How to be a Vajrayana Yogi for beginners?

1. How to be a Vajrayana Yogi for beginners? 

I have an immense fondness for Shakyamuni Buddha for various reasons, one of which is his adaptability.

Throughout human history, Buddha Shakyamuni could be considered the legend of the Guru, demonstrating his compassion and wisdom towards all living beings by sharing countless techniques and methods to attain absolute enlightenment depending on the abilities of the beings.

2. The moment Buddha comes, they can't be known. 

According to a saying, when the Sun appears, even the brightest Stars cannot shine. Similarly, when Buddha is present, the existence of Gods becomes insignificant.

3. Devotion is the root of Buddha's Dharma.

Before we dive into this article, let us bow to the Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

4. Everything starts with an Admiration.

As a novice in Buddhism, I have great admiration for Buddhist Yogis, who are my forefathers, ranging from Buddha Shakyamuni to contemporary Buddhist Yogis.

5. Humbleness is the attitude of Ancestors.

Despite my lack of qualifications, I feel compelled even to think about writing on this profound topic of Buddhist Tantra. I agree that it is absolutely out of my league. But as Buddha says, intention is the key to every action, so may this benefit me and fellow beginners like me.

6. Why is Vajrayana called Secret-yana?

The Tantrayana or Mantrayana path is also referred to as Vajrayana, and it is known as Sang Ngag Dorje Tekpa in Tibetan. In Tibetan, Sang means Secret or hide, and Ngag means Mantra. Tekpa means Yana, and Yana means vehicle or path. According to a master, the reason why Vajrayana is considered a secret is not because there is something to be concealed but because not everyone can comprehend it without proper step-by-step instruction.

7. What is the origin of Vajrayana?

Several accounts of the history of Vajrayana exist due to the multitude of esteemed Buddhist Scholars. According to one version, the esteemed Vajrayana Yogi culture emerged in India during the era of Buddha when a King requested to learn Buddha's wisdom in order to follow the path of truth and achieve enlightenment.

Buddha advised the King to abandon his palace, statues, and wives and embrace monkhood.

8. The King said, "I do not want to leave the palace, yet I still seek enlightenment."

Although I am a king and have queens, I have a desire to attain enlightenment through your teachings, O Buddha. However, I do not want to leave the palace, nor do I want to resign from my position. I trust that you, being the Buddha, have a path for me to follow.

9. Buddha's wisdom is beyond the vastness of space.

Buddha taught the Vajrayana path to a King in a unique way called Tantra. He used the form of Vajradhara Buddha (also known as Dorje Chang in Tibetan).

The King loved the teachings, practiced them, and eventually became enlightened. He shared these unique teachings with many other people who also wanted to learn. Now, these teachings are all around the world. Buddha's compassion surpasses the depth of the ocean, while his wisdom extends beyond the vastness of space.

Maha Siddha Saraha by Dakinis Art

Image: Maha Siddha Saraha by Dakinis Art

10. Why Vajrayana path is treasured?

The Vajrayana path is an excellent gift from Buddha to the world. Buddha stated that out of the thousand Buddhas who will arrive in our world, only four will impart the knowledge of the Vajrayana path. This makes the Vajrayana path treasured.

11. Why Vajrayana is Sublime? 

In contrast to other spiritual paths, the Vajrayana path utilizes attachments, anger, and desire as essential components for practicing and advancing. Therefore, rather than letting go of these emotions, we rely on them to progress along the path.

12. Why is Vajrayana beautiful?

According to Lama Marpa, Guru of Milarepa, if wisdom is considered to be a fire, then attachments, anger, and desire can be compared to wood. The quality of the fire is directly proportional to the quantity of timber, which is what makes Vajrayana so beautiful. The Mantra vehicle is exceptionally exquisite and suitable for those with keen abilities.

13. What are the three steps for beginner yogi Vajrayana's admiration?

In my personal experience, reading the biographies of great Yogis is genuinely inspiring. It is so Romantic the way they seek Dharma, and it becomes so Emotional when they overcome hardship practice in the high mountains all their own. And when they finally reach the state of outstanding achievement, the songs they sing and the unbelievable things they do are so Blissful! It's fantastic to see all the amazing things that these Himalayan Yogis have achieved and admire us to be like them, 'The Beautiful Ones".

14. Engaging with Buddhist literature that inspires.

As a beginner, my initial recommended steps to increase knowledge are by reading Buddhist literature and watching videos about developing compassion and Bodhichitta. According to Buddha, Bodhicitta is the foundation of Buddha Dharma, which is why it is crucial. One of the most valuable resources for learning about cultivating Bodhichitta is the text called 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas.

Buddha Shakyamuni 12 years old in the Jokhang Temple

Photo: 2600-year-old statue Liberating by seeing Buddha Shakyamuni in Jokhang Temple, Lhasa.

15. How to avoid wannabe masters, lamas, and gurus?

In Mahayana Buddhism, it is customary for a disciple to observe a master, guru, or lama for at least a year before becoming a disciple. This may seem like a long time in modern times, but it is important to not just listen to what the master says but to observe their actions.

Previous masters have advised that instead of following a master who only talks about Buddha's teachings, we should seek out a master who actively practices them.

In this era of money, we must exercise caution in selecting our Buddhist reading material and viewing Buddhist videos. Many people are quick to speak on topics they know very little about, and it is essential to be discerning in order to avoid being misled. I am one example.

Quote from the Kadam master Toelongpa.

If you are looking for enlightenment from the bottom of your heart, you should start following a monk who has taken a vow instead of pursuing a scholar without discipline and a vow. 

Instead of following a scholar who talks about Buddha Dharma all the time, you should start pursuing one who practices Buddha Dharma all the time.

Instead of following a scholar who seats or chooses higher seats, you should pursue a practitoner who stays at the lowest. 

Instead of following a scholar with wisdom but no devotion, you should start pursuing a practitioner with intense devotion. 

Not understanding the Buddha's Dharma is not the problem; the problem is following a person who does things against the Buddha's Dharma.

16. Could you share the names of a few Buddhist masters?

It is highly recommended that one pursue the works of Maha Gurus from centuries past, whose profound knowledge is universally acknowledged by all Mahayana Buddhist schools.

  1. Indian masters from Nalanda Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Shantideva, Vasubandhu.
  2. Nyingma School; Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, Kandro Yeshe Tsogyal, Longchenpa, Jigme Lingpa, Patrul Rinpoche.
  3. Kadam and Geluk School; Jowoje Atisha Dipamkara, Ra Lotsawa, Drom Tonpa, Tsongkhapa.
  4. Kagyu School; Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, Rechungpa, Drukpa Kunley.
  5. Sakya School; Kunga Nyingpo, Drakpa Gyaltsen, Sakya Pandita.
  6. Shiji Chod School; Pa Dampa Sangay, Machik Lapdron.

By reading the works of these esteemed masters, we can expand our understanding of the truth. It is through devotion that we can receive blessings.

17. What is the reason for seeking out a Guru/Lama?

As a proverb goes, even an ordinary piece of wood will acquire the scent of sandalwood if sandalwood trees surround it for a long time. Similarly, if I, a delusional individual, spend time with people who possess greater wisdom and empathy, I will gradually adopt their admirable qualities.

18. Why search for a compassionate, wise Guru/Lama who comes from a lineage?

According to previous experts, this step is significant. As beginners, the most essential task for us is to find a compassionate, wise Guru/Lama who comes from a lineage. The reason behind this is that all the Buddhas attained enlightenment with the help of their Guru/Lama. Also, only with the lineage of the Guru/Lama can we get blessings.

19. Why is Root Guru/Lama highly valued?

The significance of having a Guru is highlighted in Vajrayana Buddhism with a well-known saying. Although Buddha and Guru possess similar wisdom, the kindness of the Guru holds more importance as they guide us towards the path of truth in human form. This is similar to a blind person being led by someone who holds their hand and shows them the way, which is invaluable.

20. What is the process for locating a Guru/ Lama who is both compassionate and comes from a lineage?

Becoming a full-time disciple of modern Gurus is a difficult task, even for those who have advanced as disciples. This is due to our lack of devotion, which makes it challenging to receive blessings. Additionally, many of the contemporary Gurus who are well-known are pretty busy, as they have many disciples to teach and care for.

As a beginner, it is advisable to seek out a Guru who is renowned for their compassion. Such a Guru will exert all their effort to guide us on the path to enlightenment. It is advisable to seek out a proficient meditation master who can spend extended periods at retreat locations. It is also essential to consider following those who possess compassion, which is a trait that can be read about further. The discovery of a Guru is primarily dependent on one's merit, and therefore, the following article will provide information on merit.

Vajra Yogin

Image: Vajra Yogini

21. After finding a Guru, what are the next steps?

In the Vajrayana tradition, one of the primary paths involves seeking refuge in the Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Therefore, once we have found a kind and compassionate Guru, it is essential to take refuge in all four aspects.

22. What are the few layperson vows?

Additionally, it is advisable to adopt some of the five Layperson (Householder) Vows after taking refuge. Let's take a look at some of the five Layperson Vows and pick a few that we can commit to;

  1. Not intentionally killing.
  2. Not stealing.
  3. Not lying.
  4. No sexual misconduct.
  5. No intoxicants.

Initially, we may adopt one or two Vows and aim to increase them as our dedication to the path grows stronger. Once we have found a Guru who embodies compassion, they will guide us toward the path of enlightenment, and we must strive to follow it with enthusiasm and diligence.

23. Why run after Vajrayana?

We should keep seeking; we should aspire to be a Yogi and practice Vajrayana, even if we are lazy, deluded, or lack positive qualities and engage in meaningless activities such as watching movies, viewing pornography, playing games, consuming alcohol, attending parties, traveling, or even participating in a mouse race.

In order to transform our minds, we must pray with sincere devotion to Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and seek out our Root Guru to follow the Vajrayana path until our very last breath, all for the sake of benefiting all Sentient Beings.

25. One Great Solution.

I want to acknowledge that finding a spiritual Guru can be expensive economically in the modern Era. However, for those of us who are struggling in life, we do not need to worry because Buddha has already left us the best gift, which is both accessible and affordable. This gift is the practice of Shamatha meditation, which requires discipline and dedication, but it is ultimately rewarding.

To foster mutual growth, we can look for meditation communities or monasteries in our area to find a group or a partner to meditate with, and if we can't find one, we can meditate by ourselves since, through meditation, we can connect with Buddha one of the fastest ways. Once we have achieved the state of Shamatha meditation and Tonglen meditation, we will become the beautiful ones, and our Guru will eventually come to us as we are on the path of blessings.

26. Conclusion

Our utmost priority should be directed towards locating a compassionate Guru devoted to learning and practicing the Buddha Dharma and imparting his wisdom and compassion upon his disciples.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the term Yogi signifies advanced teachings, referred to as Naljor or Nagpa. It pertains to individuals who possess spiritual achievements. I am aware that I have not achieved any level of spiritual growth, no matter how small. However, due to Buddhism having a relatively small community, attracting non-monk or nun Buddhists like myself, I have created this article. May the teachings of Buddha continue to flourish and bring peace to all. Check out the discussion on Vajrayana at Quora.

27. Humbleness is the attitude of great ancestors.

Writing about such a precious path intimidates me as someone with limited knowledge. However, I have written this article to gain merit by mentioning the name of the precious path. If there are any mistakes in my writing, I humbly request forgiveness from the Dakinis. Vajradhara Khenno! For the ending, let us chant the Mantra of Buddha Shakyamuni, "Om Muni Muni Maha Muniye Soha."

Thanks for sticking with me till the end! Here is the article about why meditation is so challenging. Also, check out crazy wisdom master Drukpa Kunley for inspiration. If there is anything I can do to improve the article, let me know by leaving a comment. Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Written By :Tenzin

Feb 26, 2023


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