Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

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Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Inge » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:56 pm

Can you tell me a little bit about the dharma protectress Achi Chökyi Drolma?

I am planning to attend an Achi Chökyi Drolma empowerment in november, and now the information I find through searching google makes me hesitate a bit. For instance things like:

"A human corpse was brought and she transformed that corpse into a great tsog offering. Those who could partake of that tsog were granted the ordinary and supreme siddhis."

found at http://home.swipnet.se/ratnashri/Achi.htm and other places.

Is this proper dharma activity? I find it very strange to eat human flesh.

Please tell me if you know anything about the meaning of this.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Luke » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:24 pm

Inge wrote:"A human corpse was brought and she transformed that corpse into a great tsog offering. Those who could partake of that tsog were granted the ordinary and supreme siddhis."

The quote says that the corpse was transformed into a great tsog offering, so it doesn't mean that the people were eating a corpse. I think it means that she basically used her mental powers to transform the corpse into a buffet of tasty food and drinks. She didn't hack it to pieces and have people eat them. Music can also be part of an offering. Maybe she could have also transformed it into sound? Perhaps other people can tell you more about tsogs.

Anyway tantra is full of all kinds of symbolism and transformations, so I don't think it's anything to get worked up about. She's not a cannibal goddess; she's a great and pure bodhisattva who wants to help all beings. She's sweet and kind and enlightened.

She is a dharma protector of the Drikung Kagyu. I think she's similar to Tara in many ways.

Here is some positive info about her:
http://www.medicinebuddhasangha.org/teachings/achi.html

And the Dalai Lama once completed an Achi retreat with a great Drikung yogi:
"His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Drubwang Rinpoche have done an Achi meditation retreat together."
http://www.dharma-media.org/ratnashripj ... bwang.html

Only you know what's right for you, but I think that if open up your heart to Achi Drolma, you will receive great blessings from her. She is as pure as any other Tibetan Buddhist deity.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Dhondrub » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:04 pm

Dear Inge,
given the concerns you have about your involvement in Vajrayana practices I doubt it would be beneficials to take an empowerment of any Dharmaprotector. These teachings though given in West frequently are for those who are already involved in the particular lineage.
I dont think making a bond with a Dharmapala is healthy if one hasnt established a strong connection to the lineage and some experience in Yidam practice.

This is just my two cents but as you asked...

All the very best for you

Tashi

edit: This might interest you http://www.rinpoche.com/teachings/darmapalas.htm
Last edited by Dhondrub on Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:14 pm

I am a layperson with little understanding of things.

I do however (perhaps coincidentally), hold a empowerment for the Unelaborated easy to implement sadhana of the sole mother chokyi drolma lady of nanam. Ma Jig Na Nam Sa Cho Kyi Drol Ma'I Drub Thab Tro Me Khyer De Shug So.

I'm not certain if that is what you are referencing.
I certainly don't disagree with anything stated and perhaps I am entering directly into hell as a consequence of not performing this often enough or certainly not with a proper fashion....I just hope when I get there there will be beings that benefit from my presence in some small fashion.

If that is your view as well....I would enter into this thing if that is what is questioned.....with no regret and will full confidence....you cannot fail.

Suchly inspired I will perform it tonight(though very poorly)

Thanks for the inspiration :smile:This board serves purpose.

If taken it must be performed in some fashion. It is not a practice that can be put aside, so consider that as well....it is a committment. Once taken. If that's what's being referenced.

She rides a horse and is very pretty. But very fierce, fiercer than any that I know of.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Luke » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:14 pm

Dhondrub wrote:I dont think making a bond with a Dharmapala is healthy if one hasnt established a strong connection to the lineage and some experience in Yidam practice.

edit: This might interest you http://www.rinpoche.com/teachings/darmapalas.htm

But wasn't that article only talking about wrathful Dharmapalas? I haven't heard it mentioned anywhere that Achi Drolma is a wrathful deity. She looks quite peaceful.

In any case, when in doubt, just stick with Cherezig, Tara, and Guru Rinpoche...
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:52 pm

I don't know why one would want to do so...but I am certain one could undergo the training and skip out of the committment of performance aspect, or true empowerment part. If the Lama giving training had no problem with that. I don't suspect they would but you never know.

So I would ask the lama before undergoing the training if I wanted to do that.

Once so empowered I would feel badly if I didn't perform at least part of it, pretty regularly.
Not all empowerments are like that...this one is. So be advised.

Kili Kilaya is involved with this sadhana, the vizualizations are of skulls, particularly frightening graveyards at times, smashing to dust, transformations into masses of flesh and blood, and such things(though I am no expert in this by any means). So if such things bother someone it is probably best to not engage this thing.

I advocate strongly for such things as of such things are the reality of our life comprised. If the human body were so pretty and sweet no shaving perfumeing covering with makeup teasing of hair, or some such would be necessary. Masses of flesh and blood are always just a finger tip away though we ignore that reality so they are far away to my opinion.

To add a bit to the excellent comments offered.

Out of a blue sky with 0% chance of rain... came suddenly upon consideration of this thing today..... towering thunderheads wind and such.....so go practice it I did as that seems to fit the context, right now(abeit in a very poor fashion but it will stay with me) I did.

A excellent practice I firmly state even a dolt such as I can reap benefit. So I firmly advocate for it.
One simply cannot do this practice without arising the feeling that all things will in the end regardless of circumstance will work out to the benefit of increasing in the dharma. Which means many things of circumstance must be beneficial, and not detrimental to our human life and its continuance of relative ease(so we can practice). Like a mothers voice of that mother we may not have had but wish we had.....it is completly reassuring.

Drunk I am now(though symbolic beer offering is part of it).....fly on my arm is a fellow dharma practitioner, dogs as well listening carefully, birds expressions of dikiini, thought mantra like......quite reassuring.
I wouldn't miss it for the world. Even if the least of the practitioners such as I.... with no concentration, no understandings, just a silly person.... could feel in such a manner I could only guess what one of higher capacity devotion or inclination could feel. It is quite remarkable.

And now quite gone the thunderheads though winds remain. Not a trace of frain.
Go figure.....
Thanks!
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Dhondrub » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:36 pm

Luke wrote:
Dhondrub wrote:I dont think making a bond with a Dharmapala is healthy if one hasnt established a strong connection to the lineage and some experience in Yidam practice.

edit: This might interest you http://www.rinpoche.com/teachings/darmapalas.htm

But wasn't that article only talking about wrathful Dharmapalas? I haven't heard it mentioned anywhere that Achi Drolma is a wrathful deity. She looks quite peaceful.

In any case, when in doubt, just stick with Cherezig, Tara, and Guru Rinpoche...



I dont think it is about the degree of wrathfulness a Dharmapala expresses. Achi as far as I know is considered a worldly deity even though she is an emanation of Vajrayogini ( at least thats how Karma Kagyupas see it, maybe its different for Drikungpas). And practices of Activity Protectors and Worldly Protectors always come with some commitment that should be held up if one wants to stay out of unnecessary trouble.

By the way when I was a kid i was staying with my mom for some weeks in a Drikung Kagyu center, where my mum attended teachings and Abishekas. When it came to the Abisheka of Achi Chöky Dölma the Rinpoche told my mom better not to take this Empowerment as her main practice was Karma Kamtsang.
Point is Dharmapalas are for serious practitioners with connection to the particular lineage and the Yidam.

Anyway- Tara, Chenrezig, Guru Rinpoche and Varasattva as you said can always be practiced. And it was said that the best protection is going for refuge to the three jewels wholeheartedly.

All the very best

Tashi
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Luke » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:13 pm

Wow, this thread has made me realize how few Tibetan deities I know about.

Who is Karma Kamtsang? Is that just another name for Bernagchen Mahakala?

Dhondrub wrote:I dont think it is about the degree of wrathfulness a Dharmapala expresses. Achi as far as I know is considered a worldly deity even though she is an emanation of Vajrayogini ( at least thats how Karma Kagyupas see it, maybe its different for Drikungpas). And practices of Activity Protectors and Worldly Protectors always come with some commitment that should be held up if one wants to stay out of unnecessary trouble.

I did a bit of poking around on the internet, but didn't find much clear info. Are "worldly deities" deities who are not enlightened and who still can be harmful?

What about Mahakala? I've read quotes that he is enlightened and that he has never harmed anyone.
Mahakala is seen standing on the corpse of two human bodies, thus symbolizing the death of negativities and the complete uprooting of negative patterns to such a point that, like a dead body, they will not come to life. It is very important that we know these symbols of Mahakala because many times we have mistaken notions that he may be a clinging spirit or harmful, evil being, perhaps even the Lord of Death ready to devour and attack. One would find great difficulty in relating to the various symbols without understanding that our awakened compassion is the essential quality of the being of Mahakala. Mahakala has never been known to harm one being, even in the slightest manner, because he is constantly benefiting beings through the continuous play of the enlightened mind.
http://www.kagyu.org/kagyulineage/buddh ... /dev02.php

It would seem from that quote that Mahakala is the "safest" Dharmapala to practice.

I received a White Mahakala empowerment from a Jonage Lama. He was supposed to give a Guru Rinpoche Empowerment, but later decided that it was better for him to give us the White Mahakala empowerment to help us eliminate obstacles.

Although he said the White Mahakala mantra during the empowerment, he didn't follow the empowerment with any teachings or tell us explicitly that we could visualize ourselves as White Mahakala or say his mantra. It seemed like just a one-time to event to help us eliminate our obstacles. The empowerment felt very powerful and my mental state felt quite different for several hours afterwards.

However, after the empowerment I asked my lama what the mantra was and asked if I could say it while visualizing myself as White Mahakala. He reluctantly said "Yes" because we had visualized ourselves as White Mahakala and said his mantra during the empowerment.

However, I rarely recite the mantra because I haven't received any teachings about White Mahakala. Also, he seems to be a deity of wealth and I would rather focus on deities who have predominantly spiritual functions.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Dhondrub » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:31 pm

Dear Luke,
Karma Kamtsang is just another name for Karma Kagyu, sorry for being cryptic.

You know there are 3 kinds of Dharma protectors
1. Yeshe Gönpos- Wisdom Protectors like Mahakala( Six Armed,Bernagchen, Gönkar etc.) who are completely enlightend just like a yidam actually.

2.Le`i Gönpos/ Thrinley Gönpos- Activity protectors who are Bodhisattvas on high levels but not fully realized Buddhas.

3. Jigten Gönpos( I think this term is correct not quite sure)- Worldly protectors who are not on the Bhumis and are poweful beings bound by oath by some Master like Guru Rinpoche or Milarepa.

Point is it feels kind of awkward to talk about these kind of things on an open internet forum as these kind of infos are usually between you and your Guru. But I think the link I posted from Lama Namse gives some clarification. I will also have a look for some link that gives more info.




Gönkar( White Mahakala) being a Wisdom Protector and no other than Chenrezig is indeed "safe" to practice and very common among western practitioners these days given his particular qualities and activities.


Best

Tashi
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Inge » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:14 pm

I read the text by Choje Lama Namse Rinpoche linked to by Dhondrub, and he is clearly advacing against someone as unexperienced as me getting involved with dharma protectors. So I figure at least I should ask the teacher who is giving the empowerment before I attend.

ronnewmexico: I wish I had your courage and confidence, but I find myself not even able to benefit anybody now in this human body, how much the less would that be the case in a realm where the suffering is even more intense and the ignorance even thicker.

During the same event also a Guru Dragpo empowerment will be given, and also introduction to the nature of mind. Do you also think this is not wise for me to attend? I just wish to meet the teacher, and off course I am longing for recognition of the nature of mind.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:00 pm

This...to my experience is of karmic origin, past cause effect...."I wish I had your courage and confidence, but I find myself not even able to benefit anybody now in this human body, how much the less would that be the case in a realm where the suffering is even more intense and the ignorance even thicker."

the inablity to help others being a condition or constraint of our realm and our personal effects....should not be confused with the potential ability to help if such constraints were not present.

Point being I am fairly certain intent here and now leads to actual result later. No intent now and no result later.
So I don't personally build my expectations on this particular circumstance which is karmically originated. We are changing effect with our intent.
I have no confidence...things just seem this way. Nothing can remove my intent.
Try any circumstance can try...failure of that will result. It simply cannot happen as it has been learned.

Result....sure. Who gives a flying capital F. Eventually it will. Time is of no concern in this thing.
Nor realm nor circumstance. Intent only...it will all work out. No confidence.... observation of certainity is all...it can't be otherwise. I have no esteemable qualities whatsoever. I am just very bored with this thing and see this is how things are.
It is by no means that I have courage. It is simply that nothing that can happen to me can happen to me. So I become seen as gambleing what is not gambled. Drain suck such things learned intent compassion such things....if I found such could happen I would truly fear and run away from everything.
I know such cannot happen. So walking down a pretty street in a summer month with cloudless sky I find not courageous in the slightest. And such always am I. Help if we can, do no harm if we can....that's all. If I aspired to more than that ego would be speaking for this thing of I.

From one friend to another.
Ya see...the circumstance of being able to help others is as any other circumstance produced. It is the greatest producer of happiness, more than any other. Millareapa though we may think one of such great spiritual attainment should look as a great being, strong king like beautiful in every respect...looked like a dirtish old man who he himself described sitting around basically naked signing little dharma songs.
Such is the circumstance of apparance and helping others circumstantial; and neither necessarily speaks to current state of things..but karmic effect being played out. So we have not that result...helping others...yet. This life or another it will present. Or not if we have no intent. Intent molds and bends our realities into their presentation. WE can't suddenly have intent and look around saying...well where is the helping. I hold spiritual fault as I have done no such thing. Millaraepa would as likely have stood around and said.....well I have great attainment...why not the appearence...where is my resultant great appearance for all to see..

To be in a situation of actually helping others....a great great circumstance which most of us have plainly not provided cause for. Cause is not immediate in this fashion. It does not say our practice is faulted if we can do no such thing. It says our practice is new....nothing more.

Such is is silly in bit to this layperson of little understanding. As little as I understand I think it is silly to expect such things.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:57 pm

To add the four preliminaries to this practice as I have been taught it are..

Going for refuge
Mind set(in the face of heat cold hardship exhaustion worry whatever may come....in order to liberate them I give rise to the mindset with the fearless four immeasurables)
Vajrasattva meditation and recitation
Mandela offering

Would I engage any practice wholly without prelimary completion...No, firmly not,that is my strong opinion. IN part....say without empowerment...sure.

We to my opinion should get very used early on the spiritual (intent and such) never meeting the actual(the reality we presently subside in)...its tantra. Its quicker, bouind to be that way :smile:
I
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Luke » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:32 pm

Dhondrub wrote:You know there are 3 kinds of Dharma protectors
1. Yeshe Gönpos- Wisdom Protectors like Mahakala( Six Armed,Bernagchen, Gönkar etc.) who are completely enlightend just like a yidam actually.

2.Le`i Gönpos/ Thrinley Gönpos- Activity protectors who are Bodhisattvas on high levels but not fully realized Buddhas.

3. Jigten Gönpos( I think this term is correct not quite sure)- Worldly protectors who are not on the Bhumis and are poweful beings bound by oath by some Master like Guru Rinpoche or Milarepa.

Hi Tashi,

I am curious: Why does anyone bother with protectors who are not enlightened (activity protectors and worldly protectors) if they could do the practices of the fully enlightened protectors instead? What can a person achieve by practicing Achi Drolma which he could not achieve by practicing Mahakala?
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Jangchup Donden » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:52 pm

Luke wrote:
Dhondrub wrote:You know there are 3 kinds of Dharma protectors
1. Yeshe Gönpos- Wisdom Protectors like Mahakala( Six Armed,Bernagchen, Gönkar etc.) who are completely enlightend just like a yidam actually.

2.Le`i Gönpos/ Thrinley Gönpos- Activity protectors who are Bodhisattvas on high levels but not fully realized Buddhas.

3. Jigten Gönpos( I think this term is correct not quite sure)- Worldly protectors who are not on the Bhumis and are poweful beings bound by oath by some Master like Guru Rinpoche or Milarepa.

Hi Tashi,

I am curious: Why does anyone bother with protectors who are not enlightened (activity protectors and worldly protectors) if they could do the practices of the fully enlightened protectors instead? What can a person achieve by practicing Achi Drolma which he could not achieve by practicing Mahakala?


Different strokes for different folks, I'd say. If you understand and have faith and devotion that Mahakala really is Chenrezig, and Chenrezig really is embodiment of all the compassion (and wisdom) of all Buddhas, then accomplishing Mahakala will have that same result.

I'd say doing practices of worldly protectors is really more for people with already some realization and then probably more for the benefit of the worldly protector then the practitioner.

On another note, from a recent teaching Bardor Tulku Rinpoche gave about samaya (see the other thread, or http://kunzang.org/kplblog/2010/09/30/about-samaya/):

Then comes the samaya of activity. Activity is to help beings and support the dharma and the teachings. And we do this by relying upon dharmapalas (or dharma protectors) who remove conditions adverse to dharma; who support and protect our practice from obstacles both outwardly and inwardly. Therefore the samaya of activity is the presentation of prayer, offerings, praises, and so forth to dakinis and dharmapalas. The text says, “These things are accomplished continuously, supreme and common siddhis and the various activities will be spontaneously achieved by themselves without having to engage in any other means and without difficulty.”


So you could say that is the point of doing protector practices.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Dhondrub » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:45 am

I completely second Mr. Donden,
maybe to add that worldly protectors are only for those who have some realization, in the same way that a realized Yogi can work with highly neurotic, aggressive or what have you difficult people and transform their particular style into enlightend activity. While beginners on the path when trying to work with these kind of people get burned easily.

All the best

Tashi

This article by Reggie Ray is also quite good: http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?o ... Itemid=243
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Dhondrub » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:48 am

Inge wrote:I read the text by Choje Lama Namse Rinpoche linked to by Dhondrub, and he is clearly advacing against someone as unexperienced as me getting involved with dharma protectors. So I figure at least I should ask the teacher who is giving the empowerment before I attend.

ronnewmexico: I wish I had your courage and confidence, but I find myself not even able to benefit anybody now in this human body, how much the less would that be the case in a realm where the suffering is even more intense and the ignorance even thicker.

During the same event also a Guru Dragpo empowerment will be given, and also introduction to the nature of mind. Do you also think this is not wise for me to attend? I just wish to meet the teacher, and off course I am longing for recognition of the nature of mind.



Dear Inge,
I think its a good idea to ask the teacher ( Ayang Rinpoche?). Also think about if you want to make a connection, the article Chanchub Donden posted up there is a really good overview of Samaya.


All the best

Tashi
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Luke » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:04 pm

Dhondrub wrote:I completely second Mr. Donden,
maybe to add that worldly protectors are only for those who have some realization, in the same way that a realized Yogi can work with highly neurotic, aggressive or what have you difficult people and transform their particular style into enlightend activity. While beginners on the path when trying to work with these kind of people get burned easily.

I understand and accept the main point that only advanced practitioners should do the practices of Dharmapalas, but is there some way for a beginner to just show respect to them or make offerings to them which would benefit them without putting himself at risk?
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Dhondrub » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:06 pm

Luke wrote:
Dhondrub wrote:I completely second Mr. Donden,
maybe to add that worldly protectors are only for those who have some realization, in the same way that a realized Yogi can work with highly neurotic, aggressive or what have you difficult people and transform their particular style into enlightend activity. While beginners on the path when trying to work with these kind of people get burned easily.

I understand and accept the main point that only advanced practitioners should do the practices of Dharmapalas, but is there some way for a beginner to just show respect to them or make offerings to them which would benefit them without putting himself at risk?



Imho this should be talked about with ones Guru. I also dont want to scare people off here. I amjust saying that these kind of practices usually come with a commitment that should not be broken especially in the case of worldly protectors, as they are not enlightend beings but more like powerful beings you make a contract with.
As I said before in the case of Achi Chökyi Drölma I am not sure in what categorie she is seen in the Drikung lineage, but just asking the Rinpoche giving the transmission should clear things up.


All the best

Tashi
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Luke

I have mentioned it several times.
One may take the training but disincline the empowerment part.

To my personal opinion..... Achi Chokyl Drolma one could engage the training and not the actual empowerment. IN ceremony there is a point considered to be the actual empowement part, most usually....that could be declined. Do not participate in that particular part, which usually requires some specific action upon the student. It may be standing somewhere it may be going somewhere it may be receiving a offering, a touch on the head. A ceremony such as this is a commitment. So there will be a identifyable part for empowerment assumedly.

Stay in the back of the room for instance and not have your head touched by the lama on purpose. But tell the lama or center director your intention before hand. Whatever is considered that actual point....it could be doing a certain thing. Don't do that specific thing but go through the rest of the ceremony/training.

To just do that without telling anyone I would say is not a good thing to do.
To my opinion its like going through several empowerments of the same issue, the same empowerment...if one wants to do so its not a big deal.Tell the teache before hand is all. There may be relatively rare instances(type of ceremony) where this is not allowed. Or no commitment is infered so it is not really so important. Or a lama may have specific purpose for not allowing it.

That's my opinion.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Question about dharmaprotectress Achi Chokyi Drolma

Postby Inge » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:52 pm

Dhondrub wrote:Dear Inge,
I think its a good idea to ask the teacher ( Ayang Rinpoche?). Also think about if you want to make a connection, the article Chanchub Donden posted up there is a really good overview of Samaya.

All the best

Tashi


I read through that article about Samaya, and it surely presents a much more positive view than my deluded ideas.

Yes, I wish to make a connection to Ayang Rinpoche and also to the Drikung lineage. I don't know how to contact him though. I live in Norway, and he is giving the teaching in France, so I would prefer to know before I go there.

I have just now tried to send a message to him through the contact form on the ayangrinpoche.org website.
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