The Practice of Sinhamuka

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The Practice of



Shang Shung Edidoni

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu


Shang Shung Edizioni

This pubUcation is intended for those who have already received transmission from the Master of the practices it contains. We strongly urge you not to circulate it outside that group of people and to treat it with the utmost respect.

Transcription by Anna Pucci English translation by Liz Granger

@Copyright by Shang Shung Edizioni, 58031 Arcidosso GR, Italy All rights of translation, reproduction and partial or total use in any form whatsoever are reserved in all countries.


Sinhamukha is not a worldly guardian, she is a wr.uhful manifestation of the dakini Sangwa Yeshe (in Sanskrit Guhyajnana). Wrathfulness is a symbol of movement: in fact our condition has two aspects, rhe calm state and movement. h1 general, if we obse1ve well, !here is always movement even in the calm state. The mind continues to think and all the senses function: this is movement Therefore a person who is able to integrate movement into his or her practice can gain realisation more quickly. h1 Kriya TantraTara is considered to be ayidamwho gives one the posSibility to gain realisation mpidly because she symbolises the air element, and air is movement This is not to say that it is always necessary to transfonn oneself into a manifestation of air: any wrathful manifestation symbolises movement. If one is able, one can integrate movement in the manifestation. The manifestation represenrs clarity and thus the final realisation is the state of contemplation with clarity, with movement Many people think that a wrathful manifestation is for destroying someone or for carrying out wrathful actions, but it is not like this. In J.he relative sense it may even be used for this purpose, but the principle of the wr.nhful manifestation is something else. The manifestations of a dakltll or a bemka such as Vajrapani· and Guru Dragpo are wrathful Usually it isn't important if a manifestation is peaceful or wrathful but the wrathful manifestation is very important for realising oneself. In Tantrism the most important transformations of the modem Gelugpa or Sal..-yapa traditions ~uch as Vajra Kilaya or Yamantaka are very wrathful. Why? Because they give the possibility of realising oneself using the emotions, integrating them in the manifestation itself. lt is very important to understand this. Some people think that a wrathful aspect is for fighting, and sometimes this is true: stories are told about black magic in which someone brings about great destruction or stories like the one of the great master Ra Lotsawa whom they say destroyed many things. But the aim of wrathful practice is not only this. Certainly, if there is motivation one can do anything and everything is possible. This is called working according to the circumstances.


Usually black magic is frowned on l:ut for someonewho,is truly aware, a method of black magic can be white magic. And it is vice versa for a practice such as Sinhamukha, it can become black magic if someone doesn't understand. Once a practitioner of the Community told me that when he argued with his father, against his will he would automatically feel like transforming himself into Sinhamukha and recite the mantra of Sinhamukha while he was hitting his father. ntis is a totally mistaken way to behave towards anyone, especially towards one's own father. Wrathful practice is not for this: in wrathful practice there is no need to get emotional or nervous in an ordinary way. In general we are agitated and nervous but agitation and anger are transformed in the wrathful manifestation, for example that ofthedaktntSinhatmtkha., who is beyond ordinary concepts. When we get angry with someone in a nom1al way it means that we consider that there is someone outside ourselves who is am10ying us and who we don't like. So we get angry with that person who is annoying us. nlis is dualism: I am here and there is someone in front of me who irritates me. But the transformation does not remain in this dualistic condition, it is beyond dualism. When we transform ourselves into daktntSinhatnukha, all of our dimension is part of ow· energy, the famoustsal energy. This is called integrating. At the moment of transfonna.tion everything that we see and feel should be integrated in the presence of the manifestation. If we remain at the dualistic level this is not fine. For exan1ple, if there are a lot of people in front of me I certainly cannot say that they are me, but they can be a pure vision: in fact the entire manifestation is like the manda/aofSinhamukha which can manifest infmitedaktnl, or even male forms such as daka or beruka, without limits. Integrating in the state of contemplation means that during the practice everything that we see or feel does not remain a dualistic concept. We do not consider that there is an object over there and that we are here. In namkba arted, for example, when we look at the blue and empty sky we feel that space is actually our own dimension. We do not remain separate from the sky. In reality, even the sky doesn't exist but we speak of a subjective and an objective sky. The sky is a single empty dimension. In the practice it doesn't matter which or how many words we use. Different traditions use different mantra and invocations, but this is not the principle. The principle is transformation and identifying ourselves with the manifestation which is our state. The primordial


state manifests its energy and we find ourselves in Lllis dimension. In this case words are secondary. Repeating HUM three times we can transform ourselves as in the short tun. This means working more with lr6ndu. Sounding the first HUM our potentiality manifests as the letter HUM; sounding the second HUM, light spreads out from this potentiality which puts into function all realised beings in order to empower our manifestation or, in other words, invites the wisdom of realised beings to authenticate our transformation. Sounding the last HUM we receive infinite lights and transform ourselves instantly into the daktnt Sinhamukha at the centre of her mandala. Thus our dimension is the pure dimension of the mandala. In this case Sinhamukha is blue in colour because she is the Buddha Dakini, that is the central daktnl of the five families: Buddha, Vajra, Ratna, Padrna and Karma. The five daktnt manifestations are the pure dimension of our five aggregates. Here we are certainly not inviting some other daklnt. Each one of us has five aggregates (form, sensation, perception, volition and conscience). These characteristics simply manifest. If you don't knowwhal the fivetatbagataor the five aggregates are, you can read one of the many books which explain all about them. Usually the Buddha family is in the centre, the Vajra family in the east, the Ratna family in the south, the Padma family in the west and the Karma family in ·ihe north. We also imagine the manifestation of the t'ive Sinhamukha dakintin this way, surrounded by thousands of otherdaki11i and, if we wish, also thousands of daka. Therefore generally the mandala at the centre is blue, the mandala in the east is white, that in the south is yellow, in the west red and in the north green. Since the colours are linked to actions, when a particular action is needed we exchange the central manifestation with that from which we require the action. For example, if we do the practice of thedakJnt Sinhamukha in order to have riches, we put the Ratna family, which is yellow and which we normally find in the south, in l.he centre. In this case rhe yellow Sinhamukha in the centre is facing south where the blue Sinhamukha from the Buddha family has moved. In a nom1al practice the blue dakit~tSinhamukha from the Buddha family is found in the centre and is facing east towards the wh.itedakinl Sinhamukha of the Vajra family. Consequently the Ratna family is on her right, lhe Padma family is behind her and the Karma family is on her left.



Padma red

Sou.tb Ratoa


Buddha blue

North Karma


East Vajra wbtte

Someone who practises asking for a particular action becomes the daklnl Sinhamukha in the centre. If I transform myself into the yellow daklnl, in front of me I will have the bluedaklni Sinhamukha who has moved to the south. On my right I will have the red Padma family, behind me the green Karma family and on my left the white Vajra family. If I want to do a practice of the Padma family for power or for the increase of long life and prosperity, 1 become the red daklnl Sinhamukha and of course I am facing west where the blue daklnl Sinhamukha has moved. If I want to carry out a wrathful action I must do the practice of the Karma family: in this case I become the green dakinl Sinhamukha facing north where the blue Sinhamukha has moved and I have the white Vajra family on my right, the yellow Ratna family behind me and the red Padma family on my left The prindple mantra is very simple, it is the famous mantra A KA SAMARA CA SHA DA RASA MARA YA PHAT which we already know. These 14 syllables are the universal mamra of all the daklnl. There are two types of action, supreme action and ordinary action. Supreme action is total realisation through the manifestation or the transformation. Through the transformation we find ourselves in contemplation and integration and in this way we gain realisation. This is the prindple aim which is called the superior obtainment. Then there are the ordinary or relative attainments that are related to the actions of the Vajra, Padma, Karma and Ratna families. We do the practice according to what is necessary.


When we do an intensive practice or a personal retreat of Sinhamukha, we aim at realisation more than ordinary obcaiomen«s Of course, in lhis case we do lhe practice of Sinhamukha of the Buddha family and when we have recited lhe 14 syllable mantra as much a~ possible, we recite the general numtm of lhe five dalliniOM BUDDHA DAKIN! SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT. Usually the syllable HUM in the mamm is for total realisation, or the supreme obtainment. Sounding HUM we integrate with rhe sound and fmd ourselves in the same state. On the other hand the syllable PHAT is used for action, or for ordinary obtaimuents. We recite the general mantra of the five daktni the same number of times as the preceding mantra. For example, if we recite AKA SAMARA CA SHA DA RASA MARA YA PHAT a thousand times in a tun, we should also recite OM BUDDHA DAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PI-lAT a thousand times, too. Then we recite each action mantra of the four manifestations 300 or 500 times: OM VAJRA DHAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT OM RATNA DHAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT OM PADMA DHAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT OM KARMA DHAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT Somelimes instead of Lhe mantra OM BUDDHA DHAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT there is OM JNANA DHAKINI SINI-IAMUKHA HUM PHAT. These two mantra are the same: we can use the one we prefer. If we use OMJNANA DHAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT, we recite it, for example, a thousand times and then we recite each of the following mantra 300 or 500 times: OM BUDDHA DHAKlNI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT OM VAJRA DHAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT OM RATNA DHA.KINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT OM PADMA DHAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT OM KARMA DHAKINI SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT When we recite OM JNANA (or BUDDHA) DHAKINI SINHA.MUKHA HUM PHA'f we visualise the mantra turning counter clockwise around the blue HUM which is situated at the heart of the central manifestation (lhat is at our heart) fmming a ring of fire. The


letters face inwards and the mantra tums very rapidly in order to make its potentiality work. Then when we recite the mantra of the other daktnt (OM VAJRA .... , OM RA1NA .... ,OM PADMA .... ,OM KARMA ....), we visualise that each daktnt has the letter HUM of a corresponding colour at the heart (a white HUM for the Vajra family, a yellow one for the Ratna family, red for the Padma family and green for the Karma family) and that the mantra tum around each of the HUMs. If we do the practice in order to obtain a specific action, we should transfom1 ourselves into the respective daklnt Sinhamukha from the beginning. For example, in order to obtain the action of the Ratna family the practitioner transfonns him or herself into the yellow daklnt Sinhamukha which in this case is situated at the centre of the mandala with a yellow HUM at her heart. The same thing is valid for the other families. lt isn't difficult. If one knows these things, even though one has not studied many books, one has already learned the essence of the practice and can have realisation and many benefits. When we do the medium tun practice, as you know, the transformation comes after the guru_voga. In the medium tun we transform ourselves with only one HUM, but here we use three like we do in the short tun in order to do a more elaborate transformation using the tr6ndu. After we have transformed ourselves into Sinhamukha we redte the root mantra: AKA SAMARA CA SHA DA RASA MARA YA PHAT

We redte it, for example, a thousand times, then we recite the principle mmztra a thousand times: OMJNANA DAKIN! SINHAMUKHA HUM PHAT lhen we recite each of the five secondary mantra a hundred times (OM BUDDHA ... , OM VA)RA.... , OM RATNA .... ,OM PADMA .... , OM KARMA ....). At this point we recite the root mantra backwards three times: PHA1' YA RA MA SA RA DA SHA CA. RA MA SA KA A Finally we do the dogpa to send away negativities clapping our hands as we usuaiJy do:



If we feel that we need some strong protection because, ror example, we feel strong disturbances to our physical energy atising, or because we have to go somewhere where an epidemic has broken out or where there are great problems, before we run any tisks we can do the practice of Sinhamukha with a particular visualisation found in different teachings, in patticular in the jatson Nyingpo's Koncbog cbindu (dKon mcbog spyl 'dus). This method will make us feel as secure as if we had put on a helmet or some other type of protection to defend the body. In this case, after we have recited the rootmantmbackwards three times and before we redte the dogpa, we visualise the red syllables of the root mantra together in twos, in different points of the body as if they were a yab-yum manifestation. At the head cakra we visualise A and KA, at the throat cakra SA and MA, at the heatt RA and CA, at the navel SHA and DA, at the base of the trunk RA and SA, on the right thigh MA and RA, on the left thigh YA and PHAT. With this presence we recite AKA, SA MA, RA CA, SHA DA, RASA, MARA, YA PHA.T, in an undertone, and then we do the dogpa as usual to eliminate all negativities. At this point the tun continues as nom1al.



The practice

The nine purification breathings