Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Magical Net: Mayajala (大幻化網)

I just received a letter from my brother in dharma concerning the teaching of Manjusri Great Perfection yoga method. So I dig into my old notes about Manjusri and Yamantaka practices to update my notes. It was quite a while I have gathered dust on such teachings and this new information indeed intrigued me so I read all my notes all over again. In doing so, I have discovered many interesting things; one of them is the Magical Net.


The practice of magical net or Mayajala is an important element in Tibetan Buddhism. There are two classic works related to Mayajala:


·         The Guyagrabha Tantra (大幻化網續)

o   This is the practice of Vajrasattva with 42 peaceful, 58 wrathful deities, 9 Vidyaharas, Vajrayoginis and Vajrakilaya.

o   The above deities will appear during one’s dying process as depicted in the famous Tibetan Book Of The Dead. If a person can recognize the characteristics of these deities; then he or she can be saved.

o   In the practice of Great Perfection, a yogin is trained in meditation techniques until he can see the emanation of these deities or chain of lights by staring at the sky. If one is successful, it is said that his physical body will transform into rainbow body and only some finger nails and hair will be left behind.

·         Arya-Manjusri-Nama-Samgiti (圣妙吉祥真實名義經)

o   This is the practice of Manjusri, the 5 Buddha and Yamantaka.

o   The Manjusri with his retinues represents the peaceful state and he is called the “cause”; while the Yamantaka with his retinues is the wrathful state and he is called the “effect”.

o   A practitioner normally practices the Yamantaka Tantra generation and completion stage. Followed with the Manjusri-Nama and also the Great Perfection techniques as above.


As far as I can see, both of the Guyagrabha Tantra and Manjusri-Nama complements each other. Personally I would take Manjusri-Nama as a subset of Guyagrabha Tantra as many deities appear in both works. Still, there is much work to do to make a conclusion.


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