GARUDA AS PRACTISED IN THE DZOGCHEN COMMUNITY
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
The Garuda emerges from its egg fully formed and ready to fly. Within Dzogchen, this is symbolic of our primordial natural state. It exists within us, already fully formed, for us to reveal.
Garuda also exists as an enlightened deity who can help us. We need help as we still exist within a world of duality and there is the potential for harm to us from other beings.
All Dzogchen Community deity practices are Anuyoga and offer a path to enlightenment. They can also be incorporated into Atiyoga practice used to reveal our true nature, the path leading to Dzogchen. We should always remember that the principal purpose for practices of an enlightened deity such as Garuda is total realisation. We should also remember that Garuda practices and mantras, like those of other enlightened beings, can be used for all purposes as long as we have confidence in using them.
There are Garuda practices for the removal of obstructions to our practice, especially illnesses and other harm from different classes of spirits, which can affect our physical and mental well-being. It is important to understand how provocations may arise and how to avoid our own negative actions.
These practices include powerful, sometimes wrathful, mantras and invocations to link us with the Garuda and his power.
There are Eight Classes of beings which may harm us through negative forces and provocations.
All Garuda forms are Enlightened Beings and can help us in a general way, and are depicted with Naga serpents held in their beaks. However, some are especially effective for particular classes.
White Garuda ( No picture available)
This Garuda is especially connected with harm from the Naga class.
The Red Garuda practice is especially useful in dealing with harm from the Tsen class, which may include cancer.
Dark Blue or Black Garuda
Dark Blue Garuda practice is particularly helpful with provocations from the Yaksha class.
There is also a form called Takhyung Kilaya which is a dark blue Garuda with 3 faces and a kilaya lower body, like Guru Tragphur. (This is a form of Garuda incorporating Hayagriva, Vajrapani and Vajrakilaya). This is my own poor effort at an image:
Guru Tragpo (Dragpo) is a wrathful form of Padmasambhava, combining Garuda with Hayagriva and Vajrapani. Vajrapani is for controlling celestial negative forces, Hayagriva is for controlling terrestrial negative forces, and Garuda is for controlling subterranean negative forces.
Guru Tragphur (Dragphur) is a very powerful and wrathful form combining Garuda with Hayagriva, Vajrapani, Vajrakilaya and Yangdag Heruka. It is especially useful for extreme negative harm from the Gyalpo class.
Garuda with other Deities
Garuda also appears with other wrathful and protective deities such as Dorje Drollo (Drolod):
There is a Dzogchen Community book and mp3 on ‘THe Practice and Action Mantras of Dark Garuda, an Ebook of the same practice and a book relating to Red Garuda. They are available to members of the Dzogchen Community who have received the relevant transmissions:
Dark (Blue) Garuda Book & mp3 CD: http://www.shangshungstore.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=490
Dark Blue Garuda Ebook and mp3 Downloads: http://www.shangshungstore.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=491
Red Garuda Book: http://www.shangshungstore.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=112
DZOGCHEN COMMUNITY EVENTS
There are many events relating to deities which you may attend, including Garuda ‘lung’ empowerments and Retreats for the development of good and stable practice. Familiarity with the main practice and mantra is especially important before using ‘action mantras’.
Many of the events are broadcast via internet webcast, giving access to those people unable to travel to attend in person. Some of the webcasts are ‘open’ and anyone can have access. Others are ‘closed’ and only for Members of the Dzogchen Community. Often, ‘lung’ empowerments are given during open webcasts.
However, the primary empowerment within the Dzogchen Community is that of sharing the natural state with the Guru, called Direct Introduction. This should always be a first step, in accordance with the First Statement of Garab Dorje. More information on this is easily obtained from the Dozgchen Community.
It is helpful to read an introductory text, such as’ The Crystal and the Way of Light’ by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, which introduces all the main Dzogchen concepts and also offers an entertaining and informative autobiography. Copies are available from Amazon.
Membership also offers many other benefits, including access to restricted books and other media, and some discounts.
DZOGCHEN COMMUNITY LINKS
For information, books and resources:
Links to Dzogchen Community Centres: http://www.dzogchencommunity.org/links/internationalcommunity.html
The Mirror, Newspaper of the Dzogchen Community, for articles, news and events:
Other useful sites, not operated by the Dzogchen Community:
All content remains the copyright of the original holder, and I am most grateful to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and to the Shang Shung Institute for their kind permission to use and summarise content from Dozgchen Community teachings.
A short poem after Ati Guruyoga ‘A’ practice at dawn today:
Sun rose in eyes.
Ambling lane awash with birdsong deer rustling trees.
Saw wind and birdsong colours heard the sun and sky.
Ocean diving fields body melded rose and fell.
Breathing vibrant mass.
Bliss unborn and unbecoming whole.
A small Garuda statue about 5 inches tall:
Here we see Red Garuda above the head of the Jonang Master, Kunchen Dolpopa.
The Red Garuda is usually emblematic of fire, so the reference may be to the blazing of the fire of enlightenment, or a reference to Garuda’s protective qualites.
Kunchen Dolpopa was the first Jonang master to extensively teach Zhentong. In his most famous work, Mountain Dharma: An Ocean of Definitive Meaning (ri chos nges don rgya mtsho), Kunchen Dolpopa clarified the Zhentong view. These are referred to as the teachings of the “Heart’s Essence” (snying po’i don). As Kunchen Dolpopa’s Mountain Dharma and other Jonang texts were banned in the 17th century, they became extremely rare. In the 1970s and 1980s a few of these texts were re-discovered and re-printed, notably through the agency of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
From the same source:
”The Red Garuda’s Cry to the Kalkins of Shambala”
Imperial Drala of all dralas, Kalki Lord of Life,
you are primordial existence.
You hold in your left hand the crystal mirror,
the living storehouse consciousness of all. ki
Imperial Drala of all dralas, Kalki Lord of Life,
you are primordial aspiration.
In your right hand you brandish a crystal sword,
the inner nature of the seventh defiled consciousness. so
Imperial Drala of all dralas, Kalki Lord of Life,
you are primordial power.
You wear the blazing golden armor of life
and the snow-white pennants on your helmet flutter in the wind.
You are the life of the six sense consciousnesses. a la la
Descend now on the swirling divine thread
that rises from our offering of longing.
Now with your shining blade,
slash like lightning through clouds of confused desires, doubts and calculation,
that distort and veil the splendor of your pure domain.
Riding on the great horse of moving wind itself,
releasing and binding the elements and space
with your firm command, like the roar of thunder,
show the fearless tiger of the living seas,
the all-conquering lion of the living wind,
the deathless eagle of the living fire,
and the sovereign dragon of the living earth.
Show the true realm and the righteous rule of Shambala!
Pure, real, undeluded, and uncontrived newness.
Show the true realm and the righteous rule of Shambala,
that is the intrinsic life force of all beings.
Swiftly, swiftly, please do this now!
ki ki so so ashe lha gyel lo tak seng khyung druk di yar kye (x3)
O Kalki Lord, in this faithless time,
please remain with us and do not depart.
Remain here, moving on the pathways of virtue.
Remain here, resting on the raging flames of existence.
Remain here, sustained by the flesh and blood of men and beasts.
Remain here, subduing the fears and delusions of all realms.
Remain here as our only sovereign and law.
Please remain by day and night
and sing to us in waking and in dreams.
om ah hum ho ham ksha
 Drala: Tibetan: dra, enemy or opponent, and la, above; above the enemy; unconditioned wisdom and power beyond dualism; beyond opposites.
ADDITIONAL RED GARUDA MANTRAS:
hum tro ta ya ghar ru na
ha ra nye lo yo so thun tu
om tat-purushaya vidhmahe
suvarna pakshaya dhimahi
tanno garuda prachodayat om
This wonderful image and texts were kindly supplied by Tashi Nyima.
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I am reproducing images from himalayanart.org, a wonderful site full of images and information. I have included their copyright information at the foot of this post, and am making use of their images strictly for educational non-profit purposes.
Firstly, an overview of the Bon Deities. The full chart may be seen on the original website, and each deity has a link to further information. Khyung (the Garuda Eagle) is classed as a Wrathful Deity:
1800 – 1899
Collection of Garuda Virtual Museum (copyright holders)
Khyung Ngonpo (English: the Blue [King] of Birds), a tutelary deity from the Zhang Zhung Meri cycle of Tantra.
Staring forward, with three bird faces, blue in colour, the central face has two round eyes, two horns and the head crowned with a precious jewel, yellow hair flows upward. The face on the right is white and left red. The central beak clutches the torso of a snake held in the first pair of hands. The remaining hands extend to the sides each grasping a snake. Blue unfurled wings stretch outward. Bone necklaces, bracelets and armlets adorn the upper body and the lower torso is covered with yellow feathers. With the two taloned feet standing upon two serpent (lhu) creatures (half human-half snake), atop a multi-coloured lotus blossom he is surrounded by a circle of orange flames. Four attendant Bird Deity (khyung) figures surround the central deity, one faced, two-armed, green, red, blue and yellow. Each clutches a snake with the hands and beak. A red table filled with offerings stands in front.
At the top center, the Enlightened One Kuntu Zangpo is black and naked, surrounded by a sphere of light. Directly below is the wrathful tutelary deity Walse Ngampa with nine heads and eighteen hands, blue in colour. Lama figures sit at the right and left.
Four additional retinue figures stand at the bottom center. Each has a human body, animal face and khyung wings; the hands clutch a snake. At the bottom right is a red Khandroma (Sky Goer) with a tiger face, holding a curved knife and skullcup. At the bottom left is a worldly protector in the appearance of a red Rock (tsen) daemon wearing armour, carrying suitable weapons and riding a horse. The lush green mountain landscape scene is populated with wild animals and the sky filled with blue and white billowing clouds.
Jeff Watt & Lee Hartline 1-2000 (copyright holders)
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In Nepal, there is a Mahakala form of Garuda – Las mgon bya rog gdong can (“the mGon po (Mahakala) of karma, with the face of a raven”) who has a retinue of one thousand, black, raven-headed beings. Mahakala is a Protector Deity and like Garuda is often to be seen on ritual implements such as the Phurba.
Here are images of some statues, with kind permission of Shakya Statues: