7.Chapter 5 Clarity-holding, Hand-seal and Dream-yoga
5.1 Obtaining mundane benefits through mantra-chanting
In Tibetan Secret Schools, the method of mantra-chanting is called “clarity-holding (vidya)” since tantric practitioners believe mantra-chanting will bring forth the wisdom of Buddhist practice. Thus, mantras are also called clear mantras and mantra-chanters are called clarity-holders. Tantric practitioners usually want to attain single-pointed concentration and an absolutely stable state by means of mantra-chanting. That is a very common practice for those tantric beginners. Some of the exoteric Buddhists also practice this way, but not many.
In general, most of tantric practitioners chant mantras because they want to practice the advanced tantras, and mantra-chanting is the preliminary practice to accumulate their virtues. In addition, lots of mantras must be chanted in the tantric altar during offering, visualizing, confessing, etc. During offering, one must chant different mantras for different offerings. Each offering activity has its unique mantra: entering altar, dressing, washing hands, conjuring, perfuming, flower offering, joss sticks burning, lamp offering, food offering, countless methods of visualization, countless offering to all buddhas, bodhisattvas and dharma-protecting gods, etc. Those mantras are immeasurable, hard to remember and extremely complicated. For details, readers can refer to The Great Sun Sutra, Vol. 3 – Vol. 5 and The Vajra Summit, All Buddhas Realize the Great Mahayana Samatha Teaching Sutra … etc. Therefore, those who practice clarity-holding are mostly for the purpose of the formal tantric practice later. Mantra-chanting is the preliminary practice and belongs to the generation stage of tantric practices.
Evidently, mantra-chanting for single-pointed concentration is more difficult than the formal practice of four-dhyanas-eight-samadhis; it is difficult for tantric practitioners to attain samadhi (concentration) because the mantra sound or the notion of mantra sound will interfere with their practice of concentration. In fact, for the real samadhi practice, the beginners usually count breath at first; they count up to ten with one breath for each count, and repeat over and over again. Thus, they have ten notions for each cycle since each count is one notion. If they can keep their mind stable during this stage, they can ignore counting and concentrate on breathing. Then, if they want to go further, they must ignore breathing too and keep the perceptive conscious mind in a totally tranquil state. By keeping in this state and ignoring all other phenomena, they can attain the samadhi of desire-realm or even the samadhi under a particular dhyana (meditation) level sooner or later.
On the other hand, it is difficult to enter the samadhi state through mantra-chanting because of the interference of mantra sound. In my earlier stage of learning Buddhism, I practiced mantra-chanting and could not attain samadhi, thus giving it up. One time afterwards, I was in a lotus posture with hand-seal before the Buddha statue, chanting a mantra, ignoring external phenomena and entering samadhi. At that time, I did not hear my chanting sound and was unaware of my mantra-chanting state for more than half an hour. Then suddenly, I could hear my chanting sound and be aware of my chanting state again. Therefore, I realized that I had entered samadhi quite a while during the mantra-chanting practice.
In this way, I entered samadhi several times later. Therefore, through my comparison with the formal samadhi practice, I can prove that it is very difficult to attain samadhi through mantra-chanting. In addition, the reason why I could attain samadhi through mantra-chanting several times is that I had attained samadhi through the formal Buddhist practice before, and even so, I still could not attain the mantra-chanting samadhi every time. By comparing it with the formal practice of samadhi, I can conclude that the tantric mantra-chanting practice is difficult and not a correct way to enter samadhi. Hence, practitioners should contemplate the efficiency of the tantric mantra-chanting method and choose the right way for their samadhi practice.
Actually, mantra-chanting is very useful for pursuing the “interaction with ghosts or deities and drive them” in order to obtain the mundane benefits. For example, as stated in The Great Sun Sutra and many other tantric sutras: Mantra-chanting can get many worldly benefits. Nevertheless, the “buddhas and bodhisattvas” mentioned in the tantric “sutras” are mostly the manifestations of ghosts or deities rather than the real Buddhism buddhas or bodhisattvas. The worldly benefits obtained through the usage of tantric mantras and hand-seals are in fact from those ghosts or deities.
The rules in the realm of ghosts and deities are very similar to the rules of business trading in human society. If the ghosts or deities make efforts to fulfill one’s wish, they will expect this person to repay and will request for the repayment under proper conditions. If the person cannot satisfy their request, they will haunt this person and cause lots of problems to him or her.
In the psychiatric wards in Taiwan, there are many mentally disordered patients caused by having pursued the conditioned dharmas and having cultivated the tantric practice. Some of them may have released from the hospital, but still need long-term treatments. Although they thought they were learning Buddhism, those methods were in fact the heretical tantric practice, but not the orthodox Buddha dharma. Those psychiatric doctors did not know the difference between the tantric practice and the real Buddha dharma, so they mistakenly believe that the Buddhist practice was the cause of the mental illness. But the truth is that those patients pursued conditioned dharmas for worldly benefits, and interacted with the ghosts or deities. Consequently, those resulted in their mental illness. Buddhist practitioners should learn the lesson and avoid cultivating tantric practices.
Nowadays, there are cases that some old or sick Buddhist masters request the well-chanted tantric practitioners to treat their illness. Some of those masters were luckily to have some improvements and hence wrongly believe that the improvements of the illness are because of the buddhas’ or bodhisattvas’ powers, and thus believe in tantric practices. Hence, they start to learn the heretical tantric teaching step by step without any vigilance; because they change to learn tantras in this life, they will become the tantric practitioners and will learn the heretical tantras in the following lives. All these are just because they start trying to cure illness through mantra-chanting. Therefore, all Buddhist practitioners should always go to see the doctors to cure their worldly illness with medical treatments rather than pursue the tantric ghosts’ or deities’ powers. Thus, they can avoid unconsciously becoming the demon disciples in their future lives.
5.2 Mantra-chanting unable to attain Buddhist fruition
In ancient time, all tantric sutras were created by the tantric founders who had heard the sounds and teachings from the ghosts or deities appearing like buddhas or bodhisattvas. Those tantric founders falsely believed that chanting mantras could let them attain the fruition of the Buddha dharma. For instance, the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra said:
Furthermore, Secret Master! These mantra appearances are created neither by any buddha nor by any other person, and do not follow any condition either. Why? It is because all dharmas always behave so. All dharmas remain the way they are whether all Thus-come Ones appear or not. That is to say, mantras always remain the way they are. Secret Master! The one who attains the equal and correct enlightenment of omniscience appears and preaches all kinds of ways based on this dharma. According to various pleasures, desires and minds of sentient beings, he teaches the mantra ways with the empowerments and with various statements, contexts, languages and voices. … What is the teaching of mantras? It is explained as: The seed-syllable “Ah” signifies all dharmas being originally no-birth; the seed-syllable “Ka” signifies all dharmas being apart from all deeds and karma; the seed-syllable “Kha” signifies all dharmas being equal to the emptiness space and unattainable; … the seed-syllable “Va” signifies all dharmas leaving all languages and speeches; the seed-syllable “Sua” signifies all dharmas being tranquil in nature; the seed-syllable “Scia” signifies all dharmas being dull in nature; the seed-syllable “Bha” signifies all dharmas and truth being unattainable; and the seed-syllable “Ha” signifies the causes of all dharmas being unattainable. Secret Master! If comfortably staying in all samadhis, one can quickly fulfill everything and attain all benefits. [Vol. 2]
However, in the sutras of three-vehicles, the Buddha’s saying of “dharma staying in dharma position and remaining the way” does not mean mantras at all. The ancient tantric patriarchs should not boldly create those tantras and make up “all mantras remaining the way they are” to replace the Buddha’s teaching. The Buddha’s saying of “dharma staying in dharma position and remaining the way” means all dharmas are created according to the thus-come-stores. The thus-come- stores permanently stay in three-realms and in original nirvana—creating all dharmas according to different conditions without leaving original nirvana. Thus-come-stores have been acting this way since beginningless eons: neither doing nor non-doing, neither conditioning nor unconditioning, neither nirvana nor transmigration, neither cleanliness nor filthiness, neither increasing nor decreasing, neither the same nor different, neither coming nor non-coming, neither going nor non-going, etc. The thus-come-store makes every sentient being transmigrate without leaving nirvana, and so it is called “dharma staying in dharma position and remaining the way.”
Such eighth consciousness, the thus-come-store, together with its derivative dharmas, such as the flesh body and the seven consciousnesses of that body, etc., can bring forth all dharmas in the dharma-realm of the six paths of rebirth. Such dharma is exactly the true reality of the dharma-realm which Buddha advocated. By contrast, the manifestation of tantric mantras depends on the operation of the perceptive conscious mind, body and the coordination among lips, tongue, cheeks, vocal cords, stomach, air, etc. With so many conditions under which mantras can be created, therefore mantras should not be called the dharma of “permanent existence without extinction, and remaining the way since the origin.” How can the founders of Tibetan Secret Schools arbitrarily claim that mantras are related to the truth of “dharma staying in dharma position, and remaining the way?” That is irrational.
Moreover, the mantra is the manipulation of the conscious mind and is “the mutual agreement” among those beings in the realms of ghost, deity or heaven. It is not an original and permanent dharma in the dharma-realm. Being a dharma depending on many conditions, how can it be called the dharma that is “permanently existing without extinction, and remaining the way since the origin?” Such a saying contradicts the nature of the true reality in the dharma-realm. Such a depending, arising-and-ceasing tantric mantra dharma has totally nothing to do with the true reality of the dharma-realm. The tantric founders should not fabricate it as Buddha Vairocana’s saying and highly praised it as the true reality of “dharma staying in dharma position, and remaining the way.”
The tantric patriarchs set up their doctrine by substituting the mantra dharma for the Buddhist nirvanic origin—the thus-come-store. They replace the all-seed-wisdom of the nirvanic mind-kings of eight consciousnesses with the mantras of ghosts or deities, and proclaim their heretical dharma to be the “Buddha dharma.” Such a way is similar to “grafting the plum branches onto the peach trunk,” the worldly farming technique. In order to get the plum fruit quickly, some farmers cut the peach trunk, and graft the plum branches onto the trunk; they use the supply from the peach trunk to nourish the plum branches, make all the peach flowers and fruit disappear, and thus get the plum flowers and fruit instead. The tantric patriarchs’ behavior is just like that of those farmers. They replace the Buddha dharma with heretical views, absorb lots of resources from the Buddhist trunk, use these resources to nourish their heresy, and want to get the heretical fruit and to make the true Buddhism disappear completely.
As the disciples of Buddha, we should realize the fact that the real Buddhism has been transformed from the root by the tantric heresy, and should work together to cut off those big tantric heretical branches, make the Buddhism tree recover and re-grow the Buddhist flowers and fruit. Nowadays, it is the critical turning point to return to the Buddha’s true doctrine and build up the foundation for the future ten-thousand-year development of Buddhism. If we can purify the doctrine, it will benefit the Buddhism learners of the future ten-thousand years, including all of us in our future lifetimes.
Although all the past tantric patriarchs have practiced the mantra dharma according to The Great Sun Sutra for over a thousand years, none of them have been able to realize the general-phenomenon-wisdom which the seventh-stay bodhisattvas have realized—the inherent, self-natured and purified nirvana of the eighth consciousness, the thus-come-store. Without that realization, they cannot bring forth the general-phenomenon-wisdom of prajna, not to mention the realization of seeing the buddha-nature by the tenth-stay bodhisattvas, the specific-phenomenon-wisdom of prajna which the tenth-practice or the tenth-transference bodhisattvas have realized, or the way-seed-wisdom which the bodhisattvas on or over the first-ground have realized. Therefore, the Buddhist siddhis (spiritual achievements) which the “buddha” of The Great Sun Sutra said cannot be attained through chanting the mantras of tantras. Practitioners who want to realize prajna (supra-mundane wisdom) should follow the views and methods of the exoteric Buddhism—realizing the eighth consciousness according to the guidance of truly good and knowledgeable teachers, and bringing forth the prajna wisdom. Never expect to realize the Buddha’s bodhi through chanting mantras which the tantric “buddha” said.
In order to reduce obstacles during practice, a learner can chant the mantras such as The Great Compassion Mantra, The Surangama Mantra, The Cunde Mantra, etc. In addition, through chanting The Surangama Mantra and deeply understanding The Surangama Sutra, one may get the teaching from the buddha or bodhisattva and realize the prajna wisdom, either in samadhi or in the dream. It is also possible that, by the arrangement of the buddha or bodhisattva, one can meet truly good and knowledgeable teachers to help one see the way and realize the true essence of prajna in a lifetime.
However, all ancient and modern tantric patriarchs are reluctant to chant The Surangama Mantra because the meaning of this mantra and the saying in The Surangama Sutra are all in fact refuting “the lust being the way” of tantric views. In The Surangama Sutra, Buddha Sakyamuni had the foresight to refute the tantric evil views of The Great Sun Sutra, The Diamond Peak Sutra, etc., which appeared much later than The Surangama Sutra. Actually, the dharma of the true secrecy should be based on the doctrine of The Surangama Sutra. The practice of this sutra enables practitioners to realize Buddha’s bodhi and the way of afterward practice, which is impossible to be attained by tantric patriarchs. Therefore, those tantric patriarchs (especially the patriarchs of Advanced Middle-way School) make many efforts to dispraise and accuse The Surangama Sutra as a fake sutra and chant The Sitatapatra Mantra (The Great White-umbrella Mantra) instead. Ironically, The Sitatapatra Mantra is in fact The Surangama Mantra!
If some wise people practice according to the doctrine of The Surangama Sutra, they may realize the eighth consciousness and attain the general-phenomenon-wisdom of prajna. They may further practice and realize the specific- phenomenon-wisdom. This is exactly the practice and realization of the true Buddha dharma, and this unsurpassed secret dharma is the real secret practice. All learners should have these right knowledge and views, and never expect Buddhist realization through chanting mantras which the tantras of The Great Sun Sutra, The Diamond Peak Sutra, etc. mentioned. They should find their own eighth consciousnesses according to the teachings of prajna sutras in exoteric Buddhism, and thus can enter the stage of realizing the true reality of great-vehicle and correctly practice the Buddha dharma.
Moreover, the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra said:
The perception of the great practitioner is called mandala and it can perceive all stages of the mantra mind. All discrimination is created from perception; the identification of the white, red or yellow color is all from the mind. The delightful decisive mind is called the place of the inner mind; the mantra stays there and can bring forth the vast fruition. … The seed-syllable “Ra” signifies the eye-realm, and the brilliant candle fire is just like a bright lamp. Bending the neck and lowering the head with the tip of tongue touching the palate, one then visualizes one’s mind until the equal-induction arises; the round mirror appears always with pure cleanness. This is the really true mind which the ancient buddha said. The mind is clear and emits lights with all colors. The mantra practitioner will see the truly enlightened buddha. After realizing the siddhi, the practitioner can attain the best everlasting body. [Vol. 3]
From the above passage of the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra, it proves that the “buddha” has never realized the eighth consciousness, the thus-come-store, and does not know the general-phenomenon-wisdom of prajna either. That “buddha” wrongly regards the perceptive conscious mind as the true mind. Therefore his “true mind” can identify different colors like white, red or yellow. He thinks that when the conscious mind does not discriminate all dharmas and not stay in all states with attachment is the appearance of the “purely clean round mirror.” Therefore, the “buddha” concludes that “This is the really true mind which the ancient buddha said.” This conclusion can only prove that he has not realized the eighth consciousness, and still falls into the state of the perceptive conscious mind. Such a person is called the one who has not eliminated the self-view yet.
In various sutras of Agama, Buddha has already said that such a mind is the perceptive conscious mind, which is contained in the eighteen-divisions of sense, and named it as “the everlasting and non-destructible self grasped by heretical eternalists.” By this reason, we can know that the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra still has not cut off the self-view and not attained the first-fruition of sound-hearers, not to mention the fruition of Buddhahood. According to this rationale, we can conclude that The Great Sun Sutra was collectively created by the ancient patriarchs through a long period rather than by Buddha. It is in fact a fake sutra.
The “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra also regards the perceptive conscious mind, when stays in an undisturbed immovable state and can clearly perceive all dharmas of the five sense-objects, as clarity and The Wisdom of Great Mirror. Such a kind of achievement should not be called siddhi since he is still ignorant of the initial realization of prajna. Why do I say so? It is because the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra mistakes the perceptive conscious mind for the true mind, and mistakes the discriminative nature of the conscious mind without any language for The Wisdom of Great Mirror.
For instance, the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra claims:
One should observe the bodhi mind in a garden, a sangha dwelling, a cave or any preferred place. After the mind is calm without any doubts and anxiety, one should take that mind and put it in the mind to verify the words of extreme purity and to abide in the state of clean stillness. One then will realize the non-discriminative mind just like a mirror that reflects in an extremely subtle way. [Vol. 3]
Such a claim is irrational. Why? The mind cannot be put in the mind. There is no such a saying in all sutras of three-vehicles. Anyone who carefully observes it can prove that my words are correct. Only the tantric practitioners who regard the visualized moon disc as the bodhi mind can visualize their conscious minds becoming luminosity and merging into that visualized moon disc bodhi mind. Therefore, they have the saying of “putting the mind in the mind.” But during the visualization, the perceptive conscious mind in fact does not merge into the visualized moon disc; it exists beyond the moon disc. The moon disc exists in the state visualized by the perceptive conscious mind; the perceptive conscious mind does not merge into the moon disc.
The moon disc in the perceptive conscious mind, visualized by tantric practitioners, is by no means the bodhi mind which Buddha said. Nevertheless, the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra said that the visualized moon disc is the bodhi mind. Therefore I can assert that the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra has never realized the eighth consciousness, the true mind. Without realizing the true bodhi mind, he is not the person who has realized the true reality. Without realizing the true reality, how can his teachings be trusted? It is absurd that such an ordinary person bragged, in The Great Sun Sutra, about The Wisdom of Great Mirror. And surprisingly, none of ancient or modern tantric patriarchs can realize this absurdity and point out the error.
Why can we assert that the mind realized by the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra is the perceptive conscious mind? The following text of that “sutra” can prove it.
Virtuous man! The seed-syllable “Ah” is empowered by all Thus-come Ones. The bodhisattvas who practice bodhisattva’s conducts in mantras can manifest their bodies and change all dharmas in the seed-syllable “Ah”. Therefore, Secret Master, if the bodhisattvas who practice bodhisattva’s conducts in mantras want to see the buddha, make offerings, bring forth the bodhi mind, meet the bodhisattvas, benefit sentient beings, attain the siddhi, or obtain the wisdom of omniscience, they should diligently practice on this all buddhas’ mind. [Vol. 3]
The above passage sets up the tantric theory based on the perceptive conscious mind and never relates it to the eighth consciousness, the thus-come-store.
In addition, the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra expounds:
The so-called seed-syllable “Ah” is the mind of all mantras, from which countless mantras flow out. It can stop all meaningless statements and generate subtle wisdom. Secret Master! What is the mind of all mantras? The buddha said: “The syllable ‘Ah’ means the seed. It stays in each branch of the body and pervasively responds according to the dharma. The original seed-syllable duplicates and spreads out; the resulting seed-syllables constitute the sound, which generates all branches of the body. Finally the seed-syllables spread all over the body and generate various virtues.” All the buddha’s disciples listen attentively! Now I explain: “Use my mind as yours, and then distribute it to all branches in your bodies. You do it like that way and then your bodies will be the same as mine. Sit comfortably on your yoga seats, and meditate on all Thus-come Ones. After realizing the vast wisdom and getting the great merits and virtues of the true enlightenment from those teachings, you are qualified as gurus and entitled Thus-come Ones, or buddhas.” [Vol. 5]
The above passage wrongly claims that the visualized seed-syllable “Ah” is the origin which can bring forth all dharmas. It is totally different from the Buddha’s saying that “the eighth consciousness, the thus-come-store, is the origin of all dharmas.” In addition, that false buddha also misunderstands that after achieving the visualization of spreading many seed-syllables around the “Ah” syllable, the entity of one’s perceptive conscious mind equals to that of the buddha’s, and the one with that achievement has become a ritual teacher, called a buddha. If such absurd visualization could make one a buddha, all the heretics who have better visualization could proclaim themselves to be buddhas too. The masters of the tantric secret schools should not deny that. If it were ever true, the tantric secret schools should not call themselves unsurpassed.
If tantric practitioners do not have the right views and proclaimed themselves to be buddhas, they have committed the heavy sins of severe deception of the Buddha dharma. They will definitely fall into hell after death if they do not repent, during their lifetime, in public and in front of the buddha statue until they get the response from the buddha; no other person can rescue them. Although tanric practitioners feel uncomfortable with my saying, however, taking my advice is the true and only way to help correct their mistakes and rescue them. If they, for the sake of protecting their vanity, insist on their wrong views and refuse to practice the true dharma to eliminate the heavy sins of severe deception, they are gambling the happiness of their future countless lifetimes on the vanity of this life. It is really not a wise decision.
The following saying of the “buddha” in The Great Sun Sutra can further prove that the mind he mentioned is the perceptive conscious mind:
The mantra chanter sits in meditation and stays comfortably in the dharma-realm. Self is the nature of the dharma-realm and can dwell in the bodhi mind. Face toward the direction of Lord Shakra and hold the seal of vajra wisdom. … [Vol. 3]
In fact, the thus-come-store has never stayed in any dharma. The bodhi mind which the “buddha” said in The Great Sun Sutra can be in meditation, dwell in the dharma-realm, distinguish the color of green, yellow, red or white and has clarity; it is exactly the perceptive conscious mind because Buddha always said that the true mind stays away from the conscious perception, does not discriminate anything, and never falls into clarity.
Such a false buddha proclaims “self is the nature of the dharma-realm” and regards the perceptive conscious mind as the everlasting non-destructible dharma-realm nature. This kind of heretical eternal view is by no means the Buddha dharma. It is impossible for practitioners to attain any Buddhist fruition in that way. As a conclusion, I advocate: “Tantric practitioners can never realize any Buddhist achievement by chanting tantric mantras for countless eons. The Great Sun Sutra was collectively created by the ancient tantric patriarchs through a long period, and is definitely not the buddha’s teachings.
5.3 Chanting tantric mantras unable to eliminate the heavy sins of slandering three-jewels
Tantric patriarchs falsely think that through chanting the mantras which were taught by the tantric dharma-protecting deities who disguised themselves as buddhas or bodhisattvas, practitioners can eliminate all their heavy sins of sexual misconduct, slandering three-jewels and severe deception. Therefore, they do not fear about the severe karma of cultivating lustful Couple-practice Tantra or slandering World-honored One, the Buddha dharma or supreme-meaning bodhisattvas. They wrongly think that all those evil karma will be eliminated if they chant the tantric mantras.
They do not know those “sutras” are not from the buddha, and are in fact the practices of the ghosts or deities who disguise themselves as buddhas or bodhisattvas. In order to obtain the offerings of liquor and impurities, those ghosts or deities falsely said that their teachings were the Buddha dharma and cheated the tantric practitioners that they could attain Buddhist fruition according to those teachings, so as to win their trust and earn the offerings of impurities like five meats, five nectars, etc.
None of those tantric patriarchs (especially Tsongkhapa) have the correct knowledge and views, and are hence misguided and can not understand the intention of the ghosts or deities. Therefore, they proclaim the superiority of their absurd dharma from the ghosts or deities over the exoteric Buddha dharma, devalue the exoteric one as the practice of cause-ground, and boast their dharma of the ghosts or deities as the practice of fruition-ground. How stupid they are! It is extremely strange that none of the ancient or modern tantric patriarchs know it!
Actually Tsongkhapa is a person who did not have any of his own view about the Buddha dharma but only collected all sayings of previous patriarchs and assembled into his books. For example, when he could personally see Bodhisattva Black Manjusri, he asked Black Manjusri lots of practice details like Couple-practice Tantra, ritual rules, building altars, chanting mantras, etc. He asked even trivial things such as how much of the right shoulder should be covered during dressing. The practitioners who only see that he had many publications circulated mistake him for a great practitioner, and worship him blindly.
In addition, Tibetan Secret Schools classify buddhas and bodhisattvas into five different colors. Therefore, they have five-color buddhas, five-color bodhisattvas, five-color dakinis (female sky-walkers), five-color materials or things, etc., and the bodhisattva “Black” Manjusri was created accordingly. Nevertheless, all buddhas and bodhisattvas in fact emit golden light because of bodhi prajna wisdom. And because of samadhi, they also emit additional white light to enhance the golden one. I myself have this kind of golden light enhanced with some white light due to the realization of bodhi prajna wisdom and samadhi. Any person with heavenly eyes can see it clearly.
All buddhas and bodhisattvas absolutely do not have the colors of light other than gold and white, and therefore do not have the colors of red, yellow, blue, green or even black either. The manifestation with those colors, other than gold and white, is all from the ghosts or deities, with the illusory appearances of buddhas or bodhisattvas. Those ghosts or deities absurdly teach the evil dharma, confuse the stupid people and entice them to practice their evil dharma; consequently, they can obtain lots of impure offerings like five meats, five nectars, etc. in return. Although very few tantric practitioners can identify the absurdity, most of the practitioners do not have the ability and hence deeply believe those wrong teachings and continue to practice the heretical evil dharma. It is so pitiful!
After hearing the teachings from those ghosts or deities, the tantric patriarchs created the “sutras”, and proclaimed that chanting the mantras could eliminate one’s all sinful karma and that cultivating Couple-practice Tantra could let the practitioner become a buddha in this lifetime without any evil karma. As it is stated in The Diamond Peak Sutra:
Those who have committed unintermittent sins, have slandered all Thus-come Ones and the true dharma of great-vehicle, and have done all evil things can still attain all buddhas’ seals through the mantra because of the solid bodies of vajrasattvas (persons who are strong like diamonds). They can quickly follow the happiness in their lifetimes. They can attain all supreme achievements, and even get the best siddhi of Thus-come One. The above saying is from World-honored One, all Thus-come Ones, and vajrasattvas. [Vol. 2]
Due to those wrong teachings from the tantric “buddha”, Tantric practitioners misunderstand that they can eliminate all heavy sins through chanting the mantras taught by the “buddha”. Therefore they dare to slander the dharma of great-vehicle as non-ultimate one, the consciousness-only sutras of the third round of dharma transmission as the non-definitive sutras, and the monks with supreme-meaning of great-vehicle as ordinary people.
However, wise people can identify the absurdity of eliminating sins through mantra-chanting. All buddhas and bodhisattvas have taught that one who slanders three-jewels will definitely fall into hell after death. Even in the most expedient compassionate Ultimate-bliss Pure-land sutra, it is stated that a person who has slandered buddhas or prajna sutras is not allowed to be reborn in Ultimate-bliss Pure-land, not to mention one who has slandered all Thus-come Ones and the true dharma of great-vehicle, and has done all evil things. How can such kind of persons avoid falling to the evil paths, still obtain the seals of all Thus-come Ones, and even become buddhas just by chanting mantras? It is irrational.
Furthermore, the teachings of tantric sutras like The Great Sun Sutra, The Diamond Peak Sutra, etc. have nothing to do with the first-meaning truth and are not the true Buddha dharma at all. They talk about the true reality by wrongly regarding all dependently arising dharmas with emptiness nature, which are only worldly truth, as the first-meaning truth. They also misunderstand that the worldly truth of two-vehicles is only all dharmas dependently arising with emptiness nature, and deny the existence of the true mind, the thus-come-store, the original consciousness of nirvana—the consciousness on which all name and form depend. Evidently, they do not know and have not realized the worldly truth of two-vehicles. Such “sutras” are in fact the sayings from the ghosts or deities. Because those sayings are not from the real buddhas or bodhisattvas, the saying about the mantras which are able to eliminate the heavy sins of slandering three-jewels, the true dharma or supreme-meaning monks is totally inconceivable. All tantric practitioners should never believe those wrong teachings and not slander three-jewels. In this way, they can avoid the evil karma and will not regret after death.
As stated in The Sutra on the Original Karma of the Bodhisattva’s Garland:
If the bodhisattva of three sages or ten grounds slanders three-jewels, he will definitely fall to hell after death, and lose all his achievements of three sages or ten grounds.
The bodhisattvas of the tenth-ground, even with such supreme and subtle realization, can not rescue themselves from the heavy sins of slandering three-jewels, not to mention the ghosts or deities. Those ghosts or deities can not rescue themselves from the heavy sins, not even to mention rescuing the practitioners through mantras. All wise tantric practitioners should deeply contemplate this problem so that they can avoid their severe suffering karma in future endless eons. Therefore, all the teachings of eliminating heavy karmic retribution through chanting mantras in The Great Sun Sutra, The Diamond Peak Sutra, etc. are not trustable.
5.4 The hand-seal and mantra
Tantric practitioners must learn hand-seal (mudra). The purposes of making hand-seal are to establish the symbol of seed-nature and use the symbol, with the help of mantra-chanting, to eliminate illusions, realize nirvana, attain the vajra-throne (diamond-like indestructible throne, a metaphor for enlightenment) and become a buddha. As stated in The Great Sun Sutra:
At that time, Bhagavam Vairocana observed the assembly, and told Secret Master Vajrapani: “Secret Master! There is a symbol that possesses the same sublimity as that of Thus-come One and is the same as that of the sentient beings of the dharma-realm. Bodhisattvas ornament their bodies, roam over all destinies during their births and deaths, and symbolize themselves by this great bodhi banner in all assemblies of Thus-come One. All gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, non-humans, etc. circle around it with respect, accept the teaching and behave. ...” [Taisho Tripitaka, pp. 24-30, Book 18, Vol. 4]
After saying that, he expounded various kinds of hand-seal as follows:
Then, Bhagavam stays in the samadhi of non-harmful power and proclaims the mantra of entering all Thus-come Ones’ samaya (basic doctrine, here means entering the “equally-arriving” state in the dual operations of bliss and emptiness during the practice of Couple-practice Tantra) which pervades the female consort. He says: “… (mantras)” Secret Master! Such a female consort manifests all Thus-come Ones ground, the realm of non-transcending three dharma ways, and the perfect ground of paramita. It is the appearance of secret seal. One should join one’s palms together with space in between, and establish the two emptiness wheels of samadhi and prajna. As stated in the verse: “This is the great-seal of all buddhas for saving the world; the samaya of the true enlightenment dwells on it.” [Vol. 4]
It means that this hand-seal is all buddhas’ great-seal, where the samaya of all buddhas’ true enlightenment stays. However, after making such hand-seal and chanting the mantra, they still know nothing about the eighth-consciousness and the prajna wisdom realized by the seventh-stay bodhisattva. Being as the still unenlightened ordinary persons, how can they say that they will be able to achieve the samaya through the hand-seal and mantra?
Moreover, it is impossible for all buddhas’ samaya to dwell on the mantra and hand-seal because the hand-seal and mantra belong to the dependently arising dharma. One should not regard the representation (hand-seal) of something as that thing (samaya) itself. (Note: The tantric hand-seal use the left-hand palm for samadhi, while the right-hand palm for prajna. Each finger joint has its specific meaning as referred to in the appendix of this book. Once understanding these meanings, one will know all the meanings of various kinds of hand-seal in tantras.)
The Great Sun Sutra further states:
Make both the samadhi and the prajna hands into fists, put the emptiness wheel in the palms, and extend the wind wheel. This is the hand-seal which purifies the dharma-realm. The mantra states: “… (mantras)” Then use equally the five wheeled fingers of both the samadhi and the prajna hands, turn over and hook each other alternately, and make the two emptiness wheels confront face to face. As stated in the praise: This is the supreme vow and the hand-seal of auspicious dharma-wheel. Those world savers all turn this wheel. The mantra states: “… (mantras)” [Vol. 4]
By only making the hand-seal and chanting the mantra, not to say any other thing, they can turn the dharma wheel and let sentient beings know and realize the dharma. How can it be believed?
The Great Sun Sutra also states:
Further extend both the samadhi and the prajna hands, and joint palms in a gesture as taking the refuge; hold fingers as a wind wheel, while placing the two emptiness wheels on top of them, with the shape like the script “Gha.” The praise states: This knife hand-seal of great wisdom, as the buddha’s saying, can cut off all views, such as the inherent view of body. The mantra states: “… (mantras)” [Vol. 4]
However, after making hand-seal and chanting mantra, it is impossible for any person to cut off the inherent view of body. In fact, the inherent view of body is the self-attachment which corresponds to Manas consciousness. Only after realizing the falsity of self of Manas rather than making hand-seal and chanting mantra, one can then cut it off. Therefore what The Great Sun Sutra states about the hand-seal and mantra is illusory thinking.
Again, The Great Sun Sutra states:
Use both the samadhi and the prajna hands and join both palms with some space in between. Bend the fingers as two emptiness wheels, while twisting them into a shape like the script “Kha.” The praise states: This is the supreme vow, the auspicious hand-seal of dharma-shell. The masters in the time of all buddhas and the bodhisattvas of world saviors all say that the clean dharma can lead to tranquil nirvana. The mantra states: “… (mantras)” [Vol. 4]
Such realization of nirvana is quite different from what Buddha said in The Agama Sutras. It is the “heretical nirvana” that only exists in Tibetan Secret Schools, but not in Buddhism. In fact, there is one and only one kind of remainderless-nirvana which transcends the three-realms. If the nirvana, invented by Tibetan Secret Schools, differs from what Buddha said, that nirvana is definitely not the true one. Consequently, those tantric “sutras” are not the Buddhist sutras either. Therefore the ancient and modern tantric patriarchs who have realized nirvana all fall in the perceptive mental states and never cut off their conscious self-view. They are actually the heretical ordinary people who have attained the tantric nirvana only.
The Great Sun Sutra then states:
Use both the samadhi and the prajna hands to join both palms together, then spread them in a shape like a strong script “Ta;” hold the two fingers of the earth wheel and two fingers of the emptiness wheel, while combining both the fire and wind wheels. The verse states: “This is the lotus of auspicious vow; which is the indestructible vajra-thrones for all buddhas and world saviors; the enlightened one is named the buddha, from which the bodhi and the buddha’s sons are generated.” [Vol. 4]
This saying is also different from what Buddha said. The vajra-throne and the realization of bodhi, as expounded by Buddha, are generated from the correct awareness on Liberation-way and Buddhahood-way, as well as from the personal true enlightenment of the right view. Those people, entitled Buddha’s sons who personally realize Liberation-way and Buddhahood-way, can all witness the vajra-thrones and Boddha’s bodhi, which are never generated through the hand-seal or mantra.
The Great Sun Sutra also states:
Further use both the samadhi and the prajna hands to form the five wheels inward as fists and establish the fire wheels; set aside the two wind wheels, and bend the two fingers of the emptiness wheels in parallel. The verse states: “This seal is the great-seal, the crown of Thus-come One. If the practitioner makes this hand-seal, he is the same as World-honored One.” [Vol. 4]
The “buddha” of Tibetan Secret School said: Upon chanting the mantra with the corresponding hand-seal, one becomes a buddha. If that had ever been true, World-honored One would not have needed to travel to many places and deliberately expound dharmas to the sentient beings for forty-nine years. It would have been very merciful for him by just empowering the sentient beings, teaching them the hand-seal dharma, and asking them to chant mantras accordingly to enable all disciples to attain Buddhahood in one lifetime! How easy were it! However, we see that none of the ancient or modern tantric patriarchs who make such hand-seal and mantra-chanting have ever realized the general-phenomenon-wisdom of prajna, or “the emptiness of the subjective and objective aspects of taking”, which are described in the four preparatory practices of exoteric Buddhism. Those patriarchs still fall in the heretical view of eternalism. It is meaningless to say about becoming a buddha with such false thinking.
Again, as stated in The Great Sun Sutra:
Furthermore, make the prajna hands into fists and extend both the fire and the water wheels, while putting the emptiness wheels beneath them. The verse states: “This is entitled all buddhas. Depending on compassion, the world gives births to the eyes. Setting the perception upon the eye scope, the wise person will attain the Buddha eyes.” [Vol. 4]
As we examine the past and today’s tantric patriarchs who practice according to The Great Sun Sutra, none of them have ever attained the Buddha eyes, or even the lower level achievements like the dharma eyes, wisdom eyes, or celestial eyes. Why? If someone has the dharma eyes, he can clearly identify where all the past and modern patriarchs’ views and their enlightened levels or fruitions are. He will never misjudge them. If someone has the wisdom eyes, he can definitely know whether any of the tantric patriarchs got enlightened or not. If someone has the celestial eyes, he can understand whether the currently revealed “buddha or bodhisattva” is disguised by the ghost or deity or not. He is capable of judging whether the dharma, proclaimed by them, is believable or not, so as not to be confused by the ghost or deity.
However, by speculating the enlightened levels, the practice methods, the transmitted dharmas, and the oral instructions of all the past and modern tantric patriarchs, we understand that all of them follow the sayings of the ghosts or deities. They have fallen in the dharmas corresponding to them, but not Buddha. Hence, it is very illusory to think that one can attain the Buddha eyes through practicing hand-seal and mantra as mentioned in those “sutras.” Therefore, if tantric practitioners want to extend their eye scopes according to the hand-seal and mantra, none of them can attain the Buddha eyes, or any other lower level achievements like the dharma eyes, the celestial eyes, etc.
“Buddha Great Vairocana” in The Great Sun Sutra then mentioned various kinds of hand-seals and mantras, totally one hundred and thirty-one kinds, and concluded:
Secret Master! Such supreme hand-seals of Thus-come One arise from the faith and understanding to Thus-come One. Those are the same as bodhisattvas’ symbols and are innumerable. Also, Secret Master! You should know that even the deportment, behavior and cease of the body all are the secret hand-seals. Various speeches transmitted by the tongue all are the mantras. Therefore, Secret Master! The bodhisattvas who have brought forth the bodhi minds and practice bodhisattva’s conducts should dwell on Thus-come ground and draw the altar. Any behavior against this is the same behavior as slandering all buddhas and bodhisattvas, or offending against the samaya precepts, destined to fall into the evil ways. [Vol. 4]
If someone, who is totally ignorant of Buddhahood-way and Liberation-way, has practiced hand-seal and mantra according to this “sutra” and proclaimed his attainment of the Buddha ground, he has committed the heavy sin of severe deception and is destined to fall into hell for unlimited sufferings after death. However, such a hell-destined person, who will fall into hell for the reason of slandering buddhas or bodhisattvas, threatens those bodhisattvas who refute the tantric evil views. It is just like a thief yelling for help to catch the thief, but he himself is exactly that thief. This really reverses the fact!
What mentioned as “Great Vairocana” in The Great Sun Sutra is in fact not the true “Great Vairocana” stated in The Flower Garland Sutra. The ancient tantric patriarchs falsely took the teachings of ghosts and deities for the “Great Vairocana’s” teachings. Those tantric teachings are absolutely not the true dharma expounded by Buddha. Being the reward-body buddha, the real “Great Vairocana” will expound the teachings of all-seed-wisdom. How could He take the heretical view of eternalism for the Buddha dharma? How could He take the heretical lustful methods for the ultimate Buddhist practice? By taking the heretical views for the teachings of buddhas or bodhisattvas, the tantric patriarchs have conducted a major mistake! It is very delusive to pursue Buddhist fruition and realization through making hand-seal and chanting mantra, such kinds of teachings are all from ghosts or deities.
There are only two major ways to the realization of the Buddha dharma: Buddhahood-way or Liberation-way. There is no other Buddha dharma than these two. Although Tibetan Secret Schools proclaim they can achieve the ultimate Buddhahood through hand-seals and mantras together with the operation of visualization, we have not seen any of the tantric patriarchs, starting from ancient India till nowadays, who can really see the way of great-vehicle or two-vehicles. None of them have ever cut off the self-view of the perceptive mind. They have not even realized the view of sound-hearer’s first fruition, not to mention the prajna view of true reality that the bodhisattvas of great-vehicle have realized.
Owing to this, I would like to pervasively persuade all wise practitioners of Tibetan Secret Schools to contemplate the following questions: “What is my intention to learn the tantric dharma? Whether do the doctrines of the tantric dharma conform to the true doctrines of the Buddha dharma?” After deliberately thinking over it, they should firmly make a decision and select the right way to go. With that right decision, they can avoid wasting money on the heretical dharma, keep away from the joint evil karma of destroying the correct dharma, and choose the right way to learn the genuine Buddha dharma in order not to waste their time. Because of going on the right way, they may realize prajna and understand the true meanings of the great-vehicle sutras, or even practice the seed-wisdom of consciousness-only and attain the achievement of the ground level. Following this way, they are the really wise practitioners.
Moreover, in Highest-yoga Tantra, there are two other kinds of hand-seals: One is the karma-seal; the other is the wisdom-seal. The karma-seal is in fact to treat the young girls who really participate the couple-practice as the seal of the greedy way. Those girls are also called buddha-mother, goddess, or wisdom female consort because they have pudenda that can let the tantric practitioners experience the “Buddhahood” wisdom of the union of bliss and emptiness during sexual intercourse. Because those girls really offer their bodies, not by visualization, to the tantric practitioners for practice to become buddhas, they are called karma (activity)—because they are physically co-practicing and enjoying the happiness. By contrast, the male practitioners’ sex organs also allow the tantric female practitioners to proceed couple-practice. In a general sense, the male consort is also called the karma-seal for the female practitioner. However, the karma-seal usually refers to the female one.
The wisdom-seal is in fact the visualized female consort, but not a real one. In case that a real female consort is not available, or the real female consort is not allowed for the tantric lamas who do not want to abandon the precept of leaving home yet, they can only practice the union of bliss and emptiness of couple-practice with a visualized female consort. In such a case, it is not the karma-seal. Because the visualization can also let practitioners generate the “wisdom” of the union of bliss and emptiness, the visualized female consort is called the wisdom-seal.
Moreover, there is another saying: If the female tantric practitioner has already realized the union of bliss and emptiness, as well as the dual operations of bliss and emptiness, she becomes the guide who can teach the male practitioner during couple-practice and make them realize the union of bliss and emptiness as well as the dual operations of bliss and emptiness, which are the fruition of the “reward-body buddha”. Because of being able to let the male practitioners realize the “wisdom” of Couple-practice Tantra, this kind of female practitioners is called the wisdom-seal. Please refer to Chapter 8 and 9 for further details about the karma-seal and wisdom-seal.
The tantric Dream-yoga means that practitioners can practice and verify the Buddha dharma in the dream. As explained by Yogi C. M. Chen:
The dream will tell us if our many inherent habits are good or bad. From the manifestation of dreams, one can predict the place where one’s body of the intermediate state (bardo body) will reside. One should use the wisdom hand-seal to practice such kinds of cause-and-effect. Those states have never been broadly mentioned. The infatuated dreams will lead to transmigration. The antidote for transmigration is through the un-infatuated dream. As explained in the sutra, those tenth-ground bodhisattvas have few dreams because of holding the flawless realm. The buddha has no dream at all since he is flawless and away from the conditions of formation and intention. For those who are practicing channel-Chi and bright-drop, they can know if the channel-Chi, etc. are good or not through the dream. The states of today’s dream are roughly similar to those of the time after death. Hence the buddha said: “When reborn through consciousness transference, each one has his specific rebirth path. The place where one will be reborn is the same as where one frequently visits in the dream.” Someone might ask: “What are the expediency of change in the dream and its merit and virtue?” The answer is: “One should attain the mastery on all revealed states of one’s mind and the conditioned dharmas of one’s intentional deeds; then one can change the dream states.” Hence, as stated in the verse: “One should practice the wisdom hand-seal (Couple-practice Tantra). During the learning process, one should discriminate on such scenes as the goddesses and the deities dwelling in myriads of mansions, every buddha temple around and all changeable states. Then, one will be able to gradually perfect all states. It is easy to accomplish by means of comprehending the dream states, meditating upon what in the dream states, and changing the dream states. Therefore, Nagajuri and the others had said: One should practice the dual operations of bodies in phantasm. [34: 433]
Such Dream-yoga practitioners claim they can check if the conditions of the energy-channels and Chi are good or bad through the dream states. They can also check themselves over the sickness during dreaming. As stated:
How do dreams reveal the appearances of the objects? The symptoms of the stomach sickness are obvious in the evening; the gall bladder sickness happens at midnight; and the sickness of the breath system occurs at dawn. All of them differ in their appearances according to various conditions, as described in many different places of tantras. For examples, in the dream functioned by the breath system, one will see the blue ground, something such as clothes shown in blue or black, black birds flying in the sky, one riding a deep blue horse, or one staying in a clear and pure state; in the dream functioned by gall bladder, one will see the bright red or yellow clothes and the golden ground, etc. … [34: 431-432]
As stated again:
Someone might question: “As the previous three states of the breath system or the others, those dreams should arise from afflictions. But, why those bodhisattvas still have dreams even they are purified, flawless, and free from all affliction aggregates?” The answer is: “All their dreams arise from the flawless realms. Although they have cut off the three-realm afflictions since dwelling on the first-ground, they still can generate the dreams of flawless realms because the flawless karma can produce the supports for aggregates, fields and divisions, and combine with them.” [34: 434]
Dream-yoga is named because the practitioners claim that they can foretell the illness through the dream states, or substitute the good dream for the bad one. Such kind of practice can never help people realize the true reality of the Buddha dharma. All the enlightened persons can know that it is in fact a useless illusive thinking.
Moreover, the state of no dream is attained by the arhat who has already realized dual-liberations rather than the one who realized the wisdom-liberation only. It can also attained by the bodhisattvas who are the third-ground or over, not necessary to be the Buddha ground. Therefore, we can know that the tantric patriarchs teach and practice the Buddha dharma based upon their personal delusive thoughts.
In order to transform the dream from the flawed conditioned state to the flawless conditioned state, one should eliminate the self-view and self-attachment rather than practice the wisdom-seal of illusory dual operations in the greedy way. It is impossible to achieve knowing, practicing and transforming the dream states through the cultivation of Couple-practice Tantra because all those attainments of dual operations or union of bliss and emptiness are still the sexual greed of desire-realm. Bodhisattva Nagajuri never persuaded people to practice Couple-practice Tantra. He already realized thus-come-store and attained the way-seed-wisdom, and hence it is impossible for him to recognize the illusive heretical tantras. After Bodhisattva Nagajuri’s death, the tantric patriarchs purposely slander him by saying that Couple-practice Tantra is his saying.
As stated in The Six Yogas of Naropa:
No matter where the body is, one knows that the contact of one’s six sense organs is all empty. Such realization is the enlightenment. By getting used to seeing the emptiness in the daytime, one can then do it in the dream too. If one can do it in the dream, one will attain significant merits and virtues. For example, at Buddha Kasyapa’s living time, there was a king who had a concubine whose body was fragrant. The king loved her very much. One day, the king went on a trip but left his concubine at home. He missed her very much during the trip. Then at night, he dreamed her and they had a very good time. It had been so real until the king woke up from the dream. He realized the theory of emptiness of form from the dream. It is good for the practitioner to practice all dharmas being empty. It is even better on the merits and virtues if one can do it in the dream. If one can practice emptiness well in the daytime, one will do it naturally in the dream too. It is better to have the dream at AM 1:00 ~ 2:00 because the mind is the clearest during that time. The real method is to practice the triangular small chakra at glabella and the reward chakra at throat, i.e., thinking all dharmas being empty there. It is very important for one to keep a good mind during practice. An evil mind will bring forth the evil dream accordingly. One should keep the mind clear so as to be able to observe everything clearly. In summary, one must be totally doubtless during practice. Having complete faith is the key for the best achievement. There are many different kinds of dreams such as good, bad, bright or dark ones. In case the demon comes, one can expel it by thinking of benefiting others. One should pray and make offer to the deity asking for protection. One should frankly speak to the deity about all what has been done, isolate oneself from external disturbance, practice in the daytime, and dream at night. During dreaming, it is good if one can clearly understand that one is dreaming. If one mistakes the dream for the real during dreaming, it will be very bad. For practice in the daytime, one should regard everything as the dream and pray to the buddha for his empowerment so that one can keep the good deed all the time. One should practice like this way until falling asleep. Even in the dream, one should keep the same mindset as one’s practice in the daytime. There are three kinds of practice in the dream: Firstly, practice the reward chakra at the throat. This chakra contains sixteen buddhas and they can let one know if one’s deeds are good or bad. In the chakra, there is a female sky walker of Naropa too. During the practice, one should visualize one’s guru above the head and pray to him for one’s intention. Then, one should practice the “Om” seed-syllable in the central-channel of the reward chakra, which was taught by Buddha Sakyamuni. There is another method to practice the count in the central-channel. As stated by Tsongkhapa: “The sutra refutes the latter practice that it does not have any merit or virtue.” Therefore, one should practice according to Buddha Sakyamuni’s teaching, which is always correct. (Note: The second and third kinds of practice are missing in the original cited document.) [62: 246]
The oral pithy instructions mentioned above are exactly the practice method of Dream-yoga in The Six Yogas of Naropa. Due to misunderstanding the real meaning in both Buddha dharma and yoga, such practitioners can never correspond with the yoga of the Buddha dharma. The yoga of the Buddha dharma means eliminating the self-view and self-attachment in the liberation way, or, in the Buddhahood way, realizing the true reality of all sentient beings’ dharma realm—the inherent, self-natured and pure nirvana of the thus-come-store. It is definitely not the tantric version of “all dharmas being empty”, which ignores the dharma-realm’s true reality—the existence of the thus-come-store. All the theories of emptiness will become no cause-and-effect and fall into the heretical nihilism if leaving aside the eighth consciousness, the thus-come-store.
Moreover, in the tantric Dream-yoga, one should always practice the throat chakra in the central-channel, the visualization at the throat chakra, and the visualization of the guru above the head, etc. As a mater of fact, all these have nothing to do with the Buddha dharma. Hence, Dream-yoga practice is meaningless, and not the Buddha dharma at all. What their saying that “Buddha Shakyamuni had told about the visualization of syllables in the channel” was in fact fabricated by those ancient tantric patriarchs, who falsely proclaimed that it is from the sutra of Buddha Sakyamuni. In all sutras of the three-vehicle Buddha dharma, none have ever found such saying that the visualization of seed syllables is an orthodox practice method. Hence, the practice method of Dream-yoga is wrong at the beginning. As a result, one will fall into the heterodox states if he diligently cultivates that method. They look for the Buddha dharma but neglecting the true mind. That is exactly the heretical way. Henceforth, practitioners who crave for the Buddha dharma should practice according to the right theory of Buddhahood-way and Liberation-way, not Dream-yoga.
It is a tantric illusory thought to cultivate the Buddha dharma in the sleep. For example, as stated by Yogi C. M. Chen:
The dharma-body is unconditioned and belongs to the secret of dharma nature. However, the buddha, based on his experiences in attaining the buddha’s fruition, discovered that many situations can manifest the clear light of dharma nature and emptiness nature, such as in drunk, in sexual intercourse, in empowerment, in the practice of breathing, in entering the central-channel, in coma status, on the verge of death, in sound sleep, etc. Those situations are stated in The Hevajra Perfect Stage. The Orally-Taught Treatise states, “The bliss of dharma-body pervades emptiness, death, coma, sleeping, yawn, and sneeze. Its existence can be perceived in an instant.” Since it happens only in several instants, all beings are hardly to detect it. But the buddha can detect all beings’ clear lights which emit and disappear so quickly. Therefore, with his great compassion, he revealed this secrete method to let practitioners cultivate the clear light of dharma-body during sleeping without dream. The entire canon of the greedy way is exactly the expediency of intercourse, which use the Chi-practice and bright-drop to generate four kinds of bliss and emptiness in order to meet the secret of dependently-arising. [34: 19]
Also, as stated in The Six Yogas of Naropa:
What so-called practice is exactly visualization. The method which used in Kalachakra is slightly different from what described above. During awaking, one should cultivate the great-happiness chakra on the head and the navel chakra at the navel. During sleeping, one should cultivate the reward chakra at the throat and the happiness-protecting chakra at the private place. When asleep without any sense, one should cultivate the dharma wheel of the heart chakra. [62: 77]
All such kinds of talks are just illusory assertions and thinking. Only through the mind-consciousness can one learn the mundane or supra-mundane dharma; excepting the mind-consciousness, there is no other way to practice all dharmas. However, the mind-consciousness will stop functioning under the following five situations: in sound sleep, in coma status, in deceased status of death, in the samadhi of no-thought, or in the samadhi of extinction. The mind-consciousness can never practice any dharma in sound sleep without dream. This truth had been frequently expounded by World-honored One in The Four Agama Sutras and the great-vehicle sutras. This is also a common sense for all medical doctors and ordinary people. However surprisingly, those tantric gurus who “have the best wisdom” proclaim that they can visualize the dhrama chakra at the heart or practice the luminosity of dharma-body during sound sleep without dream. They are really saying nonsense. How can the wise people believe it?
Furthermore, the luminosity of dharma-body manifests all the time rather than for just instants. This is the first-hand experience of those really enlightened persons in the exoteric Buddhism. After getting enlightened, the practitioner can observe that the dharma-body always reveals and never disappears even for an instant. Nevertheless, those tantric masters assert that the dharma-body only reveals for an instant. Therefore, they teach their followers to look for the dharma-body when in drunk, in sexual intercourse, in empowerment, in meditation, in a coma, in dying, or in sound sleep. It is obvious that Tibetan Secret Schools mistake the clear state without any notion of the conscious mind for the dharma-body of true-suchness. In such a way, they claim that they have attained the true-suchness of the Buddha ground. They are ignorant of the fact that “the dharma-body reveals all the time, and never disappears even for any instant.” They are really the heretical schools that entirely misunderstand the Buddha dharma.
If one wants to realize the dharma-body, i.e., the eighth consciousness, one should verify it when one is conscious. Without the conscious mind, can anyone realize the dharma-body—the eighth consciousness? Who is the one cultivating the Buddha dharma? All those tantric masters are ignorant of the true reasoning way, and always try to convert the conscious mind into the dharma-body of true-suchness. They all fall into the delusive thoughts and have many loopholes in their assertions, which are criticized in my books frequently. In summary, tantric masters teach their disciples to practice Dream-yoga due to their delusive thoughts. It is entitled the wicked teaching for them to do so.