How to Develop the Bodhicitta
Under the guidance of the Buddhist Yogi C. M. Chen
Written by Yutang Lin
Bodhicitta is both Wisdom and Compassion in balance and materiality and mentality in harmony. Thus even the fourth Bodhicitta of Samadhi cannot be taken as the final Bodhicitta, because the materiality involved is still mental, i.e., the moon and vajra are only visualizations of material objects, but not the material objects themselves. Hence to realize the identification of mentality and materiality, one must further develop the Bodhicitta of Kunda, which is the crystallization of combining Sunyata Samadhi with human reproductive cells.
The theoretical aspect of the development of the Bodhicitta of Kunda has already been fully expounded by Yogi Chen in his earlier works. Thus we choose to present the essential ones again in this booklet. Section II of this booklet is the first half of Chapter VI of How to Develop the Bodhicitta. Sections III to V of this booklets is Section II of How to Transform a Human Body into a Buddha Body, Part II. Some minor typing errors in the originals have been corrected here.
The practical aspect of the development of the Bodhicitta of Kunda can be learned only from an experienced Guru. The Tantric tradition has always kept these methods in secret to prevent misuses by evil persons. All and only those persons who have a pure motive and have accumulated enough merits will be helped by Buddha to have such a Guru to teach them these secrets.
II. How to Develop the Bodhicitta of Kunda Which Contains the Red Bodhi and the White Bodhi in a Psycho-Physical System of Holy Quality
The Buddha-body visualized in the Bodhicitta of Samadhi course consists only of outer appearance, and the vajra's lower part of five elements has not been utilized completely. Inside the Buddha-body are his wisdom nerves, wisdom drops, and wisdom energy, or breath. Without practicing the Anuttara Yoga but only the Yogic Yoga, one could not develop the real Buddha-body--much less its functions. The identification of mentality and materiality in the four kinds of Bodhicitta of Samadhi has only the philosophic theory. The real five elements have not yet taken place in that samadhi. But in this fifth Bodhicitta, the eventual union of the Red Bodhi and White Bodhi of the practitioner's body with that of his Dakini is quite a psychological matter in fact. Readers who read over the following lines will recognize that the Bodhicitta of Kunda is quite a must.
1. When one has the first great initiation named "Precious Vase Initiation," one practices the growing yoga or the evolutional yoga. One's body becomes completely like a Buddha's body. This seems to be a review of the fourth Bodhicitta of Samadhi, but many such tantric methods in evolutional yoga are not taught in the course of Samadhi Bodhicitta. Also, the first initiation differs from the Yogic initiation, as the former is able to bring the wisdom yidam in the position of consequence into the practitioner's body. Further, the fifth step of the complete Buddha-body is a visualization only. After the first initiation of Anuttara Yoga, the body is harmonized with the real Buddha-body, and the mandala of the Buddha-body should then be visualized again. The realization of the Buddha-body should not only appear in one's own sight, but in other's vision as well.
2. In the Buddha-body one should visualize the three main nerves which belong to the practice of the second initiation. It is called "Secret Initiation" and since this technical method is never included in the previous yogas, it is very secret. The breath which passes through the three nerves is the breath of Buddhahood. The five elements formed in the wisdom breath are also secret to outsiders and to the Hinayana and Mahayana. The wisdom drops directly form the red Bodhi in the lower part of the median nerve and the white Bodhi in the upper part of the median nerve. Both are the Bodhicitta of Kunda which makes the fifth Bodhicitta an available and reasonable practice, through which it becomes possible to traverse the entire length of the whole system of Bodhicitta.
Through the practice of wisdom breath the red Bodhi ascends and the white Bodhi descends. Both become harmonized and prevail in the whole body of Heruka or Buddha.
3. When one gets the third great initiation one is given a Dakini by his Guru in order to practice the Vajra love. His accomplished white Bodhicitta harmonizes with the red Bodhicitta of his Dakini. Since the male Heruka has more white Bodhi than red Bodhi, the Heruka needs to exchange and to identify with the red Bodhi of the Dakini. As the female Dakini has more red Bodhi than white, both are benefitted through the action of Vajra love. By such practice it is said that one easily and quickly develops the power of salvation in this life time, and that the ultimate Bodhi-conduct and the success of the Bodhi-will are finally achieved.
Padmasambhava practiced Vajra love and attained Full Enlightenment and immortality. Tsongkapa had a good idea to keep the Vinaya perfectly and to show that the Bhikshu rules clearly forbade him to use a Dakini personally and only allowed him to visualize a Dakini. Thus he could only get Full Enlightenment in his Bardo state. This has been written down in his biography and the believers of the Gelugpa School all admit it. These two sages have very clearly set a good example for us.
It is said that Buddha can save sentient beings without even arising from his seat. This is because a meditative seat of Vajra love which acts with white and red Bodhi passing through the secret and sacred mandala of the Lotus of the Dakini may perform every kind of Karma--either to get rid of sins or diseases or increase wealth and health, or induce power and love, or subdue demons or devils. All can be achieved with one practice of Vajra love on this meditative seat.
4. When one is given the fourth great initiation, one's Dharmakaya light is attested to by the Guru and is identified with either Mahamudra or Mahaperfection. Then the Full Enlightenment for both the practitioner and his believers or sentient beings is realized and there is nothing left to be done. The Bodhicitta has arrived at its perfect completion which is called "Samyak Sambodhi."
To know this Kunda Bodhicitta more in detail, please read my booklet How to Transform a Human Body into a Buddha-Body.
III. The Essential Elements in the Development of the Bodhicitta of Kunda
1. Breathing or Holy Energies
From coarse to fine, from gross to subtle, from vulgar to gnostic and from violent to quiet, the practice of breathing has been well taught and well trained in both Hinayana and Mahayana. This is a good foundation for Breathing in Vajrayana. Vajrayana doctrines have elaborately pointed out to the practitioner the five different energies with their different functions and roles in the different positions of the Buddha body. When the practitioner practices the Tomoyoga in this second initiation, he should do it in the following sequence: first, practice the light bottle-like deep breath; second, the heavy bottle-like deepest breath until a certain degree of realization is attained, and the different functions of the five are utilized. These foolish and ignorant Hinayana believers usually say that they also have breathing practice. This is just like primary school pupils saying that they too have science and mathematics like those in high school and college. Actually they have not even dreamed of the names in differential calculus and integral calculus and how could they recognize the theory of relativity put forth by Einstein who was inspired by the non-absoluteness of Buddhism? My good readers, if you are still a Hinayana believer, please open your mind to learn more doctrines of the Tantra. It will not harm you even though it may be very hard for you to be benefitted by it.
2. The Holy Nerves
The way through which the wisdom energies pass is the gnostic nerves. The lioness' milk should be kept in a precious bottle, not a bottle of inferior quality. All the gnostic nerves belong to Buddhahood. The most important median nerve is a representative of the Dharmakaya; the two great nerves on the left and right sides of the Buddha body and the main seven wheels around the median nerve are pertaining to the Sambhogakaya; and the small nerves pervading the whole body are of and in the same Sambhogakaya yet it produces Nirmanakaya. There are 12 wheels in the four limbs, 30 wheels in the fingers, 20 wheels in the toes and 72,000 fine nerves under the skin.
Besides the five energies which pass through different nerves, there are four-fold holy things which are contained in the nerves. Outwardly, the ten Dharmadhatus, the great universe; inwardly, all the Gods, Angels, and Asuras of the heavens; secretly, all the Protectors, Dakinis and Bodhisattvas; most secretly, all the Herukas and Buddhas. All stay in the nerves and within their different Mandalas. The above three realizations or conditions of the visualization, i.e., Clarity, Firmness, and Buddha-Pride, should be practiced with all these nerves.
Most modern authors either of the East or of the West mistake the human body as the Buddha body. They like to say that the median nerve is in the spinal column, and the two great nerves left and right are the sympathetic and cerebral spinal system or the arteries and veins, that the five main great wheels are the five organs, and that the wisdom drops within the five wheels are the different hormones. This is quite wrong. The human body has been meditated away when one practices the doctrines of the Hinayana--Impermanence meditation and the nine meditations on a dead body concerned the human body. After one has gone through the eight voidness meditations of non-egoism in the Mahayana, one's body of flesh and blood has been cast behind the scene. A body of meditation is brought out. When one practices the Buddha body in which there are only wisdom and compassion, only meditation and light, nothing of flesh should be thought of, no spinal column or any other thing. Each of them may be "corresponding to", but not "is." Before one's body is really transformed into a Buddha body these correspondences are important. One has to take more care of them in one's daily life but not in the meditation of a Buddha body as the latter has its own whole system which does not allow any flesh thing to appear or to be thought of in the meditations.
Furthermore, each of the main wheels surrounding the median nerve has its special function when breath and wisdom drops are well controlled, and certain supernatural powers may be manifest. The wheel of the hair-tuft may open a holy entrance to the Pure Land and the yoga of Phowa which enables the practitioner to transmit his own consciousness into that of Buddha Amita or any other Buddhas. The wheel of the head may get heavenly eyes to see everything under the heavens, and heavenly ears to hear every voice of the heavens and earth and enable the practitioner to get the light of the Dharmakaya. That is why it is also referred to as the Dharmakaya wheel when the five kayas are dealt with. The wheel of the throat may succeed in making one skillful in dreams and in the four kinds of holy abilities for debate as well as enabling the practitioner to attain the position of Sambhogakaya. The wheel of the heart may get the supernatural power to read other's minds and enable the practitioner to obtain the Sahajakaya or Svaghavikakaya. The wheel of the navel may get the supernatural power of knowledge to know the past lives of oneself and of any others and enable the practitioner to get the Nirmanakaya. The wheel of the abdomen may get the supernatural power of a magic body and enable the practitioner to get the Mahasukhaprajnakaya through vajra love practice with it.
3. The Wisdom Drops
Regarding the wisdom drops, the Ancients used to classify them into four kinds: drops of food, drops of breathing, drops of incantations, and drops of wisdom. Drops of food are semen or ova belonging to the human body. Drops of breathing are energies. Drops of incantations are bijas and true words. These three are pertaining to the lower three Tantras. It is only the drops of wisdom belonging to the Anuttarayoga which should not be confounded with the semen as those ancient authors had done. Many Tibetan famous works have mentioned that all the organs, such as the heart, liver, stomach, kidneys, spleen and pancreases are formed from drops of food. In short, except for the energies and the nerves, all parts of the body belong to the drops of food. They are different from one another by the degree of purity. In my Opinion, all those parts are only of the flesh body which should be treated as an impure thing as Hinayana doctrines have taught. The Buddha body has only wisdom drops which should be practiced in Anuttarayoga under the second and third initiations. At the bottom of the median nerve are situated the red wisdom drops which is the Tomo and the wisdom essence. At the top of the median nerve are the white Wisdom drops which are the great compassion through wisdom. The former contains the five elements in general but fire in particular. The latter contains the five elements in general but water in particular. After they are mixed with each other, the other three elements will be produced and by their different qualities, colors, and functions, the five elements and five wisdoms will be completely produced and entirely worked upon.
Each drop contains a Buddha and his Pure Land. It may be a great one as the Dharmakaya which used to be called the "Only-One-Drop," and also may be as many as the different Herukas and Buddhas and Sambhogakayas and Nirmanakayas.
What is the form and color of a wisdom drop and who has seen it? Many Tibetan works mentioned only a few words on this topic. The wisdom drop is round in form and the size of a garden pea, having four characteristics: i.e., (1) round and perfect, (2) clear and transparent, (3) bright and clean, (4) merciful and moist. But Majerabdro, the mother of Prajna Paramita described it more elaborately: It is in the form of an egg with light; the size of the tip of a small finger and smooth like oil; and with the color of the blue gem of the holy place named Budhali. In the cave of Budhali there is a hermitage called Sarnbhapa which is a triangular palace of the Holy Dharma surrounded with a rainbow. It looked very beautiful and maintained every kind of virtue gathered with many holy beings such as Dakinis, Bodhisattvas, Buddhas, and Herukas. The wisdom drop also has all these merits. And she also said: "I lived in a forest of Chandan trees in which there is a special bird with the name of Goshun. Its plume is blue with a tinge of dark green. Its wings are marked with white crescents. Its tail is bright and in five colors, under its feet there are white conches. It has a white beak, white toes and red eyes. Its neck and head are like those of a peacock. On its crest stand three long red feathers from which it shines many rays of light. Bees cannot come Close to it. It does not kill any insects. It always stands on the flowers and never walks on the ground. It repeats only the incantation of Tara--our Holy Mother, in a very pleasant sound. Whenever its mind is pleased, it repeats the incantation as a bliss to the person who meets with it. Otherwise it does not do so. It feeds on the buds of the good scented flowers and some medicine herbs. Sometimes it likes to stay on the branches of the Camphor tree and sleeps on large and good scented flowers like the Lotus. It possesses good characteristics and a beautiful countenance. Its eggs are rare, a female Goshun lays only two eggs; a male hatches from one egg, a female from the other. They are usually laid on the camphor tree. The chicks grow up with the blessing of our holy mother Tara. That is why this bird is called the incarnation of Mother Tara. Its stool is good medicine. Whoever takes it, the four hundred and four diseases will not harm him. When the stool is made into a holy pill and is kept on one's body, one myriad and eight thousand disorders or calamities will never bother the keeper. When it is mixed with oil, any kind of sore may be cured. Anybody who eats the meat of Goshun after its death may get accomplishment of worldly things. One who offers its feathers may get excellent achievement of Buddhahood. One who sees its countenance or hears its voice at least will not fall into the lower realms. The people who live in the forest of Chandan trees on which it stays will never be reborn in the three bad realms. This kind of holy bird is very rare. If one's merits are not great enough one could not meet with it. It always preaches to the bees and other insects. It helps them to get a good rebirth in the heavens. When the chicks grow up they fly far away and never come back; it is a kind of renunciation. They build their hermitage until they lay two eggs, then they fly away. This is their traditional habit. Those eggs are scarcely seen by people, even those with no sins. The holy bird is an oriole, but its head is a little longer than that of an oriole. The egg shell is reddish white. It is transparent and smooth. It emits rays of light twelve feet long, in five colors which indicate the five wisdoms. Inside the egg there are five layers of lights. The light of the outermost layer is white, that of the second layer is red, the third is yellow, the fourth is green, and the fifth is blue as the cloudless sky. Inside the fifth layer there is a drop the size of a mustard seed in the light of mixed colors which is the entity of Sunyata. It is like the moon in the water and the image in the mirror. This mixed colors are in six different hues which show the Dorje Chang and his five disciples of Buddhahood. This egg possesses many good virtues. The wisdom drop of our Buddha body should be visualized like this."
As far as I have read in Tibetan Tantric works, there is no more detailed description than this. For emphasizing the practice of the wisdom drop, I introduce it to the readers. We should know that the quintessence of the Buddha body is the wisdom drop which is the crystallization of the Dharmakaya, the bliss-coagulation of Sambhogakaya, and the compassion-seeds of the innumerable Nirmanakayas. It is the holy life; when it is transmitted into Amita's mind, one becomes Amita Buddha; into Cakrasamvara's mind, one becomes Cakrasamavara Buddha; into any other Buddha's mind, one becomes the same Buddha as him. It is the body of pleasure from which victorious and transcendent light is issued and the Sahajakaya is formed. It is the perfect wisdom from which the great bliss reaches its maximum and the Mahasukhaprajnakaya succeeds which is the highest aim of the Vajrayana and never dreamed of by the believers of Mahayana and those of Hinayana.
For a comparative study, I should state a few more words. Though semen may correspond with the wisdom drops, they are quite different. The former is produced by sorrow of lust and pertains to Avidya, while the latter is produced by the wisdom of Sunyata and belongs to Vidya. When one gets the initiation of Vajrayana, he is born from the parents of Dorje Chang--the Guru. Original Buddha nature is in his Sunyata nature and has been drawn out and brought to the Guru's body, passed through his median nerve to the Guru's Vajra while holy sexual intercourse with his Dakini is going on. It is then sent to her wisdom womb and through her double bliss, a wisdom child is born. This is an infant of a Buddha body. After the practitioner has been initiated, the real Buddha body is united with the new born Buddha body and his wisdom drops is a crystallization of Buddhas wisdom and Buddha's great compassion. There remains no egoism or lustful sorrow.
All the above three holy factors of energy, i.e., breath, nerves and drops, form the Buddha body which is not only materialized but also harmonized with the truth--non-egoism or Sunyata. They are three in one and one in three. When the Sunyata nature covers all the Sunyata conditions, it is the Buddha body of Dharmakaya or so-called the "Only-One-Wisdom Drop." When it functions and manifests in Sunyata conditions, it is the Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakayas and they play a lot of mystical transformation for the sake of salvation. They are the three holy wisdom things in the Buddha body that have their certain orders and rules. All these practices are the means to reach the Consequence of Buddhahood. The practitioner is taught by the Buddha Himself and may be successful in this lifetime.
IV. Vajra Love is Necessary for the Development of the Bodhicitta of Kunda
Though all the practices have already formed the materialization of a Buddha body, a practitioner still needs to integrate the Buddha body much more perfectly through the help of a Dakini. Just as a human body is formed by some main conditions, i.e., father's semen, mother's ovum and the consciousness of the being itself, so is the Buddha body which needs the Buddha's wisdom drop, the Dakini's wisdom drop, and the practitioners' ninth consciousness. A male practitioner has more wisdom drops of Shakta but less wisdom drops of Shakti; a female is reverse. The male's whole body is of Shakta, only the reproductive organ is Shakti; and the female is the opposite. During holy sexual intercourse, the Lotus and the Vajra both draw in their own supplementary drops mutually. There are still some other reasons for the necessity of the practice of Vajra Love.
The physical feature of a male is the sign of skillful means and compassion but that of a female is the sign of wisdom. The lines and curves of the female breasts and hips are attractive and beautiful which are the signs of wisdom, and the manner of the male are the signs of skill, strong muscles and rough. They need to help each other.
As the median nerve is the palace of wisdom or of Dharmakaya, the three things which get through this nerve, (breath, nerve, and drop) are sublimated into Buddha's wisdom. The two ends or two entrances of this gnostic nerve should both be practiced by the practitioner. The upper entrance is used to practice the Tantric breath while the lower entrance (the reproductive organ) should also be used to practice the vajra love. Hence through both entrances comes the wisdom energy from the male Buddhas and female Dakinis. It may shorten the time needed to achieve Full Enlightenment.
To get rid of lustful sorrow by escaping is a method of Hinayana; by treating it as voidness of Dharma is a method of the exoteric school of Mahayana; but by penetrating it, subduing it and making it into a means to save others is a method of Vajrayana. The higher the wisdom, the deeper the sorrow it may subdue. It is just as seeing a robber we should go after him and seize him. If we want to get a tiger's cub we must go into the tiger's den. When we are poisoned we apply an antidote which is a poison itself to counteract the other poison. When water blocks the ear we may use more water to wash the water out. When we fall down on the land we get up by supporting ourselves on the same land. Readers are advised to read my book Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical and booklets New No. 47, 72, and 78; from these you will find many good reasons for the practice of Vajra love.
Besides the theoretical reasons recognized, the secret methods of practice should be learned from the Guru personally. This kind of instruction is not printed or written but is obtainable only by oral instruction and impartation. One should find a Guru who has had such experiences and such a Guru from his own diligent practices, may have discovered some new methods which are suitable for this modern age.
By looking at the attractive countenance of the Dakini one practices the non-duality of Form and Sunyata; by listening to the articulate intonations of the Dakini, one practices the non-duality of Sound and Sunyata; by snuffing at the musky perfume of the lotus of the Dakini, one practices the non-duality of Smelling and Sunyata; by taking the nectar through kissing the Dakini, one practices the non-duality of Taste and Sunyata; by embracing, kissing, scratching, rubbing and squeezing every part of the body of the Dakini, one practices the non-duality of Touching and Sunyata. If any kind of non-duality loses some degree of Sunyata Samadhi, sexual intercourse should be forbidden until and unless pleasure and Sunyata both balance each other.
The great pleasure wisdom nerve of a Dakini is called the wisdom conch-like nerve which is in the lotus and at the end of her median nerve. Its tip is very small and short--There are many kinds of medicine to extend it until it is able to be inserted into the urethra of the practitioner. When the two median nerves touch, Shakta and Shakti energies pass and the wisdom drops exchange, then the four Sunyata and four bliss are harmonized in a great Samadhi of non-duality. Full Enlightenment may result and the perfect yoga will make the Buddha body perfectly integrated.
V. Dharmakaya is the Fruit of the Bodhicitta of Kunda
Why does a practitioner need the Fourth Initiation? It is said by the Ancients that the Third Initiation is the cause of the fourth and the fourth is the consequence of the third. When vajra love has been practiced rightly and skillfully, the holy light of Dharmakaya will appear and this is not easily detected by the practitioner without the witness of the qualified Guru who has the experience to recognize it. On account of that there are many kinds of holy lights. The one which is the very one of Dharmakaya can scarcely be determined by the practitioner. For instance, Jesus' light could make Saint Paul blind, God Jehovah forbade Moses to touch his light. Our Lord Buddha who shone his light many times and much brighter, never harmed any audience on any occasion. The light of Sambhogakaya illuminates much more than the Nirmanakaya, and the Dharmakaya light is the most excellent and transcendent and different from every other light. It should be identified with the truth of non-egoism. It contains many special characteristics as stated in the doctrine of Mahayana and Vajrayana but it is not dreamt of by any Arhat of Hinayana. There are no applicable modifying words or gnostic descriptions to clearly, apparently, and accurately describe this kind of light. It can only be certified by a personal Guru who has himself had the experience. There is no other kind of practice to teach this. But if false holy light appears, the Guru can just point it out and ask the disciple to practice again according to the practical rules of the Third Initiation until realization of the Dharmakaya is actually attained.
Epilogue to This Bodhicitta Series
This Bodhicitta Series consists of seven Chenian booklets: No.'s 124, 129, 130, 135, 139, 141, and 146 (new numbers 108-114), spanning from 1981 to 1985. Basically I have tried to explain the Chenian System of the Five Kinds of Bodhicittas in detail. Thus, under Yogi Chen's guidance, I have added examples, explanations, observations and comparisons to the original materials of How to Develop the Bodhicitta. A study of Yogi Chen's original work, followed by that of this Series, is recommended for serious scholars or practitioners. We hope that someday these works will be published in one volume for free distribution.
May all beings soon attain the Fruits of Bodhicitta!