Talk on Hayagriva

by Lama Jigme Rinpoche

In this world there are many different religions, many different deities, many different gods. In Buddhism there are many deities and gods. Tibetan Buddhism has four major schools, the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. Lama Jigme Rinpoche himself comes from the Nyingma school and therefore knows about the Nyingma deities.

In the Nyingma system, the highest tantric practice is that of Kagye. Inside Kagye there are ten deities. Kagye means eight deities, inside the practice of Kagye these eight deities at times become one, equaling nine deities. There is also another deity that works as a servant that you can order to do things, this makes ten deities.

Kagye is different from lower tantric practices in that the Kagye deities can help us overcome negative emotions and reach enlightenment. Other practices like Yellow Dzambhala are meant for helping with things like food, clothing or wealth. Kagye is meant to help us reach total enlightenment. Out of the ten deities, there are two that most people use for an everyday main practice. Vajrakilaya (Dorje Phurba) is for all activities, and Hayagriva is for empowering yourself.

In today’s age, it is an degenerate time where the five poisons and negative emotions are very strong. So we need a deity like Hayagriva to empower ourselves. Also negative influences today are so strong as well, like the coronavirus. One example is that today’s modern China has so many problems with negative emotions, the result of this is that the coronavirus originated in China. All of our sickness comes from the influence of negative emotions, so we need such a practice as Hayagriva to overcome it.

We practice these Buddhist deities because they bring us to enlightenment. The way to practice is to do so while thinking on love, compassion, and wanting to benefit all sentient beings. We all need basic amenities to survive, we all need money, housing, food. All of these basic amenities will actually come naturally to you without any effort if you are practicing while focusing on compassion and you are thinking altruistically.

All of our problems originate from negative emotions and thinking selfishly. When you desire things like money, food, clothing, fame, etc., then you are just creating more problems and suffering for yourself.

Our body is naturally something like a machine, it makes more suffering, more problems when we are selfish. We always try to eat the best food and check if it has a good taste and a good smell before eating. In the end after eating it, it just turns into defecation, we don’t like the taste, we don’t like the smell. As we can see, there is really no point in focusing on material things when we know what they will turn into. It is better to keep your focus on a spiritual life.

People naturally like to talk about their best qualities in order to impress others, they don’t like to tell the truth. People like to hide their faults, in order to impress their ego. This is not the spiritual way, we have to practice to benefit others by focusing on compassion and love, and to let go of wanting good food, good clothes, fame and wealth.

When you practice Hayagriva, you should first have bodhicitta (compassion and love), this is so important from the depth of your heart. After having this feeling, then to do your practice with the intention of benefiting others and yourself. You should also think that the practice is helping the world, you are blessing your country and all other countries; China, Asia, Europe, etc., you are putting an end to all epidemics and diseases everywhere when you practice. We should not practice while thinking about material things like for name, fame, clothes, or wealth.

People need to have devotion and pure perception with the Lama before they receive a transmission or empowerment (lung). If they don’t want to see and treat the Lama like their own spiritual master, then they shouldn’t receive transmissions from him, it’s not good for them.

As it says in the text ‘Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand’: “Do not give teachings to those who have no devotion and pure perceptions.”

Rinpoche’s lineage is very pure, he first received transmissions in Tibet from his root masters Rigdzin Jigme and Aku Sherab. Also when Rinpoche came to Dharamsala, India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave Rinpoche the transmission and empowerment for Hayagriva. Also with the permission of His Holiness, Rinpoche built a monastery in Dharamsala. Afterwards Rinpoche practiced Hayagriva and many other rituals many times in Dharamsala.

Spoken by Lama Jigme Rinpoche, translated by Tenzin Wangden, transcribed by Jacob Ewers on July 18, 2020.