6.Chapter 4 Nectar
4.1 The five nectars
Nectar is usually offered to “buddhas,” “bodhisattvas” and dharma-protectors. There are numerous types of nectar in Tibetan Secret Schools, some “extremely inconceivable” to outsiders. In his book, Studying Buddha Dharma through Buddha Dharma, Master Yin-shun said:
When Buddha Sakyamuni was still alive, the supreme offering was to follow the Buddha’s teachings. After His death, offerings became nothing more than lighted lamps, incense and flowers. The disciples of Tibetan Secret Schools worship ghosts and deities, and their offerings include liquor and meat. The so-called “five nectars” are urine, excrement, bone marrow, semen, and menstrual blood. Moreover, there are “five meats”: dog meat, beef, mutton, elephant meat and human flesh. It appears absurd to ask for Buddha’s care and protection with such offerings. [pp. 146-147]
The above records were not fabricated by Master Yin-shun. Such examples of offerings do exist in Tibetan Secret Schools and have been recorded in Yogi Chen’s Literary Work Collections.
Except for the aforementioned twenty-five offerings, there must be five meats and five nectars in the jeweled vase. The five nectars are: 1. the “great fragrance”—the fragrant excrement. The excrement of a practitioner with the achievement of merit and virtue has the scent of sandalwood. 2. the “little fragrance”—the fragrant urine. The urine of a practitioner with the achievement of merit and virtue is fragrant. 3. the brain—the brain of a Tibetan practitioner with the achievement of merit and virtue, preserved after his death, as in a sky funeral (i.e., feeding big birds). 4. the red bodhi—the ovum of a female sky walker (dakini) (the menstrual blood of a female consort), not that of an ordinary woman, or the first menstrual blood of a virgin. 5. the white bodhi—the unejaculated semen obtained in the dual operations of compassion and wisdom of a yoga practitioner with the achievement of merit and virtue and with the realization of the emptiness-nature. The five meats are elephant meat, horse meat, human flesh, pork and dog meat. [32: 678-679]
In Tibetan Secret Schools, the excrement and urine of a guru are treated as nectars and called the great and the little fragrances, respectively. Yogi C. M. Chen said:
When I was once at Lushan, it had been snowing heavily for days and the feces-collector had not shown up for days. The feces bucket of my guru was full and the attendant lamas of my guru complained constantly. When I heard this, I picked up the bucket and walked on the snow to the usual disposal place to discard the contents, then washed and cleaned the bucket and put it back. My guru praised me very much. I reported to my guru, “Even if Guru asks me to eat the excrement, I will not refuse.” The excrement of Guru is the great fragrance and it is my pleasure to smell it. Another time, while I was at the Sino-Tibetan Buddhist College, Master Yan-ding presented me with some pills, which I took right away. Master asked me how I felt and I replied, “A burst of fragrance.” Then Master asked me if I knew what they were. “They must be some kind of tsampa (roasted highland barley flour) mixed with spices,” I replied. Master said, “Tsampa is indeed an ingredient of the pills but the most important blessed ingredient is the little fragrance of ancient lamas.” The little fragrance is the urine. I reported this to my master Kunga, and was about to express my admiration for the pills, Master Kunga could not wait to praise me first, “You have good faith. I knew it when I saw you tasting my urine without reluctance.” Such trivial things were very common in the old days. Even nowadays in Tibet and Xi-kang (in China), those things are still not uncommon. When I once meditated in solitude in a Guan-di temple in Lu-huo, Xi-kang, people came to ask for my urine occasionally. I could never have refused their requests. [34: 732-733]
Nectar is usually used in conjunction with the mandala (treasure-gathering bowl) offering.
In general, there must be 27 offerings in the bowl. These offerings are “Sumeru”, the four continents with the Sun and the Moon, the eight little continents, the seven treasures of the wheel-king, a jeweled vase, treasure mountain, trees, cattle, and rice. Other times there may be as many as 37 offerings. In addition to the above 27 offerings, there may be incense, flowers, lamps, graffiti, frolics, headdresses, songs, dances, eight offering girls, and large and small treasure caps. … The three-body mandala offerings are more than those of other schools. “Five stories” are offered to the dharma-body, reward-body, and embodiment. The entire dharma realm is offered to the dharma-body, which is far beyond the Sumeru and four continents; the permanently tranquil and luminous pure-land is the primary one in it. Five wisdoms, five elements, five meats, five nectars and the red and the white ultimate bodhis are offered to the reward-body. [32: 1034]
The nectars mentioned here are those mentioned before, certainly including the nectars mixed with the great and the little fragrances.
The five nectars also serve other purposes. When making offerings of impure food to “buddhas and bodhisattvas” of Tibetan Secret Schools or giving ghosts food, the five nectars may be used to “cleanse and eliminate” impurities. Tsongkhapa said,
As for the container used for nectars, The Sutra on the Secrets of Union names it the lotus container, which is a skull bowl (made from a human skull, also called a kapala. Refer to the photo on the cover page of this book.). Plates may also be used, as mentioned in An Ear of Grain Caught on the Guru’s Teachings. Platforms or copper trays, in The Red Great Power Sutra, or tile trays, in The Treatise on the Sublime Garland Sutra, may also be used. So, the nature of the offering container is quite flexible. As for the foods, noodles, beans, meat, fish, rice gruel, cakes, liquor, water, green onions, garlic, milk, etc., can be used as offerings, as described in The Treatise on the Sublime Garland Sutra and An Ear of Grain Caught on the Guru’s Teachings. It is also acceptable to use only noodles and water if the complete set of offerings is unavailable. As for the arrangement of the offerings, The Sutra on the Secrets of Union states, “The offerings include Yoga, fish, meat and other foods. The liquors are subsidiary. Other alcoholic drinks can be used as well. The water bowl is placed on the right, and the Yoga in front. All the offerings are cleansed and purified by the five nectars.” The sentence regarding liquors was translated in the Interpreting Treatise as “The liquors can make (them) delightful”. If meat and fish are included, they are arrayed on both sides. As for the cleansing and purifying, An Ear of Grain Caught on the Guru’s Teachings says, “The impurities can be cleansed and purified with nectar pills or by the nectar obtained through tantric practice (through visualizing the obscene liquid, descending in the sexual happy union of the father and the mother deities, to be the nectar).” [21: 531-532]
These five nectars themselves, however, are quite filthy and nasty. How can they be used to cleanse and purify the impurities? It does not make any sense. A wise man should realize this.
4.2 Receiving nectar through dhyana
Receiving nectar through “dhyana” (meditation) comprises five categories and is described as follows:
1. Receiving nectar through food or drink: Those who want to take nectar through food “should not eat food that is spicy, too salty, or too hot. Those so called poor quality food such as wild garlic, liquor, sour liquor, rotten meat, fish, seedlings, etc., are also forbidden.” [61: 367] There are five different kinds of food nectar: (1) “The nectar includes the leaves of white garlic, which are not spicy, leaf vegetables, noodles in soup, butter used for medicine, etc. After eating this nectar, one’s veins will gradually loosen up and not stand out on the skin, and achieve the utmost dhyana.” [61: 368] (2) “Chewing a Tibetan fruit and sucking its juice is the key point of the ‘simmering watery milk’ nectar.” [61: 368] (3) “Take some butter, three liters of milk, and 3.75 grams of water. Mix them well and then fry. The water and milk will evaporate. When scorched smoke comes out, take out the nectar and keep it in a clean container. Take a mouthful of it every time when the stomach is empty. Continue eating this way for one year, and one’s veins will not stand out as well.” [61: 368] (4) “Three fruits simmered in honey: Take two-thirds of a Tibetan fruit, one-third of a Fructus Terminaliae Billericae (myrobalan), and a little Phyllanthus emblica, and grind them all together. Then mix them with sugar and grind them into powder. Finally, mix the powder with honey to make pills. Take the pills for one year and one’s veins will not stand out.” [61: 368] (5) “There is also a so-called ‘the great fragrance simmered in honey’: First, follow the above guidelines of eating. Take one’s own great fragrance, obtained after abstinence from food of poor quality, and put it on a clean stone slate. Spread it with a wooden knife and dry it in the air. Mix some honey and butter with a little water; simmer until the water is evaporated. Grind the air-dried great fragrance into powder; then mix these two together and make pills with the size of sheep feces. Take one pill at dawn on the first day of each month. … Continue for one year, and one can attain the achievement of fasting without getting his veins stand out on the skin. All these approaches will become the supreme nectar achievements after the offering of bodhi mind.” [61: 368-369]
2. Receiving nectar through behavior: Those who want to receive this type of nectar must avoid the following behavior to obtain it.
Those behaviors: staying in the raging fire or under the burning sun for a long time, sweating heavily, being exhausted and weakened, or staying up all night through. The key point of the so-called “receiving” nectar through behavior is to continuously practice the lotus-posture sitting and to keep body, speech and mind to be leisurely, unhurried, and away from being frightened. This is the leisurely and carefreely “receiving nectar.” [61: 369]
3. Receiving nectar through Chi: “Practice any one of the seven-branches that a practitioner has learned previously or practice the supreme Chi practice of power at dawn.” [61: 370]
4. Receiving nectar through bright-drop: “Practice any kind of bright-drop yoga. The supreme method, however, is to practice the white-hair-seed at one’s glabella because it can generate the most powerful body force, and one may thus attain dhyana very quickly. For other cultivations, one may practice receiving nectar while sitting.” [61: 370]
5. Receiving nectar through hand-seal (mudra): “Receiving nectar through hand-seal is the same as that in the third empowerment.” [61: 370]
The above includes the nectars which can or can not generate dhyana.
There is another nectar, named “the nectar for obtaining benefits and generating dhyana.” Through this nectar “the tantric dhyana” can be generated and “the greatest benefit of becoming a buddha” can be obtained. This is nothing more than the attainment of the obscene fluid and the associated mental experience through practicing Couple-practice Tantra:
In addition, as stated in the original verse: “the happiness of the five pure aspects.” It is associated with the nectar for “obtaining benefits.” If one wishes to achieve happiness throughout his body, or to have happiness everywhere, one must keep his breath (while practicing Couple-practice Tantra to the state of orgasm), and then take a deep breath, cross the vajra fists over the chest, look up a little bit and get used to the change of views. The five nectars may then be transformed into pure aspects, and happiness will be generated throughout the body. The initial symptom of the fine hair standing up on the skin can only result in a little happiness. Afterwards, the experience of happiness, mixed with pains, shows up remarkably. Next, the feeling of body shaking comes up from the bottom and then spreads over the channels of the entire body. Finally, one may reach a state of the union of emptiness and bliss. When the state remains persistently, everything can be generated. No fault occurs.” [61: 370-371]
There is another nectar with which dhyana can be generated without fault associated with it.
The original verse says, “Receiving nectar without being away from the feelings of the five sense-organs.” “No fault” means that the consciousness concentrates on where the happiness is generated. In addition, practice the key step of guiding tranquility and wrath by words three times. Then, happiness can reach any place or faculty where the pain or happiness was not generated before. The happiness generated from the faculties and the dhyana can stay away from all faults as well. [61: 371]
In other words, at the moment of “the dual operations of bliss and emptiness” or “the union of bliss and emptiness,” the practitioner concentrates on the experience of happiness, he or she may stay away all kinds of greed. And, according to “the key step of guiding tranquility and wrath by words (following the detailed oral teachings of one’s guru)”, the practitioner can experience happiness throughout the faculties of the whole body. If one can concentrate on the happiness and emptiness in this way, remain in such “samaya” and “have no attachment at all”, then one has attained the nectar which can generate dhyana and keep oneself away from all faults. This is another type of “receiving nectar.”
Moreover, nectar may be received in three different ways depending on one’s practice and the level of attainment in “the guiding way of the realm nectar.” (Realm here refers to seed, specifically semen.) These methods of receiving nectar are: the experience of equal and uniform nectar, the experience of increasing power of nectar, and the experience of wide expansion of bright-drop.
For the receiving experience of equal and uniform nectar, the original verse says, “The five nectars and the five bodies of Thus-come One are equal”. This means that after self-blessing with the five equal and uniform nectars, and performing the “internal dependently-arising,” one’s experience from outside has three different grades: the highest grade of equality and uniformity is associated with the five Thus-come Ones, the middle grade is associated with the buddha’s sons, buddhisattvas, etc.; the lowest grade is associated with the five-color light, etc., which arises from the response.
For the receiving experience of increasing power of nectar, the original verse says, “Silla and the sun.” It is supreme because the menstrual blood obtained from one’s mother is kept and held by the power of the operation in the right blood vessel. After experiencing “the increase of power”, one can attain a feeling of ease with other nectars. … The original verse also says, “Carbu and the moon.” This means that the white bodhi obtained from one’s father is placed at one’s glabella and is kept and held by the power of one’s left seminal channel. After “the increase of power,” one can attain the feeling at ease with other nectars. [61: 478-479]
For the receiving experience of wide expansion of bright-drop, the original verse says, “In the fine channels, there are tiny bright-drops and starlets.” This means that there are tiny bright-drops which spread over and widely expand within the 72,000 fine channels. … Through the explanation of the mundane way, the guiding ways of nectar in the supra-mundane way should be realized. [61: 479-480]
The above three are combined together and named “The Guiding Way of Realm Nectar.” Their sayings are essentially heretical and evil views. After reading the above explanations, the reader will realize the essence of Tibetan Secret Schools, and it will be unnecessary to say more.
4.3 Irrational attempts to achieve dhyana through nectar
The practitioners of Tibetan Secret Schools follow the false ideas: attempting to achieve dhyana by means of nectars. For example, the realm nectar mentioned in Section 4.2 is receiving nectar without leaving the feelings of five sense-organs. They wish to achieve dhyana from “receiving nectar” of Couple-practice Tantra (more details in [61: 371]). They also wish to achieve the five bodies of Thus-come One through “the guiding way of realm nectar” (detailed in [61: 478]). However, those approaches of tantric practice have never corresponded to the two true great dharma-doors (practice methods) of nectar told by Buddha Sakyamuni. These two great dharma-doors of nectar are Liberation-way and Buddhahood-way. Since nectar is the best food in the desire-realm heaven, it is used here as an analogy of the best two supra-mundane practice methods. This does not mean that the nectar of desire-realm itself is the best substance to aid in practice.
Nectar, a substance, is a dharma of the desire-realm heaven, and it is essentially the food of the beings in the desire-realm heaven. Such a conditioned dharma in the mundane world is a dharma of food and drink in the desire-realm which is the lowest among the three-realms. Therefore, it is impossible to benefit any practice and realization on the Buddha dharma by means of it. Why do I say that nectar is the dharma of food and drink in the desire-realm heaven? It is because nectar is a tangible food and only exists in the desire-realm heaven. There is no such a dharma in the form or formless realm heavens. So, nectar is the lowest grade dharma in the three-realms. If the reader wants to know all the details, please consult another book of mine, The Nectar and Dharma Rain. Those details will not be repeated here.
Nectar is a conditioned dharma in the desire-realm, but the dharmas of Liberation-way and Buddhahood-way are all unconditioned and beyond the three-realms. How can a conditioned dharma in the desire-realm benefit the unconditioned dharmas that are beyond the three-realms? It does not make any sense. In addition, the dharmas of Liberation-way and Buddhahood-way are all formless; they are purely mental dharmas. Nectar is a material dharma in the desire-realm and is the lowest grade in the three-realms. How can it be an auxiliary condition of the non-material dharmas beyond the three-realms? Nonsense!
The reader should know that the cultivation of Liberation-way, which can help practitioners transcend the three-realms, is purely intended to cut off the self-view and to extinguish the self-attachment. To cut off the self-view, one should start to cut off “the ego of the perceiving mind” that receives the obscene feeling through the “reception of nectar.” One should observe that the perceiving mind which feels pleasure is illusory and unreal. This mind can not travel to future lifetimes, does not come from previous lives, and can only exist for one generation. By performing such observations to cut off the self-view of “the ego of the perceiving mind being true and indestructible,” one can then begin to realize Liberation-way. After that, one should extinguish the self-attachment, and not allow the Manas consciousness, the mind-root, to cling to oneself again. One may never take the Manas, which discerns and thinks all the time (makes all decisions), to be the indestructible mind again. One can then extinguish the self-attachment, and completely realize Liberation-way.
All the concepts of the “realm nectar and receiving nectar” of Tibetan Secret Schools regard the perceiving mind as permanent and indestructible, and as the “nature of emptiness.” The practitioners also observe the “feeling of pleasure” experienced in the dual operations of bliss and emptiness to be formless, colorless and everlasting, and regard it to be the “nature of emptiness.” They wish to permanently keep their perceiving minds in such a state of obscene pleasure and name it the dual operations of bliss and emptiness or the union of bliss and emptiness. In fact, they have not yet cut off the self-view and still cling to the ego. They have not cut off the “attachment to the desire-realm,” not even to mention the “attachment to the form and formless realms”. They think that the realm nectar and receiving nectar can allow practitioners to stay away from the suffering of three-realms and allow them to attain liberation, and call this attained state “the union of samsara and nirvana.” All these are indeed illusive and false thinking.
The final goal of the practice of Buddhahood-way is to attain all-seed-wisdom. The fundamental aspect of the practice and realization of all-seed-wisdom is the personal realization of the way-seed-wisdom. The basis of the way-seed-wisdom is the general-phenomenon-wisdom of prajna that arises from the realization of the eighth consciousness—the thus-come-store. Hence, the foundation of the Buddha’s bodhi widsom is the personal realization of the eighth consciousness—the thus-come-store. The ancient and today’s Tibetan gurus and their disciples have not followed the correct way to practice and independently created the nectar dharma that deviates from Buddhahood-way and Liberation-way. They attempt to realize Liberation-way and attain the Buddha’s bodhi wisdom through it. They become the people who seek the dharma outside their minds. Such wrong and evil views will make them permanently isolated from Buddhahood-way and Liberation-way, and from Buddhism as well. After practicing diligently and spending lots of time, money and effort, the practitioners of Tibetan Secret Schools remain ignorant of the true great nectar dharma-doors. What they attempt to find is nothing but the nectar of the desire-realm that is still a flawed and conditioned dharma. Aren’t they stupid indeed? To be wise men, those dharma-kings, living buddhas, rinpoches and the practitioners of Tibetan Secret Schools should think about these issues very carefully.
In addition, there is another type of nectar, practiced through visualization, that can benefit one’s body and mind. Tsongkhapa said:
When one is tired during practicing, an expedient way of recuperation is mentioned by Ran-deng-xian in The Collection of Esotericism: “Visulize that a moon with the seed-syllable Om on top of one’s head drops the uppermost-mind water that satisfies one’s body, speech, and mind; the water should be dropped as described in tantras.” To paraphrase, imagine that a moon disc with seed-syllable Om up above the head drops the nectar and fills the whole body with it; all motes of dust are moistened. The Vajra Auapicious Rice states: “Imagine that one breathes in and out, guides and conjures the nectar flushing from the top.” Discussant Stillness said: “Through the seed-syllable Om, light comes from ten directions. Then the practitioner makes the light enter his body by using his life power. It then operates in the channels all over his body.” [21: 530]
Taking such a visualized nectar as a real substance that can benefit one’s body and mind is very much like a very hungry and poor fool trying to draw cakes on paper to appease his hunger. How can such understanding and views be correct? A wise man should think carefully and will know they are absurd.
Though five nectars and five lamps are in such a sequence as described in The Treatise on the Sublime Garland Sutra and An Ear of Grain Caught on the Guru’s Teachings, it is also mentioned in An Ear of Grain Caught on the Guru’s Teachings that, “Fully understanding such behavior, appearance, and the nature of the five wisdoms is the five Thus-come Ones, also known as five lamps or five conjurations.” The five lamps or five conjurations are called the five Thus-come Ones here. A Crop of Teachings also says, “Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, Amoghasiddha, Aksobhya, Vairocana are the five conjurations.” But the sequence is as described here. Therefore, the first five seed-syllables generate the five meats, starting from the center and then going around the four directions from the right. The five seed-syllables of Hum, etc. generate the great meat, etc. in sequence, which are magnificent with the seed-syllables. From the “fire” (southeast) to the “self-existing” (northeast), the four seed-syllables of Zhong, etc. generate the great fragrance, etc., which are magnificent with the seed-syllables. Here the great flesh is combined with the nectar, so only four kinds are mentioned. Some other tantras say that the five nectars are the five buddhas. For example, in The Sutra on Great-Seals, “Ratnasambhava is said to be the blood (the menstrual blood of a woman), Amitabha is said to be the semen, Amoghasiddha is said to be the great flesh (five meats), Aksobhya is said to be the little fragrance (the urine of a great practitioner), Vairocana is said to be the great fragrance (the excrement of a great practitioner). These are the five nectars.” Discussant Ling also said so in his Practicing Method on Supreme Bliss (Sukha), “Hum, Om, Kon, Ow, Dza, little and great fragrances, great flesh, bodhi mind, wonderful flowers, Lung, Man, Ban, Don, beef, dog meat, elephant meat, and horse meat, all are magnificent with seed-syllables.” Master Mao-yi also said so. …
The Vinaya Learner’s Guide describes the fat in meat, the marrow in bones, and the brain in head as the lowest, median and highest grade, respectively. The five meats are also called the five conjurations, or the five lamps, for they can conjure (the five buddhas) and reveal spiritual attainment. Next, imagine that there are Ha, Hor, and Xen in foods, with which the ordinary colors, odors and forces of the foods are purified in sequence and then transformed into wonderful ones. …
After that, visualize that the wind moves and the fire burns. Those seed-syllables melt into liquids with the colors of the sunrise. The associated vapor becomes the seed-syllable Hum, which is magnificent with the vajra. The seed-syllables melt three times and fall into the skull bowl and then transform into nectar. Above that, the seed-syllable Om transforms into a moon disc; Om, Ah, and Hum overlapped upright above the moon disc and from them light radiates to conjure the nectar of the bodhi minds of buddhas in ten directions (the obscene liquid that descends from the statue of the reward-body buddha of Couple-practice Tantra) and the nectar of the sea, etc. The nectars enter the three seed-syllables and the moon disc, and then dissolve into the skull. After that, chant the three seed-syllables three times and bless them to be pure like mercury. The above is described in The Headdress Treatise. …
The rites of eating nectar (refer to another book of mine, The Nectar and Dharma Rain, for details) are also stated by Master Mao-yi and Discussant Ling, “The nectars are generated as described above. One is then to imagine that there is quite an amount of white vajra on the tongue roots of the deities, generated from the seed-syllable Hum. From this, light radiates like tubes to suck the nectars. All of them are then full and satisfied. Next, one sprinkles the nectars to offer by thumb and ring finger.” The Illustration on Four Throne Sutra says to “sprinkle at the positions of tongue tip, eyebrows and top of the head.” [21: 532-535]
The above is the sayings of visualized nectars from Tsongkhapa.
4.4 Alcohol and semen being tantric practitioners’ nectars
When Buddhists take their three refuges, they generally take five precepts at the same time and, therefore, drinking alcohol is forbidden. Buddhists consider alcohol to be a substance that may cause their misconduct. The practice and realization of four-dhyanas-eight-samadhis are also hindered by it. For that reason, all wise Buddhists do not drink alcohol. However, for most practitioners of Tibetan Secret Schools, drinking alcohol is not forbidden due to their wrong views and evil ways of practice. They even regard alcohol as a nectar. One master said:
Someone may ask, “Since drinking alcohol is forbidden, why is alcohol offered in the kapala?” The answer is, “The yoga practitioners (who practice Highest-yoga, Couple-practice Tantra) think the alcohol in the kapala to be a nectar, no longer be treated as regular alcohol. This is the way they practice yoga. These yoga practitioners consider all sentient beings to be buddhas, all utensils to be the palaces of buddha, and all drinks to be nectars. They must doubtless believe all of them to be real. Only then can they achieve the yoga practice (Tibetan Secret Schools consider the obscene practice of Couple-practice Tantra to be true yoga practice and compare it to that of the exoteric Buddhism. Moreover, they believe that the union of bliss and emptiness of Couple-practice Tantra surpasses all practices of the exoteric Buddhism. For this reason they call it Highest-yoga Tantra.)” [62: 71]
It is also stated,
Alcohol is the urine of female demons; this has been mentioned before. However, the alcohol in the skull bowl is not because it has been blessed by the dharma master. It has become the unsurpassable nectar and should not be considered as alcohol any more. [62: 290]
No matter how a guru of Tibetan Secret Schools blesses alcohol, and no matter how powerful the guru’s power is, the alcohol, after being blessed, still has the intoxicating power. It still has a negative effect on the samadhi state and the level of practitioner’s realization. For this reason Buddha forbade his disciples to drink any alcohol. There are very few special situations under which the disciples were inspected and approved one by one by Buddha for drinking alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol also motivates sexual misconduct. In order to prevent sexual misconduct, Buddha forbade his disciples to drink it.
Because of practicing Couple-practice Tantra, the male practitioners of Tibetan Tantric School usually strengthen their sexual capabilities with the help of alcohol. Drinking alcohol has thus been rationalized and sanctified by arguing that the alcohol has become a nectar after being blessed. Those dharma-kings, gurus, etc. of Tibetan Secret Schools all accept the above evil view with faith and continue practicing. They will not take my advices. Why? If they adopt my advices, their theory and practicing methods of Couple-practice Tantra will collapse completely. It will have an enormous impact on Tibetan Secret Schools. Therefore, none of them dare to challenge this evil view.
In addition, after a guru and his female consort enter the altar of empowerment and perform the sexual union, according to the unsurpassable secret empowerment, the excretion obtained is also the best nectar. The guru grants this to his followers during secret empowerments. The practitioners of Tibetan Secret Schools believe that eating the nectar may enhance the level of their realization. During a secret empowerment, they take the excretion from the guru’s private part, or that after the orgasm, to be the nectar and regard it as the samaya substance.
There are four situations to ejaculate (the bright-drop, i.e., the semen) by a vajra acharya: first, for the samaya substance (which is granted to his followers as the substance to improve their realization of samaya) during secret empowerment; second, as an ingredient in making the nectar pills; third, giving birth of bodhisattva son (woman will get pregnant through the ejaculation); fourth, during the arising of an obstacle, for visualizing using a phurbu (stick) to kill it. (Show the self-dying appearance and then get rid of the obstacle; however, under this situation one does not need a vajra acharya.) [34: 558]
Other statements by Tsongkhapa will be quoted in Chapter 8 (Section 8.3.4) in detail.
If a male practitioner who practices Couple-practice Tantra takes too much medicine for suppressing ejaculation or can not eject semen normally due to incorrect practice (perhaps an illness of the nervous system of the sexual organ due to improper sexual behavior), he may get illness or pain. Under these conditions, he may take other convenient measures to ejaculate. He may then consider his semen to be a nectar and eat it himself. For instance,
If the bright-drop can not be obtained and gets stuck in the vajra pestle (penis), and even the urine gets stuck, resulting in fever and other illnesses, one should then massage the pestle (and then release the semen into the uterus of the female consort) while visualizing the deity performing the offering in the lotus palace (uterus) of the buddha-mother (the female consort). If the bright-drop clings to the body channels and flows out like water, one should practice Release Fist Dharma and massage his pestle with hands like milking or draining water from a choked pond. After that, the practitioner should eat his own bright-drop before it falls on the ground (considering it to be a nectar). Then, he should chant Ah-Mi-Da (the mantra of nectar), and visualize it as an offering to the deity. [34: 559-560]
Because of the evil views, tantric practitioners believe that semen, the bright-drop, is the cause of becoming a buddha in the future, and is accordingly an excellent nectar. When one has reached the unsurpassable secret stage, he is already a “great practitioner.” His semen has become a supremely wonderful substance and can have great effect on the practice and realization of the Buddha dharma. Therefore, it can not be wasted, and should be received and drunk directly in order to maintain his level of practice and realization. This is not only the case in Sakya, Kargyu and Sakya Schools. In Gelug School, Tsongkhapa has the same teaching as well. For more details, readers can refer to Tsongkhapa’s book, the Extended Treatise on the Progression of the Esoteric Path (or called the Great Exposition of Tantra).
4.5 Semen also used as a nectar to offer oneself
The tantric practitioners who practice the inner heat and Chi-practice sometimes take semen to be a kind of nectar offered to themselves.
If the bright-drop increases extensively (a buildup of semen without ejaculation) and the pestle is not down (the penis remains hard after practicing), Fist Dharma may be employed. If the problem persists, the practitioner may practice the Release Fist dharma based on the karma seal (mostly together with his physical female consort). If the problem still remains, and if the karma seal (the release of semen into the female consort) will not result in pregnancy, the practitioner is to visualize Tranquility-and-wrath Deity in the lotus palace (genitals) and release the drop (semen) as an offering (to the deities of “buddha-parents” who are performing sexual union in the uterus). After that, the practitioner may take the drop on the lotus of the karma seal (take the semen from the genitals). Sucking it directly with the tongue is the highest grade, while taking it with a spoon is the lowest grade. Meanwhile, (the practitioner should) chant Ah-Mi-Da mantra (the mantra of nectar) to offer himself. When this is done, there will be no sin generated. His body will not become weak, and the nectar can complete and satisfy his needs. [34: 558-559]
In such a way, the male practitioner of Tibetan Secret Schools offers his own semen to himself and considers the semen, mixed with the bright-drop (the obscene liquid) of the female consort, as a greatly helpful substance. It is considered to be able to significantly help his practice and realization of the Buddha dharma. This is called the “self offering.” This is not only recorded in the tantras of Sakya, Kargyu and Sakya schools. Tsongkhapa, of Gelug School, also provides the same description. For further details, please refer to his book, the Extended Treatise on the Progression of the Esoteric Path.
While practicing Couple-practice Tantra, the male practitioner extracts the obscene liquid from the female consort in order to improve the realization of the “Buddha dharma.” The liquid is named as either the turbid or the pure part of the red bright-drop.
There are three ways to extract: The highest method (of extraction) is ….; the middle method is (to visualize) the self-generation deity receiving the samaya substance. While the mother secretes the pure part (a lot of obscene liquid), the practitioner holds the Ah-Mi-Da nectar (alcohol) in his mouth and sucks the obscene liquid through a bamboo tube. He then mixes them in his mouth by his tongue. Next, he offers (by visualization) it to the self-generation deity and swallows it. Through the secret samaya substance (the mixture of the alcohol and the obscene liquid) he is able to complete and satisfy his needs. The special and surpassing game (the vajra game of Couple-practice Tantra) can make him live a long life. After taking the mixture, he shakes his body (to help spread the extracted pure part of the obscene liquid throughout the body). [34: 566]
As for the lowest method of extraction:
When the body-realm expands extensively (the female reaches the orgasm) and the mother (female consort) produces the bright-drop (secretes very much obscene liquid), one should use a pillow to cushion her waist and put a plate under her lotus (genitals) to catch the liquid, which can not be exposed to the sunlight. One should connect a bamboo tube to the right nostril and breathe in (the odor) while pressing the other nostril with the other hand to allow the odor to pass through the right nostril from the tube. The pure part can then be extracted absolutely. After that, shake the body. [34: 566-567]
Those practitioners are expected to achieve “Highest-yoga Tantra and the ultimate Buddhahood” very quickly by extracting the bright-drop in this manner. That is what they believe and practice. The practice is hence very sacred in Tibetan Secret Schools. The obscene liquid at that time is a very sacred nectar, considered to be of great benefit to the practitioners who practice the “Buddha dharma.” Therefore, they can not accept the criticism from Exoteric Buddhism on the five nectars.
Since they consider this kind of “nectar” to be a very sacred substance, vows have been composed for the five nectars. The practitioners must be faithful to and must keep these vows until death:
The surpassing vow of the great flesh (fresh human flesh) should be practiced by three vajras; the surpassing vow of the excrement and urine is the most important for holding mantra; the samaya of elephant meat enables one to gain five supernatural powers; the surpassing vow of the horse meat can let one become an invisible dominant master; the surpassing vow of the dog meat can make one achieve all siddhi (spiritual attainments); the samaya of beef surpasses the conjuration of the vajra. If there is no meat available, one may perform all virtuous visualizations and practice the vajra yoga to receive blessing from all buddhas. The vajra of the body, speech, and mind has generally the surpassing appearances. Holding the vajra on the top with magnificence is associated with the vow of the wisdom in mind. All buddhas will be pleased by the one who made the vows. The vows have been done well, and all siddhi will be achieved when all the vows are well performed.) [65: 58]
There is another visualization used to extract the pure part of the nectar (the obscene liquid) from a female consort:
To extract the pure part, the practitioner should imagine that his master and the female consort as “buddha-parents” are in the dual operations (the sexual union of bliss and emptiness) on the (imagined) lotus in front of him. The red and the white nectars (the obscene liquid from the guru “Buddha Amitabha” and the female consort) flow down and fill up the top of his head and his nostrils, and then flow into all the channel realms of the body. The related appearances of the extracted mother bright-drop have been previously described in detail. The corresponding samaya within it is that one can keep away from the attachment to both subjective and objective aspects of taking. [34: 567]
For the lowest method of extracting the nectar mentioned above, Yogi C. M. Chen has related oral pithy instructions:
For the lowest method, one should generate the great bliss expediently by all convenient ways: Gather crabs, black worms, and cockscomb for the female to eat, her channel (uterus) can then open; spread oil over her body below the waist. One starts to imagine and visualize that the great pestle entering her lotus, deep within it. Then, one should know to what extent he can bear the pleasure (without ejaculation). One should also know that when the female consort begins to appear happy, he should hold her waist tightly, but at the same time, he himself should sit straight. While the female’s left channel opens and the red bodhi descends (the obscene liquid flushes out). The pestle now becomes a tube which extracts the pure part and leave the turbid part behind (extracting only the gaseous part of the obscene liquid, rather than the liquid itself). The (extracted) pure part flows in from the central channel, and spreads among the sixteen bright-drops. The extraction is performed in silence. Both thumbs of the feet are to be hooked inwards, and the second and the middle fingers of both hands are to support his body from behind. Except for the thumbs of the feet, the body can not touch the ground. The method of extraction in the six preparatory practices is the same as above, except that none of the four continents (both hands and both feet) draw back. The female will be faint without thoughts and her body will shrink like a ball. She will be unable to keep herself from making a bad voice. The above is the appearance of extraction. Afterwards, one separates from the female, stays on the original purity, and shakes while practicing the lion’s game or the five-wheel fist dharma. The practice will make the female weak, she should take some nourishment for her body; otherwise, she will easily become old and feeble. [34: 567]
The practitioner wishes to improve his realization of Highest-yoga Tantra through this practice to extract the “nectar” from the female consort and wishes to become a buddha soon through this nectar. But, in fact, this is false thinking and an evil view. One can not become a buddha through diligent cultivation of this method even after incalculable eons. It will never be possible to realize the eighth consciousness this way, because the practice is always isolated from the seed-wisdom. Also, the practice is totally unrelated to the Buddha dharma. Actually, the practitioner is committing sins and will be damned in hell for breaking precepts.
The thinking to offer oneself this “nectar” for becoming a buddha is illusory because it is not a true nectar. Even though it is indeed the nectar of the desire heavens, it still has nothing to do with the way to Buddhahood. The nectar is the food of the desire heavens, it is entirely unrelated to the practice of the Buddha dharma.
The Surangama Sutra states:
One attains the clarity of emptiness during realization. Within it, he may suddenly reach the view of eternal extinction, deny cause-and-effect, and consider everything to be empty. The thought of emptiness can so predominate that he may even think of eternal nihilism and extinction. This realization itself does not result in any fault but it is not the realization of sages at all. If he thinks himself to already be a sage, the devil of emptiness will enter his mind and he will slander the Buddha dharma by saying: “Holding precepts is for Small-vehicle. Since bodhisattvas have attained the realization of emptiness, what precepts are there for bodhisattvas to hold or violate?” He will often drink alcohol, eat meat and engage in wanton lust (perform Couple-practice Tantra with women extensively) when getting together with his faithful almsgivers. The power of the devil will keep his followers (the women with whom he practices Couple-practice Tantra and his disciples) from doubting or denouncing him. After the devil possesses him for a long time, he will eat excrement and urine (as described in Section 4.1 The Five Nectars and Sections 9.5 and 9.6), drink alcohol, eat meat, and claim that all are empty. He will break Buddha’s precepts and mislead people into committing offenses. He will lose the right sensation and will then certainly fall. [Vol. 9]
Such statements in The Surangama Sutra are very concrete descriptions for the gurus and the long-practicing learners of Tibetan Secret Schools. The wise practitioners of Tibetan Secret School who have read the above text of the sutra should abandon both the practice of five nectars and the practice of Couple-practice Tantra. They may then possibly avoid long-econ, extremely burdensome and absolute suffering in their future lifetimes.