Stainless Mirror of Jewels

A Commentary on Vairocanas

The Union of the Sun and Moon Yantra

Translated from Tibetan, edited and annotated by

Adriatic Clemente with the precious kelp of the Author

Translated from Italian into English by Andrew Luktanowkz Coordinated Ay Laura Evangelisti

Snow Lion Publications

Irhaca, New York

Snow Lion Publications

P.O. Box 6483 Ithaca. NY 14851 USA 607) 273-8519

w-ww.s n owlionpu h. com

Copyright © 2008 Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

All ncHts reserved. No portion of this hook may be reproduced by am means without prior written permission from the publisher.

Before follow ing any advice or practice suggested in this book, it is recommended that wu consult vour doctor as to its suitability, especially it' \ou are pregnant, or suffer from any health problems or special conditions. The*publishers, the author, and the photographers cannot accept anv responsibility for any injuries or damage incurred .i> a result of follow ing the exercises in tins book, or of using any of the therapeutic techniques described or mentioned here.

Printed in USA on acid-free recycled paper.

ISBN-10: I -55939-308-4 ISBN-13: 978-1-55939-308-9

Cover photo: See List ot Illustrations Photography bv Massimo Baccetti Illustrated bv Bruno Irmici

Designed by Daniel Zegunis

7EN06 - Approved bv the International Publications Committee of the Dzogchcn Community founded b\ ( hogval Namkhai Norbu.

Library of Cengrtss Caialcging-tn-Publicjlion Djta Namkhai Norbu. 1938-|'Phrul 'khor

ñi /Ja kha sbyor gyi dgoñs grel dri med nor bin me Ion. English

Mantra yoga : the I ibetan yoga of movement : A stainless mirror ot jewels : a commentary on Vaixocana's The union of the sun and moon yantra / Chogyal Namkhai Norbu ; translated írom I ibetan. edited and annoted by Adriano demente with the precious help of the author ; translated from Italian into English by Andrew Lukianowicz ; coordinated by Laura Evangelisti. p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references index.

ISBN-13: 978-1-55939-308-9 .ilk. paper ISBN-10: 1-55939-308-4 (alk. paper)

I. Vairocana, 8th cent. Phrul khor ñi /.la kha sbyor. 2. Yantra yoga. I. Clemente, Adriano. II Vairocana. 8th cent. 'Phrul 'khor m zla kha sbyor. English & Tibetan III Title

RA 781.72 . V353 N36I3 2008




Fo reword I Preface 3

Introduction to the Fundamentals of YantraYoga 9 The Union or the Sun and Moon Yantra by Vairocana

A Stainless Mirror of Jewels, Commentary to The I hucn the Sun and Moon Yantra by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu 35

part one:The Preliminaries 41

The Yantra Equipment 43 Exhaling the Stale Air 43

THE PHYSICAL TRAINING 45 Tsigjong: Loosenino the Joints 45

1. Tightening 46

2. Shaking 48

3. Pulling 52

4. Bending 56

5. Rotating 58

lungsang: Purifying the Prdna 61

1. Inhaling Slowly 62

2. Holding Open 64

3. Directing 66

4. Exhaling Quickly 68

5. Inhaling Quickly 70

6. Holding Closed 72

7. Contracting 74

8. Exhaling Slowly 76 TsaDUL: Controlling the Channels 78

The Pranayama 78 The Yantras 79

1. Massaging 80

2. Extending the Ankles 82

3. Rotating the Arms 84

4. Closing the Armpits 86

5. Stretching 88

. HTRA Yoga The Tibetan l^y of Movement_

* Two: The Fundamental Series of Pranayamas and Yantras 91

the five series of pranayamas l>4

First Series: The Four Characteristic Conditions 95 The Pranayama 95 The Mantras 97

1. The Camel 99

2. The Conch 107

3. The Flame 115

4. The Turtle 123

5. The Plough 131

Second Series: The Four Profound Applications 139 The Pranayama 139 The Yantras 148

1. The Snake 149

2. The Curved Knife 157

3. The Daa^er 165

4. The Dog 173

5. The Spider 181

Third Series: The Secret Breathing for Directing the Prana into the Central Channel 189

The Pranayama 189 The Yantras 194

1. The Bow 195

2. The Half-Moon 203

3. The Lion 211

4. The Vulture 219

5. The Triangle 227

Fourth Series: The Smooth Breathing with Seven Limbs 235 The Pranayama 235 The Yantras 240

1.The Locust 241

2. The Dove 249

3. The Trident 257

4. The Tiger 265

5. The Jewel 273

Fifth Series: Tie Rough Breathing with Six Applications 281 The Pranayama 281

The Yantras 285

1. The Wheel 287

2. The Eagle 295

3. The Sword 303

4. The Frog 311

5. The Peacock 319

Summary or the Initial and Final Phases of the Yantras of the Five Series 327

the all-inclusive method of the seven lotus poses 331

1. The Flaming Lotus 334

2. The Arched Lotus 336

3. The Entwined Lotus 338

4. The Suspended Lotus 340

5. The Swinging Lotus 342

6. The Jumping Lotus 344

7. The Snaking Lotus 346

Summary of the Initial and Final Phases of the Yantras of the Seven Lotus Poses 348

the signs and resultant qualities of the practice 351

1. The Resultant Qualities of the Three Secret Aspects 351

2. The Three Ripenings 352

3. The Obtainment of the Three Powers 353

Part Three: The Concluding Sections 355

1. Overcoming Hindrances: The Vajra Wave 357

2. Final Advice 365

3. Conclusion 365

Dedication of Merit 365

Colophon 366

The Name of the Author 366

Appendix One: The Functions of the Five Pranas 369 Appendix Two: On the Cakras 370

Appendix Three: The Yantras Related to Various Aspects of

Buddhist Practice 372 Appendix Four: Preliminary Loosening Exercises 374 Appendix Five: List of the Benefits of the Yantras 376

Notes 381

Index of Tibetan and Sanskrit Names and Terms 402

Exercices Yantra Yoga Tib Tain

ChÖgyal Namkhai Norbu teaching Yantra Yoga in 1971


y antra Yoga is a system ot practice that includes physical movements, breathing exercises and methods of concentration. It can be considered f the equivalent of Hathavoga within the Buddhist tradition. While there are numerous systems of- Yantra or Trulkhor1 belonging to various tantric cycles, the only system that is currently diffused in the West is the Yantra presented in this book, which has been taught since the early 1970s by the master Chogyai Namkhai Norbu.

The origin of Yantra Yoga is probably the same as that of the Buddhist anuttaratantras or higher tantras, most of which were introduced into India beginning around the fourth century C.E. from Oddiyana, a kingdom identified by many scholars as the Swat valley in present day Pakistan. The system of Yantra entitled The Union of the Sun and .Moon Yantra ('Phrttl 'khor nyi zla kha sbyor) was originally transmitted by the Mahasiddha Humkara to the great master Padmasambhava, who then transmitted it to Vairocana in Tibet in the eighth century. Vairocana, the great Tibetan translator who first introduced the scriptures of the Dzogchen teaching into Tibet,2 wrote down the instructions contained in this Yantra Yoga text.

Although the lengyur, the Buddhist canon of commentaries and treatises, contains numerous Yantra texts, The Union oj the Sun and Moon Yantra is special in that it contains, in relation to the fundamental prdndyama practices, laconic descriptions of seventy-five poses which correspond to as many asanas of the Hathavoga tradition. This is interesting from the historical point of view, because our text could be regarded as the most ancient to describe such poses, inasmuch as the Hathavoga texts currently extant arc of later date.*'

The original Tibetan text, included in this book, is part of a cycle known as The Oral Transmission of Vairocana ( Vai ro snyan brgymf) that includes two other texts: The Overcoming of Obstacles and the Benefits of the I a ion of the Sun and Moon Yantra (ThruI %hor nyi zla kha shyor gyi phrang stl phan yon dang bcas pa), from which have been taken the descriptions of the medical benefits of each exercise found in this book, and The Root Text on Tummo (¿Turn

Yantra Y or. v Ih mum 0/ Afovmirnr mo 1 rtsa h\ a text on the practice of Tummo or 'inner heat' which is at present still unavailable.4 The detailed commentary, A Stainless Mirror of k\vrk Commentary to the Yantra Union of tlx Sun and Moon ( Thru I Uor nyi zla Ick sher gyt Jgyngs grtl Jri med nor bu V me long\ written by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu in 1976. was first published inTibetan in 1982 by Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso and subsequently in 1993 by the Mi rigs dpc skrun khang. Beijing.

In mv work of translation and annotation have greatly benefited i from the precious collaboration of the author. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. from whom I was also fortunate enough to learn directly the fundamentals of this yoga during the last course that he gave in Naples in I976-I977. Moreover, during all the years that I was engaged in translating and preparing notes for this text, he has always patiently resolved mv doubts and clarified many difficult points, both in theory and in practice. For the revision of the text and the graphic organization of the book. 1 wish to thank Laura Evangelist! and l abio Andrico. the two main instructors authorized to teach Yantra Yoga by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu.

Many thanks also to Luigi Vitiello. who helped me with the sections containing the descriptions of the medical benefits; to the Tibetan doctors hubten Phuntsok and Nyida Chenagtsang. who clarified some points concerning the medical benefits; to Lynn Sutherland and Paula Barry for their useful suggestions; to Ycsan Clemente, Alberto Scarso, Oni McKinstry, Sergio Campodonico, Giuliano Casiraghi and sMan skyid who. together with abio Andrico and Laura Evangelisti, posed for the photographs; to Liane Graaf, Steve Landsberg, Elio Guarisco, Tiziana Gottardi, Igor Legati and all those who helped in various ways to make this book available.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that for practicing Yantra Yoga it is indispensable to receive oral instructions from one of the authorized instructors of the Dzogchen Community founded by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and that in order to teach any part of it, it is necessary to receive his direct authorization (for information regarding this please contact the Shang Shung Institute Italy:

Adriano ( emente October 2001


The great master Vairocana was endowed with three extraordinary qualities. He was the greatest translator of sacred texts to have lived in Tibet, an erudite scholar with total mastery of all the Sutra andTantra teachings, and a Vidyadhara and Siddha with concrete realization of the state of self-perfection of Dzogchen. He put in writing this system of Yantra orTrulkhor called The Union of the Sun and Moon, very probably the most ancient among the various Yantra systems diffused in Tibet, which is connected with the profound upadesa of the tantra of Heruka Bhagavan Sri Ngondzog Gyalpo and constitutes a marvelous ancillary practice of the oral transmission of the Vajra Bridget

From the time when it was taught by the great master Vairocana and his disciple, the siddha Yudra Nyingpo/ to their fortunate students down to our own time, The Union of the Sun and Moon Yantra together with its related instructions has never suffered any interruption in its oral transmission, nor anv

diminution oi its capacity of empowerment or of its efficacy to enable the attainment of sid-

Ngondzog Gyalpo

Even though all the Yantra systems tied to the various tantras, and in particular this tradition of The Union oj the Sun and Moon Yantra, utilized by yogins as a secondary method of the practice of the Heruka Ngondzog Gyalpo, belong to the profound and secret anuttaratantra series, any person approaching the practice of yoga in general and in particular the true principle of Dzogchen, the teaching of self-perfection, should first of all be able to relax body, voice and mind in their natural condition. The Yantra exercises, which

Ngondzog Gyalpo

Yantra Yoga V*Tibrm^

Guru Rinpoche Yab Yum

Adzom Drugpa (1842-1924)

engage all three aspects of body, voice and mind, comprise an exceptional means to enable relaxation. Consequently, they should not be deemed solely a secondary means for secret practices such as Turn mo,8 but rather as something indispensable for the achievement of authentic relaxation ot the body, voice and mind of each individual, a preliminary to any kind of practice. This is so because the mind finds its natural condition onl\ when the prdna is in its natural condition. Whether or not the prana is in such condition depends on the condition of the 'vajra body',0 and thus there exist diverse kinds of movements for control of the vajra body.

In other words, by controlling the vajra body by means of physical

Changchub Dorje

Drugse Gyurmed Dorje (1896-1959)

movements, the practitioner's prdna recovers its natural balance. Consequently, the condition of the elements and the health of the body improve. Through balancing the energy of the elements, obstacles diminish and good conditions increase. Finally, the natural balance of the mind facilitates the arising of profound contemplation. These arc just a few examples of the innumerable definitive and provisional benefits of the practice of Yantra. So. all those aware of the functions of the body, voice and mind that constitute the individual should be interested in this practice, regardless of whether or not they are already practitioners of Mantrayâna.10 I believe this is really important.

A pure and uninterrupted tradition of the precious oral teaching of

Yantra Yoga The Tibetan Yoga of Mewment

Yantra Yoga The Tibetan Yoga of Mewment

Six Yogas Naropa

Gyurmed Gyaltscn (1914-1972)

The Union of the Sun and Moon Yantra was best preserved at Adzom Gar in East Tibet by the great master Adzom Drugpa, Drugchen Dorjechang Drodul Pawo Dorje,11 by his son Drugsc Gyurmed Dorje12 and other disctplcs. As a result of their activities and care, the teaching of this Mantra system was widely disseminated; however, due to the changes that occurred in the twentieth century, the oral tradition of the various Yantra systems tied to the anuttaratantras and particularly that of The

Union of the Sun and Moon Yantra severely declined, and today it is just like a sun that is about to set behind a mountain peak. It is evident, in fact, that in spite of the availability of the text of The Union of the Sun and Moon Yantra, if the precious oral instructions of a lineage teacher are lacking, then one can have only a literal understanding of such a text, inadequate for actual practice.

Fortunately, from a very young age I had the opportunity to spend much time with a direct disciple of Adzom Drugpa Rinpoche, my paternal uncle Togden Ugyen Tendzin^ (1888-1961). I received from him the oral instructions on the way to practice The Union oj the Sun and Moon Yantra. which enabled me later to acquire sufficient familiarity and experience of the profound methods contained herein. Furthermore, in order to resolve definitively my doubts, all the points in the text related to actual practice that were not clear or that were difficult to understand were explained to me by Drugse Gyurmed Dorje (1896-1959), son of Adzom Drugpa, by the Vidyadhara Changchub Dorje,14 a disciple of Adzom Drugpa, and by the latters son Gyurmed Gyaltsen.

With the intent to avoid any interruptions in the precious oral tradition of The Union oj the Sun and Moon Yantra and to give all those who in the future will be interested the opportunity to practice it, I decided to write an easily understandable commentary to the original text by Vairocana, based mainly on the notes that I took when I received detailed oral instructions from Ugyen Tendzin and my other kind teachers of Yantra, and also on my personal experience. I have also included some tables with the timings for the performance of the various breathing phases of the movements and of the prandyama of the Four Profound


In conclusion, with all my effort and capacity I have written this detailed commentary to enable immediate understanding of The Union of the Sun and Moon Yantra. I hope and express the wish that this might become the cause of supreme happiness, both provisional and definitive, for all beings.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

March 1982

Introduction to the Fundamentals of Yantra Yoga15

1 antra is a Sanskrit word that can mean a geometric shape, such as a mandala; but its Tibetan translation, trulkbor, also means 'body movement'.16 Movement can give rise to many forms: hence the meaning of Yantra Yoga. In fact, movement serves to co-ordinate and guide the prana or vital energy.

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition there are several Yantra svstems, each connected with a particular tantric cycle. In the Sakyapa tradition, for example, one of the best-known is the Yantra tied to the Lamdre Lobshcd cycle of teachings.1' This Yantra, originally transmitted bv the Mahasiddha Viriipa (circa tenth century), was introduced into Tibet as a secondary method for the practice of Vajrayogini by Amoghavajra (circa eleventh century), an Indian master who spent several years in Tibet working with Tibetans on the translation of Sanskrit texts. Amoghavajra also introduced into Tibet some Yantra systems tied to the Cakrasamvara Tantra transmitted by the Mahasiddha Nagpopa, also known as Kan ha and Krsnacarva (circa eleventh century), who was himself a great practitioner of this tantra. Originally, these systems consisted of a few exercises, which were subsequently expanded and developed on the basis of these masters' experiences. The original Yantra of the Kdlacakra tantra tradition was also subsequently expanded by teachers of this tantric cycle such as Puton (1290-1364) and Taranatha (1575-1634). In more recent times, especially as a result of the work of Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche (1813-1899), the Yantra of Kalacakra called Jordrug18 has spread considerably. In other Tibetan schools various types of Yantras are also found. The Kagyupa School primarily uses the practice of the Six Yogas oj Naropa as taught in the Cakrasamvara tradition. In the Nyingmapa School, one of the Yantra systems that has spread in recent times is linked to the Longcben Nyingthig cycle of Jigmcd Lingpa (1730-1798). As all of these tantric cycles had been kept secret from noninitiates, the Yantras connected with them, intended primarily for the development of the practice of Tummo related to the completion stage y\nirv

A Yoga The Tibetan of Movement y\nirv

A Yoga The Tibetan of Movement

Ugyen Norla

Togden Ugyen Tcndzin (1888-1961) or Dzogrim, were also kept secret.

The Yantra Yoga system presented here is called Nyida Khajor. In Tibetan nyida means 'sun and moon. and khajor means union. This is the original name of the teaching transmitted by Vairocana. a celebrated Tibetan master who was one of the most important students of Guru Padmasambhava. After the latter, on the invitation of King Trisong

Dcutsen (742-797), introduced the Vajrayana into Tibet, Vairocana became a very important translator who rendered many original Dzogchen texts from the language of Oddiyana into Tibetan. Vairocana received the transmission of \ antra Yoga from Guru Padmasambhava, who had in turn received it from the Mahasiddha Hiimkara.19 The

YantraYoga was then transmitted by Vairocana to various disciples, such as Yudra Nyingpo, and in this way it has come down to us. This is the lineage of the teaching.

In addition to the text by Vairocana, there also exists an oral transmission of Yantra Yoga, which, along with the explanations from one's teacher, facilitate the understanding of the original text. I learned mainly from my uncle LJgyen Iendzin, who was a yogin and an excellent practitioner of Yantra and Dzogchen. When I came to Italy, after a few years people became interested in fantra and Tibetan yoga, and so I started to teach Yantra to them.

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that in 1 ibetan is rendered as naljor. Yoga originally means 'union', but naljor re ally means knowledge of the primordial condition: nal literally means 'original or authentic'; ¡or means to 'discover' or 'possess' this condition. Accordingly, the true meaning of the word naljor' is to discover our real condition. In the practice of Yantra Yoga we use body, voice and mind. With the body we perform movements and assume various poses; with the voice or energy we apply breathing techniques called pranayamas; with the mind we concentrate on or visualize something in order to go beyond discursive thought and judgment. In this way. working with body, voice, and mind together we have the possibility to achieve real knowledge - the understanding of our primordial state. This is the true meaning of the word yogti in the term

Yantra Yoga.

When we speak of body, voice and mind, we must understand that the body is the easiest to engage because it is associated with the material level. The physical body enables us to see and touch things and is thus a very concrete instrument with which to achieve a certain degree of understanding. In order to acquire a deeper understanding it is necessary to work then on the level of the voice or energy; but more important still is the level of the mind. In yoga, the mind is like the king, while energy is compared to the ministers and the body to the subjects. Clearly, the mind is more important than the body and the voice. Nevertheless, the physical movements and poses arc also important because if we are not able to control the body, we will not be able to control the energy;

12 Vanvrv Yoga ThTtkt*tY$a_Qf Movtmmt and it* we are not able to control the energy, we will not be able to control the mind. Thus, in this sense the mind is dependent on the energy, and the energy on the body. Yoga balances these three aspects by first working on the body through poses and movements that serve ro coordinate and harmonize the energy. In Yantra Yoga there are many poses that are similar to those in Hathayoga. There is a difference, however, in the wav they are performed. In Yantra Yoga the pose is not the main thins;: instead what is essential is the sequence of movements, interconnected with the breathing, performed to assume the pose. Both the movements and the pose are done for a limited time, based on a fundamental cvde of four counts.21

The Yantra Yoga of Yairocana comprises one hundred and eight exercises." The principal section is divided into five series, each with its own breathing technique or prandydma which serves to control the prdna energv. There are five main practices ot prdna tied to the five series of vaniros. Before doing these exercises, it is necessary to practice the preparatorv movements. When we first learn a practice connected with the prdna energy from a teacher, we can never be certain that we are doing it in the right way. Thus in Yantra Yoga there are eight preliminary movements related to eight modes of breathing. If we learn these eight movements called Lungsang and we train adequately, then we will not make mistakes when we engage in the prdna practices because we already know-how to breathe correctly. Furthermore, there are two series of live movements to coordinate our energy precisely: the Tsigjong and the Tsadul. These eighteen movements - one scries of eight and two series of five each - are known as the preliminary practices. After we have learned them we can proceed to the main practices, which arc the five series of yantras and the five prdna practices.

Basically, all of these practices serve to coordinate our breathing in everyday life. We all know how to breathe in and out, but usually we don't do it in the right way because breathing is tied to the mind, which is often disordered and confused. We can see this very clearlv if we observe the way someone who is very agitated breathes compared to somebody who is very calm and serene. That is why it is necessary to co-ordmate our breathmg. In yoga it is said that life is breath, because when we surt to llve Wc start CQ bfcathe ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

orill rrrare said to livc a iongiifc ^ ** ** «>-

a m " lei" r °f ^ *** ****** ™ans towards this aim * the of a special method of holding the breath.

When practiced frequently and correctly, kumbhaka helps to coordinate breathing in our daily life so that we are no longer dominated by thoughts and emotions.

The Yantra Yoga of Vairocana belongs to the Dzogchen tradition. The method oi Dzogchen is different from the method of the anut-taratantras. I he method of Tantra is transformation, while that of the Sutra teaching is renunciation. For example, in the Sutra teaching the emotions are called 'poisons' because if we let ourselves be conditioned by them we can create many problems and negative potentialities. Thus we have to control our existence by renouncing the cause of negativity. In Tantra, however, the 'poisons' can be transformed because the true nature of emotions is energy, an aspect of our real condition.

The Atiyoga or Dzogchen teaching is found predominantly in the Nyingmapa tradition. Ati, in the language of- Oddiyana, means 'primordial state'; yoga means 'knowledge' or 'understanding'. The characteristic method of the 1 )/ogchen teaching is not based on the principle of transformation, but of self-liberation, therefore it does not entail the visualization o f de ities. Since the Yantra Yoga of Vairocana belongs to the Atiyoga system of the Dzogchen teaching, instead of visualizing oneself in the form of a deity as in the tantric practice, channels and cakras are visualized by means of a method called tono ra: tong means 'emptiness' and ra means 'dimension. The 'dimension of emptiness'means that, instead of transforming into a deity, we remain present in the knowledge of emptiness, which is our true condition. If on the other hand you want to learn the Yantra system of the Hevajra or of the Kalacakra tantras, first you must receive die initiation of the related tantra and then practice the creation and completion stages. Only then will you be able to practice Yantra and work with prana energy related to the channels and cakras.

Channels and cakras represent the inner structure of the human body, referred to in the tantric teachings as the 'vajra body'. 'Vajra' means 'indestructible', and 'vajra body' refers to the dimension of the three fundamental components: the channels and cakras, the prana that flows through them, and the bindu or thioic, the white and red seed-essences of the physical body that form the basis for practices such as the Tummo.:3

In the tantras of the Upadesa section of Dzogchen, it is explained that after the conception of a human being the first thing to develop is the navel cakra. Then from this, through a channel, the head cakra develops followed by the other main cakras of the throat and the heart. This channel or meridian, known as the life-channel,:4 develops into the

spinal cord and spine. At the same time .t remains as the fundamental encrv»v of the central channel

The central channel, known as Uma in Tibetan, is connected with the two lateral channels called Roma and Kyangma.25 1 he Roma channel. which is white and corresponds to lunar energy, is on the right side in men and on the left in women. Ro means taste, and the main function of this channel is to give the sensation of pleasure. The Kyangma channel, red and corresponding to solar energy, is on the left side in men and on the right in women. Kyang means sole', and unlike the Roma, this channel is not connected with many secondary channels. Control of this channel is fundamental in order to cultivate the experience of emptiness. These are the characteristic features of the two channels, which are related to the two principles of upaya or method, and of prajnd or energy.26 Method denotes even-thing pertaining to the visible or material dimension: while prajnd, which generally means discriminating wisdom, in this context denotes the energy of emptiness that is the base of any manifestation.

For example, if we talk of transformation as the fundamental principle of the practice of Tantra, we do not mean only the transformation ot energv. We are used to concrete, material vision, and consequently we need as our means of transformation the visible figure of a deity or matt-Jala with specific color a:id shape. All ot these elements, which serve to give an idea of the transformation, are called 'method'. Prajnd, on the other hand, has no form but must be understood through method. In the depiction of a deity in union or yab-yum the male figure representing method is stable, while the female, who represents energy, is embracing him in dynamic movement. This symbolizes our nature: method is stable and visible, whi e energy is not. What is presented must be visible, and its representation must enable one to understand that its true essence is energy. This principle also underlies the classification of the modern tantras. Those that use the aspect of method more are called 'father' turns, while those that use the aspect of prajnd or energy more are called mother' tantras. In any case, the channels are not material but instead represent the movement of energy, and energy can circulate in different ways accord,ng to how the channels are visualized. In general the channels are visualized entwined at the level of each cakra and joined with the central channel four fingers below the navel. This visualization is applied particularly in practices aimed at developing the sensation of pleasure. On the other hand, in some cases the channels are visualized as

Introduction ro the Fundamentals of Yantra Yoga 15

vertically parallel furthermore, sometimes the central channel ends four fingers below the navel where it joins with the two side channels, while at other times it ends at the bottom of the trunk.

I he cakras are discs along the central channel where the energy concentrates. Four, five or six cakras are visualized, according to the method that is being used. When we visualize four cakras, thev are at the head, throat, heart and navel. When we visualize six cakras, such as when we are working with the sensation of pleasure, we add the cakra found four fingers below the navel and the cakra at the base of the trunk. In Tan trie transformation practices it is necessary also to visualize the specific petals or branches of each cakra, usually numbering eight at the heart, sixteen at the throat, thirty-two at the head and sixty-four at the navel. However, there are also other points of view in this regard.2' The cakras are not something imaginary, bur are instead points where energy arises and is concentrated. I hus, even though the channels and cakras cannot be said to exist on a physical level they do have their own reality, otherwise there would be no explanation o the cfl tcacy of medical therapies such as acupuncture and moxibustion. The point is that they do not have a rigid material structure. Sometimes texts say that the central channel should be visualized one inch thick, sometimes as thick as an arrow, and at other times, much more slender, if it had a definitive size, it would always be visualized in the same way. Similarly, the cakras are visualized according to specific instructions, and not on the basis of their actual number.

I he visualizations arc always done in specific points because the praiui or vital energy concentrates where we concentrate our mind. In the diverse cakras we concentrate on colored spheres that represent the energy of the five elements. At times the shapes and colors are visualized in different cakras, at other times only in the main cakra of the navel.

Meditation or contemplation means knowledge of the nature of the mind beyond dualism. This condition is symbolized by the central channel, while the right and left channels represent dualism and karmic breathing. We always live in time conditioned by dualistic vision, judgments, thoughts and concepts. As the central channel symbolizes the nature of mind, the definitive aim of Yantra Yoga is to capture the karmic prdna within the central channel. What does this mean? Breathing 'n a distracted manner through the solar and lunar channels is the way we transmigrate. Through distraction all actions arise and karma is produced. That is why normal breathing is called karmic. When a living

16 Yantra Yoga The Tihtan % of Movemrnt being is born, it already has its own character produced by a specific karma tied to the prdna and the breath. If we want to become masters of ourselves and our minds without farther distraction, first of all we should be able to control the karmic breath. The main method to do this is called "capturing the karmic prami in the central channel" through the practice of kumbkaka, which consists of inhaling the air through the two channels and forcing the prdna energy into the central channel. In this way the air flowing in the two karmic channels is exhausted and integrated within the central channel.

The five kinds of prana practices explained in this book serve to enable one to realize and stabilize knowledge of the nature of mind by bringing the karmic breath into the central channel. A practitioner who abides continually in the state of contemplation no longer has problems of unbalanced energy. Many people are unaware of the reason why such coordination is necessary because they believe that breathing is something natural. They say. "Why coordinate the breath when we have been breathing naturallv since we were children?" However, in reality there is no breathing that could be called natural. Our ordinary breathing tied to the prdna energy is traditionally compared to a blind horse, while the mind is said to be like a lame horseman, {ust as a blind horse cannot be independent but needs someone to lead it, energy needs to be guided by the mind. There is no such thing as a breathing that is independent and unrelated to the mind and emotions.

In conclusion, control of the prdna is very important in order to approach knowledge of the nature of mind, our real potentiality. If we succeed in accessing this potentiality and mastering it, we are on the path and realization is possible. On the other hand, if we are ignorant of this condition we remain slaves of our mind and cannot abide in our true nature. Thus it is important to coordinate body and energy, and it is for this reason that Vairocana transmitted the Yantra Yoga teaching in relation to the characteristic principle of Dzogchcn.

The Union of the Sun and Moon y a n t r a by Vairocaua

(eighth century)

H ERE is CONTAINED THE Union of the Sun and Moon Yantra. Paying homage to the Truly Perfected King, Bhagavan Vajrasattva, I will explain The Un ion of the Sun and Moon Yantra, the vajra path of the yoga of the Vi dyad haras.

The yegin, equipped with the Yantra attire and sitting in the Vairocana posture, exhales the stale air.

The Physical Training, As a preliminary practice, apply the main points related to the limbs and to the five sense doors. With the legs extended, open your fingers and tighten the joints and sense organs. In tsogkxtl shake the ankles and hand joints. In tscg(hyil) (with the knees) apart, pull the knees back. Kneeling with the palms of the hands over the head, twist and bend sideways. With the legs extended and apart, rotate your elbows and ankles. By inhaling and exhaling quickly and forcefully in all these (exercises), vou should loosen the five sense organs and the joints.

Purifying the Prdna. Inhaling Slowly: standing, grasp the arms and raise them. Holding Open: standing, rotate the fists around the forehead. Directing: (cross) the knees, twist and push (the torso) to right and left. Exhaling Quickly: kneeling, bend and press with folded arms. Inhaling Quickly: press the chin and raise the buttocks. Holding Closed: crossing thumbs and big toes, roll the neck and the back of the head. Contracting: lying on the back, remain suspended with the buttocks on the ground. Exhaling Slowly: bring the fist below the navel.

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  • cosimo
    How to use vajra knife?
    7 years ago

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