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Natural Liberation through Acts of Confession



CONTEXT
In addition to the experiential cultivation of the nature of the deity, as outlined in the previous two chapters, the act of confession plays an important role in purifying the negativity and obscuration that has, according to the Buddhist perspective, clouded our minds over a beginningless cycle of lifetimes.
In Buddhist practice this process of purification, which includes the reparation of commitments and vows, is enhanced by the engagement of the ‘four antidotal powers’. In the context of this cycle of teachings the four powers are:
1. The power of reliance, which here refers to the visualisation of the hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities.
2. The power of the actual antidote, which here refers to the recitation of the Natural Liberation through Acts of Confession, together with the practice of the Hundred-syllable Mantra of Vajrasattva.
3. The power of remorse, which is the genuinely remorseful recollection of all negative acts previously committed.
4. The power of resolve, which is the pledge never to engage wilfully in such negative actions again.
Before beginning the confessional practice, it is recommended that the practitioner should make actual or mentally emanated offerings before his or her altar. Then, each afternoon, while sitting on the floor in front of the altar, the practitioner should engage in this practice, with the palms of the hands placed together, chanting the words lucidly and with conviction. For as long as practitioners have not gained full accomplishment in the practices of this cycle of teachings, inappropriate negative actions of body, speech and mind should be continuously confessed.
Herein is contained the Natural Liberation through Acts of Confession, in the Presence of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities1 an extract from the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities: A Profound Sacred Teaching, [entitled] Natural Liberation through [Recognition of] Enlightened Intention.2
I respectfully bow down to Samantabhadra, Mahottara, And the assembly of Peaceful and Wrathful Deities! May the degenerations [of our commitments] be purified!
In order that the degenerations [of our commitments] may be naturally purified, without being renounced, the [following] Natural Liberation through Acts of Confession, in the Presence of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities, which is an extract from the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities: Natural Liberation through [Recognition of] Enlightened Intention, is [now] presented. Be persevering in this regard, O Children of Posterity! samaya!
This [confessional practice] is presented in six parts, namely: confession [in the presence] of the inexpressible truth, confession in the presence of the Peaceful Deities, confession in the presence of the Wrathful Deities, the plaintive confession of rampant egohood, confession in the presence of the view, and confession [in the presence] of all Those Gone to Bliss.
PRELIMINARIES
The invitation and request for [the confessional field] to be present
OMO, supreme buddha-body of pristine cognition,
Even though, like the [clarity of the] waxing moon,
You are free from conceptual elaboration in this natural mandala,
Your compassion [radiates to all] without bias, like the rays of the sun.
Please be present here, and attend to us!
The homage to the three buddha-bodies, which compose the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities
I bow down to the three buddha-bodies of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities:
To the Buddha-body of Reality, the inexpressible and unwavering discriminative awareness,
To the supremely blissful Buddha-body of Perfect Resource, the lords of the five enlightened families,
And to the Buddha-body of Emanation: extensive, compassionate and skilful.
The threefold offering of [outer] phenomena, [inner] cloud-masses, and secret [substances]
By arraying the vast and pure expanse of space,
With [billowing] clouds of unsurpassed Samantabhadra-like offerings,
Whether they be actually gathered together or imagined,
We dedicate [to you] oceans of outer, inner and secret offerings.3
The secret offering of supreme bliss
May [the deities] be delighted by the non-dual ‘generative essence’4
Whose [blissful] single savour indicates a [pristine] state,
Where all the infinite mandalas of the conquerors, without exception,
Are established, beyond conjunction or disjunction,
In the secret womb of Samantabhadrl.
The affirmation of vows within the modality of the view
Since the nature of mind is the great expanse of reality,
And all things are pure atemporal inner radiance,
This yoga is itself the inexpressible and inconceivable
expanse. Everlastingly we bow down to the mind of enlightenment,
Which is [the realisation of] sameness!
The call to the assembly of Peaceful and Wrathful Deities for attention
AH In the atemporal omnipresence of the Great Perfection, which is Samantabhadra,
Is [displayed] the mandala of the outer, inner, and secret arrays.
Here, the expanse of male and female deities is the [natural] purity of mundane existence,
And the spontaneously perfect male and female consorts are the [natural purity] of past and future [events].
All of these are centred in the ‘lotus of vast space’, which is that of [Samantabhadrl],
She who embodies the most secret and most joyous of supreme forms.
Within this [space, the mandala] radiates as a supreme non-dual seminal point,
And within this secret mandala, where there is no conjunction or disjunction,
Is [arrayed] the buddha-body of the uncontrived nucleus of enlightenment, free from conceptual elaboration,
Where the immutable deities of supreme bliss manifest in myriad forms.
O, you manifold assembly of [peaceful] emanations, present within the indivisible expanse,
Including the male and female [buddhas] of the five enlightened families, who are the Great Embodiment,
The [sixteen] male and female bodhisattvas, and the six sages who instruct living beings,
Along with the eight emanational gatekeepers, male and female;
O, you manifold [wrathful] assembly of the emanational deities of pristine cognition,
[Including] the ten male and female wrathful conquerors,
Great and glorious [principals] of the five enlightened families,
Who preside over the indestructible matrix of female [wrathful] deities,
The [sixteen active] seals [who represent the natural transformation]
Of the classes of consciousness and their objects,
And the four gatekeepers;
O, you twenty-eight outer and inner dakinls and yoginls,
Who, with motherly loving kindness and sisterly affection,
Evaluate our good and bad [conduct],
And inspect our commitments;
And you oath-bound [protectors] of indestructible reality, who have been subjugated –
Please, [all of you], attend to us!
CONFESSION [IN THE PRESENCE] OF THE INEXPRESSIBLE TRUTH
HOM We [aspiring] awareness holders, who are heirs to the compassionate lineage,
Strive to cultivate the mind of enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.
In order that the unsurpassed state may be attained,
We have repeatedly received and earnestly undertaken
[Both] the individual disciplines of the ocean-like teachings,5
And the supreme vows concordant with buddha-body, speech and mind, including:
The [appropriate] commitments of [the Vehicle of] Indestructible Reality,
Which are dangerous to transgress, and must be constantly maintained,
Together with all the general and particular higher commitments.
Yet, even though we strive neither to abandon nor to transgress [these commitments],
And we strive neither to deviate from the truth nor to allow our minds to fluctuate,
Since we idly think that we have the momentary luxury to sit back in relaxation,
We have not reached fulfilment and our mental energy has been faltering.
We have lacked alertness, and have been overpowered by carelessness.
If, therefore, under the sway of ignorance, consciously or unconsciously,
Our meditation has lacked perseverance,
And we have been distracted in our ritual service and means for attainment,
We will have contradicted the injunctions of the Teacher and contradicted our vows.
Further, it says in the [Buddha’s] scriptures:
‘A yogin should not associate, even for a moment, with one whose commitments have degenerated.’
Not being [continuously] cognisant of this, we have transgressed the secret approach [of the tantras],
And [consistently] we have had difficulty discriminating [between worthy and unworthy associates].
Lacking supernormal prescience, we have failed to recognise those that are unworthy.
Thus, now, with heartfelt remorse, we confess all our individual faults,
Which have already become the misfortunes of this life and will become the obscurations of future lives.
Whatever faults of degeneration and obscuration have tainted us,
Whether they be our own actual degenerations or those acquired through association with others by:
Mixing in assemblies with those whose [commitments] have degenerated,
Repairing [the commitments of] those who have degenerated,
Giving the [sacred] teachings to those who are degenerate and unworthy,
Or by committing the degenerate fault of not avoiding [the influence of] those who have degenerated, and so forth,
Do not permit the retribution of the sublime [protectors] to fall upon us!
Attend to us with the compassion of your loving kindness!
And make us secure, so that we never stray from the non-dual expanse.
Having inspired us to abide within the modality of non-referential equanimity,
Please grant us the purity of the non-dual truth!
In ultimate truth, inexpressible and without conceptual elaboration,
There is no objective referent to any conceptual thought whatsoever.
But if, by the power of illusion-like relative appearances, we should err,
[We acknowledge this and seek your forgiveness.]
We confess that we have deviated from the buddha-mind!
If we have committed transgressions, please forgive our deviations.
Throughout beginningless time and throughout the limits of cyclic existence,
We have roamed within these turning worlds driven on by the forces of [ripening] past actions –
[Endlessly] drinking the poisons of dissonant states and false perspectives on reality.
May The One Gone to Bliss, king among compassionate physicians,
Grant the medicine of liberation, the nectar of the genuine teachings,
To those [of us] who are severely afflicted by the [primal] disease, which is suffering!
May all the diseases caused by bewildering dissonant states be pacified!
May we be sustained in the nucleus of unsurpassed enlightenment!
We take refuge in you, O compassionate lord of loving kindness!
We confess that we have contradicted the buddha-mind!
If we have boasted of our high view and yet not understood the meaning of actual reality,
If we have not clearly visualised the meditational deity, owing to our meditations being excessively brief,
Or if we have made an inadequate number of recitations or spoken these defectively,
However we have deviated from the buddha-mind of the oceans of conquerors,
We confess our transgressions in the presence of the Peaceful and Wrathful Conquerors.
We make confession to you, O Compassionate Ones!
We make confession in the presence of the entire assembly of the deities of pristine cognition!
If we have failed to please our spiritual teacher, on account of the feebleness of our effort,
If we have failed to be well regarded by our spiritual brothers and sisters, on account of the feebleness of our devotion,
If we have divulged the oral teachings to another, on account of our flirtatious intentions,
Indeed, whatever extravagances, omissions, deviations or mistakes we have made,
With respect to the fundamental commitments of buddha-body, speech and mind,
Whilst swayed by the influence of ignorance, either consciously or unconsciously,
We confess all such transgressions in the presence of the Peaceful and Wrathful Conquerors.
We make confession to you, O Compassionate Ones!
We make confession to the oceanic assembly of the conquerors!
May all [the degenerations] that we now confess be cleansed and purified!
Please grant us the purity of the non-dual truth!
SAMAYA!
CONFESSION IN THE PRESENCE OF THE
PEACEFUL DEITIES, THE EMBODIMENT OF
[THE QUIESCENT NATURE OF] REALITY
The initial confession is that to Samantabhadra and Samantabhadrl, the father and mother consorts
MOM We pray to you, father and mother, listen and attend to us!
Mind and phenomena are atemporally manifest buddhas,
But even though this [reality] is the expression of your enlightened intention,
O Samantabhadra and Samantabhadrl, father and mother, in union,
Due to our ignorance, we have not understood this to be so.
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind
Of you, Samantabhadra and Samantabhadrl, father and mother,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Second is the confession to the five male buddhas of the enlightened families of the conquerors
We pray to you, the five [male buddhas] of the enlightened families of the conquerors, listen and attend to us!
The five psycho-physical aggregates are atemporally manifest buddhas,
But even though this [reality] is the expression of your enlightened intention,
O five [male buddhas] of the enlightened families of the conquerors,
Due to our ignorance, we have not understood this to be so. For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind Of the five [male buddhas of the] enlightened families of the conquerors,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Third is the confession to the five female buddhas of the enlightened families
We pray to you, the five female buddhas of the enlightened families, listen and attend to us!
The five elements are atemporally manifest buddhas,
But even though this [reality] is the expression of your enlightened intention,
O, five female buddhas of the enlightened families,
Due to our ignorance, we have not understood this to be so.
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind
Of the five female buddhas of the enlightened families,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Fourth is the confession to the eight male bodhisattvas of the retinue
We pray to you, the eight male bodhisattvas, listen and attend to us!
The eight classes of consciousness are atemporally manifest buddhas,
But even though this [reality] is the expression of your enlightened intention,
O, eight male bodhisattvas, due to our ignorance, we have not understood this to be so.
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the eight male bodhisattvas,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Fifth is the confession to the eight female bodhisattvas
We pray to you, the eight female bodhisattvas, listen and attend to us!
The eight objects of consciousness are atemporally manifest buddhas,
But even though this [reality] is the expression of your enlightened intention,
O, eight female bodhisattvas, due to our ignorance, we have not understood this to be so.
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the eight female bodhisattvas,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Sixth is the confession to the six sages
We pray to you, the six sages, listen and attend to us!
The six dissonant mental states are atemporally manifest buddhas,
But even though this [reality] is the expression of your enlightened intention,
O, six sages, due to our ignorance, we have not understood this to be so.
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the six sages,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Seventh is the confession to the four male gatekeepers
We pray to you, the four male gatekeepers, listen and attend to us!
The four immeasurable [aspirations] are atemporally manifest buddhas,
But even though this [reality] is the expression of your enlightened intention,
O, four male gatekeepers, due to our ignorance, we have not understood this to be so.
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the four male gatekeepers,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Eighth is the confession to the four female gatekeepers
We pray to you, the four female gatekeepers, listen and attend to us!
The four extremes of eternalism and nihilism are atemporally manifest buddhas,
But even though this [reality] is the expression of your enlightened intention,
O, four female gatekeepers, due to our ignorance, we have not understood this to be so.
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the four female gatekeepers,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Then the confession should be made to the [entire array of the] peaceful deities in the following way:
om Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have not correctly integrated the psycho-physical aggregates, the sensory spectra, and their activity fields,
Within the mandala of the peaceful deities.
We seek the forgiveness of each of you, the forty-two peaceful deities!
Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have not correctly integrated the five psycho-physical aggregates with the five [male buddhas] of the enlightened families,
And further still, our own minds, swayed by ignorance, have continued to be afflicted by egotism.
We seek the forgiveness of you, the assembly of Samantabhadra!
Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have not correctly integrated the five elements with the five female buddhas,
And further still, our own minds, swayed by ignorance, have continued to be afflicted by egotism.
We seek the forgiveness of you, the assembly of Samantabhadrl!
Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have not correctly integrated the four classes of consciousness and four sense organs with the [eight] male bodhisattvas,
And further still, our own minds, swayed by ignorance, have continued to be afflicted by egotism.
We seek the forgiveness of you, the assembly of male bodhisattvas!
Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have not correctly integrated the four objects of consciousness and four times with the [eight] female bodhisattvas,
And further still, our own minds, swayed by ignorance, have continued to be afflicted by egotism.
We seek the forgiveness of you, the assembly of female bodhisattvas!
Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have not correctly integrated the six dissonant mental states with the [six] sages,
And further still, our own minds, swayed by ignorance, have continued to be afflicted by egotism.
We seek the forgiveness of you, the emanational buddha-bodies, the six sages!
Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have not correctly integrated the four immeasurable [aspirations] with the [four] male gatekeepers,
And further still, our own minds, swayed by ignorance, have continued to be afflicted by egotism.
We seek the forgiveness of you, the wrathful male gatekeepers!
Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have not correctly integrated the eternalist and nihilist [perspectives on] awareness with the [four] female gatekeepers,
And further still, our own minds, swayed by ignorance, have continued to be afflicted by egotism.
We seek the forgiveness of you, the wrathful female gatekeepers!
Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have not correctly integrated mind and phenomena with Samantabhadra and Samantabhadrl, the father and mother,
And further still, our own minds, swayed by ignorance, have continued to be afflicted by egotism.
We seek the forgiveness of you, Samantabhadra and Samantabhadrl!
Since our minds are not endowed with pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness,
We have been afflicted by bewildering ignorance,
And have been alienated from the meditational deities
By the force of dissonant mental states and past [negative] actions.
Swayed by self-deception, we have disappointed our teachers,
Stirred by strong pride, we have agitated our spiritual brothers and sisters,
Distracted by vanity,6 we have divulged the secret mantras,
Gripped by miserliness, we have been untimely in the dedication of offerings,
Entrapped by base friendships, we have violated the secret [precepts] of the rituals,
Weakened by feeble yogic discipline, we have failed to eradicate obstructing forces.
Thus, [our commitments] have degenerated due to either excessive or deficient determination and strength.
Throughout our lives, from beginningless time until the present [life],
In which we have assumed this body,
However much negativity and non-virtuous past actions we have accrued,
We seek your forgiveness for all these transgressions.
O you whose cognisance and knowledge spans [the three] times,
Since you are sublime beings, embrace us!
Since we are sentient beings, we are flawed and bewildered,
And, since [this separation] is an illusion, may our confession be granted!
Since you are accomplished in skilful means, bestow your purity upon us!
Then a remorseful confession should be made to the peaceful deities as follows:
OM Most precious Samantabhadra [in union], supreme buddha-mind,
Even though you are our father and hold mastery over the three world-systems,
And even though you are our mother and assimilate [all things] in the ultimate expanse,
By conceiving of our bodies [in a mundane way], we have dishonoured the illusory body.
Thus our commitments have degenerated and we have grown truly remorseful.
We seek your forgiveness, O Samantabhadra and Samantabhadrl, mother and father!
Most precious buddhas of the five enlightened families, [manifestations of] supreme buddha-mind,
Even though you are our fathers and hold mastery over the three world-systems,
And even though you are our mothers and assimilate [all things] in the ultimate expanse,
By conceiving of our bodies [in a mundane way], we have dishonoured the illusory body.
Thus our commitments have degenerated and we have grown truly remorseful.
We seek your forgiveness, O father and mother buddhas of the five enlightened families!
Most precious male and female bodhisattvas, [manifestations of] supreme buddha-mind,
Even though you are our fathers and hold mastery over the three world-systems,
And even though you are our mothers and assimilate [all things] in the ultimate expanse,
By conceiving of our bodies [in a mundane way], we have dishonoured the illusory body.
Thus our commitments have degenerated and we have grown truly remorseful.
We seek your forgiveness, O male and female bodhisattvas!
Most precious six sages, buddha-bodies of emanation, [and manifestations of] supreme buddha-mind,
Even though you hold mastery over all the sentient beings throughout the three world-systems,
And even though you emancipate their respective worlds into the ultimate expanse,
By conceiving of our bodies [in a mundane way], we have dishonoured the illusory body.
Thus our commitments have degenerated and we have grown truly remorseful.
We seek your forgiveness, O six sages, emanational buddha-bodies!
Most precious male and female gatekeepers, [manifestations of] supreme buddha-mind,
Even though you are our fathers and hold mastery over the three world-systems,
And even though you are our mothers and assimilate [all things] in the ultimate expanse,
By conceiving of our bodies [in a mundane way], we have dishonoured the illusory body.
Thus our commitments have degenerated and we have grown truly remorseful.
We seek your forgiveness, O male and female gatekeepers!
CONFESSION IN THE PRESENCE OF THE WRATHFUL DEITIES
The confession of faults in achieving meditative stability in reality is as follows:
OM As we have failed to liberate the egotism of the subject-object dichotomy,
Within the original mandala of natural sameness,
We still have not realised the non-dual truth of the abiding nature.
O non-dual Buddha-body of Reality, we seek forgiveness!7
The confession of faults in achieving the meditative stability which illuminates all that appears is as follows:
You open the portals which unimpededly illuminate the ultimate truth,
And [naturally] arise as the Buddha-body [of Perfect Resource], within an expanse of radiantly clear moonlight,
But we have let the light [emanating from] the seminal points of your ‘generative essence’ be diffused.
O Buddha-body [of Perfect Resource], which illuminates all that appears, we seek forgiveness!8
The confession [of faults in achieving] the
meditative stability of the causal basis [entailing the
visualisation of] the tiered celestial palace and the
seats [of the wrathful deities] is as follows:
From the expanse of space, which is the unborn ultimate truth,
There appears the buddha-body, the medium through which the fruitional attributes [of buddhahood] emerge.
Yet we have not even clearly visualised this powerful celestial palace,
The abode in which the supreme power [of buddha-body] is gradually generated.
In the presence of the blazing celestial palace, we seek forgiveness!
Confession to the five male herukas, the executors of buddha-body
Though you steadfastly [appear] as buddha-bodies, sealed within the nature of supreme bliss,
Holding in your hands the respective implements, emblematic of the six pristine cognitions,
We have not [even] achieved the experience of such [vividly] clear visualisation.
O five blood-drinking herukas, we seek forgiveness!
Confession to their consorts, the five krodhesvarl
O supreme mother-consorts, conjoined indivisibly with the [male] buddha-bodies,
We have let the light of your non-dual ‘generative essence’ be diffused,
Into the ‘spacious expanse’, which is the lotus seed of desire.
O five krodhesvarl deities, we seek forgiveness!
Confession to the eight matarah
O wrathful female deities of pristine cognition, born of buddha-mind,
[The natural transformation] of the eight classes of consciousness,
O Gaurl and accompanying [Matarah], dakinls of pristine cognition,
For whatever ways we have contradicted your buddha-mind,
O eight matarah [who embody] the classes [of consciousness], we seek forgiveness!
Confession to the eight pisaci
O Simhamukhl and accompanying [pisaci],
Though you remain unwavering in a compassionate and
quiescent state,
You emanate in blazing awesome forms, [endowed] with fangs and wings,9
To pacify misconceptions and substantialist views.
For whatever ways we have contradicted your buddha-mind,
O eight pisaci [who embody] the objects [of consciousness], we seek forgiveness!
Confession to the four female gatekeepers
O four female gatekeepers, at [the portals of] the ornate palatial mandala,
You who summon [with the hook], bind [with the noose], shackle [with the chain] and insulate [with the bell],
O Horse-headed Arikusa and accompanying [female gatekeepers],
For whatever ways we have contradicted your buddha-mind,
O seals of the four gatekeepers, we seek forgiveness!
Confession to the twenty-eight tsvart
O Isvarl, you who are accomplished in the rites of ‘liberation’,10
And hold mastery over [the judgement of] virtuous and non-virtuous actions,
O Isvarl, assembly of mothers,
For whatever ways we have contradicted your buddha-mind,
O oceanic expanse of mothers and sisters, we seek forgiveness!
Confession to the awareness holders
[O awareness holders], though you never stray from a state of compassionate equipoise,
Within the mandala of spontaneously present natural expression,
We have not achieved your [pristine] clarity of subtle meditative stability.
O you who maintain the enlightened attributes, we seek your forgiveness!
Confession of one’s beginningless violation of the commitments
Throughout the beginningless succession of our births,
Until now, when we have assumed these, our present bodies,
We have revolved within the worlds of rebirth, swayed by ignorance,
And however many human births we have taken,
Wherever we have been born, we have engaged in all kinds of negative acts,
Including the five inexpiable crimes and the five approximate crimes –
Actually committing them, or inciting [others] to commit them,
And even rejoicing in committing and inciting them.
Please direct your enlightened compassion towards us!
Grant us purification, and bestow your [spiritual] accomplishments upon us!
Then the confession should be recited to the entire mandala of wrathful deities, and the request for forgiveness made in the following way:
HUM O herukas of pristine cognition, natural purity of the five poisons,
[Resplendent] amidst flames blazing like the fire at the end of an aeon,
United with the five krodhlsvarl, the great mothers of space;
O four inner dakinls, Gaurl and your partners,
O outer yoginls, Pukkast and your partners,
O fanged clusters of devourers, Simhamukhl and your partners,
O winged [clusters] of the intermediate directions, Grdhramukhl and your partners,
O twenty-eight Isvarl, of the blazing courtyard,
O four female gatekeepers, who summon, bind, shackle and insulate11 at the four gates:
We who have not even clearly visualised the bodies of the assembly of wrathful herukas,
We who have failed to recite sufficient heart-mantras,
And failed to stabilise [the actualisation of] the seals,
We who have failed to offer adequate feast- and torma-offerings,
Request the entire assembly of wrathful deities for forgiveness!
Next, the following specific confessional prayers should be made to the mandala of the wrathful deities:
OM Should we have broken our pledge, which is dangerous to transgress,
Having earlier taken upon us this supremely secret vow,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the five families of herukas,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Should we have been obscured by conceptual grasping, Whilst engaged in the practices of the supreme sexual yoga, For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the great mother Krodhlsvarls, We seek your forgiveness, O [mother] krodhesvarls!
Should we have failed to actualise the sacred substances and the seals,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the carnivorous Gaurls,
We seek your forgiveness, O eight matarah, embodiments of the classes [of consciousness]!
Should we have failed to array the offerings of flesh and blood,12 in accordance with the textual descriptions,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the Pisscis, Simhamukhl and her partners,
We seek your forgiveness, O dakinls, embodiments of the objects [of consciousness]!
Should we have failed to differentiate between the four gates: east, south, west, and north,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the female gatekeepers, the horse-headed Arikusa and her partners,
We seek your forgiveness, O four female gatekeepers of pristine cognition!
Should we have failed to subdue [attachment to] the six realms of cyclic existence,
Having accepted [vows], which are dangerous to transgress,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the seven mothers and four sisters,13
We seek your forgiveness, O eleven dakinls!
Should we have allowed our resources to become exhausted and the first fruits of the feast-offerings to be spoiled,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the Isvarl who monitor the first fruits [of the feast-offerings],
We seek your forgiveness, O twenty-eight Isvarl!
Should we have failed to remain unmovingly in the sacred abodes, but instead engaged in [distracted] activities,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the wardens of the sacred abodes,14
We seek your forgiveness, O great wardens of the sacred abodes!
Should we have failed to regard our personal [spiritual teacher] as our parent,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the vajra-master,
We seek your forgiveness, O regal vajra[-master]!
Should we have failed to master meditative stability,
And failed to distinguish [the characteristics of] the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the assistant vajra-master,15
We seek your forgiveness, O lamp of the Buddhist teachings!16
Should we have interrupted [the stabilisation of] the seals through our laziness,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the ritual officiant,
We seek your forgiveness, O master of ritual activities!
Should we have failed to reach the highest criteria when engaged in the practices of sexual yoga,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the female consorts, the embodiments of discriminative awareness,
We seek your forgiveness, O secret mother, consort who embodies awareness!
Should we have lacked the power to maintain meditative stability when engaging in rites of ‘liberation’,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the male ‘liberating’ avengers,
We seek your forgiveness, O [Citipati], master of ‘liberating’ avengers!17
Should we have failed to please the buddha-mind of the wrathful female emanations,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the [gatekeeping] messengers who summon and guide,18
We seek your forgiveness, O [female gatekeepers], who swiftly enact the rites!
Should we have broken the continuous expression of love and affection through our laziness,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of our brothers and sisters, [our companions] on the path to enlightenment,
We seek your forgiveness, O vajra-brothers and sisters!
Should we have allowed our commitments to degenerate out of trivial banter,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of those [protectors] who determine the outer and inner [boundaries of our precepts],
We seek your forgiveness, O you [protectors] who keep vigil over the commitments!
Should we have consumed our resources [accumulated for the feast-offering],
And allowed the first fruits of the residual offering to be spoiled,
For whatever ways we have contradicted the buddha-mind of the subterranean goddesses within the outer retinue,
We seek your forgiveness, O greatly compassionate ones!
Please be patient [with us],
And bestow your pure spiritual accomplishments upon us!
PLAINTIVE CONFESSION OF RAMPANT EGOHOOD19
OMO great compassionate and transcendent lord Vajrasattva,
Whose supremely exquisite form, immaculate and white,
Is suffused by a pure inner radiance, glowing like a hundred thousand suns and moons,
[Emanating] heroic rays of light, which illuminate the chiliocosm,
You who are known as the guide and teacher of the three levels of existence,
The unique friend to all living beings of the three world-systems,
0 lord of loving kindness, deity of compassion, please attend to us!
From beginningless time, without end, I have roamed throughout cyclic existence –
Led astray by the momentum of my mistaken past actions and improper past behaviour,
1 have mistaken the path and become lost on the path.
I regret with powerful remorse the negative past actions I have committed, of any kind.
Drawn by the momentum of momentary yet violently resonant past acts,
I have sunk into this ocean of suffering, the sea of cyclic existence.
The fires of blazing hatred have unabatingly seared my mind,
The dense darkness of delusion has blinded my discriminative awareness,
The ocean coasts of desire have drowned my consciousness,
The mountain of fierce pride has entombed me in the lower existences,
The cruel whirlwind of envy has sucked20 me into these turning worlds,
Where, entwined by the tight knot of egocentricity,
I have fallen into the pit of desire, this chasm of blazing fires.
Unbearably brutal misery has poured down on me like heavy rain.
[Damaged] by such extreme and unbearable suffering,
[Seared] by the blazing ferocious fires of my negative past actions,
The shoots of my consciousness and sense faculties have been blunted.
If my body, this illusory aggregate, can no longer withstand [all this pain],
How can you bear [to witness] this, O Compassionate Lord of Loving Kindness?21
Obscured fool [that I am, burdened by] the most negative, evil past acts,
Propelled by the momentum of these past actions,
I have taken birth as the personification of rampant egohood within this world-system of desire.
I regret having taken such birth, and am dismayed by my past acts!
Yet, regardless of my regret and my dismay, past actions cannot be re-made.
The momentum of past actions is as strong as a river’s inexorable flow,
So how can the mighty river of past actions be reversed in a mere moment!
All that ripens is born from one’s own past actions,
And I am one who has been swept along by the violent whirlwind of my past actions,
And accordingly have roamed over countless past aeons,
Lost within the dark prisons of cyclic existence.
O Lord of Loving Kindness, through the blessing of your compassion,
Purify the obscurations [generated by] my past actions and dissonant mental states,
And secure me in the presence of your mother-like loving kindness!
Here am I, continuously yearning for the sight of your compassionate face,
Which shines with a luminosity like that of the sun,
And radiates with a clarity like that of the moon.
Yet my darkened eyes, blinded by the cataracts22 of beginningless ignorance,
Are unable to see you,
0 Lord of Living Beings, where are you [now]?
When I am terrified by the utterly unbearable and virulent power of past actions,
And my hair stands on end, out of fear,
1 call out this lament, in heartfelt passion, And cry out [to you] in a voice of utter despair!
O Lord of Loving Kindness, if you do not attend [to me] with compassion now,
At the time of my death, when my mind and body separate,
When I am cut off from the company of spiritual friends, and dragged away by Yama,
At that time, when my relatives stay behind in the world,
Yet I alone am led away by the power of past actions,
At that time, I will be unprotected and without a refuge.
So, do not on any account hesitate or delay now, But draw near to me at this very moment,
And enact the wrathful rites of ‘liberation’.
Beings such as I, who are afflicted by past actions,
Have been subject to misconceptions since beginningless time.
As a result, we have not achieved release from the [turning]
states of cyclic existence.
Indeed, beings such as I have assumed such a countless number of corporeal forms,
During countless births in countless aeons,
That if our flesh and bones were to be collected together,
Their accumulated mass would fill this world,
And if our pus and blood were to be collected together,
Their accumulated mass would fill a vast ocean,
And if the residue of our past actions were to be collected together,
Their extent would be beyond conception and inexpressible.
Though I have continued endlessly in a cycle of births and deaths,
Throughout the three world-systems,
The actions that I have committed have been pointless and unproductive.
Yet, from amongst all these many countless births,
The actions committed in the course of just a single lifetime
Could have been worthwhile if only I had trained well,
Pursued the path of unsurpassed enlightenment,
And thus attained the genuine final nirvana.
But, swayed by the virulence of past actions and the great potency of dissonant mental states,
I have assumed bodies, these networks of flesh and blood, and roamed throughout cyclic existence,
Thrust into [a succession of] prison-like existences,
Where the suffering is hard to bear.
All my transgressions, resonant with such unbearably intense suffering,
Have been born out of my own past actions.
Please, through your great compassion, shatter the momentum of [these] past actions,
And reverse the vital energy of past actions, [generated by] dissonant mental states!
When, overpowered by the influence of perverse past actions [rooted in] fundamental ignorance,
I wander perpetually within the darkness of unknowing,
Why do you not release me, [suffusing me] with the lamplight of your pristine cognition?
When I can no longer bear the continuing fruition of my transgressions and past actions,
Why do you not embrace me with the enlightened activity of your great compassion?
When I fall into the abyss of error,
Why do you not catch me in the palm of your swift compassion?
When I am afflicted by the irresistible diseases of the three poisons,
Why do you not cure me with the medicine of your compassionate skilful means?
When the fires of my suffering – the continuing maturation of my own past actions – blaze,
Why do you not release a compassionate shower of cooling rains?
When I sink into the swamp of suffering in cyclic existence,
Why do you not draw me up with the hook of compassionate skilful means?
Were I to attain the resultant [states of enlightenment],
By training, again and again, in the three world-systems of cyclic existence,
What need would there be for your sublime compassion then?
Given that this [release] would be the potent inheritance of my [positive] past actions,
Would there be anyone to whom I would need to express my gratitude?
[But], O spiritual warrior, you who are endowed with the power of compassion,
Since the momentum of my [negative] past actions is so potent,
Do not be ineffective! Do not be indifferent! Do not be inactive!
From your heart, O compassionate conquering deity, gaze upon me now!
Draw me up from the swamp of cyclic existence!
Lead me swiftly to the supreme level of the three buddha-bodies.
CONFESSION IN THE PRESENCE OF THE VIEW
OM How mistaken is the view which dualises subject and object,
When the expanse of reality is free from conceptual elaboration!
How deluded we have been by our grasping at characteristics!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of supreme bliss,
Which is free from conceptual elaboration!
How debilitating is the view which dualises good and evil,
When Samantabhadra, [The Ever Perfect], is beyond good and evil!
How pitiful we are, clinging to purity and impurity!
We confess this transgression within the expanse, Which is free from the duality of good and evil!
How mistaken is the view which sees buddhas [as great] and sentient beings [as small],
When, in the state of sameness, there is neither great nor small!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy of great and small!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of supreme bliss, which is sameness!
How debilitating is the view which dualises this life and the next,
When the mind of enlightenment is free from birth or death!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy of birth and death!
We confess this transgression within the deathless, immutable expanse!
How mistaken is the view which dualises form and material substance,
When the supreme seminal point is free from spatial dimensions!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy of corners and angles!
We confess this transgression within the supreme seminal point,
which is all-embracing in its symmetry!23
How mistaken is the view which dualises beginning and end,
When the essential nature of the three times is unchanging!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy of transitional processes!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of the three times, which is unchanging!
How debilitating is the view which dualises cause and effect,
When the naturally present pristine cognition arises effortlessly!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy of effort and attainment!
We confess this transgression within the naturally present expanse, which arises without effort!
How pitiful is the view which dualises eternalism and nihilism,
When the pristine cognition of [intrinsic] awareness is free from eternalism and nihilism!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy of existence and non-existence!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of pristine cognition, which is beyond eternalism and nihilism!24
How debilitating is the view which oscillates between biased positions,
When the pure expanse of reality is free from middle and extremes!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy of middle and extremes!
We confess this transgression within the pure expanse of reality, which is free from a middle or extremes!
How debilitating is the view which dualises outside and inside, When the celestial palace is free from inner and outer dimensions!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy of spaciousness and confinement!
We confess this transgression within the expanse [of the celestial palace],
Which is free from the duality of spaciousness and confinement, or of inner and outer dimensions!
How pitiful is the view which dualises ‘higher and lower’ [approaches],
When the sexual centre of the female consort is free from [the distinction between] higher and lower [energy centres]!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy between higher and lower [energy centres]!25
We confess this transgression within the expanse of the [consort’s] secret place,26
Which is free from [the distinction between] higher and lower!
How debilitating is the view which dualises objects and mind,
When the Buddha-body of Reality is free from individuated distinctions!
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy between the environment and its inhabitants!
We confess this transgression within [the expanse of] the Buddha-body of Reality, which is unchanging!
How debilitating is the view which discriminates between individual thoughts,
When the dynamic of the male consort acts unconstrictedly!
How deluded we have been in clinging mistakenly to nominalism!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of the awareness holders, who are free from conceptual thoughts!
Since pristine cognition, which is intrinsic awareness, has not arisen within us,
How pitiful is this mind obscured by ignorance,
Which grasps immaterial phenomena as materially substantive!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of natural pristine cognition!
Since we have failed to understand the nature of uncreated truth,
How tormented is this intellect of a bewildered being,
Which apprehends the uncreated truth in terms of T and ‘mine’!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of supreme bliss, which is uncreated!
Since we have failed to mentally elucidate the nature of reality,
We have not understood that phenomenal appearances are illusory,
And thereby our minds have become attached to material wealth!
We confess this transgression within the uncreated reality, which is free from attachment!
Since we have failed to realise that cyclic existence is free from inherent existence,
We have grasped at the self-existence of things and their characteristics,
And thereby sought happiness through non-virtuous behaviour.
How deluded we have been in clinging to the dichotomy between hope and doubt!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of enlightenment, which is untainted!
Since we have failed to understand the truth of sameness with true equanimity,
We have mistakenly clung to the permanence of relatives and friends.
How totally mistaken is this mind of ignorant people [such as ourselves]!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of supreme bliss, which is sameness!
Since we have failed to encounter the true meaning of reality, We have forsaken truth and persevered in non-virtuous acts. We have forsaken the transmitted precepts of the Teacher and have been deceived by the vagaries of [mundane] human doctrines!
We confess this transgression within the expanse of supreme bliss, which is reality!
Since we have failed to experience the natural liberation of pristine cognition, which is [intrinsic] awareness,
We have forsaken the modality of intrinsic awareness, and persevered in distracted acts.
Take pity on these sentient beings who are devoid of such truthful experience!
We confess this transgression within the expanse, which is free from distraction!
To the assembled deities of pristine cognition, to the protectors who uphold the commitments,
And to those yogins who have fulfilled their commitments in accordance with the textual elucidation,
We remorsefully confess all our own faults,
[We remorsefully confess] all our deviations and obscurations generated by our unrealised view!
CONFESSION IN THE PRESENCE OF ALL THOSE GONE TO BLISS
OM We pray to all Those Gone to Bliss, throughout the three times,
To you, the conquerors, and your retinues,
And to all who maintain the commitments of indestructible reality,
Please, each of you, attend to us!
Having initially generated the mind [aspiring] to supreme enlightenment,
In order to actualise the indestructible reality of buddha-body, speech and mind,
On the enlightened plain of an accomplished awareness holder,
We have adopted numerous secret commitments,
Relating to both the meditational deities and our vajra-masters,
And we have pledged not to transgress these injunctions, to which we are bound,
[For to do so] would lead to a birth in the hells,
Driven by our past actions and misfortunes.
[Nonetheless], swayed by attachment, aversion, delusion,
pride, envy and so forth, We have continued to err: Should we have belittled the vajra-master in our hearts, the ‘lamp of the teaching’,
And thus allowed our commitments to degenerate,
And should we have harboured ill will and mistaken attitudes
Towards the vajra-companions who share our commitments,
For [whatever] such [harm we have thus created],
We confess all our degenerations of the commitments of buddha-body!
Should we have not clearly visualised the seals of the meditational deity,27
Should we have been deficient in our mantra recitations during our ritual service,
Should we have failed to carry out the rites through which both ritual service and attainment are fulfilled,
Especially with respect to the ritual offerings of six session [yoga],
And should we have been incapable of practising in accordance with the teachings and the texts,
We confess all such degenerations of the commitments of buddha-speech!
Should we have degraded the commitments, which the vajra-master imparted as an esoteric instruction of buddha-mind,
Commitments he orally seeded in our hearts, through the grace of his loving kindness,
And should we have even transgressed our secret name,28 by divulging it carelessly,
We confess all such degenerations of the commitments of buddha-mind!
We [also] confess our degenerations of the ancillary commitments,
Caused by our failure to realise the essential sameness of phenomena.
We confess our degenerations of the commitments relating to ritual service and attainment,
Caused by our falling into the sleep of idleness and apathy.
We confess [each and every one of our] degenerations of the commitments of buddha-body, speech and mind,
Caused by our transgressions, enacted physically, verbally and mentally!
In the presence of our revered spiritual teachers,
We confess our inadequate utensils and resources.
In the presence of the assembled meditational deities,
We confess our prejudices towards their practices of visualisation.29
In the presence of the four classes of dakinls,
We confess our degenerations of our commitments and pledges.
In the presence of the protectors of the [sacred] teachings,
We confess our [tardy] torma-offerings, whether years or months overdue.
In the presence of our parents of the three times,
We confess our failure to repay their kindness.
In the presence of our spiritual brothers and sisters,
We confess our inadequate fervour for upholding the commitments.
In the presence of the six classes of sentient beings,
We confess the inadequacy of our compassion and altruism.
We confess all our contradictions and degenerations:
Those relating to the prdtimoksa vows,
Those relating to the trainings cultivated by the bodhisattvas,
And those relating to the commitments upheld by the awareness holders.30
From now on we shall not conceal [such degenerations]
And we resolve to guard against any and every infraction!
As we confess all our negative obscurations born of indulging in the three poisons,
Please purify [all our obscurations]
And grant us the supreme and common accomplishments of buddha-body, speech and mind!
The Hundred-syllable Mantra [of Vajrasattva] should be recited [repeatedly] in conjunction with these verses and thus the confession will be effected.
This Natural Liberation through Acts of Confession in the Presence of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities,
Which is a supporting text to the Reparation and Confession: Natural Liberation of Degenerations,31 is thus presented.
Be persevering with regard to this practice, O Children of Posterity!
May this practice be encountered by all those of the future who have a [positive] inheritance of past actions!
This Natural Liberation through Acts of Confession, in the Presence of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities was extracted from the Tantra of Immaculate Confession by Padmakara, the preceptor of Oddiyana. May [the influence of] this sublime teaching not be exhausted until all of cyclic existence is emptied!
May virtue prevail!
SAMAYA rgya rgya rgya!
gter-rgya! sbas-rgya! gtad-rgya!32
A treasure of Karma Lingpa!