Lineage Practices
Twelve-Armed Chakrasamvara (Tib: Demchok Khorlo Dompa or Khorlo Dompa Shal-She Chu-Nyi Chag)
Dechen Choekhor Chakrasamvara-E-R.jpg

Lineage History:

Lineage of Mahasiddha Tilopa.

Lineage Transmission:

Buddha Vajradhara emanated as Chakrasamvara -> Mahasiddha Tilopa -> Naropa -> Marpa -> Milarepa -> Rechungpa -> after about 13 single Lineage Holders -> Drukpa Kagyu master -> -> -> Drukpa Choegon & Drukpa Yongzin Rinpoches of Dechen Choekhorling about 500 years ago.

This lineage is generally known as 'Khandro Nyengyud' traditions or Chakrasamvara of 'Rechungpa's Whispered Lineage' or 'Whispered Lineage of the Dakinis' (Tib: Khandro Nyen-gyud).

Rechung Dorje Tagpa (1083-1160), the renowned yogi was one of Milarepa's two heart disciples, and the other one is great Tibetan medical doctor, scholar and monk Dagpo Lha-Je Gampopa (1079-1173).

Chakrasamvara tradition of Rechung Nyengyud is a special practice of Kagyu tradition, passed down from Tilopa, Naropa, Milarepa to Rechungpa, and finally after passing through 13 single Dakini Whisper Lineage Holders, it came down to one of the Drukpa Kagyu master, and from there it gradually spread and opened for common practices in other lineages. Prior to that, it's transmitted as single lineage from one master to the next and was never spread widely.

Deity Introduction:

Heruka Chakrasamvara (Tib: Demchok Khorlo Dompa; 'Wheel of Perfect Bliss') is a tantric meditational deity (Yidam) of the Highest Yoga Tantra (Anuttara) of Vajrayana Buddhism.

Chakrasamvara, along with Hevajra and Vajrayogini, are the three main meditational Yidam practices of the Kagyu Lineage.

There are many different forms of Chakrasamvara appearing with different number of faces, hands, and number of surrounding retinues. Although there are quite a diversity in the Chakrasamvara lineages and practices, the iconographical differences of the main deity are minor. Essentially there is the 2-armed form and the 12-armed full form of Chakrasamvara, embracing his consort Vajrayogini in union. Their divine embrace is a metaphor for the union of great bliss and emptiness (skilful means and wisdom), which are one and the same essence.

In the Drukpa Kagyu Lineage, the common Chakrasamvara deity practice is in the form of the Twelve-armed Chakrasamvara. In our tradition, the 62 Mandalas is common practice mostly in monasteries, the 13 Mandalas is mainly in retreat centers, and single Mandala is for daily practices. All are Khandro Nyengyud traditions called Chakrasamvara of 'Rechungpa's Whispered Lineage' or 'Whispered Lineage of the Dakinis' (Tib: Khandro Nyen-gyud). 

There are not so much differences in the practice of Charasamvara as a whole, but there are definitely different lineages even within the Kagyu tradition. Ours is comes from the real main lineage of Naropa, called Dakini Whisper Lineage of Naropa (Khandro Nyen-gyud) - Twelve armed Chakrasambara practice of 62 Mandalas. It's a crucial practice of Drukpa Kagyu. Most large Drukpa Kagyu monasteries have done this practice for centuries. Dechen Choekhor Monastery, particularly, is the strong main holder of this practice, and has been practicing this tradition unbrokenly for over 500 years.  And the practice is continuing till present in all Drukpa Kagyu's Lineage of Dechen Choekhor Monastery, Khampagar Monastery and Nangchen Garh Monastery since the time of Gyalwang Je.

Brief Description:

Chakrasamvara, the tantric manifestation of Buddha Shakyamuni, embodies the union of method and wisdom (bliss and emptiness); embracing his consort Vajrayogini, he is depicted with 4 faces symbolizing the four enlightened activities: pacifying, enriching, magnetizing and destroying. The 12 arms holding various ritual objects represent the twelve interdependent links in the "wheel of life" and the twelve powers.

Mandala of Twelve-Armed Chakrasamvara:

a) Mandala of 13 Deities (Tib: Khorlo Dompa Chok-Sum Ma)

- mainly practice by individual practitioner and also in retreat centre.

- practice of this Mandala will lead to attainment of Ultimate Siddhis

b) Mandala of 62 Deities (Tib: Khorlo Dompa Druk-Chu Tsa-Nyi Ma )

- mainly practice by monks in temple for big puja.

- in general, practice of this Mandala will lead to attainment of Common Siddhis.

Objective & Benefit of the Practice:

Source of Siddhis (Accomplishments)

Chakrasamvara is the emanation of Buddha Vajradhara and is the main meditation deity of the Tantric tradition. Most of the famous 84 Indian Mahasiddhas attained perfect enlightenment relying on this deity; and since the time when these Tantras were introduced into Tibet many great Tibetan masters have also accomplished perfect realizations through this practice.

Importance of Yidam Practices:

As the saying goes:

Lama is the source of blessings (Tib: Jyin lap gyi tsawa, Lama)

Yidam is the source of accomplishment (Tib: Nyur drub gyi tsawa, Yidam)

Dakini is the source of activities (Tib: Trinley gyi tsawa, Khandro)

Yidam practice is a very unique tantric practice in which one transforms one's normal, samsaric worldly experience of reality into an extraordinary experience of the true state of all phenomena.

The practice of Yidam is a special and profound method to quickly transform ordinary worldly deluded appearances into enlightened appearances. To be more accurate, the Yidam practice uncovers the actual state of ultimate appearances which is primordially pure, empty of inherent existence and unceasing. This purity and emptiness has always been there within us, but is obscured and unseen due to our confused and deluded mind.

Since this is not an ordinary deity practices, but of tantric nature. It's crucial that one receive the details instruction and initiations of these profound teachings directly from an authentic teacher of a valid lineage when the time and conditions are right.

 * Rechungpa is one of the Choegon Rinpoches' Line of Incarnations

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