Wednesday, July 9, 2014
About Enhancing Tibetan Ritual (想当然儿仪轨)
Anyone who studies Tantric Buddhist rituals must first understand the theory of emptiness. If he/she only contented with one mantra and one ritual; then he/she is said to be clinging to matters (执于事相).
Having said so, there are some ingenious folks who thought they can enhance an already complete ritual to suit their own culture. For example, the ‘Vajrasattva Deliverance Ritual’ (金刚萨垛超度法) transmitted by Dudjum Rinpoche is already complete by itself. One wonders why if there is really a need to ‘enhance’ it further?
Let’s look further…
First, the portion on the visualisation of Vajrasattva is added the short and long mantras of Amitabah. I supposed the person must be thinking that Amitabah should be the one who will fetch the dead soul to the Western Pureland (西方净土); hence it is harmless to include both mantras.
This is indeed a big mistake!
The gist of all Tibetan deliverance ritual is ‘emptiness’. The dead souls are led to ‘emptiness’ and hence be liberated. This is called ‘the wisdom’.
If the mantra of Amitabah is added to ask the deceased to the Pureland, then this is the same as asking a person to go to ‘emptiness’ and then to the ‘Pureland’… Isn’t it too much for a helpless dead soul?
The root of this confusion stems from the ignorance of understanding the basic of Buddhist teaching of emptiness. People think it is better to add more mantras, the more the merrier. Needless to say, such is a big mistake.
I certainly expect the above example will offend some folks out there; believe me that the above is not the only messed up ritual. No wonder my guru always lament that it is perhaps dooms day of Tibetan Buddhism is nearing…