Vajrasattva Purification

From Ven. Thubten Chodron's Pearl of Wisdom, Book II
(used with permission)


VajrasattvaVisualize about four inches above your head an open white lotus upon which is a moon disc. Vajrasattva is seated upon this. He is white, translucent and adorned with beautiful ornaments and clothes of celestial silk. His two hands are crossed at his heart; the right holds a vajra, symbolic of great bliss; his left holds a bell, symbolic of the wisdom of emptiness. The vajra and bell together signify his attainment of the enlightened state, the inseparable unity of the wisdom and form bodies. At his heart is a moon disc with the seed-syllable HUM at its center and the letters of Vajrasattva's hundred-syllable mantra standing clockwise around its edge.

Refuge and Generating Bodhicitta (three times)

    I take refuge in the Three Jewels.
    I will liberate all sentient beings and lead them to enlightenment.
    Thus, I will perfectly generate the mind dedicated to attaining
    enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.

The Power of Regret

Recollect, with deep regret, the specific negativities you have created. Then meditate deeply on the meaning of the following:
    "The negative karma I have accumulated from beginningless time is as extensive as the ocean. Although I know that each negative action leads to countless eons of suffering, it seems that I am constantly striving to create nothing but negative actions. Even though I try to avoid non-virtue and practice positive acts, day and night without respite, negativities and moral downfalls come to me like rainfall. I lack the ability to purify these faults so that no trace of them remains. With these negative imprints still in my mind, I could suddenly die and find myself falling to an unfortunate rebirth. What can I do? Please Vajrasattva, with your great compassion, guide me from such misery!"

The Power of Remedial Action

From the HUM at Vajrasattva's heart, light radiates in all directions, requesting the Buddhas to bestow their blessings. They accept the request and send white rays of light and nectar, the essence of which is the knowledge of their body, speech and mind. The light and nectar absorb into the HUM and the letters of the mantra at Vajrasattva's heart. They then fill his whole body completely, enhancing the magnificence of his appearance and increasing the brilliance of the mantra.

While reciting the mantra, visualize that white rays of light and nectar stream continuously from the HUM and mantra at Vajrasattva's heart. They flow down through the crown of your head and fill every cell of your body and mind with infinite bliss. Recite the mantra at least 21 times or more, if possible.

   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 mepar yatsa - sarwa karma su tsa may - tsitam shriyam kuru hum - ha ha ha ha ho - bhagawan - sarwa tatagata - vajra ma may mu tsa - vajra bhawa maha samaya sattva - ah hum pey   

If you have not yet memorized the long mantra, or if you are pressed for time, you may recite the short mantra at least 28 times.

   om vajrasattva hum   

While reciting either of the mantras, continue to visualize the flow of light and nectar and perform the following four visualizations alternately.

Purification of Body

Your disturbing attitudes and negativities in general and particularly those of the body, take the form of black ink. Sickness takes the form of pus and blood and afflictions caused by spirits appear in the form of scorpions, snakes, frogs and crabs. Flushed out by the light and nectar, they all leave your body through the lower openings, like filthy liquid flowing down a drain pipe. Feel completely empty of these problems and negativities; they no longer exist anywhere.

Purification of Speech

Your disturbing attitudes and imprints of negativities of speech take the form of liquid tar. The light and nectar fill your body as water fills a dirty glass: the negativities, like the dirt, rise to the top and flow out through the upper openings of your body: your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, etc. Feel completely empty of these problems; they no longer exist.

Purification of the Mind

Your disturbing attitudes and the imprints of mental negativities appear as darkness at your heart. When struck by the forceful stream of light and nectar, the darkness completely vanishes. It is like turning a light on in a room: the darkness does not go anywhere, it simply ceases to exist. Feel that you are completely empty of all these problems; they are non-existent.

Simultaneous Purification

Do the three above visualizations simultaneously. This sweeps away the subtle obscurations that prevent you from seeing correctly all that exists. Feel completely free of these obscurations.

The Power of the Promise

After reciting the mantra and doing the visualizations, make the following promise to Vajrasattva, specifying a period of time for which you intend to keep it:

    "I shall not create these negative actions from now until ______."
Vajrasattva is extremely pleased and says, "My spiritual child of the essence, all your negativities, obscurations and degenerated vows have been completely purified."

With delight, Vajrasattva melts into light and dissolves into you. Your body, speech and mind become inseparably one with Vajrasattva's holy body, speech and mind. Concentrate on this.


    Due to this merit may I soon
    Attain the enlightened state of Vajrasattva,
    That I may be able to liberate
    All sentient beings from their suffering.

    May the precious bodhi mind
    Not yet born arise and grow.
    May that born have no decline,
    But increase forever more.

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