Vajrapani: clearing the obstacles


HUM! Burst forth, O Vajrapani,
Blazing like the fire at the end of the aeon;
Consume the blind darkness of delusion, craving and hatred,
And destroy all fear of Yamaraja the king of death.
Great hero, recognisable by the tiger-skin you are wearing,
Trampling upon the hosts of demons
And evil spirits, slayer of foes;
Vajrapani, O wrathful one, be seated.
You are being summoned here to annihilate the evil spirits;
Puja is being performed
For the benefit of all sentient beings,
Hence you must come.
Appearing from the non-duality
Of Emptiness and Buddha-nature,
You are ever devoted to the welfare of the world,
Having manifested yourself with awe-inspiring body;
To you, Vajrapani, O greatly wrathful one, I make obeisance.

Within, abiding in the peaceful Jnana,
Yet in appearance of fearsome foe-devouring aspect,
Terribly roaring like a thousand claps of thunder,
And by this overcoming evil spirits and demons;
To you, Vajrapani, adorned with skulls, I make obeisance.

You, whose essence is the highest knowledge,
Who, wielding in your hand the powerful vajra,
Have rooted out the klesas and deadly poisons;
To you, Vajrapani, adorned with snakes, I make obeisance.

Encircled by a blazing aura of fire,
You stand heroically with your legs flexed wide apart,
Angrily glaring with your eyes like the sun and moon;
To you, Vajrapani, subduer of spirits, I make obeisance.

Greatly fierce, like the fire at the end of the aeon,
Splendid white fangs gleaming
Like a thousand lightning flashes,
You send forth a shout like a thousand thunder claps;
To you, Vajrapani, wrathful king, I make obeisance.

HUM! Invoking fear through roaring HUM,
You overcome all obstacles
And destroy all demons without exception.
Dharmapala, bestower of all siddhi whatsoever;
To you, Vajrapani, foe of the demons, I make obeisance.

1. Going for Refuge

Namo Vajrapani!
In order to clear the obstacles
For the sake of all sentient beings
I invoke you, wrathful Vajrapani
Embodiment of all the refuges
And go for refuge to you.

To the Three Jewels:
The Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha,
I go for refuge.
To the Three Roots,
The Gurus, Yidams and the Dakinis
I go for refuge.
To all of you, the ocean of objects of refuge,
I go for refuge until the attainment of Enlightenment.

2. Generating the Bodhicitta

I will perform this sadhana of Vajrapani
To clear the obstacles that obstruct spiritual progress.
For the benefit of all sentient beings
I intend to attain complete Enlightenment.

My all beings enjoy happiness
And the causes of happiness;
May they be free from suffering
And the causes of suffering;
Whatever happiness they enjoy
May it never come to an end;
And may they always dwell
In the immeasurable equanimity
Which has neither near nor far
Attraction or aversion.

3. Reflection on Sunyata

All around me is the clear blue boundless sky,
The immaculate Dharmadhatu.
My body dissolves into a mass of brilliant white light
Of the nature of Sunyata.


All dharmas are essentially pure and Empty;
I also am essentially pure and Empty.

4. The Evocation of Vajrapani

Then suddenly, from the sphere of wrath
Which is great bliss in its inner nature,
There emanates the dark blue blazing form
Of the Union of the Three Jewels: wrathful Vajrapani.

In the sky there appears a dark blue lotus
With mats of sun and moon.
Standing proudly on the sun mat
Is the wrathful figure of Vajrapani.

His immensely powerful body is dark blue in colour
And stepping to the right he stands with legs astride.
His expression is intensely wrathful
As he looks in all directions of space.

His right hand brandishes aloft a golden vajra
With which he overcomes the obstacles of all beings.
With his left hand he makes the demon-defying mudra
Whereby he subdues the spirits and demons of the six realms.

He wears a crown of five human skulls
Since he has understood the Emptiness of existence.
A green snake is coiled around his neck
Since he has transformed hatred into vajra wrath.

A garland of fifty skulls adorns his body
Since he is liberated from the rounds of existence.
He wears many bone ornaments
Since he leads the Dakinis to dance.

His loins are draped with a tiger skin
Since he overpowers the mightiness of pride.
On his back he wears the flayed hide of an elephant
Since he is perfected in the ten powers of a Buddha.

He has a third eye in the middle of his forehead
And all three eyes stare and bulge with fury.
His fierce gaze causes mighty spirits and demons
To tremble and quake in fear and terror.

He has a gaping mouth and curling tongue
And his teeth are bared sharp and white.
He feeds on the flesh and blood and pounded bones
Of enemies and obstructive demons.

Gales whirl from his nose and thunder rolls,
Overpowering and subduing the three-fold world.
With just the right proportion of fierceness
He crushes all fiendish spirits and demons to dust.

His beard and brow blaze with fire
And his entire body is enhaloed with flames.
From every pore there emanate
Fierce little appearances of himself.

In smoke and fire the three-fold world trembles like a star.
Overcoming all obstacles,
Subduing all harmful spirits and demons,
He averts the evil of the three-fold world.

5. The Recitation of the Mantra

On the surface of his body
Are the three seed syllables:
At his forehead, a white OM
At his throat, a red AH
At his heart, a deep blue HUM.

From these three seed syllables,
Rays of white, red and blue light radiate upwards,
Inviting the blessing of Vajrasattva
And returning back again.

Around the syllable HUM in his heart
The root mantra revolves in a clockwise direction:


As the mantra is repeated
It emits rays of light and sparks
And appears like a ring of fire.
The rays of light radiate out
To all sentient beings of the six realms,
Overcoming all their obstacles,
And subduing all the gods, spirits and demons
In the three-fold world.


6. Praises and Requests to Vajrapani

O Vajrapani, you who are the embodiment of the energy
Of the Buddhas of the ten directions,
Who bring into training the beings of this degenerate age
Who are most difficult to teach,
And manifest a display of wrathful manifestations;
Your skilful means pacifies all disciples:
Vajrapani, you are one in nature with all the Buddhas!

O Vajrapani, you who are freed from the chains
Of the obscurations to freedom and knowledge;
Who dwell in the total purity of primordial perfection,
Inexpressible and vast as the boundless sky;
Who are a fountainhead of the wisdom of the 84,000 teachings:
Vajrapani, you are one in nature with all the Dharmas!

O Vajrapani, you who are a manifestation of the Buddhas
Of the countless world systems;
Who are chief among the Bodhisattvas
Who train in the path of the ten stages;
Who are the leader of the exalted assembly
Of Sravakas, Bodhisattvas, and Mahasiddhas:
Vajrapani, you are one in nature with all the Sanghas!

O Vajrapani, you who in order to subdue the forces of evil
Manifest many dancing forms of wrathful deities
That release a rain of attainments
Both ordinary and supreme on all beings;
A veritable shower of the two siddhis:
Vajrapani, you are one in nature with all Gurus, both root and lineal!

O Vajrapani, you who are one in nature
With the inexpressible Dharmadhatu truth;
Who with skilful means use wrathful methods
To annihilate the forces of darkness and evil;
You are one in nature with the three jewels
And with the Guru, Yidam and the Dakini
Who are the roots of all blessing, attainment and inspiration.
Vajrapani, you are one in nature with the three roots!
O Vajrapani, you who are the source of great power
Who are able to turn back the army of evil forces;
You are the chief protector
Of the teachings of all the Buddhas;
The wrathful lord protecting all yogin practitioners
And the guardian of all the Vidyadharas:
Vajrapani, you are one in nature with all the Dharmapalas!

O Vajrapani, you are the manifestation
Of the primordial Buddha, Vajrasattva;
The one who instantly breaks through all obstacles
And conditions that oppose spiritual progress;
Who in the bardo provide freedom from fear
And who guides beings to the Pure Realm of Sukhavati:
Vajrapani, you are the embodiment of every source of spiritual refuge!

O Vajrapani, mighty protector of the Dharma,
I make this request to you:
Please protect the teachers of the Dharma
And all the lineage holders,
Especially in this age of darkness.
Send your protective blessings
That the Dharma may be taught
And the Sangha may thrive and prosper:
Vajrapani, please grant these requests!

O Vajrapani, until all practitioners attain full Enlightenment
Continue to manifest your playful activity
That spontaneously and effortlessly fulfils
Every spiritual aspiration,
And eliminates all outer and inner obstacles to practice.
May all evil forces obstructing spiritual progress be destroyed
And the paths and stages of liberation be attained:
Vajrapani, please grant these requests!

7. Consecrating the Offerings

I make these offerings to Vajrapani,
That you may protect me from all harmful forces
And overcome all obstacles and difficulties.

From the seed syllables RAM YAM KHAM
The offerings are scorched, blown and cleansed by fire, air and water.


May these offerings be as a lake of nectar in a vessel of gems
Which emanates from the pure condition of absolute Emptiness.


By pronouncing OM AH HUM
The offerings are purified, multiplied and transformed,
Becoming the most desirable of desirable things.


8. Making the offerings

Offering goddesses emanate from my heart
And make the outer and inner offerings to Vajrapani.

Firstly, the eight outer offerings:


Secondly, the six inner offerings:


Thirdly, the secret offering:

From the realm of Emptiness
Comes a vast and extensive skull-cup
Supported by three skulls like a tripod.
Beneath is the red syllable ‘A’ from which come flames.

Within the skull-cup are the five fleshes:
Heart, brain, guts, flesh and blood;
And the five fluids:
Urine, excrement, semen, saliva and blood.
As the substances boil they are cleansed and purified
By the white seed syllable HAM above the skullcup
From which nectar pours down mixing with the contents.

Reciting repeatedly OM AH HUM HA HO HRIH
Purifies, increases and transforms the contents
Into an inexhaustible ocean of nectar
Of sublime colour, taste and smell:
The essence of Samsara and Nirvana.

Melted into Bodhicitta
The nectar becomes the forms
Of the five Buddhas and their consorts
United in great bliss with the five Wisdoms.
Samaya and Jnana are inseparably mingled as nectar
And an offering cloud of desirable objects fills the sky.


HUM! This sacred and supreme unexcelled offering
Fully adorned with the five desirable objects
Radiates out the light rays of the five Wisdoms.
I present this offering to Vajrapani;
As your heart samaya accept it if you please.


(O Vajrapani, here is nectar and food, come and enjoy this offering.)

9. Confession and Aspiration

Any impurities in the presentation
Of this assembled offering
I confess in the presence of the Dakinis and Dharmapalas.

Through carelessness and delusion
Vows are transgressed even when standing
At the very door of the great mandala of Enlightenment.
Therefore, whatever errors, lapses or breaches,
In body, speech or mind,
Have been committed with regard
To either the precepts, vows or samayas,
I now confess them in the presence of the Guru:
May my faults be forgiven and my vows be restored.

By the power of the truth of the Three Jewels
And the blessings of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas;
By the great might of the accumulation of the two stocks
Of merit and Wisdom through going for refuge;
By the purity of the Dharmadhatu
And the inexorability of cause and effect;
May the outer and the inner obstacles be cleared
So that spiritual progress is assured for all beings.

Through the strength of the samaya of theYidam
May these ardent aspirations be fulfilled.

10. Entreaty to Vajrapani to Avert all Evil

HUM! Listen and think of me! All of you hear me!
All the Gurus of the lineage, my personal Guru;
All the glorious hosts of the Yidam Deities;
All the noble Dakinis;
All the Oath-bound Guardians and Dharmapalas;
And you, wrathful Vajrapani;
Here perform the function entrusted to you.
Today I pray you avert everything that is evil.
Avert it quickly! Make it not be!
I pray you overcome all obstacles,
Subdue all harmful demons,
And avert all evil in the three-fold world.

O you, the gods and demons of the six realms;
Listen to my voice, I who hold the mantra.
You great evil spirits and hindering demons
Pacify your evil schemes!
All the many things that you want,
All the many objects of your desires
We offer to you in substitute:
The incense, the bright lamps, the beautiful flowers,
We give to you in offering.
Delicious food and nectar-like libation
We give to you in offering.
Take this cross-thread, these tormas,
These substitutes given in offering
And accept them with a willing mind.
Bear them away and do no harm to us or anyone.

O Vajrapani, wrathful protector,
Come to our aid and avert,
Turn back the strength of the magicians
Who roll the magic dagger between their palms,
Who fling the white mustard seed as magic,
Who cast the magic weapons,
Who prepare the destructive magic;
The black magicians who beat the magic drum
Who hold the whirring hand-drum
Who cause the sin of strife: avert them!
Those who practice the sorcery of the six realms;
Avert them: turn back their strength!

Of all the six realms of worldly gods and demons:
Some come to steal our property,
Some come as executioners at death,
Some send fevers and pestilences,
Or send the bad years when no rain falls
Or send frost, hail and storm;
Creditors pursuing their debt
Following on the track of relatives and friends;
Poisons which spread epidemics and disease,
Eaters of flesh, blood and breath,
Eaters of our fruits and harvests,
Harmful spirits, gods and demons,
Owners of the earth and spirits of the sky:
May you pacify your harm and evil!
May you be pleased with these substitutes!

O Vajrapani, wrathful protector,
I pray you avert the maledictions
That incite the evil spirits!
Make known the noble Dharma
With the strength of your compassion.

O you who wander lost in this world
Awaken now the thought of Enlightenment!
Arise as an example in your own person
Inflict no harm on others
Aspire to the path of freedom
And the cleansing of the obscurations!
Look upon your mindstream:
Without attachment to the unmoving
Your innate mind is the awareness of the Dharmakaya!
Pacify your fevers and pestilences
In the inner realm of Emptiness and compassion.

O Vajrapani, wrathful protector,
I pray you avert them every one:
Avert the vindictive enemies of the past
The barbarous enemies of the present
The foreign enemies mobilised against us.
Avert the 81 sudden calamities
Avert the 360 afflictions
Avert the 440 diseases
Avert the 80,000 hindering demons.

Let us all, yogins and our retinue,
Avert evil years, months, days and times
Pacify all gossip, slander and contention
Pacify our enemies, thieves and robbers
Pacify all epidemics and diseases.
Dispel the confusion and darkness
Of one day or two, of three or seven.

O Vajrapani, wrathful protector,
This moment I pray you avert
All the forces of darkness and evil.
I pray you let us be virtuous
I pray you spread the Dharma
Grant us the firm mountain of good fortune
And the sunlit sky of merit;
Grant us, full and unshaken,
The ordinary and supreme siddhis!

O you, the malevolent spirits and demons
Who have been honoured here today,
Cause no further trouble or harm
Either now or in the future.
Be satisfied with these offerings and be gone
Each to your proper place.
Stay not here! Go now! Go now!
If you fail to go and cause obstruction
The mighty Vajrapani will roar HUM! and PHAT!
The three worlds will tremble with fear
And all malign spirits and demons
Will be crushed by him to dust!


(Make the offerings to the malevolent spirits and demons.)

11. Establishing the Mandala

Through the merit of these offerings
And by the power of the blessing of Vajrapani,
This mundane place arises as a pure celestial mansion
Within a sacred mandala of protection.

The mandala has an adamantine base,
An enormous double vajra.
It has three circles of protection:
An inner circle of pure lotus flowers,
A wall of impenetrable iron vajras
And an outer ring of fierce flames
Blazing like the fire at the end of the aeon.

Outside the three circles of the mandala,
Fierce mantras swirl like a thunder storm
And enormous iron kilayas
Are planted in the ground and sky!

Inside the sheltered space of the mandala
There is protection from evil and misfortune.
All obstacles are entirely cleared
And all hindering spirits and demons are subdued.

All illnesses, disease and old age are pacified,
My lifespan, merit, health and wealth increase.
All auspicious goodness becomes manifest
And the two stocks of merit and Wisdom are attained.

My precepts, vows and samayas are purified and restored
And the ordinary and supreme siddhis are attained.
The capacity to perform the four magical rites is achieved:
Subjugation, attraction, pacification, and enrichment.

Through the strength of repeating the mantra
The blessings and empowerments are matured
And the spontaneous accomplishment
Of body, speech and mind is achieved.

Through the power of practising this sadhana,
I am established in the protective mandala
And the wisdom and compassion of Vajrapani
Becomes manifest for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Thereby, may the blessing of Vajrapani
And the protection of this sacred mandala
Be present for all beings of the six realms;
May they all be established within it.

May I and all beings dwell in the deepest samadhi
And realising the primordial perfection
Of the vajra-like state of Reality
Gain full and perfect Enlightenment.


Finally, all appearance and existence,
The glorious protector Vajrapani
And the celestial mansion of the mandala,
Dissolve into a mass of brilliantly shining white light
Which is absorbed into the boundless space of the Dharmadhatu.


This puja was compiled and edited by Dharmachari Prakasha at the Guhyaloka Vihara
during Spring 1999 for the use of members of the Western Buddhist Order
(now the Triratna Buddhist Order.)


Author: Mahabodhi

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