Annually at Mipham Shedra, Lhoppön Rinpoche guides us in the practice of “Vajrakilaya” before the Tibetan New Year, to purify the obstacles, delusion and negativity that can sometimes arise in the lives of Dharma practitioners. This purification enables students to enter the upcoming year cleansed, refreshed, and renewed.
In 2024, Vajrakilaya practice is particularly crucial, as Mipham Shedra begins the profound and long-awaited Shedra topic of the Guhyagarbha Tantra. Studying this tantra represents an extremely important commitment. Having the support of Vajrakilaya in removing the obstacles which can arise in the face of such a commitment is extremely beneficial. All practitioners should know full well the benefits and pitfalls of approaching this indispensable Tantra, and eagerly attend the upcoming Vajrakilaya Retreat.
As a wrathful Heruka full of compassion who embodies the “enlightened activity of the mind” of all of the Buddhas, Vajrakilaya is at the core of the Vajrayana tradition. Vajrakilaya destroys energies that are hostile to compassion, and purifies pollution which may prevent practitioners from advancing in their meditation practice.
In the tantric system of the Nyingma tradition, there are three principle meditational deities; Phurba, or Vajrakilaya, is one of these three. Vajrakilaya is practiced by followers of all of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Both the 13th Dalai Lama, and H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama treasure Vajrakilaya as their yidam deity.
Vajrakilaya, one of eight Heruka teachers inseparable from primordial Buddha, Samantabhadra, taught the teachings of the Sadhanas of Kagyé. These teachings were written in scripts and placed in eight caskets. One of those, a turquoise casket containing the “Tantra of the Phurba,” was given to Vajra master, Padmasambhava at the Deché Tsekpa Stupa, in the presence of the great Dakini, Lékye Wangmo. Padmasambhava was instructed to practice these teachings and transmit them to others.
From Padmasambhava’s original transmission of Vajrakilaya instructions, three traditions resulted. Our specifc practice at Mipham Shedra comes from the “Tradition of Jomo,” from Padmasambhava’s Tibetan consort, Yeshe Tsogyal. The “Tradition of Jomo” was found in a treasure buried by Yeshe Tsogyal and later discovered by tertön, Ratna Lingpa.
Vajrakilaya is known in the West by Tibetan Buddhist practitioners, however the sadhana is complex, and the details crucial for correct understanding. Before Losar, Lhoppön Rinpoche offers classes and the crucial Vajrakilaya Retreat on the practice of Vajrakilaya. These events prepares the Mipham Shedra Sangha and all devoted practitioners!to practice with greater understanding. We invite you to join us in these preparatory classes, and in the practice of Vajrakilaya leading up to both Losar and the Guhyagharba Tantra course.
May all obstacles be removed, and may all sentient beings be blessed by our Dharma practice.
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