Green Tara of Wealth Teachings – Part 2

By His Holiness Dungse Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

May 2013

The following is the second section of teachings Rinpoche gave last Spring at Yeshe Nyingpo. The final section will be posted next month along with the sadhana text itself.

Background to the Sadhana

Now in this practice then, (Rinpoche begins to refer to the sadhana text directly in front of him), Noble Mother Arya Tara – this mind treasure of His Holiness, is a direct revelation, which came to him when he was in Los Angeles. I remember a Chinese lady who was not doing well financially asked Rinpoche if he could give her a sadhana or practice that would improve her situation. There and then, right at that moment, Rinpoche reflected for a short moment and suddenly this sadhana just flashed into his mind. It came straight away. As you know my father mostly had mind treasures which he received from Guru Rinpoche. Much of his teachings and writings concern the gong ter, meaning the mind treasures. In the Nyingma we have a lot of tertons who have received mind treasures and those who received object treasures. Some have sa ter; some have nam ter; some have chu ter. That is, some have the treasure of the earth, some have the treasure of the sky and some have the treasure of water. His Holiness’ had both, treasure of the mind and that of the earth but in the process of getting the sa ter, Guru Rinpoche himself told His Holiness, “You will have the gong ter which is the most important.” Of all these termas, in the Nyingma tradition, the gong ter, mind treasure is considered the most profound. Most of the teachings and revelations just arose in Rinpoche’s mind, word-by-word, syllable-by-syllable. Then he was able to remember his past connection to Guru Rinpoche, when and where he received the teaching, and what Yeshe Tsogyal said at the time. All of this is in his treasure teachings—he talks about it.

Tersar Practice

Now, this teaching should be very swift because from His Holiness, to me to you, the lineage is not long. That is why it’s called ter sar, that is, ‘new’. That’s why Guru Rinpoche calls the whole set of my fathers teachings ‘the Dudjom Rinpoche Tersar’, Dudjom Lingpa also has tersar, Jigme Lingpa also has tersar. There are many tertons of this tersar age. So certainly this is also a new treasure, tersar and Guru Rinpoche said the most precious teachings now will be the tersar, in the degenerate times. So we are in the degenerate times anyhow. You cannot imagine the nearness of these teachings; this terma is very fresh and very close. You cannot get any closer.

When to do this Practice

So far as the practice is concerned you can practice this any time. There’s no specific time. There are certain practices that require you to practice in the morning or the evening or such like. This practice you can practice anytime you have a moment. So then, please do the practice.

The Accumulations

The main accumulation of the practice is Om Bhasu Dharani Soha, that is your main accumulation. After your main accumulation each day when you’ve finished this, then say Om Tam Soha about twenty-one times. The Om Tam Soha concerns the four activities mantra, called Naljor in Tibetan. These are the four activities that have to be accomplished. Normally in the elaborate practice of Tara, with the naljor, each of these activity mantras that you have to say is specific. However, this is the concise heart essence of each of these naljor mantras. But the most important thing is the main mantra, Om Bhasu Dharani Soha. When you say this, don’t say it too loud and don’t say it too soft. It is a medium collar length recitation, which means slightly audible. In addition, make sure that the pronunciation is correct. (Rinpoche enunciates clearly each syllable…) OM BHA SU DHA RA NI SO HA.

Mantra Recitation

Now when we say this mantra, or any mantra of a given deity, the specific action of the mantra is to stimulate all the cords; the nerves that are in our body. Beginning from our crown, to our throat, to our heart, to our navel and to our secret centre, all the five chakras will be energized. That is the point of the mantra. Mantra is not just some ordinary words you are saying. Mantra has a specific aim and specific purpose to move these chakras in our body. So when you say Om Bhasu Dharani Soha… when you say ‘Ha’ you should feel the nerves of your secret centre begin to move, tingle or vibrate slightly. Mantra is geared for that. And in particular, since mantra itself is based on the principle of wisdom then – sure – it will hit the wisdom channel more than anything else. It will hit directly all the wisdom channels that are there. It will fine-tune those nerves in which the wisdom winds are not going properly. So say that correctly, Om Bhasu Dharani Soha. Also – some advice here – during your recitation of the practice manta – don’t move, don’t make signs and don’t drink. Follow the discipline of mantra. Mantrayana has a lot of disciplines that you have got to keep. If you are seated, be seated in that one place don’t move around. If it happens that you recite the mantra while you are walking around, then that’s ok, you can do this, but that cannot really be counted as an accumulation. I mean it is good rather than talk nonsense at least to say some mantra while going around the place. It is better. Definitely, it is better. But as far as the effectiveness is concerned, though there will be some blessings, you are not really distilling it fully, that’s the thing. So if you have time, sit quietly to do the practice. You can do it at any time of day, even at night – it doesn’t matter. Wisdom is prevalent at all times it is not like wisdom is only present in the daytime. It is not like that. However, whatever other teachings you may have, please follow those teachings; whatever your Teacher has said, do this. All termas are different, all teachings are different. There are different requirements for different teachings so don’t think one discipline covers every teaching in every aspect. It doesn’t. In this particular teaching, I have said that this is the way to do it, so please do it as described.

The Three Principles of Practice

Then, as I said at the beginning, motivation is important. Make sure that you include all sentient beings. Second, the visualization must be correct, which I’ve already explained to you. And thirdly the dedication must be correct. So dedicate again the merit for all sentient beings. There is very little point ending a sadhana practice without dedicating. It is simply incomplete. The dedication is extremely important.

The Visualization – Overview

Now as far as the visualization is concerned, one visualizes oneself as Norgyunma. Nor means wealth, gyunma is one that gives without ceasing, continuously giving wealth – she’s not going to stop – constantly she gives. So, in the heart, here in the sadhana, on a moon disc is a syllable Tam. Now the thing to remember when you visualize the syllable Tam – many people think that the Tam is like a letter you see that’s flat. No. It’s not flat, Tam is facing out. The back of the Tam comes out. It doesn’t stay flat. And very important, you should visualize it as multidirectional. What does this mean? It means it is like a hologram so you can see the syllable throughout, everywhere you go around it; you can see the front and the whole together without obstruction. That’s what that is, (Tib. Tam Jangku)—green in color.

Green Tam is the heart essence of Tara, surrounded by the mantra syllables Om Bhasu Dharani Soha at the base of the Tam. Now Om Bhasu Dharani Soha must be completely joined from beginning to end. This means Om Bhasu Dharani Soha forms a perfect circle. Tam is in the middle and Om Bhasu Dharani Soha surrounds it at the base of the moon disc. Once that mantra is on a lunar disc surrounding the Tam, at this time, you will not really have the power to spin it, so don’t try to do this. Still, eventually this Om Bhasu Dharani Soha must spin and it must spin with the letters arranged anti-clockwise. Generally, most male mantras spin clockwise, whereas female mantras go anti-clockwise. This particular mantra goes from your right to your left. In contrast for example, Guru Rinpoche’s mantra goes from left to right. Again this is specific to this teaching. Some other teachings may say that it goes the other way. Then please follow the instructions given, whatever they may be, for any given practice. Don’t assume one set of instructions applies to other teachings. Whatever the terton’s instructions for a terma practice is, then do that. Don’t just go with what you have heard or think it might be.

So, first recite, Om Bhasu Dharani Soha. Then after that recitation has finished, recite Om Tam So Ha just for one mala or twenty-one times is ok. Minimum is twenty-one times; otherwise you can do one mala. If you want to do two malas, do two; if you want to do three malas… that’s also fine. It doesn’t matter but the minimum is twenty-one times.

Oral Transmission

Now first of all let me give you the oral transmission for this practice. Listen very carefully. It is absolutely important that you give total concentration towards this. Keep your mind alert and listen without any distractions. (Rinpoche gives the oral transmission).

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s Close Connection to Tara and this Text in Particular

Now, the title of this text is: – The Daily Sadhana of Noble Tara of Continuous Wealth. His Holiness told me that his connection with Tara from young childhood to old age was so strong that wherever he went, in Tibet and elsewhere, most of the statues that people gave him were statues of Tara. From all the statues he received as gifts, this was the one he got the most. As most of you probably know, His Holiness’ inner incarnation was Yeshe Tsogyal. That explains why His Holiness was very gentle and a little feminine in his actions because his particular incarnation was an emanation of Yeshe Tsogyal, as well as Dudjom Lingpa, of course. Previously, he was one of the twenty-five disciples of Guru Rinpoche. At the time of Shakyamuni he was an emanation of Shariputra. During the time of Guru Rinpoche he was Chechung Lotswa and from there he incarnated many times as tertons in all the Tibetan Buddhist schools. This practice was very close to him; he said this practice of Green Tara was very close to his mind. So I would say that you can definitely do this practice to remove illness and to remove negative situations that may arise. In addition, of course, it can remove poverty, environmental disasters, all mind disturbances—wherever the mind is neither stable nor in peace. This practice can be applied for many situations like these.

Number of Recitations

Now with this practice, initially, it would be ideal if you could finish twenty-one bhums; twenty-one, one hundred thousand mantra recitations would be excellent. If not do at least seven bhums. If not that do three bhums; and if you cannot manage this, then at least do one hundred thousand, that is, one bhum. If you recite one bhum then you will begin to have the power of command of the practice. This means you will have all the blessings and you will have some strength in your recitation. Otherwise if you just say it a few times you will not have any strength. You have to build the strength in your recitation that is important. When this happens, if you just say a single mantra it’s powerful – it rebounds with power. So in order to build up that strength, then you have to recite this mantra at least one hundred thousand times. Then you will have the blessings of Tara and you will have her power. Once you have this power, compared to someone who hasn’t developed this, it won’t make much difference whether they recite one hundred, two hundred or three hundred times, it won’t have much strength, whereas if you have developed the power already, even if you recite the mantra once or twice it will reflect a certain power that has matured through the practice itself. So certainly you need to build up your strength here. In addition, as I said earlier, during the recitation then please don’t be distracted. Keep the generation phase of the practice clear in your mind. Recite the mantra softly – most importantly, during this period – don’t be distracted.


As regards malas, if you have a mala, a bodhi mala is ideal for this practice. Don’t use a bone mala here. You can use a crystal mala or a red coral mala. You can use other malas, it is not prohibited, but it will not contain so many blessings. So sandalwood and beads of others trees can be used but I would say that these are secondary malas. The best is bodhi. Bodhi can be used for peaceful; it can be used for wrathful. In the mala you must have at least one hundred and eight beads. If you have one hundred and eleven it is also fine. But the minimum is one hundred and eight. Actually the real minimum is one hundred representing the forty-two peaceful and fifty-eight wrathful Buddhas. They are all going through one string, this one nature of mind. If you have the Guru bead on top, which represents your yidam, all the peaceful and wrathful Buddhas arise from this. They are all held together with one string, which is the one nature of compassion. Now the additional eight are there in case you do not follow the recitations correctly. For example you may make omissions or get distracted. So those eight extra beads act as a supplement to safeguard your count, so as to make sure you have done at least one hundred without such errors.

Now if you are keeping a count, hold the mala in your left hand and then keep it close to your heart, lift it up and keep it close to your heart. As you recite the mantra and you are turning the bead, feel that you are turning each bead anti-clockwise circling the syllable Tam in your heart. You can feel this. Actually that is what the mala is supposed to represent. The mala is meant to represent the whole mantra conjoined totally together and it is spinning, spinning…spinning. It is the spinning aspect of the mantra as a whole that creates the power of the energy.

Etiquette of the Mala

At the time of mantra recitation, the mala you use is for your main yidam practice only. It cannot be used for prostrations or anything else. You have to keep the respect. This is your principle tantric deity practice. Then as you have your mala with you, sometimes you may walk over it. However, the etiquette of the mala is never to walk over it, never to play with it, never to swim with it and never to lend it to anyone. That is the etiquette of the mala. It has your body energy going through the beads. So certainly somebody else handling it is not necessarily a blessing. It can be a contamination. So take care of your mala.

In addition to symbolizing compassion, the second thing that this mala represents is that it is a samaya substance and object of your practice. That is exactly what this mala becomes. Since it is the samaya substance of practice you have to have total respect for it. So when you place your mala on the table, put it down slowly and gently don’t crash it down on the table. Never throw it on the floor. At this time and moment it is not necessary for you to have a mala on your neck. Rather, you can discreetly keep it in your pocket or wherever. Also when you are practicing, never lie down with the mala on top of your chest as you recite. In cases where your are sick and you want to keep on practicing, never lie down with the mala on top of your heart and practice with the mala on your chest. I have seen some doing that. If you keep the mala on top of your heart like that it is called self-subjugation, you are only subjugating yourself, you are subjugating your own energy. Rather than keeping your mala on top of your chest, just keep it by your side. You don’t have to keep it on your heart at this moment. Keeping the mala at your heart level is only when you’re upright, when the central channel is a straight axis and the mantra is going around the central channel. Lying down it would just be subjugation.

Things to Avoid when Reciting Mantra

As you probably know, you cannot do the recitation near strong waterfalls. It’s not permitted. If you are going into serious recitation, then garlic, dycon and pork-meat will slow down the progress of your recitation and meditation, so those foods are to be avoided. In the case of your going into retreat, certainly these things are not permitted. Though garlic is good, in that it has antibiotic properties which destroy negative germs, in the process of meditation and particularly when you go into retreat it will cause the winds to slow down and it will bring up sexual desire; it will promote that. You don’t want that, rather you want to be calm, resting and concentrating on your practice – you don’t want your winds slowing down so much that you fall into a lethargic state – this is to be avoided. So during the main recitation of any practice you are doing, if you are going to finish several bhums, which I advise you to do, then follow these instructions. It will be good and your mantra will go much swifter. That’s what I advise you.

Precision Vs Speed

Next thing when you recite the mantra don’t think of the speed; that you should go as fast as possible. That’s not the point. Precision and accuracy of the recitation and the meditation are the most important things to get first. Speed will come automatically by itself as you keep progressing in this. It will build up in its own way. You don’t have to artificially force it. I would prefer you to say all the syllables correctly than miss a syllable, omit a syllable and get into the bad habit of missing syllables. I don’t want you to miss or skip any syllables. I want all syllables to be pronounced as they need to be pronounced.

When to Skip Count

Now when you are doing your recitation, if you burp or fart, that recitation during the burp or fart should not be counted – don’t count it. There are certain very strict rules in which there are specific numbers of beads you have to reverse with certain involuntary actions like this. Here though there is no need to be so strict, but certainly if you fart while you are reciting, then don’t count that mantra recitation. That’s it – then just go on.

Bringing the Guru’s Blessings to Mind

Now keep you body completely erect when you are doing the practice. Take a back support if you need it. It would be very good if ….(Rinpoche emphasizes the point) if you are able at first to start with the Tun Chi Ngondro which is the preliminary Guru Yoga practice; remembering your Guru’s kindness; first invoking your Guru and asking him to please come and give you his blessings before you go into this practice. This is an excellent way to start your practice. I am not including the Tun Chi Ngondro here now, but those of you doing Ngondro will know this practice is the prayer you do before the Ngondro begins. Rinpoche recites the Tibetan – Rang dun nam k’ar ‘ja ‘od tiglei long… remembering the Lama of the three kayas, asking the Lama to, “Please come to bless me, empower me, make my mind one with you.” As a Vajrayana practitioner, it is good to always to do your Tun Chi Ngondro first, bringing the Guru’s blessings to your mind. For those of you familiar with yoga, who have learned a little of the small vase, (Tib. Jamyung bhum chung), or the big vase bhum chen, either of these, then it is good to do your small vase practice first. Clear the air, expel the three foul airs out—air of hatred, air of desire, air of ignorance—expel them out. Then breathe in the wisdom air of all the Buddhas and maintain this inside your vase four fingers below your navel; maintain it there and let the wisdom air now permeate through all your channels. Once you have stabilized that wind and are breathing gently with this, then start to do your Guru Yoga practice—the Tun Chi Ngondro—the short one. If the short Tun Chi Ngondro is a bit too long for you, then just say, “Lama Khyenno, Lama Khyenno, Guru Yermey, Lama Khyenno” – that is also enough – “Lama please think of me.” Invoke that mind. It is always important to invoke your Guru’s mind as often as you can. So… “Lama khyeno, Lama kheyno—please, you who know; you who hear me; please listen to my prayer; please listen to my call”. Then say this three, four, five, six, seven times—until your mind has really settled. Then you can go to the next practice.

Motivation – Practicing on Behalf of Others

Then, as I said earlier, when the practice begins, have the right motivation; think that all sentient beings are with you. In the case where you are doing this practice especially for somebody who is very sick, who’s having a lot of problems and a lot of misfortune, then you can do the practice on their behalf. It is very simple to do this. You just visualize yourself as representing and embodying then. That is sufficient. Then, of course, all other parent sentient beings are with you also.

Swift Mother, Most Powerful

This is a swift practice, extremely swift. Just as a mother cannot bear to hear her child cry, Jetsun Palmo also cannot wait to hear your call. The moment you are about to call her, she’s already alerted. With her three eyes, she’s always looking through the three kayas and working without interruption to benefit sentient beings. This is why she has three eyes. All the time, her three eyes are looking at phenomena. She can swiftly dispel all our samsaric sufferings. This mother is quick to grant her blessing and quick to remove obstacles. That’s why she is called the Swift Mother because her swiftness is like a flash of lightning. We do not have to wait for anything. And she is powerful, most powerful. She can dispel and remove outer, inner and secret obscurations. And she is particularly effective when there are demonic disturbances, which turn our minds negative, crazy and mad. She is extraordinarily gifted in dispelling these. She will compound these demonic forces into dust, and dust will be further compounded into nothingness.

Children of Primordial Space

So this mother – the mother of all the Buddhas – is also our mother. She is the primordial space of emptiness; she is the womb within which we’ve all come. All the planets are held in her womb, no matter what you say. In this sense, whether we realize it or not, she is our primordial mother. We have inherited the essence of the tathagatagarba; from the very beginning it is coming from her. In a way, we can say we are all children of space, yet we are so fascinated by outer space as being something ‘out there’. But we have definitely already come from that space.

The Benefits of having a Statue of Tara

So this gracious mother who is very swift in removing all obstacles and in giving her blessings, then there is all the more reason for you to pray to her, and, as is common in the East, many families will have a statue of Tara in their house. If you don’t have a statue of Tara, then get one. There will be harmony and auspiciousness in your house. Having a statue of Tara in your house is (Tib. Tashi po)—it makes everything auspicious and wonderful events will take place. It will change the karmic negative patterns influencing you by cutting them, and it will bring prosperity.

Tara in All Tantras

So this mother Tara—who is venerated by all the Buddhas as their mother, who embodies all the Buddhas, past present and future, and who is the holder of all the mandalas, outer, inner and secret—fits in all the Tantras and all the practices of Tantra. There is not one Tantra that she does not fit in. Since all the Buddhas venerate Jetsun Drolma, what need is there to say for us to do so? If you don’t give respect to your mother, you won’t get respect for yourself. Whether the mother is the physical mother or the luminous mother, it doesn’t matter. In a sense we can refer here to the three emanations of the mother.

Repaying the Kindness of Our Mothers

Then it is to this mother that you have to repay her kindness. That is what is required of you. In addition, when you were a child, just as your parents took care of you, when they get old, it is expected and required of you that you look after them. It is supposed to be understood. Yet in this Kaliyuga time and age it is not. We very often feel that our parents cause all our shortcomings and all our sufferings. We blame them for everything that we have not achieved, whatever our situations may be. However, you must remember one thing— karma is unfailing. Don’t ever forget that aspect. The way you treat your parents is the same way your children will treat you. So don’t say, “Why am I having such problems with my children?” Why?—Because you have given trouble to your parents. That’s why you now are suffering. Don’t think you’ll get away scot-free. Since karma is unfailing it is going to catch up with you.

Parents – Support for Purification

So therefore cultivate very carefully what you do now. What is your reaction, how do you behave now? If your behavior is good now, your future will be bright. If your behavior is not so good now then your future will not be so bright. Your parents are the basis for you to have a direct object upon which to do your purification practice. That’s what parents are there for ensuring. They are your direct object of purification. As they get old, it is not the time to abandon them and put them into institutions and homes using beautiful words such as, “They will be taken good care of there.” The thing is, you don’t want to take care of them. Instead you have some money so you put them in institutions. Do you think anyone wants to live in an institution? No! Parents who live long sometimes wish they didn’t live so long. Think how they must be thinking. Who wants to bother their children and close ones to look after and clean up after them—to do all of this? You may do it for one or two days but as they keep living longer and you have to keep doing it every day, every month, every year—then you show your frustration and they feel helpless that they cannot do anything. Of course, of the four sufferings, the suffering of old age is… it’s just terrible. You cannot eat when you want; you cannot drink when you want; when you are hot you want cold; when you are cold you want hot; you are never satisfied as your body temperature keeps changing. So at the time of your parents’ old age, it is your duty to really serve and to look after them.

Parents – Seek their Blessings

Many times when I was teaching in England people would ask about Guru Yoga saying, “Rinpoche how important is my Guru Yoga and how do I practice it?” I would always tell them, “Your practice of Guru Yoga is first to make sure your parents are happy with you and if you’ve said anything wrong or done anything to harm them or hurt them, ask for their forgiveness”. Why? Because when they are dead and gone they will not be there to forgive you. Your Guru Yoga now is to square off with your parents. Get the blessings of your father and mother. Get the blessings of your parents. These people are there to bless you in your work. Seek their blessings; you’ll be far happier. Otherwise, to have a great devotion to the Guru and love and all of this—that’s bullshit! If you cannot love your parents who gave birth to you, how can you love your Guru? He’s a foreigner; you don’t even know him; you don’t know his habits. To say you love your Guru but then to say you don’t get on with your parents—there’s a big disconnection there. If you love your parents as much as you should, you will love your Guru automatically. That’s automatic, that’s what will happen. If you cannot get on with your parents, what are you saying for all parent sentient beings. You say, “I am working for the benefit of sentient beings; this is for the benefit of sentient beings.” What benefit are you talking of? That’s why Buddha said, “Give love to your immediate family as much as you can; then give love to your friend as much as you can; then extend that to offering love to your enemy as much as you can.” Why did he say that? He said that to indicate the oneness of all sentient beings; that all sentient beings are our fathers and mothers. It is not that you can distinguish one from another. They are all our parents. Because you don’t have memory—your memory is clouded and you cannot remember that they are your parents; because you don’t have the wisdom and foresight to see through many lifetimes and many rebirths; we have lost the recollection of that —then we distinguish between friends, enemies and close ones. This distinction comes due to your imperfection. It is not because you are perfect. So practice love to your close ones, then to your friends and then to your enemies and when your love is equal, then you are doing well; you don’t need too many sophisticated practices, you are doing well.

Good Heart – Kind Heart – Equanimity

Now, in this case of Green Tara here, you need a good heart…you need a heart that is good. A good heart doesn’t mean a healthy heart, I am not talking about that. I am talking about a heart that is kind; that can feel the suffering of others; that can feel the pain; that has the desire to help them not suffer and to come out of the suffering. This is a kind heart that you need. The whole point of the Bodhisattva path is how to have a kind heart; how to develop a kind heart. If you have a heart that only likes to be good to people who are good to you—who are smiling and nice to you but then you tend to be aggressive to people who are not giving you that response—then that is a burnt heart. That is a heart with a defect. It is not a good heart. Rather, you should regard all with equanimity—whether they are good or bad to you—they are equal. Everyone’s behavior towards you is equal. If you can work with that, then that is the beginning of a good heart.

Natural Unconditional Kindness

When the primordial mother gave birth to us she didn’t say, “I will only give birth to saints and Buddhas.” No, no, no! She didn’t close the door to anyone. Her door is open with no discrimination. She sees the oneness of all. And that is what we should aim to develop. So to have a good heart is important. If you have a naturally good heart from the very beginning and that is your nature then half of your dharma is already achieved. Why? Because the whole point of the dharma is to develop a good heart. If you already naturally have the kindness in you, then you have achieved half of your dharma. There is nothing much to struggle for; having a heart that is caring; a heart that is loving; a heart that does not want to bring suffering to others, that’s a good heart. Why would we want to bring suffering to others? Why? We gain nothing by bringing suffering to others. If you don’t want to suffer, who else would? No one wants to suffer, nobody. So develop this good heart, because Tara practice means good heart, having a heart that is caring; a mother’s heart that cares for her children. But it is not just the maternal instinct I am talking about here. There is a whole caring that goes way, way beyond the boundary of the maternal instinct and feeling. It goes beyond that. It doesn’t remain in the sense of feeling; it’s not conditioned by feeling; she is free from any kind of conditioning.

Genuine Bodhicitta

Once a great Indian maha pandita practiced for many years but he never saw the face of his yidam. He practiced and practiced day and night. He went up into the mountains into retreat and made an isolated life for himself taking a vow of poverty; still after many years he never saw the face of his yidam. Then one day he was walking in the town and he saw in the street a wounded female dog with sores all over her body and completely infested with maggots. When he saw this he felt great sorrow for this dog and he thought perhaps if he took the maggots out one by one by his hand that he might kill the maggots—some might die by the force of his hands. So he thought the only thing to do was to lick the maggots out with his tongue, so they would not be crushed and the poor dog would be free from them. At the very moment he bent down and started to lick the maggots out from the dog, all of a sudden the deity he’d been practicing upon instantly appeared to him. When this happened he cried out in frustration, “Why do you appear now? I have been praying to you and practicing upon you for years and years, yet you never showed me your presence. Why do you come to me now?” Then the deity told him, “That’s simple. For the first time, genuine bodhicitta has arisen in your being. That’s why I have come to you now.” So, for us too, the day when real bodhicitta and compassion are born in us, at that time another dimension of practice will arise.

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