The Five Deities Tantra is the most important Tantra of the Tantric Deities practices of Shangpa Kagyu Lineage. And so, in order for the Golden Teachings to be practiced, you must do these Yidam practices. It is a prerequisite.
Ultimate teaching is actually simple pointing-out instructions. However, because of obscurations, karmas and defilements, it’s very difficult, it’s very difficult to understand. But there is a way, that is a skillful method, a step by step method, in order receive the pith instructions. Some instructions that need to go before that. In order to receive that, that needs to go before, and so on and so on.
So in the case of Golden Teachings, Fruition teaching is called “Non-death and non-mistake”. […] That’s preceded by all these other Golden Teachings: Flowers teaching – Two Dakinis practices-, Three Branches teaching – the three types of carrying on what is called “Illusory practices”- and then that’s, you know, […] preceded by the main trunk Mahamudra practice. It’s called Amulet Mahamudra practice, “Mahamudra ga’u ma”. And that is preceded by Six Yogas of Niguma.
And then before you do Six Yogas of Niguma, you have to do Deity yoga. In fact defining characteristics of what constitutes tantric path is the path of creation and completion. So there are many different kinds of Deity yogas and so on and so on. But this Five Deities practice is one very unique way of practicing all five deities together. And it’s the combination of Father Tantra, Mother Tantra, Non-dual Tantra and so on.
And then the real tradition is, prior to that, you also have to do other practices. In the 3-Year Retreat practice, you have additional Deity yogas. In Shangpa tradition, we have Chakrasamvara practice and then Four Deities practices and these are preceded by some mind training practices, certain Guru Yoga associated with Guru Guru Yoga, Deity Guru Yoga, Protector Deity practices and so on.
And preceded by all these practices, Foundation practices.
You see, where there is a will, there really is a way! If you start step by step, step by step, step by step, it can happen. You know, you just have to take the path very seriously. Personally I am a firm believer the blessing of the Enlightened Lineage is still as potent as it was during the time of Milarepa, If we practitioner can do the same kind of thing, as great beings did, then it could happen. If we’re not willing to do the same thing, then we are not willing to be in same state of mind, and so on, then we cannot expect the same kind of result.