Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My USA Tour

The month of May was significant to many of us in Singapore. There were so many special days of celebration such as Vesak Day, Mothers' Day, HH Karmapa's birthday, etc. The most important was the Visit of HH Gyalwa Karmapa to Singapore. His visit to this island transformed the entire atmosphere of Singapore into a spiritual land where people from all over the world came to seek blessings and listened to his teachings.

The Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre here was the central focus for everyone as it hosted HH Visit. Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre was established by HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in 1981.
All those special moments several weeks ago are just memories now as I am flying to Chicago at this point in time as per my teaching schedule. Today early morning, I left for Changi airport to travel to Chicago via Narita airport in Tokyo. At this moment I am in the air and writing this on my IPad. I am penning this as I recall all the recent events and also our dear members and devotees of Singapore.

Wow, time flies and in just the blink of an eye as I thought of completing this article, the plane touched down and I am now in the United States. Upon arrival, I have many appointments and engagements such as catching up with friends and relatives. I could not really find time to complete my article. My tardiness also played a part in this delayed article. Now, I am again in the plane and heading towards Washington DC for teaching at a Bodhi Path centre there.

My first teaching in Chicago centre went well and the subject I taught was The Four Dharma of Gampopa. This subject touches the essence of the entire Buddha’s teachings. I explained in brief as there was not enough time to explain at length. Prior to that, I gave oral transmission of collection of Mantra as the students specially requested it on the first night. I also gave some background explanation about the significance of this collection of mantras. That seemed useful as they intended to practice diligently so it must be properly explained.

Over all I had a wonderful time at Chicago with Bodhi Path members. They are very nice people and we exchanged many stories, jokes and meals. We had a lovely walk at an Indian town called Dewan as well lake side. Well, meetings always end up in separations, though if you think about it positively, separation is also the preparation of yet another meeting. Without a separation, there won't be possibility of meeting. So let’s wait to meet again and be happy.

I have a similar nice time also with my relatives in Madison. Everyone was so happy to receive me. The whole family took leave from work to entertain and kept me company happily for several days. I had a wonderful picnic at Devils Lake and after lunch we trekked the mountains. The overview of the lake and height above the rocky mountain was really indescribable and majestic. That moment reminded me of a cartoon movie named Lion King where the lion overlooked from the giant rock very majestically. Ha ha!

So through this report, I would love to express thanks to all the wonderful people I met in Chicago and Madison. I will always remember you in my prayers and my loving thoughts will be always be with you.

Seems the plane will land in Washington soon so I better penned down here. I will write again once I have the time and inspiration.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Interview by Karma Kagyu Dharma Society Kuala Lumpur for their Magazine.

Q1. Regarding organ donation at thetime of death or in accidents; for example, donating our eyes, kidneys, etc., what is your comment on this act of kindness considering that we should not touch the body at this critical time?

A1. Donating organs to others after death is a great act of a Bodhisattva. The thought and execution of such an act can overrule every prohibition mentioned in some teachings. Some Vajrayana teachings refer to one's body as a mandala of deities, and thus one should not harm the body as it creates negative consequences. However, prior to his enlightenment, the Buddha had given up his lives so many times for others. With such sacrifice, he accumulated so many merits that normally would require many kalpas to gain. So, such a Bodhisattva’s act of donating organs after death can be very great and thus, should be encouraged. The motivation behind the organ donation is also important. With correct and genuine motivation along with pure compassion, organ donations after death or even when one is alive is an immense act of great kindness that few attempt to do. It also takes a lot of courage to donate organs to another person.

Q2. Most Vajrayana practitioners know the importance of bardo practice. However, it takes time and effort to do the exact practice; therefore most of them learn only the recitation of the mantra. Is there any simple and easy way for the bardo practice, so that when death strikes, we can eliminate fears arising in bardo?

A2. The Bardo is known as the intermediate stage in English. It is the transient ‘in-between’ stage after death and before the next rebirth. That period is usually the most important moment and from there, the next rebirth develops. How one is able to handle Bardo is very much related to our present lifestyle. During our lifetime, we need to realize that every teaching and practice are of utmost importance and with that, right thoughts and good habitual patterns develop. It is also important to learn and contemplate on the Bardo teachings very often until we are so familiarize with it that even when hundreds of dogs chase after us, their ferocious barks do not distract us and we remain aware of the Bardo teachings. If one reaches that standard of Bardo practice, one will not even bring to mind the suffering of death or the fearful experience within the Bardo. It is like knowing your emergency exit route so well that you know where to head for in the event of any mishaps such as fire or natural disaster.

Q3. We have some basic knowledge of bardo and also understand the importance of the practice itself. But due to time constraint, most of us focus only on our yidam practice. Does yidam practice help at the time of death? After death in the bardo, will our consciousness be able to receive guidance from the Yidam?

A3. Yidam practices are important in our life as we develop ourselves to the state of enlightenment accordingly to the Vajrayana methods of practice. The figure of Yidam is just a symbolic aspect for leading the person from the conceptual state to the non-conceptual state, bearing in mind the essence of the Yidam is the ultimate essence of our mind nature. So Yidam practice is an entire set of steps merging our duality conceptual state to the non-dual state of Enlightenment. “Yid” means mind and “Dam” means commitment or bound. Through the methods of creation process, merging the duality concept of self and others into the completion stage of non-conceptual.

If one could practice yidam in the proper manner of developing creation and completion, definitely it is no different from the practice of Bardo training. Even within the Bardo, when one sees the form of Yidam, it is also a reflection of one’s own nature of mind in duality manner. And if that could be transformed into the non-duality state within our mind nature, then one will be liberated from the shackles of samsara.

Q4. Amitabha is usually visualized in golden colour in the Mahayana sutra and during chanting/singing praises of Him. In Vajrayana, Amitabha is visualized in red colour. For a practitioner who knows

both practices, at the time of death, will the colour appear according to his thoughts at that moment with no differentiation of colours or confusion?

A4. In the Tibetan version of the Amitabha Buddha sutra, it describes the Amitabha Buddha in the colour of ruby red. Actually, Amitabha's Nirmanakaya can manifest various forms and colours, so there is no fixed appearance. What we know of Amitabha Buddha’s appearance are from the handful of sutras or tantras that are currently available in this world. There are millions of tantras and teachings that unfortunately are not made available during this degeneration time. Just like Avalokiteshvara who has so many manifestations, every practice of Vajrayana has many different methods that lead a person smoothly towards liberation and enlightenment.

At the time of death, one may see Amitabha Buddha but not in the exact depiction as recorded in many written texts and Thangka art. The seeing of Amitabha Buddha can be interpreted as recognizing the true nature of Buddha Amitabha. So it does not make much difference whether one visualizes Buddha Amitabha’s colour as red or gold as long as the practice is done correctly.

Q5. Can Rinpoche explain the significance and the use of Dharani blanket forthe deceased?

A5. These are the methods introduced by some realized Masters from the past and they do benefit the deceased to connect with Mantra and Mandala of Buddhas. The Tantras mentioned the enormous power of Mantras and Names of Buddhas, which some of them are described as liberation upon seeing, contacting, hearing or recollecting. Thus a blanket with those mantras written on it will liberate the deceased by contacting it with the deceased’s body.
By Shangpa Rinpoche

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mantra Preface.

In general, the term ‘mantra’ means protection against the conceptual grasping of true existence. ‘Man’ means mind and ‘traya’ means protection. This protection can be achieved through many high levels of meditation. However for ordinary levels of persons, such protection can also be achieved through recitation of profound mantra with proper meditative concentration.

It was said by Buddha that mantra has immeasurable abilities. Likewise, substances also have immeasurable capabilities. The right combination of materials can produce many wondrous machines such as airplanes that allow people to fly in space. Similarly, it can produce small devices that enable us to hear voices from thousands of miles away.

Mantras are speech manifestations of enlightened ones. They are words of accomplishment of enlightened ones. As such, they can fulfill the positive end results for whoever recites them. It is like a transmission of enlightened qualities from the enlightened ones to the person uttering the mantras. The word mantra is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Mantrana’, which simply means the highest level of conversation.

Most of the mantras in this collection can gradually lead one to the path of enlightenment. No matter what the circumstances are, one will avoid rebirth into the three lower realms1. The power of the recitation can eliminate accumulations of sins of many kalpas2. One can also gain immeasurable merits comparable to making abundance of offerings to countless Buddhas for kalpas. These mantras collected from the Kangyur text were carefully compiled and translated into the Tibetan language.

Thus, we recite the mantras and convert our every thought and action into accumulation of merits in order to benefit every sentient being.

This precious treasury of mantras was prepared under the guidance of the late Venerable Kalu Rinpoche. He had made the recitation of the mantras as compulsory daily prayers in retreat centers. Thereafter, he had introduced it to many centers in Europe and it also became a form of daily practice.

In these degenerated times where the environment and people are polluted by defilements, many problems such as sicknesses, tsunami, earthquakes and other outer phenomena disasters arise. I sincerely believe that if we engage our body, speech and mind towards the dharma, and conduct our behaviour in the way of the Bodhisattvas, then when we recite these profound mantras with love and compassion, together with unwavering devotion towards the Buddha, many of these disasters can be eliminated. Everyone can then live in this world comfortably without much fear.

I started this text by typing out the daily prayer text of Sherab Rinpoche. After typing it out, I compared it with the computerized version of the mantra source from France.

Subsequently, I found Master Sempa Dorje’s text as well as mantra rolls that are meant for Buddha statue consecration. All these texts are different in words and in grammar structure. It was tough deciding which is the best version to use. Eventually, I extracted the essence from all these texts but based more on Sempa Dorje’s version as he was not only a great scholar but his knowledge of the Sanskrit language was exceptional. However, Sempa Dorje’s text was too pure in Sanskrit and thus readers may have difficulty deciphering it. Most Tibetan Buddhists are comfortable with the Tibetan style of reading. So I have adopted the Tibetan style of writing instead. When editing this mantra based on these versions, I found typographical errors and minor obvious mistakes and corrected them to my best knowledge. Hopefully, I did not edit wrongly. In the event that there are mistakes, I sincerely seek forgiveness from all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and I hope that you will benefit from this project.

The wish-fulling gem symbol found in this text signifies the wish-fulfilling capability of the mantra. However, the positive impact of reading the mantra is far greater than the wish-fulfilling gem that can grant temporarily worldly needs. Not only is the mantra able to bestow the worldly needs of sentient beings, most importantly, it is able to lead sentient beings to the state of Enlightenment at the fastest pace.

Shangpa Rinpoche

May 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shangpa online: Wealth Vase

Shangpa online: Wealth Vase

Wealth Vase

Treasure Wealth Vases by Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre
In conjunction with His Holiness Arrival to Singapore from 25-31 May 2012

 The preparation of treasure wealth vases is finally completed. The process though tiring was very auspicious and smooth. Tseyang Rinpoche along with many of my Lamas and wonderful volunteers together put in lots of thoughts and tireless efforts in making this project a huge success.
When the management committee of Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre first broached the subject of wealth vases to me, my reply to them was that it would be a rather difficult task. Nonetheless, they were not discouraged and said they would endeavour no matter how tough it was going to be. So I started making plans for the treasure wealth vases. The first step was the selection and ordering of the ideal vases. I felt that classic and traditional vases would be wonderful for this project as compared to the elaborately ornate ones. When I was back in Nepal, I found a beautiful traditional vase that is hand-carved and made of copper material with silver and gold polish.

At the same time, I started sourcing for all the precious substances that were needed for the wealth vases. Fortunately, I managed to acquire many of these rare and invaluable spiritual items from several of my close Rinpoches. As for the herbal and mineral related substances, I consulted with a Tibetan physician named Ngawang who helped me gathered all the precious herbs that I needed. He ground the materials and moulded them into pills form.
Over the last 30 years, I have collected many treasures little by little. Very carefully, I combined and ground them into powder. These treasures include precious pills that contain more than 900 substances of blessings given to me by Sherab Rinpoche; relics of former Buddhas and Arahants; relics and blessed substances of many lines of Karmapa; and blessing substances of many great and well-known masters of every tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

I have also received similar precious pills wrapped in yellow cloth from Sang Sang Rinpoche. They contain over 600 blessing substances such as blessing materials of Guru Rinpoche and the 1st to the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa.
One of the significant ingredients that I wish to highlight is the wealth flourishing substances called Yangze Rilbu. They comprise of so many substances combined into the form of pills in order to preserve them in their entirety. The substances include ancient wealth materials of Kings, royalties, rich families and noble people who were never in poverty for many generations. Also, they include materials such as gems, soils, water from ancient temples of various famous holy places of Tibet and India. These places are believed to be sources of good energy with wonderful elements that are capable of generating positive magnetic fields that attract wealth and longevity. The exact list of ingredients that go into the Yangze Rilbu pills is rather lengthy.

Some of the more significant ingredients that went into the wealth vases are as follows:-

1.     Pieces of materials of Guru Rinpoche’s hat;
      2.     Pieces of robes of first, third and fifteen Karmapa’s;

3.     Black Pill Karmapa;
      4.     Nectar Pills made by Guru Rinpoche and his 25 disciples;

5.     Pieces of the Great Translator Vairochana’s handwritten manuscript; and
       6.     Longevity pills from the blessing treasures of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

The main filling substances of the wealth vases are the Tibetan and Ayurveda herbs. We obtained the raw materials from an herbalist and our Tibetan doctor in Nepal carefully checked each ingredient for its quality. Altogether, there were five large boxes weighing over 250 kilograms of materials for this project.

With all these wonderful and incredibly precious substances, we instructed every participant to adhere strictly on the discipline of cleanliness to prevent any contamination.

All the materials were cleansed and blessed through a ceremony called Jong Tru. This involved the dispelling of negative elements and cleansing the substances. So once this ritual is completed, the Lamas and volunteers spent five long days of hard work to complete the vases. Rinpoches executed the inner filling of the vases using life sticks and mantras. The Lamas then filled up the vases with the remaining materials. The vases were closed and sealed by our volunteers. This is to ensure that every vase is filled correctly and that the life sticks and mantras are properly aligned in the right directions without even a minor mistake.

At the same time, I also instructed the volunteers to prepare the mini longevity flags for the wealth vases. This is actually not compulsory but for the sake of longevity, which is particularly important for leading a meaningful life and for increasing the opportunities for dharma practise, I asked for their preparation and blessed them over the three days puja. All our Sangha and volunteers complied with my instructions to the hilt. The longevity flags were tough to make due to their miniaturised parts. Nonetheless, our volunteers worked very hard making them beautifully and I am certain they will truly gain the blessings of longevity.

When the vases were finally filled, cleansed and blessed, we created a mandala to place the vases. So many auspicious substances and wealth vases were beautifully displayed.

The second part of blessing is similar to the first Jong Tru, i.e. the dispelling of negative elements or obstacles if any. The vases and shrine were then thoroughly cleansed.

This is followed by the ritual ceremony of invocation of wealth deities into the vases.

Subsequently over the next few days, a series of Zambhala puja and Guru Rinpoche inseparable from Amitayus puja were performed. They were important for wealth and longevity. The pujas comprised of invocation, offerings, praise, developing of self, shrine and vase to transform the substances into wealth deities and their sublime environment. The pujas help to attract and amplify the life forces from the four elements, great masters and enlightened ones. These are then absorbed into the vases and longevity flags.  Thus, the vases manifest as outer wish-fulfilling gems as well as inner palace for the wealth deities.

This is my explanation on the preparation of the treasure wealth vases as far as I could think of. Hope everyone will benefit from the wealth vases in terms of wealth, longevity and in all spiritual activities.

The wish-fulfilling gem that relieves the suffering of poverty of beings,


From the door of Zambhala's treasure of generosity,


Arises the continuous flow of profound vases of wealth,

May these satisfy everyone with bountiful wealth and spirituality.

Shangpa Rinpoche

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Completion of retreat

Completion of Retreat
Time flies in a blink of an eye as experienced by all of us in our daily lives. Three years and three months ago, our Rinpoches and Lamas entered into a retreat at Ngedon Palbar Ling Retreat Centre (NPL Retreat Centre). Today, I witnessed its completion and we welcome them into the Jangchub Choeling Monastery (JC Monastery) in Pokhara, Nepal. Karma Kagyu retreat is well known for its strict discipline and profound practice under the guidance of qualified masters. This tradition has ongoing for more than a thousand years. Until today, the transmission of teaching and methods of practice are still very alive and thus the blessings are transmitted to whoever is sincerely engage in the practice.
NPL Retreat Centre is one of the Karma Kagyu’s traditional retreat centre established three and half years ago. It is located in the Sarangkot mountain of Pokhara. There were a total of 2 Rinpoches and 16 lamas who joined this retreat after the retreat centre was established. Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche was the retreat master and he empowered the Lamas with transmissions and lineage blessings. With proper instructions and under the watchful eye of the Rinpoches, the Lamas then practice most of the important Karma Kagyu teachings that include The Six Naropa's Yoga along with many high tantric deity yoga practices. They also very carefully trained in the meditation of Mahamudra at every stage of their practice. Within the period of three years and three months, the Rinpoches and Lamas practiced ever diligently and finally they completed their entire practice successfully.
The completion of the retreat and the returning of the Sangha back to the monastery celebration were a great joy and celebration for everyone. Dupsing Rinpoche led all the retreat lamas out from the retreat centre to JC monastery. Thousands of people lined the streets with flowers, khata and other offering items in their hands and warmly welcome them with cheers, smiles and awe. Everyone was over the moon with happiness and these were clearly reflected on their beaming faces. Some even shed tears of joy.
Upon entering into monastery, they made three prostrations and lamp offerings to the Triple Gem. They then mindfully took their seats. Dupsing Rinpoche and all the retreat Lamas made the Mandala offering of Body, Speech and Mind to Shangpa Rinpoche; followed by the longevity prayers for Shangpa Rinpoche. The secondly Mandala offering of Body, Speech and Mind was made to Dupsing Rinpoche by the Shangpa Rinpoche and the JC Monastery’s Sangha members.
Later, the Sangha performed a puja of sixteen Arahats and auspicious tea and butter rice were served. About 2,500 people attended this ceremony and everyone showered the Rinpoches and retreat Lamas with khata and offerings.
After lunch, the Lamas of the retreat centre and Sangha of JC Monastery gave heartfelt thanks to all the local and overseas sponsors and well wishers. Majority of the overseas sponsors are from Singapore.
Also thanks to the Gurung devotees who formed a small volunteer committee that constantly supplied drinking water to the retreat centre for the entire period of the retreat. Their efforts are greatly admirable and meritorious.
We deeply felt the people's devotions, loving attitude and great contribution towards Ngedon Palbar Ling Retreat Centre as well as Jangchub Choeling Monastery. We are grateful and ever appreciative of everyone’s care and assistance and we wish you good health, longevity and swift fulfillment of all your noble aspirations.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

for the Kagyu Dharma Bulletin. Kuala Lumpur.

1) What is the meaning of making 'kora' or doing a clockwise circumambulation of stupas, temples, mountains, lakes, etc. that is practised by Buddhists? From where and how does this culture originate and become a practice?

Shangpa Rinpoche:
Buddhist way of circumambulation to temple, stupa and even great person are considered as a meritorious act. It started from the Buddha’s time as a form of Buddhist practice. Most of the sutras and tantras mentioned that devotees circumambulate to lord Buddha three or seven times before kneeling on their right knees in front of the Buddha. It is a way of showing great respect and devotion to the Buddha. It is not clear whether such behaviour originated from the early Indian culture or was purely a Buddhist way. I tried to check from some Hindu texts such as Ramayan Mahabhatar or Shiva Puran but did not see such acts being recorded in these Hindu texts. So I guess it must have originated during the Buddha’s time. It is also likely that the Buddha himself introduced this action. This is because many sutras mentioned that the Buddha uttered how a meritorious person could make simple offering, prostration and circumambulation to the images of the Buddha. 
Since then, Buddhist practitioners make kora to symbols of the Buddha Dharma as a method of purification of sins. Circumambulation in a clockwise direction is always in a form of respect in Indian culture as the right hand is facing the Buddha or stupa. The left hand is considered as ‘unclean’ for many auspicious activities. This is because in many cultures, the left hand is used for cleaning oneself. Thus, it is a form of great respect by going in a clockwise direction. Also, by placing the Buddha on the right side of your body signifies that the Dharma is your main or focal lifestyle. Moving forward can also mean the progress towards the path of enlightenment. Besides all these meanings, clockwise circumambulation could also aide in the clearing of wind, channel and bindu and thus help one to develop a clear mind and a physically fit body.

As a pilgrim, whilst circumambulating any holy sites and symbols, always think that the Buddha Dharma is on your right side and you imagine going around them clockwise. This will purify sins and accumulate a lot of merits. 

2) Some dharma practitioners face life challenges such as being jobless and experiencing business downfall which affect their daily life as a practitioner. In this situation, which should come first? Dharma or business?

Firstly, you should try to understand what is Dharma or at least to understand the Dharma as a mental development and how to place the mind correctly with awareness and wisdom. With this understanding, one’s business or work will not be hindered and instead one will succeed greatly. It is said by the Buddha that the nature of all phenomena arises from the mind and so the mind is the primary and initiator of everything. If our mind is pure or clean from defilements, whether one talks or does anything, one will gain blissfulness. If our mind is pure and clear, then you will be able to perform every piece of work well and that includes your business, daily activities and handling of people.

If you think Dharma is merely going to a temple, sitting cross-legged, chanting and counting with a rosary, then that may affect your job or business sometimes. Good physical gestures should naturally arise from pure mental inspiration and in this way you can complete a good practice. Dharma should be the leading path for us and in showing the ultimate and relative Truth.

So in this way Dharma should come first amongst all activities and it can be the cause of every success too.

3) When one is being overwhelmed with great anger, it is extremely difficult to be aware and mindful of one's present actions. During these moments, how does one control the mind and stop oneself from creating negative thoughts and actions that are based on anger?

There is no formula that can be instantly applied with immediate and effortless results. Anger is part of our emotions. When anger overflows, it shows how strong and aggressive emotions can be. Sometimes, it is so strong that we are unable to stop it when it arises. So we must know that there is a root cause of all these emotions in our mind. Such root cause can be regarded as an obstruction to see the reality. That is ignorance and we need to apply wisdom to counteract.

For ordinary people, the gradual improvement of handling emotion is to first recognize the emotion and it's defects. Secondly, one should try to disperse it with the application of an antidote. Thirdly, knowing the nature of emotion as emptiness cuts off the root of emotion.

To do this, you need to explore the teachings of the Buddha and try to contemplate, meditate, as well as practice purification of sins and accumulation of merit.

4) What is the most effective method for ordinary practitioners to be constantly reminded to not commit the five poisons (desire, anger, ignorance, pride and jealousy) when we are living in this samsaric world?
Mindfulness is the most important key for all practitioners. Generally, we know that the five poisons are harmful. However, most of the time we are not aware that they have arisen and that the poison has already been transmitted to ourselves. Only when we experience the results of the poison, then we realized that it is too late. If we are constantly mindful of the arising of the poison, we won't embrace it but keep far away from it as such poisons are far more destructive than ordinary poison. So good practitioners always use awareness and mindfulness to guard against the defilements and with that, the chances of defilement disturbance are reduced and eventually it can be stopped.

5) Many people who lack knowledge in Vajrayana Buddhism seems to have false interpretations towards tantric images. What is the philosophy or significance of these images or symbols, (for example, the sexual union depiction of the 'yabyum')? How do we resolve others' misunderstanding towards Vajrayana Buddhism?
Such misunderstanding has arisen since the existence of these images. Vajrayana approach is rather different from others so when your mind is fixed on one method, it is natural that you cannot accept other ways that appear different from your beliefs. If the person is not set in his ways and try to explore and understand the truth, then such misunderstanding may not happen. Vajrayana uses emotion to disperse emotion, just like using poison to cure poisonous effect. That is the path shown by the Buddha in most tantric teachings. There are many symbolic objects that reflect emotions but when you dismantle the tie of attachment towards certain emotion, then that emotion may not sustain as emotion but rather a form of cognition and that is wisdom itself. So we should firstly understand what is emotion outwardly, followed by the nature of emotion inwardly, and finally establish the seal of non-attachment or great expanse of emptiness and then transform it into wisdom which ultimately results in enlightenment.
Vajrayana is a very individual practice and traditionally it is not exposed to everyone. Practitioners must have very clear minds to practise and understand the instructions given by the guru in order to succeed in their practice within a short time. Today, Vajrayana practice is very common and sometimes it sadly abused as a commercial purpose. So these days, it is rather difficult to check or see if a person is suitable for Vajrayana practise or how well one has practiced.

We may not be able to resolve the misunderstandings that people may have towards such yabyum Buddhist symbols. Even in early times, great masters like Nagarjuna and many other gurus such as the Buddha himself could not remove this misunderstanding from the people completely. We ourselves have not awakened totally from confusion and so how can we lead others onto the correct path of Vajrayana? There is a Tibetan saying that if the blind leads the blind, then at the end is a tumble or a fall. So the first and most important thing for us to do is to explore the teaching and apply it onto ourselves so that we may develop the ability to lead others to the right path.