398 APPENDIX FOUR emotions, which are the cause of the six realms of samsara, are purified. This is how reciting the six syllables prevents rebirth in each of the six realms, and also dispels the suffering inherent in each realm. At the same time reciting OM MANI PADME HUM completely purifies the aggregates of ego, the skandhas, and perfects the six kinds of transcendental action of the heart of the enlightened mind, the paramitas of: generosity, harmonious conduct, endurance, enthusiasm, concentration, and insight. It is also said that OM MANI PADME HUM grants strong protection from all kinds of negative influences, and various different forms of illness. Often HRIH, the "seed-syllable" of Avalokiteshvara, is added to the mantra to make OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH. The essence of the compassion of all the Buddhas, HRIH, is the catalyst that activates the compassion of the Buddhas to transform our negative emotions into their wisdom nature. Kalu Rinpoche writes: Another way of interpreting the mantra is that the syllable OM is the essence of enlightened form; MANI PADME, the four syllables in the middle, represent the speech of enlightenment} and the last syllable, HUM, represents the mind of enlightenment. The body, speech, and mind of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas are inherent in the sound of this mantra. It purifies the obscurations of body, speech and mind, and brings all beings to the state of realization. When it is joined with our own faith and efforts in meditation and recitation, the transformative power of the mantra arises and develops. It is truly possible to purify ourselves in this way 4 For those who are familiar with the mantra and have recited it with fervor and faith all their lives, the TibetanBookof the Dead prays that in the bardo: "When the sound of dharmata roars like a thousand thunders, may it all become the sound of the six-syllables." Similarly we read in the Surangama Sutra: How sweetly mysterious is the transcendental sound of Avalokiteshvara, It is the primordial sound of the universe,,,, It is the subdued murmur of the sea-tide setting inward. Its mysterious sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their pain are calling out for help, and it brings a sense of serene stability to all those who are seeking Nirvana's boundless peace.
PREFACE Notes 1. Rinyoche, a term of respect meaning "Precious One," is given to highly revered teachers in Tibet. It was widely used in the central part of the country; but in eastern Tibet the title was held in such esteem that it tended to be applied only to the greatest masters. 2. A bodhisattva is a being whose sole wish is to benefit all sentient beings, and who therefore dedicates his or her entire life, work, and spiritual practice to the attainment of enlightenment, in order to be of the greatest possible help to other beings. 3. Jamyang Khyentse was also a leader, one who inspired movements of spiritual change; in everything he did, he promoted harmony and unity. He supported monasteries when they fell on hard times; he discovered unknown practitioners of great spiritual attainment; and he encouraged masters of little-known lineages, giving them his backing so they were recognized in the community. He had great magnetism and was like a living spiritual center in himself. Whenever there was a project that needed accomplishing, he attracted the best experts and craftsmen to work on it. From kings and princes down to the simplest person, he gave everyone his unstinting personal attention. There was no one who met him who did not have their own story to tell about him. 1. IN THE MIRROR OF DEATH 1. This account follows Khandro Tsering Chödrön's memory of Lama Tseten's death. 2. The name Lakar was given to the family by the great Tibetan saint Tsongkhapa in the fourteenth century, when he stopped at their home on his way to central Tibet from the northeastern province of Amdo. 3. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, Life in Relation to Death (Cottage Grove, OR: Padma Publishing, 1987), 7. 399