Three Vajras

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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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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Nagarjuna and the Prajnaparamita Teaching

Nagarjuna was presumably born between 150-250 AD in the south of India. There are several versions of his birth and early years. According to one of them Nagarjuna was a sick child, so he was sent to a mountain monastery in order to improve his health. There, near a mountain lake, he experienced a vision of the Nagas’ king and his underwater palace. He had a vision of a Stupa, surrounded by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Nagarjuna opened this stupa and saw inside it another one, which was just identical to…read more

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Machig Labdron

Machig Labdron lived in Tibet in the 11th century. Legend says that Padmasambhava predicted that she would be born as a reincarnation of Yeshe Tsogyal. When she was a child she used to read the Prajnaparamita sutra for wealthy patrons. It was thought that repetitively reading the sutra brought merit, and as she was able to read very fast, her services were highly valued (merits’ size was determined by the number of readings). Machig used to walk from house to house until she met the teacher named Lama Sonam Drapa…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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Ananda

Ananda was Buddha’s cousin as well as one of his closest disciples. Though Buddha had different assistants, they were not always around. When Buddha was 55 years old he felt that he was getting older and needed an assistant to help him with his affairs. When the sangha gathered to discuss the matter many suggested themselves; only Ananda remained silent. Buddha made his choice of Ananda for his modesty, devotion and purity of intentions. Buddha and Ananda were of approximately the same age. For the following 25 years, until Buddha’s…read more

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Sadhana of the Two Parts of the Body (Sadhana of Black Tara)

Give yourself some time to feel the inner left part of your body and imagine that it is tuned to wise perception. Next imagine that the inner right side of your body is tuned to auspicious and benevolent activity. The spleen and stomach (“absorbing” organs) are located on the left side of the body; and the liver and gall bladder (“excreting” organs) are located on the right side. You are invited to create two images of yourself: one which is happy, blissful, and enlightened with higher knowledge and abilities. Place…read more

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The White Tara Sadhana (Practice of contraction and expansion)

In the beginning of the practice we learn to distance and diminish those objects and phenomena which cause suffering and to enlarge and bring closer those objects and phenomena which are desirable for us. By enlarging and bringing phenomena closer we increase the clarity of their perception. We then learn to contract objects to the size of a point and to expand them to the size of universe. Exercise: In our heart we visualize a star-like spot of bright white-and-pale-blue light. It has a size of the tip of a…read more

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Asanga

(4-5th century) Asanga’s name is translated as “Free from attachments”. Asanga and his brother Vasubandhu were born in India, to a Brahmin family. When the boys became old enough to choose their future occupation their mother dissuaded them from worldly occupations and directed them to the path of studying Dharma: “I gave birth to you not for wordly occupations. You have to purify your minds and to preach the Teaching.” Following his mother’s instructions, filled with unbreakable determination to meet Buddha Maytreya and to obtain his teaching, Asanga headed to…read more

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1. Brahmajala Sutta

Introduction The Sutta begins with a reference to the dispute between a wandering ascetic and his disciple. The ascetic strongly condemns the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, while his young follower praises the Three Jewels in every possible way. The disciples of Buddha discuss this dispute in the Sangha. Buddha, after learning about the subject of their discussion, instructs: it is necessary to speak without anger and hatred about the virtues of the Three Jewels, because dislike of criticism and people who criticize can only damage the defenders of Buddha, Dhamma and…read more

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