way, arguing that by becoming a hermit, young men disgrace the highest caste to which they belong from birth. The relatives of Bharadwaja and Vasethha said that Brahmins are born from the mouth of Brahma, and wandering  hermits are born from…read more

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Cula Hatthipadopama Sutta, Elephant Tracks, Majjhima Nikaya 27

Praising the Buddha Hermit Pilotika greatly praised and glorified the wisdom of the Buddha. Pilotika told that the wisdom of the Buddha is clearly visible, like elephant footprints. Sometimes hermits, Brahmans, householders or noble people come to Buddha to argue with Him, to catch Him at any mistake, but, after talking with the Blessed One, they become His followers. Impressed by Pilotika story, the Brahman Janussonin went to the Buddha to talk with Him. Elephant and its footprints Having met with the Buddha, Janussonin told Him about the praises of…read more

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Vattha Sutta, The Cloth, Majjhima Nikaya 7

The Cloth and the Paint In the conversation with disciples, the Buddha compares a mind to a cloth, and the state of mind after the dissolution of the body – with the paint. If dirty cloth is dipped into the paint – it will be painted badly and the color will deteriorate. If a clean cut of the fabric is dipped into the paint, the paint will dye the cloth well, and the cloth will keep bright, clear color. The same can be said about the mind: if it is…read more

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Wammika Sutta – Anthill, Majjhima Nikaya 23

An Amazing Mystery On one night, a beautiful deity surrounded by radiance approached Kumara Kassapa, a disciple of Buddha. This deity gave a riddle to Kumara Kassapa: The anthill emits smoke at night and burns during the day. Brahman teaches the wise: “Dig the earth with a knife!” The wise man digs with a knife and digs out a Hasp. Brahman says: “Throw away the Hasp, and dig the earth further”. The wise man digs further and finds a Toad. Brahman says: “Throw away the Toad and dig further!” The wise…read more

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Mandala of the Pure Lands

The picture I drew below is called Mandala of the Pure Lands. There are five elements in this mandala. The mountain, river, lake, tree and the house. All five elements correspond to five feelings. What are the Five Feelings? The Five Feelings are: Mountain = Compassion River = Joy Lake = Peacefulness Tree = Giving House = Loving Kindness The first element is a mountain which represents compassion. It represents compassion because it has caves for people and animals to live and hide in case of a great need. The…read more

Akankheyya Sutta, Fulfillment of Noble Desires, Majjhima Nikaya 6

The name of the Sutta The literal translation of the name of the Sutta is “If anyone desires”. The Buddha explains the essence of right effort to realize non-egoistic desires. Regardless of the nobility of these desires, the Buddha speaks of them not as the goals, on which the mind of the seekers should be focused, but as the natural stages of purification of consciousness. Even the three Super-knowledges (of past lives, future reincarnations and the knowledge of eliminating hindrances and consciousness impurities) appear as the result of the impassive…read more

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Manjushri

Bodhisattva Manjushri belongs to the family of the Beautiful Gods. Soft, calm light emanates from him, absorbing all desires. Manjushri’s appearance is magnificent and shining. His fiery sword of wisdom is a sword of deliverance, not destruction, a sword that cuts the fetters, releasing the Great Void from which then the Shining Gods arise. Manjushri is the leader of the army of Shining Gods and is also their elder. He sits on the lotus throne, because the Beautiful Deities are born in the iridescent glow of the practitioners’ hearts. His…read more

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Anangana Sutta, Absence of vices, Majjhima Nikaya 5

Introduction This Sutta tells us about two Nagas (the great beings), Shariputra and Mahamoggallana, the senior disciples of the Buddha, preaching the doctrine of eliminating vices. Vice is the presence of sensual thirst, anxiety and ill-will in one’s mind. The development of vices leads to rebirth in the Lower Worlds. The awareness of presence and absence of vices Shariputra said: when a person who has vices believes that they do not have one, they will not make efforts to purify the mind and, as a result, they will die with…read more

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Padmasambhava

Padmasambhava (born from the lotus), Guru Rinpoche (the Perfect Teacher) was one of the greatest teachers of Buddhism. He was born in India in the VIII century and in adulthood came to Tibet. It is believed that he is the emanation of Buddha Amitabha. Padmasambhava is often called the second Buddha as his life and activity significantly changed the appearance of Buddhism and gave it a new dimension. Padmasambhava brought Buddha’s teachings to Tibet, turned demons to protectors of the Teaching and paved the way for Dharma in Tibet. The…read more

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Bhaya-Bherava Sutta – Fear and Terror, Majjhima Nikaya 4

The Brahman’s Question The Brahman Janussonin asked the Buddha about what happens to the hermits, who retire in terrible, deserted places in the forest thicket. It is difficult to remain in seclusion to those who have not mastered the art of concentration. Is not the mind of the hermits who are inexperienced in the concentration, abducted with fear and horror that arise in solitude? The Buddha’s Answer The Buddha replied to the Brahman: “When I was young and only started looking for the Truth, I also asked this question. And…read more

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Huineng

Dajian Huineng lived in China between approximately 638 and 713 AD. He was the sixth and last Patriarch of Chinese Ch’an Buddhism.  The most famous text about him and his teaching is the “Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch”[1]. Huineng was born in a family of a government official. His father died when he was a child and his family lived in poverty.  In order to provide for himself and his mother, Huineng sold firewood in a marketplace. Once, while he was helping his customer to carry firewood to an…read more

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Dhammadayada Sutta – Inheritance of the Dhamma, Majjhima Nikaya 3

Introduction The Buddha explains the difference between the inheritance of the Dhamma and getting the worldly benefits from the Dhamma, to his disciples. He instructs them in the Way of obtaining the true inheritance. Advantage of Ascetics A person who is content with being small and is patient with temporary samsaric difficulties has the advantage in inheriting the Dhamma. The Buddha compares two disciples – the first one, dependent on the feeling of being full (with food) and being dependent on energy bursts, striving to be satiated every day, and…read more

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Sabbasava Sutta – Spots of Excitement, Majjhima Nikaya 2

Introduction In a conversation with disciples, the Buddha calls bad, darkened qualities of consciousness “spots” and explains seven ways to overcome them. The spots that are discussed in the conversation are not visible by ordinary sight, but are perceived by the Eye of Wisdom. Therefore, the explanations given by the Buddha are not only addressed to the listeners’ human level of perception, but also to their divine sight. The order in which these spots are eliminated, presented in this sutta, is convenient for the sequential purification of the seven energy…read more

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18. Janavasabha Sutta

The attainment of the higher worlds by the deceased The Buddha repeatedly explained to the local people of those places where He preached, in what worlds the followers of His Dhamma, who left the body, are being reborn. Depending on the degree of purification of the mind, they rise higher and higher, into the worlds, increasingly free from unwholesome qualities of existence. Listening to these explanations, Ananda thinks thus: “It has been for a long time, that the Buddha did not preach in Magadha, where He attained Awakening. Therefore, nothing…read more

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17. Mahasudassana Sutta

Introduction The Mahasudassana Sutta returns the reader to that place and moment of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta (Digha Nikaya 16) where the Buddha, preparing to leave the body, lay down in a lion pose between the twin sal trees in Kusinara. Ananda asks the Buddha not to leave the body in such a remote, lost in a jungle village, but the Buddha stops the disciple. “Do not say that, Ananda. After all, there were times, when this place was the capital of a kingdom of a great king, the world-bearer.” King…read more

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Niguma

Niguma, a yogini, bodhisattva, and dakini, lived presumably in the eleventh century. There is not much information about Niguma’s life nor about her birth. Information about her is rather controversial and is wrapped in mystery. According to one legend Niguma was born in Kashmir, in a region called the Country of the Great Magic. During the lifetime of the previous Buddha this land was cowered with water and belonged to the King of Nagas. More recently, this region has become the birthplace of many mahasiddhas, among whom was also Naropa….read more

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Five types (families) of practitioners

Ratna family (the Yellow Buddha and Tara family) Representatives of the Ratna family are more prone to creativity. It is sufficient for them to obtain common principles of the Teaching and let the very creative process supplement and remake it in their own way. “Ratnas” preserve the basics of the Teaching but bring in their originality. If “ratnas” would be demanded to follow instructions precisely – then their creative potential diminish, because such an approach leads to a conflict with their nature of mind. So, while teaching the ratna family,…read more

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Hiranyagarbha and Prajapati

Hiranyagarbha is the golden fetus found in the body of Prajapati in the fetal position. Prajapati is a yogi, and he holds Dhyana Mudra. Hiranyagarbha symbolizes the sun, and Prajapati symbolizes blue, transparent sky. Prajapati faces the four directions of the world with his four heads (the fourth head is hidden – it is behind the central head, and faces north). Four symbols in the corners of the picture: the wheel symbolizes the Dharma, mace – determination, lotus – satisfaction, shell – emptiness.

Clear Light

One of the Six Yogas of Naropa is Yoga of Clear Light. In this yoga the essence of mind is defined as “Clear Light”. The Clear Light appears openly in three states: in deep sleep, after death and samadhi. Duality is a tendency of mind to see itself as an essence different from Clear Light. A mind that has overcome duality is able to recognize itself as Clear Light. The following Mudra of Clear Light is overcoming duality: – The little finger symbolizes Clear Light in deep sleep – The…read more

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