(Pinyin: Jīngāng Sàduǒ Púsà)
(romaji: Kongōsatta Bosatsu)
(RR: 'Geumgang Salta Bosal)
Wylie: rdo rje sems dpa'
THL: Dorje Sempa
|Vietnamese||Kim Cang Tát Đỏa Bồ Tát|
|Venerated by||Mahāyāna, Vajrayāna|
Vajrasatva (Sanskrit: वज्रसत्त्, Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་སེམས་དཔའ། Dorje Sempa, short form is རྡོར་སེམས། Dorsem, Монгол: Доржсэмбэ) is a bodhisattva in the Mahayana, Mantrayana/Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. In the Japanese Vajrayana school of Buddhism, Shingon, Vajrasatva is the esoteric aspect of the bodhisattva Samantabhadra and is commonly associated with the student practitioner who through the master's teachings, attains an ever-enriching subtle and rarefied grounding in their esoteric practice. In Tibetan Buddhism Vajrasatva is associated with the sambhogakāya and purification practice.
His Mantra is Oṃ Vajrasatva Hūṃ (ॐ वज्रसत्त् हूं).
Nomenclature, orthography and etymology
Vajrasatva is an important figure in the tantric Buddhism of the Newa: Vajrācāryas of the Kathmandu Valley. He represents the ideal guru, and he is frequently invoked in the guru maṇḍala, the foundational ritual for all other Newa: Buddhist rituals and the daily pūjā for Newa: priests. The śatākṣara (100 syllable prayer to Vajrasatva) is memorized early in life by most practicing Newa: Buddhists.
In the Shingon Buddhist lineage, Vajrasatva is traditionally viewed as the second patriarch, the first being Vairocana Buddha. According to Kukai's writings in Record of the Dharma Transmission he relates a story based on Amoghavajra's account that Nagarjuna met Vajrasatva in an iron tower in southern India. Vajrasatva initiated Nagarjuna into the abhiseka ritual and entrusted him with the esoteric teachings he had learned from Vairocana Buddha, as depicted in the Mahavairocana Sutra. Kukai does not elaborate further on Vajrasatva or his origins.
Elsewhere, Vajrasatva is an important figure in two esoteric Buddhist sutras, the Mahavairocana Sutra and the Vajrasekhara Sutra. In the first chapter of the Mahavairocana Sutra, Vajrasatva leads a host of beings who visit Vairocana Buddha to learn the Dharma. Vajrasatva inquires about the cause, goal and foundation of all-embracing wisdom, which leads to a philosophical discourse delivered by the Buddha. The audience cannot comprehend the teaching, so the Buddha demonstrates through the use of mandala. Vajrasatva then questions why rituals and objects are needed if the truth is beyond form. Vairocana Buddha replies to Vajrasatva that these are expedient means whose function is to bring practitioners to awakening more readily, and so on. In Shingon Buddhist rituals for initiation; the kechien kanjō; the initiate re-enacts the role of Vajrasatva and recites mantra and dialogue from the sutras above. The Mahācārya enacts the role of Mahavairocana Buddha, bestowing wisdom upon the student.
In Tibetan Buddhism the Vajrasatva root tantra is Dorje Gyan, or "Vajra Ornament". Vajrasatva practices are common to all of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and are used both to purify obscurations so that the Vajrayana student can progress beyond Ngondro practices to the various yoga practices of tantra and also to purify any broken samaya vows after initiation. As such, Vajrasatva practice is an essential element of Tibetan Buddhist practice.
In addition to personal practice, the Vajrasatva mantra is regarded as having the ability to purify karma, bring peace, and cause enlightened activity in general. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche announced a project, Prayer 4 Peace, to accumulate one billion six syllable Vajrasatva recitations from practitioners around the world. The six syllable mantra (oṁ Vajrasatva Hūṁ), is a less formal version of the one hundred syllable mantra on which it is based but contains the essential spiritual points of the longer mantra, according to lama and tulku Jamgon Kongtrul.
Hundred Syllable Mantra
In Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist practice, Vajrasatva is used in the Ngondro, or preliminary practices, in order to purify the mind's defilements, prior to undertaking more advanced tantric techniques. The yik gya, the "Hundred Syllable Mantra" (Tibetan: ཡིག་བརྒྱ, Wylie: yig brgya) supplication of Vajrasatva, approaches universality in the various elementary Ngondro sadhana for sadhakas of all Mantrayana and Sarma schools bar the Bonpo. The pronunciation and orthography differ between lineages.
ཨཱཿ །། ཧཱུྂ ཕཊ༔
(The most excellent exclamation of praise)
The evocation of the Hundred Syllable Vajrasatltva Mantra in the Vajrayana lineage of Jigme Lingpa's (1729–1798) ngondro from the Longchen Nyingtig displays Sanskrit-Tibetan hybridization. Such textual and dialectical diglossia (Sanskrit: dvaibhāṣika) is evident from the earliest transmission of tantra into the region, where the original Sanskrit phonemes and lexical items are often orthographically rendered in the Tibetan, rather than the comparable indigenous terms (Davidson, 2002). Though Jigme Lingpa did not compose the Hundred Syllable Mantra, his scribal style bears a marked similarity to it as evidenced by his biographies (Gyatso, 1998). Jigme Lingpa as pandit, which in the Himalayan context denotes an indigenous Tibetan versed in Sanskrit, often wrote in a hybridized Sanskrit-Tibetan diglossia.
Samantabhadra discourses to Vajrasatva and in turn Vajrasatva asks questions of Samantabhadra in clarification in the Kulayaraja Tantra (Wyl. kun byed rgyal po; Tib. künjé gyalpo) or "The All-Creating King Tantra", the main tantra of the Mind Series of Dzogchen.
Vajrasatva is often depicted with various consorts: the peaceful one Vajragarvi aka Vajrasatvātmikā (Tib. Dorje Nyema), Dharmadhatvishvari, Ghantapani ("Bell Bearer"), the wrathful one Diptacakra, Vajratopa, Vajrabhrikuti, and others.
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- Abe, Ryuichi (1999). The Weaving of Mantra: Kukai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11286-6.
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- Gyatso, Janet (1998). Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary; a Translation and Study of Jigme Lingpa's 'Dancing Moon in the Water' and 'Ḍākki's Grand Secret-Talk'. Princeton, New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01110-9 (cloth: alk. paper)
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- E. K. Neumaier-Dargyay, The Sovereign All-Creating Mind: The Motherly Buddha, Albany, 1992
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