Vajrasattva Purification Meditation
There is no negativity that cannot be purified. The purification process is basically a psychological one. As Lama Yeshe says, it is our mind (and on the basis of that our actions) that create the negativity and it is our mind that transforms it by creating positive energy. Although, in Buddhism, we rely on Buddha’s methods for the purification, it is not as if it is Buddha purifying us or forgiving us; we ourselves, as Lama says, do the work.
We purify by applying, the Four Opponent Powers.
Prostrate three times then sit on your cushion. Bring your mind to a quiet state. Start the purification with the first of the Four Opponent Powers.
1. The Power of Regret: Sincerely regret, from the depths of your heart, anything you have done to harm any living being, on this day, in this life, in all past lives. It is good to contemplate the various actions that you remember having done, and then to regret all the things as well that you don’t remember. The reason to regret is based on the understanding of karma: we cannot bear the thought of the future suffering that we ourselves will experience due to the harm we have done to others. We experience everything due to our past karma, our past actions; so having harmed others we ourselves will necessarily experience suffering in the future. And who wants that? We know from the present suffering that we do not want it, so the logic is, therefore, to clean up our act before the present seeds ripen as future suffering.
2. The Power of Reliance: There are two parts to this step: one, we rely upon the doctor whose medicine we will take to purify our deluded actions, in this case the Buddha. It’s not that we need Buddha to forgive us; rather, we rely upon him by using his methods to purify ourselves.
Two, we also rely upon others beings, the very beings we have harmed, by developing compassion for them. We make the wish to purify for their sakes: all those we have harmed in this life and in the past. Make a strong aspiration to do this practice of purification so that from now on we can only benefit others, not harm them.
Visualize Vajrasattva above the crown of your head. He is your guru manifesting in this aspect for your benefit: this is important. He is made of radiant, blissful white light. He’s sitting cross-legged on a white lotus, which although born out of mud is untainted by mud, just like our enlightened potential, which is born out of our delusions but is untained by them. His face is radiant and beautiful. His eyes are long (horizontally) and peaceful and full of love and compassion for us. His mouth is red and very sweet. His hair is black and held up in a top knot. His arms are crossed at his heart, left underneath the right; the left is holding a bell, which represents wisdom, the right is holding a vajra, which represents the indestructibility of compassion; their being crossed represents the union of these two, which symbolizes enlightenment itself: the development of infinite wisdom and infinite compassion. The main thing is to really feel the presence of this enlightened energy above your head, and to imagine that it is a mirror image of your own potential.
Now, say a prayer of refuge in Guru Vajrasattva:
To the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha
I go for refuge until I am enlightened.
By this practice of meditating on Guru Vajrasattva
May I reach Buddhahood so as to benefit all sentient beings!
Now visualize that light goes out of Guru Vajrasattva’s heart to all the ten directions and hooks the energy of the body, speech and mind of all the enlightened beings of the universe. This light comes back and dissolves into the heart of Guru Vajrasattva, who now embodies all their energy. He is even more brilliant and blissful than before.
3. The Power of the Antidote, which is the actual medicine, the doing of the actual practice of purification. There are three stages to the meditation, and it consists of visualization and recitation of mantra.
Purification of body: Guru Vajrasattva very compassionately sends powerful white nectar, like coming out of a hose very forcefully, from his heart. It enters your crown chakra and pours into your entire body, filling you completely. It keeps coming and it forces out of your lower orifices all the harm you have ever done to any living being with your body in the form of inky liquid, which pours out of you and disappears into space, not one atom left. Feel completely purified. Recite the mantra the whole time. (Until you learn it, just say it 3 times; when you know it easily, recite at least 7)
OM VAJRASATTVA SAMAYA MANU PALAYA / VAJRASATTVA DENO PATITA / DIDO MAY BHAWA / SUTO KAYO MAY BHAWA / SUPO KAYO MAY BHAWA / ANU RAKTO MAY BHAWA / SARWA SIDDHI MEMPAR YATSA / SARWA KARMA SU TSA MAY / TSITAM SHRIYAM KURU HUM / HA HA HA HA HO / BHAGAWAN / SARVA TATHAGATA / VAJRA MA MAY MU TSA / VAJRA BHAWA MAHA SAMAYA SATTVA / AH HUM PHAT!
Then feel so happy that your negativity of body is purified. Really imagine now that it is not possible that your body could do anything but benefit others; no way can it harm. Really want that.
Purification of speech: During the second stage of the visualization, Guru Vajrasattva very happily sends powerful nectar from his heart chakra again. It pours forcefully into your crown, filling your entire body, this time forcing up to the top of your body – like when water filling a dirty glass forces the junk to come to the top and to overflow – all the negativity of your speech: all the gossip and malicious speech and useless speech and lying and whatever. All is purified by this powerful nectar, leaving your body through the top orifices in the form of inky liquid, disappearing into space, not one atom left. Recite the mantra as you visualize this.
Again, feel so happy that your speech is now completely purified and that no way could you do anything but say something beneficial or useful or appropriate or kind to others. Really want that.
Purification of mind: Third, Guru Vajrasattva very compassionately sends this time light from his heart chakra. This powerful white light enters your crown chakra and fills your entire being, and just like when you turn on a light in a room the darkness is instantly dispelled, so too, just as the light hits your heart chakra, the darkness of the negativity of your mind, all the anger and violence and depression and resentment and jealousy and bitterness, etc., are all instantly dispelled, not one atom left. Recite the mantra as you visualize this.
Again, feel happy that all your delusions, which are the cause of the harm we do with our body and speech, are totally purified, gone, finished, and that no way is there any space in your heart now for anything but love and kindness and forgiveness and wisdom and bliss and compassion.
Purification of even the imprints of negativity of body, speech and mind: This time imagine that Guru Vajrasattva sends light again and it fills you completely and eradicates even the subtlest imprint of negative energy from your mind. (It’s like once you removed the garlic from a jar, you still need to remove the smell.) Again recite the mantra.
Now feel you are completely purified, and feel very happy. Guru Vajrasattva is happy too.
4. The Power of the Promise: The fourth step in the purification process, and such an important one, is the determination not to harm with our body, speech and mind again. Without this, we keep doing the same old things; determination to not harm again is like a beacon that guides our body, speech and mind in new directions. If you can actually vow to not do certain actions again for the rest of your life, fantastic. But be realistic. If you can vow not to do them again for a year, a month, a day, even a minute – whatever is realistic. Then in general vow to make the effort to avoid the others. This determination not to do again is what gives us the strength to turn ourselves around.
Then, very happy, Guru Vajrasattva – your own guru manifesting as the Buddha Vajrasattva solely for your benefit – melts into white light and absorbs into your through your crown chakra. This energy of white light comes to your heart chakra and merges with your own very subtle consciousness, becoming oneness with you. Meditate on this union.
At the end of the meditation session dedicate all the merit, the positive energy, you have created by doing this purification to all living beings (say whichever prayers below you would like to say):
Through the merits of these virtuous actions
May I quickly attain the state of a guru-buddha
And lead all living beings,without exception,
Into that enlightened state.
May the supreme jewel bodhichitta
That has not arisen,arise and grow;
And may that which has arisen not diminish
But increase more and more.
Just as the brave Manjushri and Samantabhadra,too,
Realized things as they are,
I,too,dedicate all these merits in the best way,
That I may follow their perfect example.
I dedicate all these roots of virtue
With the dedication praised as the best
By the victorious ones thus gone of the three times,
So I might perform good works.
I dedicate whatever virtues I have ever collected
For the benefit of the teachings and of all
And in particular,for the essential teachings
Of venerable Losang Dragpa to shine forever.
In the land encircled by snow mountains
You are the source of all happiness and good;
All-powerful Chenrezig,Tenzin Gyatso,
Please remain until samsara ends.
You are Avalokiteshvara, great treasure of
compassion not aimed at true existence,
And Manjushri, master of flawless wisdom,
As well as Vajrapani, destroyer of hordes of demons
Tsong Khapa, crown jewel of the sages of the land of snows,
Losang Dragpa, at your feet I make requests.
May we not arise heresy even for a second
In the actions of the glorious guru.
May we regard whatever actions are done as pure.
[With this devotion ] may we receive the blessings
of the guru in our hearts.
In all my lives,through the victorious one,Lama Tsong Khapa,
Acting in person as the Mahayana guru,
May I never turn aside for even an instant
From the excellent path praised by the victorious ones.
In whatever way you appear,glorious guru,
With whatever retinue,lifespan,and pure land,
Whatever noble and holy name you take,
May I and others attain only these.
The four types of karmic results that the Four Opponent Powers purify:
1. The power of regret purifies the experience similar to the cause, which, let’s say for killing, is to get killed, to die young or to get sick.
2. The power of reliance, Refuge and bodhicitta purify the environment result, which for killing is living in a place where the food and medicine are not conducive to good health.
3. The power of the antidote, in this case the visualization and recitation of mantras – or whatever action one does as the actual antidote – purifies the throwing karma that causes birth in the lower realms.
4. The power of the promise or determination not to do again purifies the action similar to the cause, which in a sense is the worst result: it’s the habit to keep killing, which propels one back into the lower realms.