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November 1, 2010

Pointing out the Self with the Iron Hook of Mind

by Repa Dorje Odzer

In the first post for Ganachakra I wrote a partial introduction to the late Kyabje Pathing Rinpoche.  I would like to return to Pathing Rinpoche, to share a teaching song he composed and shared with my dharma brother Erik Bloom and I.

If I had to be stranded on a deserted isle with one set of instructions, just one teaching, I would choose this one.  The title alone sets the tone, it is strong and direct.  Pathing Rinpoche is clear in his description of the view, the path (of cultivating the view), and the fruition (of familiarizing oneself with the view; how to blend it with your being).  The tantric imagery is rich and beautiful.  This is a truly precious a wonderful teaching.  If you have a moment, take a second to clear your mind, settle down, and have a read.  I’d love to hear what you feel after reading it.

Instructions on Pointing Out the Faults of Self with the Iron Hook of Mind

In general, everything in the universe, outer, inner and secret, I offer to satisfy and benefit the six classes of beings.

The whole field of accumulation, the three Jewels as well as the three kayas, the entire universe I offer to the inner and secret deities, may they be satisfied.

To the Male and female yogis and yoginis I offer vajra food and vajra water, may they be satisfied.

Primordial Awareness, the mandala of pure amrita, I offer so that those in the lower realms may be satisfied.

The body mandala deities who are the union of bliss and emptiness, who are primordial awareness, may they be satisfied.

Everyone, in an outer and inner sense, is a dakini; to them I offer this melodious song, may they be satisfied.

As a last resort to stop all filthy activities I offer this torma, may the six protectors and local deities be satisfied.

In this context sing this vajra song if you like.

Just as the many male and female deities, dress in the disguise of a heruka. When prostrating do so in accordance with our noble tradition.

First, make a humble request as follows:


Please consider me.  Three times.

The lord of empowerments, Samantabhadra’s great mandala of perfection is good and noble.

As stated in The Pearl Necklace, the ocean of the supreme assembly, both outer and inner, come and join together in an excellent manner to make the offering complete.

Visualize that the offering assembly enters and confer empowerment into the mandala.  One should exert oneself in singing this song.  Thus I ask you to pay attention to the reality of the inconceivable power of the ocean-like display of this vajra song.

Karma and aspiration, dependent origination and the like appears as it does.

In this way, make offerings to the assembly when renouncing that is which to be abandoned.

Wholly let go of finding amusement in creating conflict.

Revile material things and so on, reproach that which is rough and coarse.

Just like Guru Rinpoche, the Lord of Uddiyana, one should arise with the power akin to a wolf when coming to the ganachakra.

Endowed with the three authentic perceptions, the female goddesses of the ganachakra should be visualized as nectar.  If you do not realize this you will be reborn as a preta.

In this regard, endowed with the three authentic perceptions, think of the Lama as  Heruka and the Buddhas with their consorts.

Think of the Vajra siblings, fellow practioners, as male and female deities.

Recognize the blessings of the Ganachakra.

Do not be separated from the three circumstances.

May we never be separate from the yidam; our ordinary body.

May we never be separate the mantra of speech.

May we never be separate from realizing the nature of mind.

May we be free from the three doubts.

May we be free from any doubt regarding the tantric textswhich are the enlightened speech of the Lama.

May we be free from any doubt as to whether ganachakra is clean or unclean.

May we be free from any doubt concerning secret conduct.

The three things that are not to be done.

One should abandon carelessness of conduct.

One should not allow aversion (hatred, anger) and envy consume the mind.

Conceptual thought (discursiveness) is not appropriate.

It is improper for Bhikshus to take meat and beer with fear, or based upon discursiveness.

It is improper to continually engage in Brahmanic pure expression out of conceptual thought.

It is improper to engage in actions and conduct which is upon worries of good or bad.

These are the three unwholesome actions not to accumulate.

For one who follows the path introduced by the Lama, do not accumulate unwholesome actions.

The path of the spiritual instructions is profound, do not accumulate unwholesome actions.

Do not accumulate unwholesome towards vajra brothers and sisters or phenomena in general!

These are the three things not to give freely.

Do not give secret blessed substances to others.

Do not give away the oral instructions.

Do not perform offerings when not suitable.

These are the three secrets.

Secretly, one should make offerings when the feast assembly gathers.

Secretly, one should manifest great numbers of deities.

Secretly, perform activities and deeds that lead towards liberation, this is the essence.

These are the three things not to practice!

Do not call upon the Lama without respect and devotion.

Do not call upon the feast gathering in an “ordinary” way.

Do not apply unwholesome forces [actions and thoughts] towards vajra sisters and brothers.

Thus, in knowing what to adopt and what to abandon, the magnificent blessings of this ganachakra will flood rotten karma everywhere and siddhis will arise.

Recognize this!

Sing this feast song if you like; through it you will realize the essence of dependent origination, karma, and so on.  May you receive inspiration from this vajra song.

In the sky of emptiness this sun dawns,

Appearing, but not remaining, it will proceed to cross over.

Similarly, according to books, precious human rebirth has happened in this lifetime, not an “ordinary” birth.

As soon as one is reborn, one does not remain, death arrives.

Over a long period of time one remains, not accounting for one’s actions.

One should approach the path with zeal and diligence while sowing the seeds of Dharma.

Keep Meditating!

In the marketplace people go this way and that, continually abiding in daily hustle and bustle.

At all times separate yourself from the company of others.

Create an example similar to past masters.

At all times do not remain separate from the master.

Right now, accompany the master.

Discuss the profound Dharma so that you may resolve for yourself its excellence.

Just as the honey bee gathers the sweet essence of flowers without regard for the honey gathered

by others, it is just so regarding material goods in the present lifetime.

Do not desire the accumulation of wealth gathered by others; attachments to the desire realm should not be great.

Whatever you have in terms of wealth, let it go!

Commonplace work and responsibilities, what?!

Due to sporadic effort one will miss the fruits of the autumn harvest.

Similarly, through sporadic effort and enthusiasm towards the practice of meditation over the length of a whole lifetime, one will not experience awakening.

Do not engage in practice which is either too tight or too loose.

Constantly, day and night, generate enthusiastic diligence, keep meditating!

Achieve the freedoms and advantages that this human birth can bring here and now!

In this and in later lives, accomplish the aspiration towards liberation.

In your free time guard that the frame of one’s mind does not let it become thin and weak.

Harmonize your mind with its experiences through the practice of meditation so that they dissolve together.

Through this ganachakra of liberated conditions, may we receive the esoteric revelation of this song of spiritual experience now in this very lifetime.

Here, at this ganachakra pervading the entire sky, may all sentient beings conquer the undying Dharmakaya citadel.



Written by the authentic Phul Chung Tulku, Known as Pathing Rinpoche, incarnation of the Mahasiddha Kukkuripa.

Translated by his student Karma Tenzin Changchub Thinley (Repa Dorje Odzer) in the western pure land of Brooklyn, with the gracious guidance from the venerable Khenpo Lodro Donyo.  All errors are mine.  Sarva Mangalam!

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