Dharma Talk by Living Buddha Lian Sheng on 12/07/96

Today, I am going to talk about `Three basics of Tantrayana`.

In order to learn Tantrayana, first of all we must take refuge in a guru, who will be able to consecrate us, guide us to learn Buddhism, and explain to us the meaning of Buddhadharma.

We can take refuge in a guru once he can teach us the oral secrets of cultivation painstakingly and rationally.

In Tantrayana, Guru is honored as one of the three basics i.e. the basic of `empowerment`.

When a guru empowers us, it signifies that he is teaching us the Buddhadharma. He is sowing the Dharma seed in our body. Hence guru is known as the first basic in Tantrayana.

The second basic is `personal deity`. All Tantric cultivators must have their own personal deities.

What is `personal deity`? The holy one that we try to emulate (hopefully we can equal to his spiritual attainment). For example, if my personal deity is Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, I would aim for a spiritual level equals to that attained by Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. This is known as the basic of `attainment`. Once I am able to have a psychic response with my personal deity in my cultivation, there is no difference between me and Avalokitesvara - my personal deity.

Tantrayana firmly believes that the distance between Buddha and cultivator is very near. If we perfect our cultivation, we can be Buddhas and Bodhisattvas -hence the proximity. The purpose of tantric cultivation is to bridge the gap between Buddhas and us.

Most people believe that Buddhas are high in the sky and human beings are residing on earth. They are so far apart. Hence we human beings have to pay homage to Buddhas and ask them to bless us on each and every thing we do. To the Tantric cultivators, it is not the same. Once we have spiritual unions with the Buddhas, we are considered to be their equals. Personal deity is very important to this end. Hence it is the second basic.

We must choose the personal deity that has the greatest karmic affinity with us. If we believe that we have karmic affinity with Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and we admire his spiritual attainment, then we can choose him to be our personal deity. All Tantric cultivators must choose their personal deities in this manner.

The third one is known as `the basic of enterprise`, i.e. Dharma protector. How do we go about identifying our Dharma protector?

Many disciples have written to me asking about the identities of their Dharma protectors.

We can identify them through spiritual cultivation. They will protect us in our deep meditation, in our dreams. Sometimes, we might be able to see our main Dharma protector when we open our eyes in the day time.

Don`t ask me anymore, I have too many things to attend to. If each and every one of my four million disciples should write to inquire about the identity of his protector, then I will have to work to death.

Once we have achieved certain level of spiritual attainment, we can pick any one that has karmic affinity with us to be our Dharma protector. It could be a sky dancer, a heavenly king, or one of the eight groups of gods and serpents. As long as he likes to protect and support us, he could be our basic protector.

What is Dharma protector? It is the basic of enterprise. We need him to help us in all our undertakings - our spiritual cultivation, Dharma propagation and the likes.

Hence there are three basics in cultivating Tantrayana.

Guru is the first basic - the basic of empowerment.

Personal deity is the second basic - the basic of attainment.

And Dharma protector is the third basic - the basic of enterprise.

We must make vows not to desert our root gurus, our personal deities, and our Dharma protectors. And we must think of them at all times.

Why? Our guru will empower us and energize us. We must think of our personal deities all the while, as we want to emulate them. We want our Dharma protectors to protect us all the times and help us in carrying out rituals of calamity eradication, merit accumulation, loving kindness and evil subjugation.

As cultivators cannot be separated from anyone of the three basics, I therefore urge you to take refuge before learning `Rainbow Light Great Attainment`.

After taking refuge, your guru will be able to guide you, empower you, and explain to you.

Thereafter, you may follow the rites to choose your personal deity, follow his teaching, learn his Dharma and have psychic response with him.

Later on, you will be able to see rays of light in your deep meditation. Your Dharma protector will appear in person to show you who he is if you have psychic response.

These are the three basics of Tantrayana.

That`s all for today.

Om Mani Padme Hum

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