Entering into the Mandala and sections

Mandala

Entering into the Mandala and sections

This includes three sections,

  • entering the
  • circumambulating it and making prostrations
  • setting the disciples in the pledges, and descent of the beings upon expressing the words of truth.

1. Entering  the

While the master says the of the Vajra guard of the eastern gate, the ritual attendant draws back the curtain. The disciples imagine that the Vajra guard opens the door. Saying the mantra and holding the Vajra in the ’s hand they imagine entering the eastern door of the Mandala. After entering tile Mandala they have to circumambulate it and make prostrations, but first, they have to put on the blindfold in order that they do not see the Mandala. So, holding the Vajra in the master’s hand they circumambulate the Mandala behind the deities. Saying the mantra three times they visualize that they are standing beyond the pillars of the eastern gate.

In order to prostrate to the principal deity the disciples transform into . Recalling the meaning of the mantra they are saying they prostrate, touching their whole bodies to the ground. By tile power of prostrating to all the deities from eastern gate, and principally to the  Akshobhya, a replica comes forth from him and dissolves into the disciples, who reflect they have now achieved an ability to serve and please Akshobhya.

The disciples at the eastern door transform into holding the Vajra gesture at their hearts. They prostrate touching their forehead to the ground. Making supplication and recalling the meaning of the mantra a replica of Amoghasiddhi comes forth and dissolves into the disciples, who think that they have achieved the ability to Amoghasiddhi and perform sublime activities.

The disciples again hold the Vajra in the hand of the Vajra master, circumambulating the Mandala behind the deities they come to stand beyond the pillars of the southern gate. They transform into Ratnasambhava holding the Vajra gesture at the heart, they prostrate touching their foreheads to the ground- As they say the mantra and make supplication, a replica of Ratnasambhava comes forth and dissolves into the disciples, who gain the ability to confer initiations.

Again holding the Vajra in the lama’s hand and circumambulating behind the deities the disciples come to stand beyond the pillars of the northern gate, where they transform into holding the Vajra gesture at the forehead. They prostrate, touching the mouth to the ground. And by saying the mantra and making supplication from the northern door, a replica of Amitabha comes forth and dissolves into the disciples, who are blessed to turn the wheel of the doctrine.

Holding the Vajra in the hand of the lama, circumambulating behind the deities and coming to stand beyond the pillars of western door, the disciples transform into Vairochana holding the Vajra gesture. The disciples prostrate touching their whole bodies to the ground. By reciting the mantra and making supplication from the western door a replica of Vairochana comes forth and dissolves into the disciples, granting them the capacity of worshipping and serving.

Holding the Vajra in the lama’s hand once more/ the disciples come again to the eastern gate and prostrate at the feet of the lama-deity, reciting the mantra and recalling its meaning.

2. Setting the disciples in the pledges

The Vajra master says, ‘if you reveal the secrets of the Mandala to those who have not entered it or those who have no faith you will break the pledges-’ Then, placing the Vajra in the disciple’s hand, he says. This is your pledge Vajra- if you speak about this to anyone who is not ready it will split your head/This is how the disciples are established in the pledge by describing the physical dangers.

Next, the Vajra master places the Vajra at the disciple’s heart, ringing the bell he says, ‘If you reveal the secrets to the immature, the in your heart will immediately depart.’ This concerns the seven root infractions.

Then giving from the Mahavijaya conch, he says. ‘This is nectar granting accomplishments if you keep the commitments pure, but if you break the pledges it will become Vajra water that will burn you in hell.’ This concerns making the disciples take the oath to preserve the pledges. Water is distributed while the mantra is recited.

Then, taking the disciple by the right hand, the Vajra master says, ‘From now on I am your master, you must obey my words; if you don’t you will immediately fall into hell.’ The disciples imagine that they have been set in the pledges specifically with regard to the first root infraction.

3. The descent of the wisdom beings through the expression of truth

The disciples make supplication to the lama for the descent of the wisdom beings of the bodies of , repeating the verse three times. The disciples transform into according to the lama’s instructions. The light radiating from the lama’s heart stirs the wind, the fire blazes, light from the syllables JHAI at the soles of the feet of the disciples as Vajravega agitate the four radiant syllables, from which light rays shine, filling the entire body.

The light radiating from the HUM at the lama’s heart invites all the Buddhas in the form of the Transcendent Subduer Kalachakra and wrathful beings, who fill the whole of space and enter into the disciples’ bodies. The lama says the respective mantra and the flowers which have been blessed by the mantra OH AH HUM are placed on the disciples’ heads. In order to stabilize the wisdom being the disciples visualize that it has been made firm and protected by the six types of method and wisdom, visualised as OM at the forehead, HUM at the heart, HAM at the crown, HO at the navel, A at the throat, and KSHA at the secret place.

The purpose of generating the disciples into Vajravega is to purify the environment and its inhabitants, which are brought about by the wind of the ordinary central channel. The exclusive environment and its inhabitants are accomplished mainly by blessing the central channel with the pure energy- wind of Vajravega’s central channel. Then by generating the exclusive wisdom in the disciples’ mental continuums, even external sense objects appear as bliss and emptiness.

There are clear signs that the disciples will gain accomplishments, so the lama asks them to remove the blindfold and look into space in front of them to see what color appears. The disciples tell the lama what they have seen, in reply to his question.

With Vajra in hand, the master takes hold of/the disciples’ two thumbs and circumambulates the Mandala three times saying the action mantra OM AH HUM HO HAM KSHA. The purpose of doing this is for the disciple to rejoice at having generated the wisdom of bliss and emptiness.

About sadiksha

Namaste! I am a Nepali Art Dealer specialized in Mandala and Thangka paintings. I love to write articles about the monastic culture of the Himalayas.

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