Notes on Three Herukas

January 28th 2009

Here are some remarks Trungpa Rinpoche made about Amrita, the fifth logos, also known as Chemchok Heruka [Supreme Among The Herukas] during his seminary teachings in 1973 – 1975:

“In the fifth Logos, the basic idea is to intoxicate hesitations by providing greater. The phenomenal world and its container, which is mind, can be intoxicated completely. Neurosis can be intoxicated into wisdom; rightness and wrongness can be intoxicated into nothingness; and all six realms can be intoxicated into the mandala of the five buddha families.”*

When speaking of ‘rightness and wrongness’ being intoxicated into nothingness, Trungpa Rinpoche is talking about our ideas of being right or wrong about something being intoxicated, or transformed, by going beyond our habitual patterns. He most definitely is not talking about abandoning our fundamental sanity or abandoning benefiting others. One is getting drunk through wisdom.

I had the chance to meet again with Jigme Rinpoche this evening, and I am starting to buckle under the wealth of insight and information he drops on me during each conversation. During one part of the interview I learned a bit more about the preceding logos, Yangdak enlightened mind (very similar to Chakrasamvara practice in the Kagyu tradition) and what lies ahead, Vajrakilaya, enlightened action, one of the most popular practices in the Nyingma. Jigme Rinpoche told me the story of Padmasambhava’s retreat at Parpeng, Nepal prior to his arrival in Tibet. I will condense my notes of this part of the conversation into what follows, although after the transcript is reviewed I will post that too.

Parpeng is now home to a great many retreat centers including the new Ripa monastery. I visited the Asura Cave, Padmasambhava’s practice place, many years ago. It has a nunnery enclosing it on the hillside. The cave is small and has a powerful, weighty feeling inside of it. One feels impervious. Outside the entrance is the impression of Padmasambhava’s hand print in solid rock.

While at Parpeng, Padmasambhava became accomplished in Yangdak while practicing in the cave, however he felt that the Vajrakilaya practice was also necessary. First the foundation of peace and happiness were laid by the Yangdak practice, but obstacles to foundation had to be overcome in order to establish that peace. At that time there was a huge epidemic in nearby Kathmandu. When Padmasambhava did the Vajrakilaya practice the epidemic ended. From that experience Padmasambhava saw that Vajrakilaya and Yangdak could be brought together and so he wrote a practice called Yangphur Dragma, The Combined Yangdak-Kilaya. The terma for this combination practice was discovered by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgon Kongtrul’s guru and friend. It is part of the Yangdak section of the Rinchen Terdzo.

On a contemplatively practical note, the western chopons here are making lists of ritual objects to acquire for whatever empowerments or practices that might come our way in the future. Given the variety of implements I have seen, and the contents of the choppon’s room here at Padmasambhava Vihar (the new name for the monastery), this is probably a big list. The main list makers seem to be Kristine McCutcheon from the laity, and Jinpa from Gampo Abbey. They exchanged a knowing glance yesterday at the appearance of appearance of new kind of vase during one of the empowerments.
I thought it might be good to say something about how little of this blog is me, my mind, or inspiration. I’ve been receiving some very sweet complements from people and it’s best to restate that writing this blog was the inspiration of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. It’s not something I ever would have thought of doing.

That being said I have to add that the good ideas in the blog aren’t really mine because the Sakyong and Jigme Rinpoche have met with me often, answered a lot of questions, and sketched out what might be best to cover. The details of what is being written have come from various books I’ve read, teachings I have heard, and conversations with knowledgeable people I’ve met over the years. About all I can take credit for are descriptions of food I didn’t cook, and the weather which arises from a process I don’t really understand. And mistakes. I can claim responsibility for the mistakes in the blog.

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* This material has been compiled and excerpted by Judy Lief from the Root Text Project Volume III: Vajrayana. It is intended for a one-time limited use only, by the Walker Blaine blog on the Rinchen Terdzö Abhisheka. Sources: 1973/1975 Vajradhatu Seminary Transcripts.
© 2008 Diana J. Mukpo

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