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Grand Master's Books > Grand Master Lu's Book > 51_Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra

Preface: My writings on the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra

Book 51 Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra
Written by Sheng-yen Lu
Translated by Cheng Yew Chung
Edited by Dance Smith
TBF Translation Dept
Copyright: Sheng-yen Lu

Preface: My writings on the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra

After the publication of my fiftieth book, I had planned to write a book detailing the secret doctrines of the Tantric lineage, with the title Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra. When this book is published, it shall be a work that will send shockwaves throughout the universe. It will turn Tantric Buddhism into an eternally glorious rainbow light that hangs in the sky, fulfilling the spiritual needs of all sentient beings and heavenly beings. I shall be the first in these times [translator`s note: at the time of writing this book in 1984, only a handful of Chinese books on Tantric Buddhism were available to Chinese readers, and books addressing the subject of Mahamudra were almost unheard of] to completely reveal this ancient teaching in writing. (This book shall be my fifty first book.)

I have been secretly practising the teachings of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra for many years. I was given the transmission of these teachings by the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and by Guru Padmasambhava. These well-kept secrets of the lineage shall be revealed in writing by Master Sheng-yen Lu, for such doctrines are the supreme quintessence of Tantric Buddhism, the extremely rare pith instructions for all Tantric practitioners to attain Buddhahood. I, the Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru, am the dharma master of the inextinguishable dharma lamp, the master of mysteries who expounds on the Highest Yoga Tantra. When this book is published, it shall naturally cause a great sensation.

This doctrine of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra was first transmitted by Vajradhara (Vajradhara is a secret, holy epithet that represents the great authority of Tantric Buddhism) to Tilopa, who later transmitted it to Naropa. Marpa arrived in India from the snow-capped mountains of Tibet and found the sage, Naropa, from whom he learned the doctrine of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra. Thereafter, Marpa established the Kagyupa School, the white sect of Tibetan Buddhism. His successor was Milarepa, who attained Buddhahood in his very body based on the practice of this doctrine.

When I received the secret empowerment from the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, His Holiness transmitted the teachings of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra to me, and entrusted me with the responsibility of revealing this teaching publicly when the Tantric dharma blossoms in the world, so as to make available these quintessential teachings for attaining Buddhahood. When I received this transmission, I vowed to give my body and mind as an offering to all Buddhas of the ten directions, transforming myself into tens and hundreds of bodies to dwell eternally in transmigration so as to liberate sentient beings from the Great Ocean of Samsara.

My lineage is compounded from a mix of traditions and lineages. In my meditation, I was given the empowerment of the Great Perfection of the Nyingma School, the Red Sect. In the lineage of the White Sect, the Kagyu School, I was given secret transmission by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, and the 12th Tai Situpa Rinpoche, Pema Donyo Nyinje Wangpo. In the Yellow Sect, the Gelug School, I received empowerments from Guru Thubten Dargye. In the Flower Sect, the Sakya School, I received great empowerments from Lama Sakya Zheng-kong. In the Zhong Chi Temple, Guru Pufan gave me the Cundi empowerment.

About a thousand years ago, the lineage holder, Marpa, spent a good eighteen years in India as a disciple receiving and attaining the teachings of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra. Subsequently, [Marpa`s disciple] Milarepa practiced the pith instructions accordingly in the high mountains of Tibet, spending twelve years cultivating in the White Horse Tooth Rock Cave. Attaining response though Mahamudra, Milarepa achieved transformation of his supernatural faculties. Among the yoga practitioners of Kagyupa, Milarepa was one of the most famous, most accomplished yogins.

This doctrine of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra is manifestly profound and difficult to comprehend, but I am willing to use the simplest language and elucidate the teachings according to my own realization in practice. This will help the readers grasp the secrets of this writing. This kind of writing usually poses an extreme challenge; therefore the completion of this book relies on the protection of Vajradhara. The spiritual energy naturally released through this book can illuminate sentient beings of the ten directions, and allow all beings to receive its blessings.

The meaning of the Highest Tantra Yoga and Mahamudra is the Great Union. The doctrine is the heart essence of attaining Buddhahood, penetrating and revealing completely the reality of the Self Nature. Through the practice of Yoga, one achieves union between the Buddha and Self Nature, which makes it the most incredible secret practice in the world. This practice is thus known as the Middle Way Tantric Dharma, as it is nondualistic, inclining neither to emptiness nor to existence, but maintaining the Middle Way. When the practitioner attains the Middle Way, he attains nirvana, and therefore is not bound to cyclic existence, but instead resides freely in a state of birthlessness and deathlessness.

The practice includes cultivating the purification of the body, speech and mind, which constitutes the common practice of the Three Secrets. Also, the wonderfully subtle Pith Instructions of Insight, the Pith Instructions on Tranquillity, the Method of Breathing, and the Vase Body Method are supreme Tantric treasures that are truly priceless. He who practises the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra is endowed with incredible peace and joy and receives the great secrets of the physical and heavenly worlds. He shall attain Buddhahood within this body, the secret for which lies in the teachings of Mahamudra, once lost and hidden for countless centuries.

Once, while abiding in the profound absorption of meditation, practising the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra, I met and paid homage to Mahasiddhi Saraha, Nagarjuna, Lama Kazi Dawa Samdup, Marpa, Arapati, Milarepa, and more than a hundred others. I prostrated to the lineage holders of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra, and they in return gave their praises and encouragement to the Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru. The lineage holders felt that Master Lian-sheng`s diligent practice of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra had qualified him to be a Tantric master who possessed the way to true realization, who could deliver countless sentient beings to undertake the path to enlightenment. Through realization gained from actual practice, I received the corresponding dharma power. My great vow stemmed from the very strength of my vows through the succession of incarnations. The lineage holders were impressed that such great dharma affinity had never been seen. Sentient beings that would be liberated by Master Lian-sheng would be as numerous as the stars that fill the sky, like the sands of the Ganges.

In my deep meditation, I experienced the supreme joy. In deep absorption, I was filled with such happiness that tears began flowing.

When I first mentioned to my guru that I would write a book on the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra, my guru said, ` The teachings of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra are considered extremely precious by the lineage holders, and as such, the teachings are allowed to be revealed publicly only by the permission of the guru. If you wish to reveal this doctrine, you must seek permission from the lineage holders in your meditation.`

Thus, I entered into deep meditation to seek permission from the lineage holders. The lineage holders said, ` The revelation of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra is linked to the great cause and condition of Master Lian-sheng`s propagation of the Dharma from the east to the west. It holds extraordinary spiritual significance. Today, through the pen of Master Lian-sheng, the doctrine shall be spread wide, allowing those who desire the great teachings to have a path to follow. This is thus an open secret among secrets, and this revelation will constitute the great celestial secret. It would be the great dharma event of the times, and has been destined to take place since time immemorial. The practice of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra must be guided by a genuine master of empowerment who is able to clarify and add to any unclear segments, as no one should practice this teaching blindly following only printed materials. The revelation of this great teaching aims to help sentient beings gain an understanding into its doctrine and appreciate the greatness and transcendence of its secrets. Hence, sentient beings should quickly seek out and follow a master, keep their minds aligned to this affinity, and practice truthfully to attain realization. This is the very reason for the emergence of this great dharma.`

Hence, my fifty-first book shall address the topics of vidya (knowledge of enlightenment), adhyatma vidya (inner studies), and anuttarayoga (Highest Yoga). I call this book on the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra the holy teachings on mind purification. Since attaining the fruits of the teachings, I had vowed to propagate the Tantric teachings. This doctrine of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra emerges like the rising sun, transforming all darkness into a world of luminosity. I have reached the attainment of a throne holder. I have attained complete versatility in debating skill. I can destroy the illusionary mara, and like the Victorious Lion King, I have attained unexcelled yoga. These great doctrines shall be propagated throughout the world through all times.

Having been secretly cultivating for more than ten years, my secret to success lies in the fact that no matter where I am, be it at home, travelling, entertaining guests, down with illness, bedridden with sickness, having mara disturbances, engaged with work, feeling fatigued, faced with calamities and so forth, I never once abandoned my daily cultivation practice and never once yielded to laziness and took a rest. Such ceaseless and diligent labour of blood and sweat is a testimony to my achievement. This is the very strength of my cultivation and attainment, where I am proud to have walked the talk in my practice. There is nothing to be proud of except for this one fact that for the past ten plus years I have never once missed my daily cultivation.

The teachings of Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra will soon be published. The darkness that clouds the world shall be dispersed at once. It is an expression of the compassion of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas extending the Wish-Granting or Varada Mudra. This attainment of Tantric cultivation, whose doctrine is pervading and perfect, will soon be presented to all sentient beings. Those among the different traditions of Tantric Buddhism and those with their respective dharma affinities who have the opportunity to read this book shall be blessed by the master, achieving perfect accomplishment in spiritual power. This book shall connect sentient beings of the ten directions to the great affinity of attaining equanimity in spiritual accomplishment.

May 1984 Seattle

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