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.
I have recently acquired the melongs pictured for ritual use. These are antique or reproduction Japanese, I believe.
Whilst I use the term ‘shamanic’ the mirrors have a use and significance extending into more formalised religions and practices which also have their roots in the HImalayas.
Bronze mirrors were widespread in use before the advent of mirror glass. In Tibet and other countries they are still used for divination, such as ‘ta’. The concave surface is sometimes decorated and the convex outer surface is polished and mostly plain.
Melongs were traditionally made with 5 Metals: copper, tin, zinc, iron and a fifth metal which may be gold, silver or ‘meteorite iron’. This may represent the elements or have astrological significance, or simply be because it made bowls and bells sound wonderful, and those instruments were re-used to make melongs.
The convex side is shown on the outside when worn. Shamans may have a coat partially covered with these mirrors – to deflect ‘evil’ negative energy away using the convex side, and using the concave side to concentrate the positive energy of deities and spirits to help a person who is ill, perhaps touched onto the body or moved over the painful area. The mirror is also used to bless substances such as water, poured over the mirror as it reflects the image of a nearby deity, for example, or by immersing the blessed mirror in the liquid. :
The Melong used in Tibet is frequently plain on the concave side and on the convex side has a pattern of dots or circles. There are usually 4 sets of 3 dots at each quarter (top, bottom, left and right) which may represent some of the sets of 3 used in Dzogchen, a practice within both Bon and Buddhism:
POSSIBLE GROUPS OF 3 IN THE MELONG:
In Dzogchen the Melong is representative of the primordial state we can discover within ourselves, as a potentiality, and is OM. In the same way, the peacock’s feather is the natural representation of the Thigle colours and rays of the natural state of AH, and the crystal represents primordiality, manifested in stable contemplation eternally as HUM.
Guru’s Body Speech and Mind
The 3 Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha
Base – Essence, Nature and Energy
or Base, Path and Fruit
Three Wisdoms – Sound, Light, Rays
I recently went on a quest on find my own melong. I bought a few on the internet, as above, but wanted to follow tradition and ‘find’ one that spoke to me, as it were. Tradition is that you either have one passed down to you, ‘acquire’ one from a burial or go on a quest.
Well, I couldn’t afford a trip to the Himalayas so I set about it by asking for the help of a deity. I then travelled to Glastonbury, which has some suppliers of Tibetan goods – no joy. Then, one Saturday I was wandering about the Saturday market in Bath and found a small stall run by a couple who collected artefacts to sell to fund their trips to the Himalayas each year. ‘My’ melong was staring me in the face. 🙂
It has since been purified and blessed many times and worn constantly. Here is a picture as I found it and after a light clean-up:
EDIT 13.12.12 :
An article is now available online which is very informative and useful. Here is the link:
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 🙂
Garudas – Falconry. Yes, birds of prey kill to eat, and I am sure I would want to avoid rebirth as one. However, as shown on Countryfile tonight, the power and beauty of the birds is simply breathtaking. It is no surprise that the Garuda is the representation of the soaring mind.
If you get a chance, go to a display and support the survival of these rare and precious birds:
A small Garuda statue about 5 inches tall:
This certainly has the ‘wow’ factor – a huge statue of Black Garuda above the temple of this huge monastery with over 200,000 disciples:
More words from Kunga Rinpoche about the need for Garuda practice:
On Friday 6th April I was honoured to receive the Nyenpo Lha Sum empowerment from His Eminence the 7th Dzogchen Rinpoche, Jigme Losel Wangpo, lineageholder.
The empowerment was of three deities and transmitted their individual empowerments and a practice combining their abilities to remove obstacles, illnesses and harm from spirits.
In the Gelugpa the nearest eqiuvalent of this practice is known as the Threefold Wrathful One, as already described on this site.
This Nyingma empowerment refers to these beings as the three Antidote Deities – Hayagriva, Vajrapani and Garuda. An alternative name given is: Ta-Chag-Khyung-Sum (Tamdrin=Hayagriva, Chagna-Dorje=Vajrapani, Khyung=Garuda). Nyenpo Lha Sum itself means Ancient Highest Three.
I have a practice, mantra and picture associated with this empowerment and will seek permission to reproduce limited information from it once Rinpoche ends his tour.
As this practice is Anuyoga (equivalent to Highest Yoga Tantra) I can’t divulge much more without permission.
The empowerment was especially potent for me as my father died the day before (on Thursday 5th). The empowerment enables me to help suffering beings in a new way and his death enhanced the realisation within me that made all the more urgent and important for the sake of all beings. 🙂