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Vajrasattva as Yidam: the most powerful healing and purification method in Vajrayana Buddhism is also a profound Meditational Deity

Vajrasattva — like all Buddhist deities — defies the notion of ego. Therefore, there is no “who” and there is no “what.” It will be mentioned that Vajrasattva, in final actuality is no totally different from another Buddha. It will be mentioned, in relative actuality, that Vajrasattva can purify all our defilements, obscurations and obstacles. (See the video educating beneath on purification strategies from Venerable Zasep Rinpoche.)

It can also be mentioned that Vajrasattva is none aside from ourselves, visualized as a pure Buddha. It will be mentioned that Vajrasattva is an emanation of Akshobya — or of Vajradhara, or of Samantabhadra. All of those are true at the similar time and none of them actually outline Vajrasattva. In some ways, he is the final expression of the thought of Yidam — a private and efficient meditational deity past ego, self, and illusory actuality.

EVENT NOTICE: Don’t miss a uncommon alternative for Zoom empowerment of Vajrasattva follow by Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, streamed reside from Gaden Choling on Fri 9 Dec 2022 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Registration is nonetheless open right here>>

Typically, after we take empowerment into a follow that pursuits us, we attend teachings on follow. Here, Venerable Zasep Rinpoche is educating at Gaden Choling. For a schedule of December occasions (2022) see>>

In Tibetan Buddhism, Vajrasattva’s position as the “great purifier” is top-of-mind — a needed first step in Buddhist follow, engaged on the unfavourable karmas and obstacles that obscure our Buddha Nature. It is one among the core “foundation” practices of Vajrayana. Yet, Vajrasattva follow is rather more than this.

“Vajrasattva is a manifestation of Buddha Conquerer Vajradhara and his practice is one of the most powerful healing and purification techniques in Vajrayana Buddhism.” — Venerable Zasep Rinpoche


All Buddhist practices may in the end be described by the purpose “purification of the five aggregates” — via numerous types of meditation and virtues (actions and ideas.) Purification is a core idea.

[Several teaching and mantra videos below.]

Buddha Weekly Vajrasattva visualization Buddhism
From Buddha Weekly’s Vajrasattva visualization video (embedded beneath) — one among the many “yogas” we have interaction in with our Yidam follow is self-generation as our chosen Buddha kind.

Vajrasattva meditation and mantra is the best-known of the purification practices in Tibetan Buddhism — practices that psychologist Robert Preece in his ebook, The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra, demonstrated are based mostly on sound psychological ideas:

“The primary obscuration to be purified is dualistic thinking and its consequences… Increasingly, our health, both physical and psychological, is affected by the environments in which we live and work. The intensity of emotional stress from work will invariably leave a residue within our nervous systems… Healing and purification visualizations are usually of light and blissful nectar washing through the body… this gradually cleanses, heals or purifies…”

Video documentary and 100-Syllable mantra Vajrasattva and explaining the which means of the mantra:


When Shakyamuni Buddha sat underneath the Bodhi tree, in search of Enlightenment, the sutras document the many issues he visualized as he sat. Many of those, such as Mara’s “attack” will be seen as defilements being purified — a core follow in Buddhism. Foundation follow in Buddhism is typically considered as the means of purifying obstacles and misconceptions and unfavourable karmas, and producing advantage. Ultimately, even producing advantage is a purification follow itself.


Buddha Weekly vg vajrasattva Buddhism
Vajrasattva is visualized as a lovely glowing deity made of sunshine.



Although all Buddhist practices will be considered as “purifying”, Vajrayana visualization practices and mantra are notably efficient, incorporating meditation that absolutely engages all of Body (breath and posture), Speech (mantra), and Mind (visualization). [Full video teaching on Purification from Venerable Zasep Rinpoche below.]

Why can we describe purification practices as healing practices? Ultimately, the purification of negativities and obstacles is the most excellent of healing practices. It is mentioned that our defilements and unfavourable karmas are the explanation for our struggling, together with sickness.

Khenpo Sodargye chants the 100 Syllable Mantra of Vajrasattva:

Vajrasattva, the nice air purifier

Vajrasattva is one among the earliest practices in Vajrayana Buddhism and is also central to Shingon Buddhism. Vajrasattva is a lovely manifestation of Vajradhara (in the dKar-hGya-pa and DGel-lugs-pa faculties of Vajrayana) or of Samantabadra (in the older faculties and Shingon.). Vajradhara and Samatabadra are two names for the similar idea — the final Dharmakaya side of Buddha.

“According to Tantra, one among the most powerful purifications is meditations on Vajrasattva. Recite the mantra of Vajrasattva, the 100-syllable mantra. If you don’t have initiation, you possibly can say the mantra, no drawback, you possibly can visualize Vajrasattva in entrance of you. [Or] Above your crown, as nicely.’ — H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche (Video educating beneath.)


Purifying psychological defilements and dangerous karma

The 5 aggregates [see below] are the very issues that make up the sentient being. Obstacles and incorrect perceptions of the true nature of actuality forestall us from knowledge — and in the end — Enlightenment. For this cause, it might be argued that purification in all its types is the important and most necessary Buddhist follow. This can take many types: aware meditation, perception meditation, visualized and deity meditations, mantra — or in the end all of those, which characterize Body (mindfulness), Mind (perception and visualization) and Speech (mantra.)


Buddha Weekly vajrasattva yabyum Buddhism
Advanced visualizations of Vajrasattva embrace his consort, representing the Wisdom of Emptiness.


Purification is the “ultimate” treatment. Psychological remedies usually embrace components of “confronting and purifying” unfavourable previous trauma. The precept, in Buddhist phrases, is comparable. Our “selves” — in truth, our very existence— is considered in phrases of aggregates. To keep away from the impure impediment of “ego-clinging” we’re taught that each one beings are made up of “five aggregates” – none of which include the “I” or “self.” Each of those aggregates can acquire “impurities” — which will be considered as fallacious views and illusory. Purification follow helps us meditate on these impurities, and clear the incorrect perceptions from our confused mindstreams.

Those aggregates (“Skandhas” in Sanskrit) are:

  1. Form: or matter (in Sanskrit “rupa” and Tibetan “gzugs”): our materials kind or physique
  2. Sensation: or feeling (Sansktrit “vedana and Tibetan “tshor-ba”): sensory experiences
  3. Perceptions: or how we comprehend and course of issues (Sankrit “sanna” or Tibetan “du-shes”): usually these perceptions result in labels, that are an impediment.
  4. Mental Formations: conditioning and karmic actions (good or dangerous) (Sanskrit “samskara” and Tibetan “du-byed”): the psychological imprints and reactions that trigger us to act.
  5. Consciousness: consciousness and discrimination (avoiding the phrase “self-awareness” Sanskrit “Vijnana” and Tibetan “rnam-par-shes-pa”): there are six sorts of consciousness.

A video educating on purification from Venerable Zasep Rinpoche:



Who is Vajrasattva?



Buddha Weekly Vajrasattva heart wheel visualization web copy Buddhism
Vajrasattva with mantra wheel visualization at his coronary heart. He sits on a lotus and radiates gentle which fills us with purifying nectar.


Perhaps, what defines Vajrasttva is the end result. Vajrasattva, for a lot of centuries, has been the “go-to” follow for Buddhists for purification practices. Since most of our progress in Buddhism depends on purification, it will be truthful to say that in Vajrayana Buddhism, Vajrasattva follow is of pre-eminent significance. It is usually the first deity practiced by college students. In basis practices, for Tibetan Buddhism, many colleges have a requirement that the scholar performs 100,000 mantras of Vajrasattva; which is no small feat given the size of the mantra (which, after all, must be first dedicated to reminiscence.)

What makes the follow so excellent?

We know we will depend on the Vajrasattva follow due to a lineage of masters who’ve used the follow for 1000’s of years — a lot of whom achieved nice insights on the path. But what makes it so profoundly efficient?


Buddha Weekly Vajrasattva light enters to purify Buddhism
We visualize Vajrasattva’s purifying gentle enters the crown of our heads.


Vajrasattva Mantra

Vajasattva incorporates meditation of thoughts, physique, and speech. Our thoughts is engaged by visualization of the lovely deity Vajrasattva — the perfected ultimate of an Enlightened being. If we follow deeper, we visualize Vajrasattva together with his consort, the Wisdom mom. We visualize purifying gentle from Vajrasattva getting into the crown of our heads and filling us. We have interaction physique with mudra, posture (sitting place) and breath. We have interaction speech with the sacred Sanskrit 100-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva:
















Buddha Weekly Vajrasatva mantra visualized surrounding Hum syllable Buddhism
In superior Vajrasattva follow, we visualize the full 100-syllable mantra in Tibetan characters surrounding the seed syllable Hum, emitting purifying gentle and nectar from the coronary heart of Vajrasattva.


Or, we’d pronounce it in the widespread Tibetan pronunciation (for instance, Benza as an alternative of Vajra), if our trainer gave it to us in this type:













Buddha Weekly vajrasattva lg Buddhism
A thangka of Vajrasattva by Jampay Dorje. See our earlier story on Jampay Dorje, the thanka artist>>


What does the mantra imply?

The mantra has been translated in numerous methods, nevertheless it is extra necessary to deal with the which means of the mantra. In a educating on Vajrasattva mediation and recitation, Lati Rinpoche defined the which means this fashion:

OM = syllable of the vajra physique (It is spelled A-U-M, which characterize the physique, speech and thoughts of the
VAJRA = indivisible nature, the inseparability of knowledge and bliss.
SATTVA = the being who has the knowledge of inseparable bliss and vacancy.
SAMAYA MANU PALAYA = maintain me by the dedication (shield my dedication)
VAJRASATTVA TVENO PATISHTA = O Vajrasattva, could I obtain you, could I turn out to be nearer to you
(trigger me to be supported by you)
DRIDHO ME BHAVA = could this achievement be stabilized (stay firmly with me)
SUTOSHKYO ME BHAVA = could your nature turn out to be happy (could you be happy with me)
SUPOSHKYO ME BHAVA = could you make me into the nature of ardour (could you be pleased with me)
ANURAKTO ME BHAVA = could you make me the victor (have affection for me)
SARVA SIDDHI ME PRAYACCHA = grant me all the powerful attainments
SARVA KARMA SUCHAME = grant me all the actions (make all my actions good)
CITTTAM SHRIYAM KURU = could your glory abide inside my coronary heart (make my thoughts most superb)
HUM = (represents primordial consciousness)
HA HA HA HA HO = I shall delight in the powerful attainments and in all the actions (the 5 sorts of
BHAGAVAN SARVA TATHAGATA = calling out to all the Buddhas by title
MAME MUNCHA = don’t half from me (don’t abandon me)
VAJRA BHAVA = make me the one who can maintain a vajra
MAHA SAMAYA SATTVA = name to Vajrasattva by saying, “O One with the great commitment.” The
significance of calling out like this is to say, “Just as I have requested, may this request be granted.”
AH = syllable of the vajra speech (exhibits the empty nature of all phenomena. The important perform of
Buddhas’ speech is to show that phenomena lack inherent existence.)
HUM = (blissful state of Vajrasattva’s knowledge)
PHAT = destroy all the delusions and sufferings.

Melodic chanting of Vajrasattva Mantra video:

The mechanics of the follow

With most Buddhist meditations there is a cause for each method. This follow is profoundly efficient by advantage of its complicated simplicity. The complexity of memorizing a 100-syllable mantra, then reciting it with full focus whereas visualizing not solely a excellent Buddha however also the mantra script and purifying gentle — all the whereas protecting our physique relaxed and aware, with excellent respiratory. Yet, as soon as mastered, it is one among the less complicated practices. Complex, but easy.

Many lecturers inform their college students Vajrasattva follow is all they want. After all, most lay Buddhists work day jobs and have household lives, so endeavor Vajrasattva follow is already a main — but necessary — endeavor. But the important cause a trainer would possibly say “Vajrasattva is all you need” is as a result of it may be thought-about a full and profound follow.


Vajrasattva visualized as a physique of purifying gentle.


The Four Opponent Powers

Beyond the perfection of a follow involving all three of Body, Speech and Mind, Varjasattva follow also consists of the profound “Four Opponent Powers”:

  • The Power of Dependence: Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

  • The Power of Regret: recalling all of our unfavourable actions in the previous motivated by ignorance, attachment or aversion.

  • The Power of Remedy: the mantra and visualization and psychological deal with purification.

  • The Power of  Restraint: or endeavor to chorus from creating unfavourable karma (actions) in future.

When we follow Vajrasattva, as we visualize and chant mantras, we meditate on the 4 opponent powers. We meditate on the significance of our refuge in the Three Jewels — our true safety. We think about all the issues we remorse, and we deal with (visualize) our regrets being purifying by the wondrous nectar or white gentle of Vajrasattva. We then make a promise to ourselves to chorus from unfavourable karmas once more — as a result of we all know this chance to follow Dharma in this human life is so treasured.


Clear Light body
Visualize your physique full of white purifying gentle. See your negativities, the darkness and stains, absolutely enveloped and eradicated by the pure gentle of Vajrasattva. If you have got a deity follow, visualize the seed deity’s syllable at your coronary heart (comply with directions of your individual trainer on this.)


Visualizing the Remedy

When we visualize the energy of Remedy — whereas chanting mantras and visualizing the gentle and deity — we deal with the gentle or nectar filling our our bodies. Usually, the lecturers instruct us to visualise. Lati Rinpoche defined it this fashion, in a educating on the Vajrasattva follow:

“According to oral directions, visualize the bodily negativities are purged throughout the visualization expelling downwards, the negativities of the speech whereas expelling upwards, the negativities of thoughts whereas expelling spontaneously. The negativities of physique, speech and thoughts and their imprints are expelled by doing all three of the above visualization concurrently. If you meditate like this, then divide the 21 recitations of the mantra into teams of 5 every: 5 repetitions for expelling downward, 5 for expelling upward, 5 for expelling spontaneously and 5 for all three concurrently. Recite the mantra as soon as extra to make 21. Another approach is to rely seven every for the first three visualizations to make 21, with out doing the three visualizations concurrently.

“There are different ways to do it. You can choose. There are many visualizations that can be done during the Vajrasattva meditation and recitation. At the end of however many mantras you recite, develop the strong conviction, “I have actually purified all negativities.” It’s necessary to generate this conviction as a result of having lingering doubts about whether or not the negativities have truly been purified is dangerous.

“If this purification practice is undertaken properly, with all the four opponents powers complete, then there is no reason why you should not be able to purify the negativities.”

For a visualization meant for meditators who don’t but have Vajrasattva empowerment, see the final part with a description by Venerable Zasep Rinpoche (or watch the embedded film above.)

Mantra chanting of 100-syllable mantra:

Is initiation needed?

For Vajrasattva, initiation is not needed, as lengthy as you don’t visualize your self as Vajrasattva. Until you discover a trainer who has lineage and can supply empowerment, it is fairly efficient and permissible to follow Vajrasattva visualization and mantra the place you visualize the deity both in entrance of you or on prime of your head, with nectar or purifying gentle flowing into you.”  Venerable Zasep Rinpoche defined, “According to Tantra, one of the most powerful purifications is meditations on Vajrasattva. Recite the mantra of Vajrasattva, the 100-syllable mantra [mantra below transcript]. If you don’t have initiation, you can say the mantra, no problem, you can visualize Vajrasattva in front of you. [Or] Above your crown, as well.”


Buddha Weekly Vajrasattva Mantra Buddhism
Vajrasattva picture and mantra in Sanskrit.


Ideally, although, empowerment not solely makes the follow extra profound and efficient, it helps with the transformative understanding of Emptiness and ego-lessness. If we’ve got empowerment, we will visualize ourselves as a deity  — serving to us perceive the true nature of actuality. Intellectually, we’d perceive the idea of Emptiness, however that’s not the similar as growing a realization derived from actual, empowered follow.

Teaching on the Vajrasattva Mantra at Sravasti Abbey:

Visualization for the uninitiated

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche gives this simplified visualization (or hearken to the embedded video above):

“Imagine — as you say the mantra — think about purifying nectar coming from the coronary heart of Vajrasattva, and the nectar enters via your your crown [of your head] and enters into your physique, first purifying the physique. The nectar flowing down via the physique. And as if flows down it purifies all the bodily karmas: illness, illness, unwholesome karmas of the previous, unwholesome karmas of the our bodies are purified. Say the mantra, shall we say 21 occasions.
Then you do the purification once more, this time purifying the speech, the speech karmas. This time, the nectar comes down from the coronary heart of Vajrasattva dissolves into you, into your physique, and slowly fills up your physique, and then [you visualize] the unwholesome karmas of the speech popping out from the mouth. They are expelled. Gone. Imagine your speech karma is purified.

The third time, nectar comes down from Vajrasattva’s coronary heart, dissolving into you immediately into your coronary heart, and then you definitely thoughts is purified, psychological karmas such as concern, attachment, ignorance, and confusion disappear, are dispersed. Disappeared straight out of your coronary heart. This is very powerful.

Say the mantra, the 100-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva, and then think about Vajrasattva turning into smaller and smaller getting into via your crown and dissolving into your coronary heart. Imagine Vajrasattva is all the time with you as a private yidam deity. This is very powerful option to purify your physique, speech and thoughts. There are different purifications, however I feel this is adequate for the newbie.”

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