Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
The second power is the power of deep, intense remorse for one's past actions. If you had swallowed a virulent poison without realising it, you would certainly feel desperate when you found out you were going to die. Similarly, up to now you have not been aware of the devastating power that has accumulated from the negative actions you have committed throughout many past lives. Today, realising that these negative actions are the very cause of your wandering in samsara and of all your suffering, you feel a strong regret at having acted so carelessly. If you did not feel this regret, you would simply continue to accumulate negative actions and perpetuate your suffering. But now you realise that you need to purify yourself, so you turn to Vajrasattva to request the means to do so.
Why is it Vajrasattva that we choose for this purification? When he vowed to achieve enlightenment for the sake of all beings, he made this wish: "When I become a fully enlightened Buddha, may all beings be purified of their obscurations, their ignorance and their negative actions simply by hearing my name, seeing my form, thinking of me, or reciting the mantra that contains my name."
Regret alone is not enough: we have to put into action the means for purifying ourselves. This is done through the power of the antidote. Direct your whole mind towards Vajrasattva, confident that, since he is the all-encompassing sovereign of all mandalas, the union of all the Buddhas, he has the power to purify your obscurations. Visualise Vajrasattva above your head as previously described, with a moon disc in his heart centre, upon which is a white letter HUNG surrounded by the hundred-syllable mantra. Recite:
Ah! On the crown of my head, on a lotus and moon,
Sits Guru Vajrasattva in union with his consort.
From the mantra in his heart falls a stream of nectar,
Which purifies illness, harmful influences, negative actions and defilements.
Then recite the hundred-syllable mantra as many times as you can. ( I will be posting this in the next few weeks.) While reciting, generate strong devotion towards Vajrasattva, thinking, "Because of my past actions in this life and in all my previous lives, I am in this miserable situation in samsara. Grant your blessings now so that I can purify myself, or I will continue to circle in samsara forever."
This fervent supplication, offered with hands folded and tears of devotion in your eyes, invokes the wisdom mind of Vajrasattva to purify your negative actions. By the force of your prayer, from the letter HUNG in Vajrasattva's heart, luminous nectar starts to flow, containing all his wisdom, loving-kindness and power. This nectar completely fills the bodies of Vajrasattva and his consort and flows out from the point of their union, from their toes and from all the pores of their bodies into the thousand-petalled lotus upon which Vajrasattva is sitting above the crown of your head, and down through its stem, the end of which penetrates the opening in the top of your head, the Brahma aperture. Through this aperture the nectar descends and fills your body, completely washing away all your obscurations and impurities, which pour forth from all the pores and apertures of your body. Your illnesses come out in the form of pus and blood, negative influences in the form of insects, scorpions, and snakes, and mental obscurations as dark, smoky liquid. The cleansing stream of nectar is so powerful that it washes away all your obscurations like a river in flood carrying away all the trees and rocks in a valley. As these obscurations flow out of your body, the earth below you opens, down to seven levels below the surface. There, in the form of a red bull with mouth gaping open, is Yama, the Lord of Death. The dirty liquid enters his mouth, and, as he swallows it, turns into nectar.
Now all your karmic debts, your past actions, have been totally purified and transformed into wisdom. Similarly, not only is your body purified, but even the ordinary aggregates and elements - your flesh, blood, bones and skin - are no longer gross material substances; they become transparent, as if made of light. You are completely clear and luminous inside and out. Then you consider that this red bull, and all those to whom you have past karmic debts, are completely satisfied. The earth beneath you closes again and you are completely purified, your body pure and transparent like crystal.
We are almost ready to do our first purification together. Next week will conclude the notes then I will post the purification practice. I would like to then invite all of you to meet in the chatroom adn discuss our experiences and do one collectively. Namaste', in metta!