If my disciples practice the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra as outlined in my book, follow the teachings with accuracy, receive the guidance from a genuine master, and maintain vigorous practice, I guarantee that if they should not attain buddhahood, then I shall be held responsible.
Mahamudra is an unexcelled method of attaining buddhahood. Once an individual practices it, the ordinary mundane mind will resonate with the universal mind. In other words, you become one and inseparable with the original nature of the universe in the present body. At this time, you will be aware of your self-nature and the intrinsic nature of the universe. You will understand that you are truth itself and the truth is you, and that there is no difference between the two. The term Mahamudra in Sanskrit or Chakgya Chenpo in Tibetan means the “Great Seal.” Mahamudra is the quintessence of attaining buddhahood. This practice is also called the Middle Way, and it relies completely on training the mind with specific techniques to reach the single buddha vehicle. Upon reaching this state, one perceives the true reality behind all things. The final goal of all cultivators is to partake in the right path, resulting in the fruition of the realm of nirvana, attaining buddhahood, and freeing oneself from the bond- age of cyclic existence. One will eventually attain complete spiritual freedom.
I would say that anyone who practices Mahamudra Yoga and gains attainment shall reach the state of wonderful action of the mind and spirit, in which all movements and actions reflect the cul- tivation and attainment of Mahamudra. Thus, one will reach the level of spontaneous expression, which is beyond the state of an ordinary mundane mortal.
I once said: The very act of eating is an act of offering. Offerings are made in the upper realms to the buddhas and bodhisattvas.In the middle realms, offerings are made to the devas. In the lower realms, offerings are made to the sentient beings suffering in the six realms. Therefore, the act of consuming food is just like performing the homa ritual, which is the Mahamudra practice of Mandala Offering. The very act of clothing oneself is an act of guarding oneself by using Armor Protection, which is called secret adornment. Hence, getting dressed is the spontaneous arising of the Mahamudra of Adornment. The very act of bathing is an act of cleansing one’s limbs,mouth, and body. Hence, this constitutes the spontaneous emergence of the Mahamudra of Purification. The ver y act of speaking is an act of transforming all speech and sound into a mantra because all utterances are the recitation of mantra, which is the Mahamudra of Speech Purification. The very act of sleeping is the Yoga of Clear Light, where the sleeping postures are in fact Mahamudra postures.
The true meaning of Mahamudra is the complete transformation of the mundane ordinary mind into a holy mind, for every desire has an antidote in Mahamudra. Thus, an ordinary person is transformed into the mind of a holy sage. All negative karma that arises from ignorance is eliminated, leaving no trace of even a single dust particle. All aspects of truth are continuously revealed and have inexhaustible meanings, which are the expression of infinite wisdom.
I would like to declare that anyone who practices Mahamudra, whether he or she is an ordained monk or a nun, or a layperson, is the one who has vowed to attain buddhahood. In this regard, he or she has accepted the transcendental method and instructions of the Highest Tantra Yoga, which should be considered as the true act of renunciation.
All past practices are incomparable to the teachings of Highest Tantra Yoga and Mahamudra, which encompass all other teachings and wisdom. All other practices are eternally embodied in these supreme teachings. Thus, by practicing Mahamudra, one at tains true renunciation.
When a Tantric Buddhist practitioner of the Kagyu order attains realization through the practice of Mahamudra, at that time the mundane teachings, Sutrayana teachings, dharma gates, rules and precepts, and Tantric teachings all become shattered. However, those who are not enlightened cannot understand this. Thus, I will not elucidate further on this because any explanation may immediately become a misunderstanding. This truth is only understood by one who has realized and attained buddhahood.
I am an accomplished adept because it is a supreme victory to attain buddhahood. Therefore, I have earned the status of a teacher in the human and spiritual worlds because I, an enlightened Vajra master, have demonstrated and proved the process of attaining buddhahood. My titles include the “Emanation of White Mahapadmakumara of the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds,” “religious torchbearer,” “one who enlightens man and succors the world,” “Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru,” and “Tantric Master Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu.” Those who follow my practices and read my books are indeed endowed with the affinity to attain buddhahood.
Those who wish to learn from me must meet the following five conditions:
The first condition is to take refuge in the Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru. Why? This is because I have spiritual attainments from ac- tual cultivation, and I know the Vajrayana Buddhism for attaining buddhahood. I am the Buddha and the Buddha is me. There is re- ally no difference. I know the means to deliver sentient beings, and those who follow my methods shall reach buddhahood. I am the representative of the holy Sangha, and I am a holy Sangha member myself. I represent the unification of the Guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Therefore, I embody the Triple Jewels. Thus, taking refuge in the Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru is equivalent to taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. To practice Buddha-dharma, we must follow the rules of studying Buddhism. Upon taking refuge, one develops faith. Those without faith and who haven’t taken refuge will find it impossible to enter the Vajrayana path. Without the guru’s power of blessings and responses, there will be no accomplishment.
The second condition is generating the bodhicitta. This vow refers to perseverance in cultivation, with the intention of attaining buddhahood and delivering sentient beings. It is expressed through the Four Immeasurable Vows, which are: “May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. This is Immeasurable Loving-kindness. May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. This is Immeasurable Compassion. May all beings live in eternal peace and delight, without suffering. This is Immeasurable Joy. May all be- ings abide in equanimity, and be free from attraction and aversion. This is Immeasurable Equanimity.” I want my students motivated towards reaching buddhahood and to cultivate diligently and consistently, in order to build a solid foundation. Upon reaching buddha- hood, one must vow to return to deliver sentient beings so that all may attain the fruition of buddhahood. This is the highest aspiration.
The third condition is repentance. Not only do the speech and actions of ordinary beings generate negative karma, but their discur- sive thoughts also do as well. Hence, the behavior of ordinary beings is distorted, confused, illusory, and entwined with negative karma. Before starting any practice, humans are subject to the influence of the defiled mind and are unaware of the purified mind of self-nature. They are affected by afflictions, impulsiveness, and obstacles. Thus, they are really miserable. The Sutra on the Eight Realizations states, “The mind is the source of evil, while the form is the assembly of crimes.” One whose body and mind are drowning in a deep pool of transgressions is completely unaware of his or her predicament. Therefore, it is necessary to repent and cultivate the Four Preliminar- ies, especially the Vajrasattva Practice, also known as the Vajrasattva Hundred-Syllable Mantra Practice. Through the recitation of the Hundred Syllable Mantra, negative karma is eliminated.
The fourth condition is to make offerings to the guru. Since the guru is the embodiment of the Triple Jewels, making offerings to the guru is equivalent to making offerings to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. A true guru who accepts the offerings from his disciples does not delight in these donations, but rather he uses this wealth as a means to benefit sentient beings through the completion of his du- ties and assignments. Through your offerings, the guru may help to reduce your karma and bless you. The act of making offerings consti- tutes the path of generosity, and can carry the meaning of renuncia- tion from worldly affairs and samsara. When one makes offerings to the guru, one receives his blessings and naturally gains spiritual responses quickly.
The fifth condition is to swiftly attain spiritual union with the guru. Those who follow my teachings must first practice Guru Yoga. One should know that the yogic power from the lineage gurus is the only secret to attaining buddhahood. Guru Yoga is the first Dharma gate that one practices in attaining buddhahood through Mahamu- dra. One must recite the Guru Mantra: Om ah hum guru-bei ah-ha- sa-sa-ma-ha lian-sheng siddhi hum. Form the Padmakumara Mudra where the right hand forms the Teaching Mudra, and the left hand forms the Lotus Holding Mudra. Visualize the lineage holders seated in meditation and arranged in levels according to the order of trans- mission. At the top level there is Vajradhara, and at the lowest level there is Guru Lian-sheng. The lineage holders emit a spectrum of light that enters into the practitioner’s body. The initial step in gain- ing the wisdom of Mahamudra lies in obtaining responses in Guru Yoga. The key secret of this uncommon teaching is the active sup- plication of the lineage holders to bestow their guidance and bless- ings. In this way one becomes close with the gurus and receives their transmission.
It is only upon fulfilling these five conditions that one truly be- comes my lineage disciple.
Mahamudra is the method of attaining buddhahood. By reveal- ing this major practice and its secrets, many senior leaders of Va- jrayana Buddhism around the world will most likely be astonished. The world shall witness the re-emergence of this major teaching that has only been transmitted in secrecy in past generations. The key instructions of Master Sheng-yen Lu come from a long line of gurus. With the publication of this book, the teachings shall continue to be transmitted into the future, so that everyone will be able to partake in its precious secrets. Take note, however, that we must practice in gradual steps, beginning with the fulfillment of the five conditions. We must then practice the Four Preliminaries, followed by Guru Yoga, Personal Deity Yoga, the Vajra Practices, and finally the High- est Yoga Tantra. Before one can cultivate the Mahamudra, one must gain realization through these stages.
Thus this book is precious and extraordinary, and it should be treasured. I would like to once again emphasize that the true teach- ing of actual practice is the Mahamudra of attaining buddhahood.
Mahamudra involves the practice of winds, channels, and light drops. This is the approach for attaining buddhahood in this very body. It is not an empty theory. Sheng-yen Lu