Apr 13

Kalu Rinpoche | Niguma’s “Amulet Mahamudra” (Morning session – intro)

Today’s topic is “ཕྱག་ཆེན་གའུ་མ།”, (phyag chen ga’u ma).

So first of all, before I explain and translate the very sentence. I would like to let you know that this is a teaching that we do only during our third year of the retreat, not on the first year, not on the second year. So that’s something you just keep in mind.

There are four different chapters in the one book. One first chapter is about the “Samatha and Vipassana”. Of course, there is a preliminary mental preparation, thinking about the cause of suffering and the reality of the suffering, impermanence and so on. And then the second chapter is about the “Analytical meditation”. And then the third chapter is “Visualizing a deity”, which we will skip that, because that requires a separate empowerment. The fourth is about the “Recognizing of the nature of the mind”. So that’s that. Okay?

So the reason that it is called “ཕྱག་ཆེན་གའུ་མ།”(phyag chen ga’u ma): “ཕྱག་ཆེན་” (phyag chen) means Mahamudra, “གའུ་མ།།”(ga’u ma) means like an amulet.

So I think there may be some sort of a different understanding, culturally when you call it “amulet”, maybe in the western society when we say “amulet” we just have something like a very large shape, something around the neck.

But in the Tibetan culture when we say “amulet”, that means something that is very precious within, not just a statue; but it can contain relics, it can contain teachings, hand-written teachings that you preserve within you, you know, within the amulet. And then wherever you go you take with you, so it is the most secure way of preserving it.

Because many Buddhist masters they go to India, crossing the border of Nepal and then when they go back to Tibet along the journey, there is a lot of robbery. So whatever they see, they steal it, they throw away into the river, they destroy it. So just nonsense, so it’s a very common thing. So therefore many of the masters when they have a very, very special teachings, they always write down and roll it and keep it within the amulet. And then when they reach to their final destination, and then they open it and then give teachings to the students. So that’s that.


Niguma’s “Amulet Mahamudra” by Kalu Rinpoche (morning session – 5′ 20”)
Kagyu Sukha Chöling – Friday March 11, 2022