This is a remarkably simple and comprehensive guide to animals and their connection with deities in Buddhism and Hinduism, with many links :
For someone new to practice, here is a list of deities which combine the functions of several in one Yidam:
- WALPHUR KHYUNGMAR: RED GARUDA, VAJRAKILAYA (Bonpo)
- NYENPO LHA SUM: RED GARUDA, HAYAGRIVA, VAJRAPANI (Dudjom Tersar)
- GURU DRAGPO: RED GARUDA, HAYAGRIVA, VAJRAPANI (Rinchen Terdzö)
- TAKHYUNG BARWA: RED GARUDA, HAYAGRIVA, GURU DRAGPO (Jigme Lingpa)
- TAKHYUNG KILAYA: BLUE GARUDA, HAYAGRIVA, VAJRAPANI, VAJRAKILAYA (Lama Zabdon)
- GURU DRAGPHUR: RED GARUDA, HAYAGRIVA, VAJRAPANI, VAJRAKILAYA, YANGDAG HERUKA, GURU DRAGPO (Heka Lingpa)
The terma in which they are to be found is in brackets.
Such deities do have specific purposes but we must be aware that all have a common and central function as part of our path to enlightenment. They are Anuyoga and may also be incorporated into Dzogchen practice.
There is also a similar form called Tragpo Sumtril combining Garuda, Vapjrapani and Hayagriva in Gelugpa, as shown here:
An informative and useful article is now available online. Here is the link:
It was written as part of a thesis by the author, Walter Cooke, whose site is dedicated to healing practices.
The article explores the history and context of of these mirrors, as well as their use and the variety of qualities they may possess.
Copyright remains with the author, who has kindly given permission for this link.
A forum dedicated to the Vajrayana is now up and running.
It is called ‘Vajracakra’ and is to be found at: www.vajracakra.com .
Spread the word. Better still, join! 🙂
Two small melongs have come my way. The larger one has a rainbow patina. As well as the other uses of a melong, apparently they are placed on the stomach of a baby as a soother. Aaah. 🙂
As well as what seems to be Yama, Lord of Death at the top, the Chinese zodiac animals and the Eight Trigrams there are nine symbols in the centre. here is an explanation kindly given pemachopel on the forum Vajracakra.com :
”Numbers 1-9. In Tibetan, these are called the me-wa gu. In English, this is a so-called magic square where any line added up across, down, or the hypotenuse through the middle equals 15. These nine numbers are correlated to the nine stars. It is a system of numerology/astrology. It was borrowed from the Tibetans from the Chinese, remembering that Tibetans use both kar-tsi (white or Indian astrology) and nak-tsi (black or Chinese astrology). (The white and black are abbreviations for the Tibetan for India, gya-kar, vast white, and China, gya-nak, vast black. One gloss of this is that the white and black are based on the color of clothes that predominate(d) in each respective country.) In Chinese, this system is called the nine star system and can be used as a complete system of divination. Each person is born under the influence of one of these nine stars and the relationship of these “stars/number” progresses in an orderly fashion according to the hour, day, month, and year, with good and bad “aspects.” Among Tibetans, each of these stars is associated with a deity. Therefore, they can be propitiated to avert bad influences. The whole diagram on the back of the melong is meant to protect one from all adverse astrological influences. Square versions are printed on paper and either folded up and worn as amulets or mounted in homes, places of business, etc. for the same reason. Propitiation of these deities is often specifically mentioned in various sang and ser-kyem offerings, as in “turn back/avert the bad influences of the me-wa gu,” etc.”
And from Wki:
” Lo Shu Square (simplified Chinese: 洛书; traditional Chinese: 洛書; pinyin: luò shū; also written 雒書; literally: Luo (River)Book/Scroll) or the Nine Halls Diagram (simplified Chinese: 九宫图; traditional Chinese: 九宮圖; pinyin: jiǔ gōng tú), is the unique normal magic square of order three. Lo Shu is part of the legacy of the most ancient Chinese mathematical and divinatory (Yi Jing 易經) traditions, and is an important emblem in Feng Shui (風水), the art of geomancy concerned with the placement of objects in relation to the flow of qi (氣) ‘natural energy’.
Chinese legends concerning the pre-historic Emperor Yu (夏禹) tell of the Lo Shu, often in connection with the Ho Tu (河圖) figure and 8 trigrams. In ancient China there was a huge deluge: the people offered sacrifices to the god of one of the flooding rivers, the Luo river (洛何), to try to calm his anger. A magical turtle emerged from the water with the curious and decidedly unnatural (for a turtle shell) Lo Shu pattern on its shell: circular dots giving unary (base 1) representations of the integers one through nine are arranged in a three-by-three grid.
The odd and even numbers alternate in the periphery of the Lo Shu pattern; the 4 even numbers are at the four corners, and the 5 odd numbers (outnumbering the even numbers by one) form a cross in the center of the square. The sums in each of the 3 rows, in each of the 3 columns, and in both diagonals, are all 15 (the number of days in each of the 24 cycles of the Chinese solar year). Since 5 is in the center cell, the sum of any two other cells that are directly through the 5 from each other is 10 (e.g., opposite corners add up to 10, the number of the Ho Tu (河圖)).
The Lo Shu is sometimes connected numerologically with the Ba Gua 八卦 “8 trigrams”, which can be arranged in the 8 outer cells, reminiscent of circular trigram diagrams. Because north is placed at the bottom of maps in China, the 3×3 magic square having number 1 at the bottom and 9 at the top is used in preference to the other rotations/reflections. As seen in the“Later Heaven” arrangement, 1 and 9 correspond with ☵ Kǎn 水 “Water” and ☲ Lí 火 “Fire” respectively. In the “Early Heaven” arrangement, they would correspond with ☷ Kūn 地 “Earth” and ☰ Qián 天 “Heaven” respectively. Like the Ho Tu (河圖), the Lo Shu square, in conjunction with the 8 trigrams, is sometimes used as a mandalic representation important inFeng Shui (風水) geomancy. ”
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.
After receiving the empowerment of Nyenpo Lha Sum (Vajrapani, Hayagriva & Garuda) from Dozgchen Rinpoche last month I decided to find out more about Dzogchen practice itself.
I asked a lot of questions and am now following Chogyal Namkhail Norbu Rinpoche and in the last few days I received direct transmission of Guruyoga together with Song of the Vajra, other practices and several mantras.
It is wonderful to receive so many teachings – now for the practice! LOL 🙂