The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

396 APPENDIX FOURsamsara, by which samsara is kept alive. Through reciting the twelve syllablesof the Vajra Guru mantra, these twelve links are purified, and youare able to remove and purify completely the layer of karmic emotionaldefilements, and so be liberated from samsara.Although we are not able to see Padmasambhava in person, his wisdommind has manifested in the form of mantra; these twelve syllables areactually the emanation of his wisdom mind, and they are endowed withhis entire blessing. The Vajra Guru mantra is Padmasambhava in theform of sound. So when you invoke him with the recitation of the twelvesyllables, the blessing and merit you obtain is tremendous. In these difficulttimes, just as there is no buddha or refuge we can call upon who is morepowerful than Padmasambhava, so there is no mantra that is more fittingthan the Vajra Guru mantra,THE MANTRA OF COMPASSIONThe Mantra of Compassion, OM MANI PADME HUM, is pronouncedby Tibetans: Om Mani Pémé Hung. It embodies the compassionand blessing of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas, and invokesespecially the blessing of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion.Avalokiteshvara is a manifestation of the Buddha in the Sambhogakaya,and his mantra is considered the essence of the Buddha'scompassion for all beings. Just as Padmasambhava is the most importantmaster for the Tibetan people, Avalokiteshvara is their mostimportant buddha, and the karmic deity of Tibet. There is a famoussaying that the Buddha of Compassion became so embedded in theTibetan consciousness that any child who could say the word"mother" could also recite the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM.Countless ages ago, it is said, a thousand princes vowed tobecome buddhas. One resolved to become the Buddha we know asGautama Siddhartha; Avalokiteshvara, however, vowed not to attainenlightenment until all the other thousand princes had themselvesbecome buddhas. In his infinite compassion, he vowed too to liberateall sentient beings from the sufferings of the different realms of samsara.Before the buddhas of the ten directions, he prayed: "May I helpall beings, and if ever I tire in this great work, may my body be shatteredinto a thousand pieces." First, it is said, he descended into the

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