Essence of Vajrayana: The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Heruka Body Mandala




 

Essence of Vajrayana

The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice
of


Heruka Body Mandala

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Tharpa
Publications

excerpt:

THE PRE-EMINENT QUALITIES OF HERUKA

The Sanskrit term ‘Heruka’ is composed of the three syllables,
‘He’, ‘ru’, and ‘ka’. ‘He’ teaches the emptiness of phenomena in general,
and ‘ru’ the emptiness of persons in particular; together they reveal the
emptiness of all phenomena. ‘Ka’ refers to the union of Heruka’s mind of
great bliss and the emptiness of all phenomena. This union is Heruka’s
Truth Body. An I, or self, imputed on this Truth Body is definitive Heruka,
the real nature of Buddha Heruka. This can only be seen by Buddhas.

Another term for Heruka is ‘Chakrasambara’. ‘Chakra’ means
‘wheel’, and in this context refers to the ‘wheel’ of all phenomena. ‘Sambara’
means the supreme bliss, which is called ‘spontaneous great bliss’. Together
‘Chakra’ and ‘sambara’ reveal that by practising Heruka Tantra we gain
a profound realization that experiences all phenomena as one nature with
our mind of great bliss. This realization directly removes subtle dualistic
appearances from our mind, and due to this we quickly become definitive
Heruka.

To lead fortunate disciples to the state of Buddha Heruka
within one life, Buddha Vajradhara manifested his compassion in the form
of interpretative Heruka, who has a blue-coloured body, four faces, and
twelve arms, and embraces his consort, Vajravarahi. Attaining the state
of Buddha Heruka depends upon abandoning the twelve dependent-related links
of samsara by gaining the realizations of the four doors of liberation;
and in particular it depends upon realizing the union of great bliss and
emptiness. These are symbolized respectively by Heruka’s twelve arms, his
four faces, and his embracing Vajravarahi.

It is possible that those who do not understand the deep
meaning of Buddha’s Vajrayana teachings may feel uncomfortable with Heruka’s
wrathful aspect. Such practitioners need to understand that all phenomena
are equal in lacking inherent existence. In ultimate truth, emptiness,
there are no wrathful or peaceful aspects because all phenomena are of
one nature. Therefore, those who possess deep knowledge of ultimate truth
have no basis for developing unpleasant feelings upon perceiving unattractive
objects because they realize that ultimately there are no truly existent
unattractive or attractive objects.

For example, although Heruka’s long necklace of human
heads may seem to be real, in fact it is a manifestation of Heruka’s omniscient
wisdom. All the various features of Heruka’s body are merely manifestations
of his omniscient wisdom and do not exist outside of his mind. However,
for faithful practitioners, visualizing the wrathful aspect of Heruka is
a powerful method for swiftly receiving his blessings and protection. It
is for this reason, as well as to display in a visible manner how to progress
along the entire path of Sutra and Tantra, that Buddha Vajradhara emanated
the wrathful Deity Heruka.

Buddha Vajradhara, Buddha Shakyamuni, and Buddha Heruka
are the same person, differing only in aspect. When Buddha turned the Wheel
of Dharma of Sutra he appeared in the form of an ordained person, when
he turned the Wheel of Dharma of Tantra in general he appeared in the form
of Vajradhara, and when he turned the Wheel of Dharma of Heruka Tantra
in particular he appeared in the form of Heruka.

Heruka is Buddha’s mind of compassion manifested as form.
Only Buddhas have the ability to display their minds as form. We sentient
beings are unable to do this because our mind and body are different natures,
but a Buddha’s mind and body are the same nature and so wherever their
mind goes their body goes too. We always perceive a gap between our mind
and its object. This is a mistaken perception, or mistaken appearance.
Having completely abandoned this mistaken perception, Buddhas have the
ability to display their mind as form, such as the forms of living beings
and inanimate objects. For this reason it is said that Buddhas’ emanations
pervade the whole universe.

Buddha’s mind of omniscient wisdom has thirty-seven parts,
known as his ‘thirty-seven realizations conducive to enlightenment’. These
thirty-seven realizations appear in the form of the thirty-seven Deities
of Heruka’s mandala. We normally say that there are sixty-two Deities in
Heruka’s mandala, but if we count each union of Father and Mother as one
Deity there are thirty-seven Deities. The thirty-seven realizations conducive
to enlightenment of Bodhisattvas are causal paths and the thirty-seven
realizations of Buddhas are resultant paths. A general explanation of these
thirty-seven realizations can be found in Ocean of Nectar.

THE ORIGIN OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS

These instructions were originally taught by Buddha at
the request of Vajrapani and Vajravarahi. Buddha taught three root and
five explanatory Tantras of Heruka. The three root Tantras are: the Extensive
Root Tantra, which has three hundred thousand stanzas; the Middling Root
Tantra, which has one hundred thousand stanzas; and the Condensed Root
Tantra, which has fifty-one chapters. Of these, only the last was translated
from Sanskrit into Tibetan. The five explanatory Tantras, which are commentaries
to the Condensed Root Tantra, are: Vajradaka Tantra, Abhicharya Tantra,
Mukha Tantra, Sarwacharya Tantra, and Little Sambara Tantra.

Later, great Indian Buddhist Masters such as Luyipa, Ghantapa,
and Krishnapada wrote commentaries to these root and explanatory Tantras,
as did many subsequent Tibetan Masters. In particular, Je Tsongkhapa wrote
a very blessed and renowned commentary to the root Tantra of Heruka, entitled
Clear Illumination of All Hidden Meanings, and a commentary to the Heruka
sadhana, entitled Dö jo, which means ‘Wish-fulfilling’. Later, other
Lamas including Je Phabongkhapa also wrote special commentaries, based
on the previous Indian and Tibetan commentaries. This commentary, Essence
of Vajrayana, written especially for Western practitioners, is based on
the instructions of Je Tsongkhapa and my kind root Guru, Trijang Dorjechang.

Traditionally there are three systems for practising the
instructions of Heruka Tantra: the system according to Luyipa, the system
according to Krishnapada, and the system according to Ghantapa. Ghantapa’s
system has two instructions: the instruction on the outer mandala of the
five Deities of Heruka, and the instruction on the inner mandala of the
sixty-two Deities of Heruka body mandala. This commentary, Essence of Vajrayana,
is based on the latter. The lineage of these instructions is completely
unbroken.

THE BENEFITS OF PRACTISING THESE INSTRUCTIONS

The Condensed Root Tantra praises the special qualities
of Heruka practitioners. It says that all the Heroes and Heroines residing
in the twenty-four places such as Puliramalaya and Dzalandhara enter into
the bodies of sincere practitioners, blessing their channels, drops, and
winds, and causing them to gain realizations of spontaneous great bliss,
the actual quick path to enlightenment. Because these Heroes and Heroines
are emanations of Heruka and Vajravarahi their bodies are the same nature
as their minds and can go wherever their minds go, unobstructed by physical
objects. Thus countless Heroes and Heroines can actually enter into the
body of sincere practitioners and bless their channels, drops, and winds.
Indeed, Heruka himself always remains at the heart of sincere practitioners,
bestowing upon them great powers of body, speech, and mind.

In the Condensed Root Tantra it is said that just by seeing
a sincere Heruka practitioner we purify our negativities and attain liberation;
just by hearing or being touched by such a practitioner we receive blessings
and are cured of sickness; and just by being in the presence of such a
practitioner our unhappiness, mental disturbances, delusions, and other
obstacles are dispelled. Why is this? It is because the actual Deities
of Heruka abide within the body of the practitioner and therefore seeing
the practitioner is not so different from seeing Heruka himself. In Tibet
there are many sayings to the effect that merely seeing a special Lama
or wearing a blessing cord received from such a Lama causes liberation.
Je Phabongkhapa said `I do not know whether or not these sayings are true,
but seeing or touching a Heruka practitioner is a real cause of liberation.’

As times become spiritually more degenerate it is harder
to receive the blessings of other Tantric Deities such as Yam-antaka or
Guhyasamaja; and as the number of Gurus in the lineage increases it takes
longer to receive attainments. However, the opposite is the case with Heruka.
Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche says in his ritual prayer of Heruka:

As times become ever more impure

Your power and blessings ever increase,

And you care for us quickly, as swift as thought;

O Chakrasambara Father and Mother, to you I prostrate.

As times become more impure, Heruka’s blessings become
more powerful and we receive them more easily; and the greater the number
of Gurus in the lineage, the more swiftly we receive attainments. Why is
this? When Buddha revealed other Tantras, such as the Guhyasamaja or Yamantaka
Tantras, he emanated the Deities and their mandalas and then reabsorbed
them after the discourse; but when he taught Heruka Tantra he did not reabsorb
the mandalas. There are twenty-four places in particular, such as Puliramalaya
and Dzalandhara, where the mandalas of Heruka still remain. Practitioners
with pure karma are able to see these mandalas and Deities. The people
of this world therefore have a very close connection with Heruka, and if
we practise the instructions purely we can easily and swiftly receive great
results.

Heruka practitioners can attain the Pure Land of Keajra,
Pure Dakini Land, without abandoning their present body. Even if they are
very old, the moment they reach this Pure Land their body transforms into
that of a sixteen-year-old. In Keajra they can receive empowerments and
teachings directly from Heruka and Vajrayogini and, while living with Heroes
and Heroines and enjoying the five objects of desire, they can easily attain
Buddhahood. If out of compassion they wish to visit ordinary worlds they
can do so at any time through the power of emanation.

In other Pure Lands it is not possible to practise Highest
Yoga Tantra and so it is not possible to attain Buddhahood quickly. In
general, to practise Highest Yoga Tantra we need six elements: flesh, skin,
and blood from the mother, and bone, marrow, and sperm from the father.
Bodhisattvas in other Pure Lands such as Sukhavati do not possess these
elements, and so they pray to be reborn as humans so that they can practise
Highest Yoga Tantra. In Heruka’s Pure Land, however, practitioners can
possess these six elements. Many practitioners have attained the Pure Land
of Heruka, Keajra, without abandoning their human bodies, and so they have
a great opportunity to continue with their Highest Yoga Tantra practice.

From a practical point of view all the essential practices
of Guhyasamaja and Yamantaka are included within this instruction of Heruka
body mandala, and so we do not need to practise Guhyasamaja and Yamantaka
separately from Heruka practice. We should integrate the practices of all
other Deities within the practice of Heruka Father and Mother, and in this
way we shall progress in our practice of Highest Yoga Tantra. We should
remember Atisha’s advice to the Tibetan translator, Rinchen Sangpo, which
is explained in Guide to Dakini Land.

If we contemplate these benefits we shall feel extremely
fortunate to have met these precious instructions of Heruka, and we shall
develop a genuine wish to practise them purely.

EXAMPLES OF PREVIOUS PRACTITIONERS WHO ACCOMPLISHED ATTAINMENTS
THROUGH THESE INSTRUCTIONS

By contemplating these examples of previous practitioners
our faith in the Heruka instructions will be greatly increased. If we study
the biographies of the eighty-four Mahasiddhas of ancient India we shall
see that most of them attained enlightenment by relying upon Heruka as
their personal Deity. There now follow brief life stories of some Heruka
practitioners who accomplished attainments by relying upon these instructions.

SARAHA

Saraha was one of the first Mahasiddhas, and was greatly
admired by later Mahasiddhas. By relying upon Heruka and practising the
stages of Heruka’s path he attained the Pure Land of Keajra without abandoning
his human body.

NAGARJUNA

Nagarjuna was one of Saraha’s disciples, who attained
enlightenment in one life by relying upon Heruka. Four hundred years after
Buddha passed away, a son was born to a prosperous Brahmin family living
in an area of Southern India known as Bedarwa, or the `Land of the Palms’.
A Brahmin seer predicted that the child would live for only seven days,
but that his life span could be extended by a further seven days if gifts
were bestowed upon a hundred ordinary people, by seven months if offerings
were made to a hundred brahmins, or by seven years if offerings were made
to a hundred ordained Sangha. However, the seer knew of no method to extend
his life beyond that. Accordingly, his parents made offerings to a hundred
ordained Sangha and as a result were able to live happily with their son
for seven years.

As the child’s eighth birthday drew near, however, they
sent him on a pilgrimage with several of their servants, for they could
not bear to witness his death. Guided by a manifestation of Avalokiteshvara,
the party made its way to Nalanda Monastery where they met the great Teacher
Saraha. They explained the boy’s plight to Saraha, and he told them that
the child could avert an untimely death by staying at Nalanda and ordaining
as a monk. He gave the child an empowerment into the long-life practice
of Buddha Amitayus and encouraged him to practise this yoga extensively.
On the eve of his eighth birthday the child recited the mantra of Amitayus
without interruption and, as a result, averted an untimely death. The following
day he ordained as a monk and was given the name ‘Shrimanta’. He remained
at Nalanda where, under the protection of Manjushri, he was able to study
all the Sutras and Tantras. He soon became a fully accomplished scholar
and Teacher, and his reputation spread widely. Eventually he was appointed
Abbot of Nalanda.

Nagarjuna’s life comprised three great periods of auspicious
deeds that correspond to Buddha’s three turnings of the Wheel of Dharma,
which is why he is often referred to as `the Second Buddha’. The first
period was during his tenure as Abbot of Nalanda. Unfortunately the moral
discipline of the monks had degenerated since the time Buddha first gave
the vows, and Nagarjuna was very active in restoring the purity of the
discipline. He clarified many points of moral discipline and composed a
number of works on pure conduct. These writings, known as the Collection
of Advice, include such works as Precious Garland, Friendly Letter, Tree
of Wisdom, A Hundred Wisdoms, and Drops for Healing Beings. These activities
are likened to Buddha’s first turning of the Wheel of Dharma.

Nagarjuna is best remembered, however, for the works of
the second period. Not long after Buddha passed away, the Perfection of
Wisdom Sutras, the principal Mahayana teachings, disappeared from this
world. It is said that this is because some nagas who had received these
teachings from Buddha took the Perfection of Wisdom scriptures to their
own world for safekeeping. There remained only a few practitioners who
could understand these teachings, and most of them kept their practice
secret. The only teachings of Buddha to remain widespread were the Hinayana
teachings, and as a result many people assumed that these were the only
teachings that Buddha had given. Some time later the nagas invited Nagarjuna
to visit them and returned the Perfection of Wisdom scriptures to him.
Nagarjuna brought the scriptures to the human world and propagated them
widely. Because of his special relationship with the nagas, and because
he cured many nagas of sickness by means of special ritual prayers, Nagarjuna
was given the name ‘Protector of the nagas’. ‘Arjuna’ was added to his
name because he spread the Mahayana teachings with great speed and accuracy,
just as the legendary archer, Arjuna, had delivered arrows from his bow.
Hence he finally became known as ‘Protector Nagarjuna’.

Because he had a very lucid mind and great wisdom Nagarjuna
was able perfectly to understand the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras and explain
them to others. Through his extensive teachings he instigated a great revival
of the Mahayana doctrine in this world. He presented a system of reasoning
which, because it steers a flawless course between the two extremes of
existence and non-existence, became known as the ‘Philosophy of the Middle
Way’, or ‘Madhyamaka’. Nagarjuna composed many commentaries to the Perfection
of Wisdom Sutras that elucidate the Madhyamaka view. These treatises, known
as the Collection of Reasonings, include the famous Fundamental Wisdom
of the Middle Way, and its four limbs – Sixty Reasonings, Seventy Emptinesses,
Finely Woven, and Refutation of Objections. He also wrote Compendium of
Sutras, Five Stages of the Completion Stage of Guhyasamaja, and many other
commentaries to the Sutras and Tantras. These activities are likened to
Buddha’s second turning of the Wheel of Dharma.

Nagarjuna’s third period of auspicious deeds took place
towards the end of his life. Acting on advice from Tara he returned to
Southern India and dwelt at a place called Mount Splendour, where he gave
further extensive teachings on both the Sutras and Tantras, and composed
many more texts. These writings, known as the Collection of Praises, include
such works as Praise of the Dharmadhatu, Praise of the Supramundane, Praise
of the Inconceivable, and Praise of the Ultimate. These activities are
likened to Buddha’s third turning of the Wheel of Dharma.

It is not possible in such a brief account even to begin
to do justice to Nagarjuna’s life and works. Throughout his life he devoted
himself entirely to reviving the Mahayana Dharma and to sustaining the
Mahayana Sangha. To this end he gave prolific teachings, composed many
books, and performed countless other virtuous deeds. In all, Nagarjuna
lived for over six hundred years.

SHAWARI

Shawari was a disciple of Nagarjuna. From the point of
view of common appearance he was a hunter, but he received empowerment
and teachings on Heruka from Nagarjuna and practised them sincerely at
Mount Splendour, where he attained enlightenment. It is said that even
to this day those with pure karma can see Shawari there.

LUYIPA

Prince Luyipa was Shawari’s main disciple. On the tenth
day of every month he used to go to a charnel ground to meditate. One day
when he arrived there he saw a group of men and women having a picnic.
One of the women gave him a piece of meat, and when he ate it his mind
was blessed and instantly purified of ordinary appearance. He received
a vision of Heruka and Vajrayogini and realized that the men and women
were in reality Heroes and Heroines. While in the charnel ground he received
teachings directly from Heruka. Because Luyipa was a Heruka practitioner
he came under the care of the Heroes and Heroines, and accomplished great
results simply from tasting the piece of meat given to him by an emanation
of Vajrayogini.

DARIKAPA

King Darikapa received empowerment and teachings on Heruka
from Luyipa, who predicted that if Darikapa were to abandon his kingdom
and apply great effort in the practice of Heruka and Vajrayogini he would
swiftly attain enlightenment. Darikapa immediately left his palace and
wandered from place to place as a beggar, practising meditation at every
opportunity. In a city in South India he met a wealthy courtesan who was
an emanation of Vajrayogini. This woman owned a large mansion in which
he worked as her servant for twelve years. During the day he performed
menial tasks in and around the house, and at night he practised Luyipa’s
instructions. After twelve years he attained the fifth stage of completion
stage, the union that needs learning. It is said that Darikapa and the
courtesan’s entire entourage of fourteen thousand all attained the Pure
Land of Keajra. This is because Darikapa was a pure Heruka practitioner
and so everyone who saw or touched him created the cause to be reborn in
Heruka’s Pure Land.

DINGKIWA

One of King Darikapa’s ministers, Dingkiwa, also received
empowerment and teachings on Heruka from Luyipa, who predicted that he
would meet a woman wine-seller who was an emanation of Vajrayogini. When
he met her, Dingkiwa lived with her and served her for ten years, and as
a result of her blessings attained enlightenment in that life. It is said
that even the insects living in the place where he attained enlightenment
were reborn in Heruka’s Pure Land.

GHANTAPA

Ghantapa was another great Mahasiddha. Born as a prince,
the son of the king of Nalanda, he later ordained as a monk. He became
extremely skilled in practising the stages of Sutra and Tantra and would
frequently defeat non-Buddhists in debate. Towards the end of his life
he met King Darikapa, from whom he received empowerments and teachings
on Heruka, and who advised him to go to a mountain in Bengal to practise
meditation. One day while he was meditating there he heard a voice in space
telling him to go to Odiyana where he would meet a female swineherd. Delighted
to hear this, he immediately set off for Odiyana, and there, as predicted,
he met the female swineherd, whom he immediately recognized as an emanation
of Vajrayogini. He received empowerments and teachings on Heruka from this
emanation and then went deep into the forest of Odivisha (present-day Orissa),
in India, where he engaged in intensive meditation on Heruka and Vajrayogini.

Since he was living in such an isolated place his diet
was poor and his body became emaciated. One day the king of Odivisha was
out hunting in the forest when he came across Ghantapa. Seeing how thin
and weak he was, the king asked Ghantapa why he lived in the forest on
such a poor diet, and encouraged him to return to the city where he would
give him food and shelter. Ghantapa replied that just as a great elephant
could not be led from the forest by a fine thread, so he could not be tempted
to leave the forest by the riches of a king. Angered by Ghantapa’s refusal,
the king returned to his palace threatening revenge.

Such was the king’s anger that he summoned a number of
women from the city and told them about the arrogant monk in the forest.
He offered great wealth to any one of them who could seduce him and force
him to break his vows of celibacy. One woman, a wine-seller, boasted that
she could do this and she set out for the forest to look for Ghantapa.
When eventually she found him she asked if she could become his servant.
Ghantapa had no need of a servant but he realized that they had a strong
relationship from previous lives and so he allowed her to stay. He gave
her spiritual instructions and empowerments, and they engaged sincerely
in meditation. After twelve years they both attained the Union of No More
Learning, full enlightenment.

One day Ghantapa and the former wine-seller decided to
encourage the people of the city to develop a greater interest in Dharma.
Accordingly the woman returned to the king and reported that she had seduced
the monk. At first the king doubted the truth of her story but when she
explained that she and Ghantapa now had two children, a son and a daughter,
the king was delighted with this news and told her to bring Ghantapa to
the city on a particular day. He then issued a proclamation disparaging
Ghantapa, and ordered his subjects to assemble on the appointed day to
insult and humiliate the monk.

When the day came, Ghantapa and the woman left the forest
with their children, the son on Ghantapa’s right and the daughter on his
left. As they entered the city Ghantapa was walking as if he were drunk,
holding a bowl into which the woman poured wine. All the people who had
gathered laughed and jeered, hurling abuse and insults at him. `Long ago’,
they taunted him, `our king invited you to the city but you arrogantly
refused his invitation. Now you come drunk and with a wine-seller. What
a bad example of a Buddhist and a monk!’ When they had finished, Ghantapa
appeared to become angry and threw his bowl to the ground. The bowl sank
into the earth, splitting the ground and causing a spring of water to appear.
Ghantapa immediately transformed into Heruka and the woman into Vajrayogini.
The boy transformed into a vajra which Ghantapa held in his right hand,
and the girl into a bell which he held in his left hand. Ghantapa and his
consort then embraced and flew into the sky.

The people were astonished and immediately developed deep
regret for their disrespect. They prostrated to Ghantapa, begging him and
the emanation of Vajrayogini to return. Ghantapa and his consort refused,
but told the people that if their regret was sincere they should make confession
to Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of Buddha’s great compassion. Through
the deep remorse of the people of Odivisha and the force of their prayers
a statue of Avalokiteshvara arose from the spring water. The people of
Odivisha became very devoted Dharma practitioners and many of them gained
realizations. The statue of Avalokiteshvara can still be seen today.

Because of Ghantapa’s pure practice of Heruka and Vajra-yogini
in the forest, Vajrayogini saw that it was the right time for him to receive
her blessings and so she manifested as the wine-seller. Through living
with her Ghantapa attained the Pure Land of


Heruka.

KRISHNAPADA

Krishnapada received empowerment and teachings on Heruka
from Mahasiddha Dzalandarapa. He attained enlightenment in the intermediate
state after attaining ultimate example clear light during the clear light
of death. Before he passed away he attained extraordinary miracle powers
by relying upon the generation stage of Heruka. He could cause wild animals
or attackers to freeze just by staring at them, and could tame wild animals
with a glance. He could cause fruit to fall from trees just by looking
at it, and could walk without touching the ground. When he wanted to cross
a river he would simply take off his upper garment and float across on
it while sitting in the vajra posture.

All the lineage Gurus of these instructions, from Ghantapa
up to my root Guru, Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang Losang Yeshe Rinpoche, are
actual examples of practitioners who have attained the union of Buddha
Heruka through the practice of Heruka body mandala. The instructions in
this book are the instructions given to Ghantapa by the emanation of Vajrayogini
at Odiyana. If we practise them sincerely we can accomplish all the attainments
and become a pure holy being just like Mahasiddha Ghantapa.

THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A SINCERE HERUKA PRACTITIONER

By practising the generation and completion stages of
Heruka we can attain enlightenment in one life. However, for this to happen
we must be a sincere practitioner with the following five qualifications:

 1.We have experience of renunciation, bodhichitta,
and the correct view of emptiness


 2.We have received the empowerment of Heruka

 3.We are keeping our vows and commitments purely

 4.We have a clear and unmistaken understanding
of how to practise both generation stage and completion stage of Heruka


 5.We have indestructible faith in the Deity Heruka,
and in the Spiritual Guide from whom we received the empowerment and commentary
to the practice

Anyone possessing these five qualifications who meditates
continually on the generation stage and completion stage of Heruka will
definitely attain enlightenment in one life. If we do not yet possess these
qualifications we should strive gradually to attain them.

Once we have received the empowerment we have a commitment
to meditate on the two stages, and if we fail to do so we shall lose the
blessing of the empowerment. Furthermore our progress will be hampered
if we do not also put effort into attaining the other four qualities. Most
importantly, we need to develop deep and unchanging faith in Heruka and
our Spiritual Guide. We should try to overcome ordinary appearance of our
Spiritual Guide and develop faith in him or her. In this way we shall accomplish
great results. Even if we give our Spiritual Guide an expensive present,
if we lack faith in him it will have no meaning. On the other hand, if
we develop pure faith in our Spiritual Guide we shall be making a great
offering
to him even if we never give him presents. Without faith we are like a
burnt seed; just as a burnt seed cannot produce any fruit, so a Tantric
practitioner without faith cannot accomplish any results.

Tantric realizations depend upon faith and imagination.
No matter how much we investigate it is difficult to prove that our Spiritual
Guide is a Buddha, so rather than developing doubts we should use our powers
of imagination to regard our Spiritual Guide as a Buddha and cultivate
a pure mind of faith in him or her. Gradually our mind will become purer
and purer until eventually we shall directly see our Spiritual Guide as
a Buddha.


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