Book 51 Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra : Clear Light Yoga of Mahamudra

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Book 51 Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra : Clear Light Yoga of Mahamudra
(Book 51 Eng 無上密與大手印)

‧Written by Sheng-yen Lu‧

I have been secretly reciting a mantra called “Dharani of the Great Protectress who is Universally Radiant, Pure, and Incandescent, and the Invincible King of Mantras.” Most people simply call it “Dharani of Mahapratisara.” Mahapratisara is the bodhisattva’s Sanskrit name and she is also known as the Great Wish-Granting Bodhisattva, who is stationed in the Lotus Division of the Womb Mandala.

Mahapratisara Bodhisattva is rich yellow in color. She has eight arms. Her uppermost left hand holds a lotus with a flaming golden wheel on top. The subsequent left hands [from top to bottom] hold a stack of palm-leaf scriptures, a dharma banner, and a noose. Her uppermost right hand holds a five-pronged vajra, followed by hands holding a trident, a sword, and finally a battle axe.

How did she earn the name of Great Wish-Granting Bodhisattva? This bodhisattva is known to grant the wishes of sentient beings as long as they enshrine her statue, chant her epithet, and recite her mantra. By practicing in this way, all wishes will be fulfilled. Another name for this bodhisattva is Maha-Vidyaraja [Great Lord of Lights], which describes the great luminosity that emanates from her body.

This bodhisattva once taught me a secret that all lights are differentiated by varying degrees. This corresponds with what I have said in the past:

The Tathagata Amoghasiddhi radiates magnificent green light born from absolute purity, while the realm of asuras emits a dark, greenish, and ghostly light. There is a world of difference between the two.

The Tathagata Amitabha radiates magnificent red lights born from absolute purity, while the ghosts in the hungry ghosts realm emit weak rays of red light. There is a world of difference between the two.

The Tathagata Ratnasambhava radiates magnificent yellow lights born from wonderful and pure wisdom, while the ghosts in the hu- man realm emit weak yellow and bluish lights. There is a world of difference between the two.

The Tathagata Aksobhya radiates magnificent white lights born from the great mirror-like wisdom, while the ghosts in the hell realm emit hazy and foggy white lights. There is a world of difference between the two.

“Differentiate the lights with your heart. When this kind of light shines on you and gives you a wonderful sense of comfort and lightness, then this is the buddhas’ light. However, when the light is unclear and messy, causing discomfort and disturbance, then you should know that this light comes from the ghostly beings. Moreover, the buddhas’ light always shines like a jewel with a luminous flame, that also has the brilliance of a real diamond. The light of the ghostly beings tends to be weak, tempting, and entangling, just like a fake diamond. One must discern these lights carefully to avoid entering into the wrong light and stepping into the wrong spiritual realm.”

According to Mahapratisara Bodhisattva’s guidance, when one enters the deepest level of meditative absorption, beams of lights will emerge. These lights are the result of the union of absorption and wisdom. The brilliance of the wisdom lights will grow progressively brighter and eventually the lights will illuminate away all ignorance.

Once ignorance is gone, there will be no more hindrances.

When the lights become absolutely clear and transparent, and the adept is able to maintain a stable condition, the adept’s lights will merge with the compassionate buddhas’ light that encompasses the Dharmakaya Tathagatas of the ten directions. It is like the lights of two mirrors that reflect off one another. The lights from the adept’s heart interact and interconnect with the buddhas’ light in such a subtle and intimate way that no outsider can possibly perceive or understand it. The union of these two forms of light is supremely pure and sublime, and when one abides in this state of union, this constitutes the Clear Light Yoga.

I once wrote a book recounting this Clear Light Yoga, which became The Illuminated Way of Meditation. It described the following points:
1. Focusing the spirit, wherein one is absorbed with the spiritual eye.
2. Emptying the mind, wherein one sees the true nature of things.
3. Constant quiescence, wherein light appears.

The Clear Light Yoga mainly deals with the doctrine of “merging.” In my case, for example, I can merge with pure sunlight when the sun is shining bright, and merge with moonlight during the night. I am able to move in and out of the crown chakra as the light within me projects according to the will of my mind and spirit.

The Tibetan gurus who transmit Mahamudra require that disciples must first recognize the “true nature of lights,” and then learn to “differentiate between the grades and degrees of differences between the types of pure lights,” before finally recognizing the attainment of the clear light. The first part is theoretical. The second part is concerned with differentiating the differences between the lights attained by the adept. The third part maintains that, through cultivation, the adept’s light will obtain responses with the buddhas’ light, thereby attaining the realm of wisdom and clear light through the merging of the two lights.

Now I shall reveal a secret to you:
Where does light come from? Light arises from the interval of space between the end of one thought and the arrival of the next thought. Light is produced in this space between thoughts. This is the Mahamudra of Meditative Absorption, the very secret that Noble Tilopa taught: “Think of nothing, and pursue nothing. When you practice no contemplation, no thought, and do think not of the primal consciousness of the universe or the light of the primal self, the clear light shall reveal itself under these conditions. This light does not arise from the primal consciousness of the universe, nor does it come from oneself. It is an inherent pure light that already exists, which reveals itself completely in the space between two connecting thoughts. The light is of itself spiritually clear and vibrant!”

Here’s a verse:
The clear and perfect illuminating light is inherent in space.
Between two thoughts the true teaching is found.
With the transmission from the vajra guru,
One merges with the most supreme light.

In the Mahamudra of Meditative Absorption, one who attains the Clear Light Yoga such as the Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru, Sheng-yen Lu, Venerable Lian-sheng, will know that the guru can pierce through all illusory realms and illusory forms with one glance. The authentic buddhas’ lights have manifested from my realization. Illusory lights can no longer delude and ensnarl me. The realized one has long attained the joy of liberation, which is true happiness.

The realized individual is thus endowed with pure light; his every act is an expression of a genuine heart that leaves no room for hesitation. He finds all roads to be unhindered and clear. I know that anyone who reaches this spiritual state has arrived at the highest realm of the Mahamudra of Meditative Absorption, which is the ground of Buddhahood. One’s body, speech and mind are purified, and all sid- dhis arising from the fruition of Buddhahood manifest in pure form. This achievement is indeed remarkable.

In principle, either one is active or still, there will be no hindrances. One is free to live among men or live in seclusion until reaching nir- vana. Every gesture and action of the realized individual is most dig- nified, and he is endowed with the greatest of blessings and merits in heaven and on earth. This is the unmatched accomplishment brought about through the Mahamudra of Clear Light.

In the realm of attainment, there exists a very unique truth that I would like to reveal here: “The realm of suchness cannot be experienced through contemplation or observation. It also cannot be described in words. Because the arising and ceasing mind does not exist, no words could possibly provide a complete description of suchness. Righteousness and evil also do not exist. To regard something as be- ing “right” is only the product of the arising and ceasing mind. It cannot be placed in the realm of suchness. This realm of suchness is transcendental. It is beyond explanation and no mortal being can understand it.”
It was only after I attained accomplishment with the practice of the Clear Light Yoga that I was able to appreciate what Milarepa had said. Guru Milarepa once told me that any Vajrayana practitioner who gains inner attainment by meditative absorption and whose effort fo- cuses on self-cultivation, will be considered as one who has attained the Buddha-dharma and gained realization.

Anyone whose cultivation does not turn inwardly towards the attainment of meditative absorption, and seeks outer verification instead, is seen as practicing a heretical form of meditative absorption.

Thus, I recognized the following truths:
The “true path” is to seek enlightenment by turning inwardly.
The “heretic path” is to look for enlightenment in the outside world.
Many Buddhist masters, monks, and nuns love to accuse other religions as being heretical. Yet, the difference between the “true path” and “heretic path” is not determined by the religious teachings, but by the separation of “inward focus” and “outward focus.” This was my discovery upon gaining realization, and it was indeed the most compelling discovery.
(The End)

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