A Cloudburst of Blessings by Rig-’dzin rdo-rje (Martin Boord)

This book explains in detail how an empowerment is done, what are the actual parts, what preparation is needed, how the teacher and the disciple needs to be prepared, and what is done in the often several days lasting ceremony. The book begins with the translation of two empowerment ritual texts from the treasures of Rig-’dzin rgod-ldem. An in-depth commentary by the renown scholar and master of the Byangter tradition Rigdzin Padma Trinley accompanies the praxis texts, and are accompanied by further texts of Khandro bDe-ba’i rdo-rje: “The Rite of Liberation: eliminating inimical forces by divine wrath”, which consists of notes on the supreme view, as well as the “Vajrakīla Empowerment of Long Life”, another treasure text of Rig-’dzin rgod-ldem, which can be used for ones own benefit and for the sake of others. You will find an extensive introduction and annotated translations with several illustrations. In this way the book will be very helpful to understand the ritual of empowerment in depth, so the disciple becomes able to follow each step and makes use of them for deepening the experience of empowerment for the benefit of all.

Of crucial importance in the life of anyone who wishes to follow the path of secret mantra, the occasion of a tantric empowerment stands out as a pivotal moment of guidance in which the stages and direction of the path to be followed are made clear.  All too often, however, practitioners in the western world have been forced to remain little more than spectators, patiently witnessing the profound initiation rites of their own ‘vajra empowerments’ as outsiders, because the rites are conducted in a foreign language and in a manner that is not at all easy to understand.  Now, in order to encourage full participation by English-speaking disciples who wish to take the mantra path to heart, a complete series of ritual empowerments for the deity Vajrakīla in the tradition of the Northern Treasures has been translated and annotated.  Bringing joy to disciples, may all confusion be dispelled and may the clear light of wisdom illuminate the world!

Together with the Tibetan texts translated herein, this book contains a number of teachings from the mahāsiddhas of India with regard to the three special codes of tantric conduct: that of a skull-bearing ascetic, the vow of the consort, and the conduct of a madman.  Violating all social niceties and worldly conventions, these radical and transgressive instructions remind us of the words of kLong-chen rab-’byams-pa, “When one sees the reality of existence, one spontaneously bursts out laughing!”

edition khordong at Wandel Verlag, Berlin, 18th of December 2017, 332 sewn pages, with 12 illustrations, English and partly Tibetan and Sanskrit, hard cover, 15 x 22 cm, 560g, 49€, ISBN: 978-3-942380-23-2

From the Prologue:

“Intended only for dedicated disciples of outstanding integrity, the purpose of a tantric empowerment, initially bestowed by the sprinkling of water, is to wash away defilements and purify the disciple’s body, speech and mind in order to prepare him or her for the profound practices of speedy maturation and liberation on the stages of development and perfection. Being led into the very heart of the teachings, symbolised by a throne at the centre of a spacious maṇḍala, the worthy disciple is introduced to his own buddha nature in the form of a wisdom deity and is taught to meditate upon the special qualities and activities of that deity in order to awaken and strengthen these potentialities within himself. Receiving the seed of the mind of enlightenment (bodhicittabindu), in both relative and absolute forms, directly from his guru, the disciple is subsequently taught how to arouse and maintain this precious essence within himself.

Of crucial importance in the life of anyone who wishes to follow the path of secret mantra, the occasion of a tantric empowerment is a pivotal moment of guidance in which the stages and direction of the path to be followed are made clear, and the sacred bond that is forged between the guru and disciple at this time constitutes a samaya vow of amazing power and depth. Having washed away the impure habit patterns of worldly entanglement, the guru gradually introduces the disciple to increasingly subtle states of consciousness, and thus the disciple awakens to an open and fresh paradigm of being, in which the material world is transformed into a pure land and all living beings are viewed as deities. The ultimate state of a buddha, however, being radiantly clear and utterly free of grasping conceptions, the disciple must eventually discard even this purified restructuring of his outlook in order to reach the final stage of complete liberation. This path is not for the faint hearted, and only those who are able to take upon themselves the vows of heroic conduct will ultimately be prepared to face the dynamic energy of blissful wisdom as they open to the non-dual unity of all things within vast, all-pervading emptiness. ITI SAMAYA

With regard to the way in which the disciple should prepare himself for a vajrayāna empowerment, see The Path of Secret Mantra: Teachings of the Northern Treasures Five Nails, and with regard to the characteristics of the ācārya who is to bestow the empowerment, the nature of the disciple who is to receive it, the benefits to be derived from empowerment and the disadvantages of not being initiated, see Gathering the Elements, Ch.VI.”

The table of content and prologue pages are available as PDF (784 KB) here.

– Water Empowerment of Mahottarakīla, a treasure text of Rig-’dzin rgod-ldem
– Empowerment Ritual for the Black Razor Vajrakīla, a treasure text of Rig-’dzin rgod-ldem
– Auspicious Flask of Jewels, expanded ritual text with commentary, by Rig-’dzin padma ’phrin-las
– Rite of Liberation, notes on the supreme view by mKha’-’gro bde-ba’i rdo-rje
– Vajrakīla Empowerment of Long Life, a treasure text of Rig-’dzin rgod-ldem

A Cloudburst of Blessings.  On p. 231, the final line of the verse that begins “HŪṀ This is the deity Amṛtakuṇḍalin …”  should read: “ Now you receive the empowerment of control over all your karma.”

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