Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Three Symbolic Supports of the Dharma

There is a new free teaching available on the Vimala Treasures site: "The Three Symbolic Supports of the Dharma." It's a PDF document 51 pages long produced from a teaching given by Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche in the early 1990s while teaching from a text by Schechen Gyaltsap at Orgyen Dorje Den.

Khenpo Tsewang starts off with this excellent summary:
"This teaching is all about the benefits of building stupas, statues, monasteries, and writing dharma texts. It is good to understand the benefits clearly, so we can apply them in our daily life. This is not a teaching that we need to sit down and practice every day, morning and night. There are immense benefits to building stupas, statues, monasteries, and writing dharma texts, but they all depend upon our motivation. Everything depends upon our motivation."

The text gives an overview of four levels in building supports for Dharma:
  1. General benefits of building the three supports
  2. Special benefits achieved through pure motivation and pure activity
  3. Benefits achieved through making lots of offerings and paying respect, and finally
  4. Dedicating whatever merit has been accumulated
Other highlights include some nice references to the 12 links of interdependent origination and many gems of instructional stories :-)

If you looked at this text a few months ago, check it out again: there's a new version up with improved formatting, sections, a table of contents, and come corrections.

Enjoy!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vajrasattva Mantra Translation and Audio

An excerpt from the free PDF file
Vimala Treasures has made freely available the Vajrasattva Mantra in Tibetan as well as an excellent English translation. As a bonus, there are two nice quotes regarding the 100-syllable mantra provided as well.

Information on downloading these materials is on the front page of the Vimala website:
http://vimalatreasures.org/
In the event of the information in that space being replaced with breaking news on other free materials from Vimala, here are the links for the Vajrasattva mantra translation and audio:

Text
Audio

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Life of Vimalamitra

Vimalamitra
Vimalamitra (Tib. དྲི་མེད་བཤེས་གཉེན་, Drimé Shenyen) was an 8th century Indian adept and key to the history of Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen practice.

He lived equally in China, India, and Tibet, but was known as the "Sage of Kashmir". While living in Bodhgaya, he met Jnanasutra. Vajrasattva appeared to them and pointed out that they had achieved nothing through five hundred rebirths as scholars. If they aspired to reach Buddhahood in this lifetime, they should go to China to find their master Shri Singha at the Bodhi Tree Temple.

Highly motivated, Vimalamitra immediately set out for China and found Shri Singha as Vajrasattva had predicted. For over twenty years he received instruction on the outer, inner and secret teaching of the oral lineage. Completely satisfied, he returned to India. Meeting Jnanasutra upon his return, Vimalamitra related what he had received and accomplished; Jnanasutra decided to travel to China to meet Shri Singha. 

Years later, still intent on his meditations and doing tantric practice, Vimalamitra was visited by dakinis who instructed him to go to the Bhasing charnel ground if he wanted to receive deeper instructions. At Bhasing, he met his old friend Jnanasutra and begged from him the instructions he had missed. Jmanasutra bestowed the empowerments, instructions and texts. 

Vimalamitra meditated on the teachings he received for ten years before Jnanasutra achieved the rainbow body and left him with his final legacy, a tiny jeweled casket containing the verses called Four Methods of Contemplation. He then instantly achieved realization equal to that of his master. He made three copies of the texts and concealed two in secret places and entrusted the third to the dakinis.

Later, Vimalamitra was invited to Tibet by the translators Kawa Peltsek and Chokro Lui Gyeltsen, emissaries of King Trisong Detsen, and he was welcomed as a great master. Yudra Nyingpo became his collaborator and they translated a variety of texts, particularly those covering the topic of Dzogpa Chenpo. The quintessence of his teaching is known as the Vima Nyingtik, one of the Heart-essence teachings of the Great Perfection.

After spending thirteen years in Tibet, he prepared to leave, promising to return to Tibet every hundred years as an emanation to further the Clear Light teaching of Dzogpa Chenpo. He then left for the Wutai Shan mountain in China where he remains in rainbow body form , and will continue to do so until all of the 1002 buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon have appeared. After that, he will once again go to Vajrasana in India, where he will manifest the state of complete and perfect enlightenment.

Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche
Vimalamitra's most recent incarnation is the Venerable Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche, a life-long friend to Gyatrul Rinpoche and teacher of many of Gyatrul Rinpoche's students. Yangthang Rinpoche has traveled to the United States at the invitation of Gyatrul Rinpoche on numerous occasions, most recently to bestow the Rinchen Terdzö. There are several biographies of Yangthang Rinpoche on the internet; here are a few:



References

The text of this post was taken from the following sources:

What is Vimala Treasures?

Tashi Choling, home of Vimala Treasures
Vimala is a non-profit organization devoted to propagating the sacred tradition of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism and the ancient Nyingma Lineage through the production and distribution of written texts, photographs, and audio-visual materials with the motivation to benefit all beings.

The name Vimala was chosen by the Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche. Vimala is a Sanskrit word meaning "stainless"; its Tibetan translation is dri med. Its connection with the widely revered and beloved Indian master Vimalamitra (dri med she nyen in Tibetan) is also particularly auspicious.

To serve our purpose of disseminating the Buddha's stainless teachings, Vimala is pleased to offer a wide collection of practices, teachings, and supports for practice which we hope will accommodate the needs of both new and advanced Dharma students. Our archives include teachings that date back more than thirty years, and they constantly grow as materials are added. All proceeds from the distribution of these materials support the continuation of this archival process.

The above was taken from the Vimala "About" page.

A New Blog for Vimala Treasures!

Hello, dearest members of the Internet! We have a new blog, just for you :-)

We'll be writing updates here to inform you about new products, free teaching materials, related teachings and internet resources, and much, much more!

Watch this space for more...