20. Mahamudra of Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity
|Chapter 20. Mahamudra of Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity
One time during deep meditation, I travelled spiritually to Fanyin Cave, which is located at Mount Putuo [in China's Zhejiang Province]. The cave is sandwiched between two steep cliffs. When the sea tumbles into the cave, it responds with thunderous roars. For this reason, the cave is named the Buddhist Sound Cave and it is one of the main attractions at Mount Putuo. In the vicinity of the cave, a temple was constructed.
I once read the book named The Legends of Mount Putuo, which recounts the miraculous experiences that the pilgrims encountered at Mount Putuo or Fanyin Cave. Those who had a strong Buddhist affinity would see the appearance of Guanyin Bodhisattva, Sudhana Nagakanya [naga lady], or the Taiping Bird, which is the attendant of Guanyin. These beings appear according to an individual's past karmic affinity, and everyone sees a different manifestation.
During my deep meditation, I was surprised to find myself arriving at Mount Putuo, so I visited the Fanyin Cave.
While I was paying homage, I saw an immortal appearing before me. The immortal was not Guanyin, Sudhana or Nagakanya. This immortal held a horsetail whisk in his left hand and a crossed-vajra staff in his right hand. He wore a jeweled crown and a plain robe.
The celestial being revealed himself, and together we ascended to the clouds.
''Lian-sheng, do you recognize who I am?''
''No, I don't.''
''I am Varsi.''
''I am sorry, but I really haven't heard of your name. Please enlighten me on our past connection.''
Then, the immortal Varsi related this story: He was a fire-worshipping Brahman practitioner in India. Once, he journeyed to Fanyin Cave and he enjoyed the serenity and peace there so much that he decided to stay. He made a straw hut near the cave, and he continued his practice of killing and sacrificing animals through the fire ritual, as offerings to heaven. Subsequently, due to his heavy karma of killing, he had fallen into the hell realm and suffered unbearable torment after his death.
Guanyin Bodhisattva of Mount Putuo visited the hell, and there she saw Varsi in great agony. She learned that Varsi had practiced at the Fanyin Cave before, so Guanyin taught him the Yoga of Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity. Thus, Varsi practiced this yoga with unwavering determination. Gradually, he was able to absorb light and free himself from the hell of extreme heat and cold. From then on, he focused on this yoga and sincerely revered the Triple Jewels. Eventu-ally, he attained the Akasagarbha Body [''Space Womb'' Body] and became Guanyin's attendant. This was his past affinity.
''Immortal Varsi, what exactly is the Yoga of Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity?''
''Lian-sheng, what types of things cast off light?''
''Well, I know the sun shines, and so does the moon, the stars, lightning, lamps, fire, candles, and so forth.''
''Lian-sheng, do you know how to absorb light?''
''Yes, I can absorb all lights into the spiritual eye.''
''That's right. When you absorb light into the spiritual eye, the third eye will open. When you absorb light into the heart, you will develop telepathy. When you contemplate with your heart, which is like a mirror reflecting light, you achieve the supreme wisdom of contemplation,'' Immortal Varsi said.
''How do we teach this yoga to sentient beings?'' I asked.
Immortal Varsi taught me the following method:
Take a round mirror of any size and request your guru to bless it. Hang the mirror in the center of your shrine.
If you stay at home or go out, regardless of the time that you return, you should employ the method of Breathing In and Storing All Energy to suck all the light energy into your heart. This includes the sunlight, moonlight, starlight, firelight, candlelight, and lightning.
When you enter your shrine, you need to release the light from your heart and let it dissolve into the light of the mirror. Through your visualization, every time that you exhale, your breath releases light into the mirror. After each time, the light is captured by the mirror and dissolves into it.
Then, recite the Mantra of Absorbing Sunlight: ''Om fu-ri-luo tuo-dou-fan [OM VAJRA DHATU VAM],'' also known as the Vairocana Mantra. You may also recite the following mantra for sunlight or the other lights: Om a-mo-ga huai-lu-jia-na ma-ha mu-de-la ma-ni ba-de-ma ji-fa-la bo-la-fan-er-da-ya hum [OM AMOGHA VAIROCANA MAHAMUDRA MANI PADMA JVALA PRAVARTAYA HUM].
After you exhale light into the mirror, recite the above mantra once.
You must persevere with your practice until the mirror radiates light. This light is different from the normal light that we usually see. It embodies the magnificent brilliance of the five-colored lights, which represents the ''true heart and true mirror.'' From this time onwards, whenever you start to visualize, you shall find yourself being dissolved completely into the spiritual realm of illumination. This realm is the world of ''Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity.''
This yoga combines the light from oneself, the mirror, and the heart into one unified light. In this realm, only complete tranquility exists. The realm of the mirror light is neither emptiness nor exis-tence, nor is it non-emptiness or non-existence. Words fail to describe such a spiritual state. It is the state of Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity, created by lights from the desire realm.
''What is special about this spiritual realm?'' I asked Immortal Varsi.
''This realm is actually a hidden world. Those who live in this world cannot be harmed by any types of curses or black arts. No spell can come close to them. This spiritual state is said to be an illusory model of nirvana, or a resemblance of the state of nirvana. Hence it is a world of complete tranquility. An adept of this particular yoga will radiate infinite light. However, after one validates this state, one should not be content and abide in this realm forever. One should further progress.''
''Arrival at this spiritual state is merely a selfish accomplishment, wherein one only indulges in living at ease and forgets about sentient beings. The highest level that one can reach is that of an arhat [a self-liberated being]. We don't cultivate Vajrayana and gain realization to only benefit ourselves. Rather, our ultimate goal is to help others and ferry them to the other shore. Thus, the adept of this particular yoga must practice other dharmas to accomplish this important mission.''
''Thank you, Immortal Varsi, for your kind instructions.'' I expressed my gratitude sincerely.
Immortal Varsi disappeared, and I returned to Seattle and came out of my meditation.
The Mahamudra of Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity is indeed a Hinayana practice, with the target of achieving the level of an arhat. No wonder bodhisattvas who are already enlightened and have even reached the level of perfect nirvana, choose not to dwell in the state of stillness. Instead, they aspire to liberate sentient beings and fulfill their vows by returning to samsara and continuing their salvation work. They appear as either a bodhisattva, a great teacher, or a master. Throughout each age, these great bodhisattvas have made vows to deliver all sentient beings, including those who dwell as micro-organisms on earth and those who suffer in the three evil paths, up to the celestial beings in the heavens. All of them are led to the path of enlightenment. The bodhisattvas vow never to enter into Buddhahood, nirvana, nor to abide in tranquility, so long as a single sentient being still suffers.
Hinayana students often stop cultivating when they become enlightened, whereas Mahayana students are taught not to abide in nirvana. Even after one has entered nirvana, one should re-emerge and continue to follow one's vows. It is a continuous mission, and nirvana should not be seen as the end of the path.
Those who practice the Yoga of Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity, must understand that the mind is the source of all spiritual power. However, due to past karmic hindrances, people frantically cling to the material world, without any desire to discover the inner illumination. They are tempted by money and fame, and completely ignore their inner light. Therefore, life after life, they are entrapped in cyclic existence. Today, you have read this book. You have learned about the inner light, and know about the liberation through the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra. Thus, you are indeed fortunate and blessed with past karmic affinities.
After reading this book, you should seek guidance from a genuine master. Also, you shall know that you are endowed with an abundance of treasures and brilliance. If you practice diligently without being disturbed by mundane matters, then nirvana will be within reach. The Yoga of Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity is simple, and it can be mastered by true adepts.
Here is a verse:
Immortal Varsi has attained nirvana,
Through the light of Permanence, Bliss, True Self, and Purity.
Free from dissonant emotions, in tranquility he dwells,
Yet, he must leave and vow to return later.
|| Back |