A private teaching given on 31 October 2012
Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche has an indefatigable interest in all things Dharma, especially anything to do with the Nyingmapas. And amongst the vast body of teachings called the Ngagyur Nyingma, the fabulous tales and wisdom associated with the myth of the great warrior Gesar strike a special chord for him.
One of Gesar’s attributes is a horse whip The Tibetan term lcag tshan actually means ‘horse-whip’, although common usage generally favours ‘Gesar stick’., and as always in the Vajrayana, this very ordinary, every-day piece of equipment can be exploited as a method for bringing about realization. So the instructions for making such a whip are remarkably precise.
Rinpoche, who is justly famous for his mastery of these most esoteric of teachings, has from time to time been known to make such whips himself. Some French students were the lucky recipients of one or two of his masterpieces, and Rinpoche also made a big effort to help them understand the full benefit and purpose of the whips and exactly how they should be used.
The explanation Rinpoche gave on that occasion was, in fact, a simplification—no doubt, for the benefit of his translator—albeit a very accurate simplification, of a text by Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche Mipham Rinpoche’s ge sar rgyal po la brten nas lcag tshan yid bzhin nor bus grub pa, vol.7 p.473, 2009 Edition., who wrote a great deal about Gesar. In it, Mipham Rinpoche explains how to prepare, consecrate and use the King of Ling’s horsewhip. Rinpoche’s main purpose was to make clear the benefits of wielding such a whip and exactly how to do it, so he only mentions the parts about how to prepare and consecrate a whip to help students understand its qualities.
Firstly, Mipham Rinpoche explains how to prepare Gesar’s horsewhip and consecrate it through Gesar practice.
“Take a beautiful, three-sectioned bamboo stick, or some other kind of auspicious wood or precious substance for the main body of the whip. You will also need material to make the whip’s tails and a handle. Insert into the capped cavity in the bamboo at the end of the whip, or a cap made of silver or other precious material that’s been attached to it, this mantra, written in a precious liquid, like gold or silver, or ink…”
So, the first step is to make a whip from a piece of bamboo, or another kind of good wood like sandalwood, put the mantra inside it, along with the Lama and Dharmapala mantras, and add tails of five different coloured silks, ornamented with jewels. The whip is the physical support.
Then you consecrate it by arranging offerings around the whip, purify them with the Amrita mantra and the Sobhava mantra, and recite:
“From the state of emptiness, droom emerges naturally and transforms into a whip. At the bottom of the handle is a five-pronged, diamond vajra marked with a syllable hung. The middle is the shape of an eight-faceted jewel made from the wood of the wish-fulfilling, wish-granting tree, marked with a syllable a. At the top is a blazing lapis lazuli ‘king of wish-fulfilling jewels’, marked with a white syllable om.”
Examine the whip carefully and you’ll see how it’s been made. At the top is a jewel, at the bottom a vajra, and the four animals—tiger, lion, dragon and garuda—, and the union of conch and crocodile, garuda and lion, and fish and otter that all bring harmony where there is conflict, are embossed on the metal. In a text called mi mthun g.yul las rgyal ba’i tog, in Mipham Rinpoche’s Collected Works, Vol. 6, p.537, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche quotes from a sutra, “The offspring that results from the union of garuda and lion is the eight-legged lion. The son born as a result of the union of conch and crocodile is Aghora, the king of crocodiles. The son born as a result of the union of fish and otter is the great fish with ‘long teeth’. If you draw these three animals on a victory banner, plant it in a garden, or hang it from your house, somewhere central and so on, any antagonism will be turn into harmony and excellent signs will arise.”
“The handle is made of threads of the five precious substances […], and the tails of threads of the eight precious substances, […]. Just thinking about this whip will make all we wish for rain down upon us. It is a genuine resting place, a lado, of the dralas and wermas, mamos and dakinis. In every way, it becomes a great blessing ‘substance’ pregnant with accomplishments.
om ah hung so ha.”
At this point you recite the mantra one thousand times, the deities melt into light and the light dissolves into the whip. Worldly and beyond worldly emissaries emanate, instantly and effortlessly accomplishing magnetizing and pacifying activities so that all adversity is completely vanquished. This is what you actualise.
“If you want to practise intensely, recite the mantra until you see signs—this means until the whip is moving, or becomes warm, or begins to smoke or flame. [...]
At the end of the practice, the deities and horsewhip are indivisible, their nature the Great Lion Gesar, their appearance the whip. By simply wielding it all your wishes are accomplished without obstacles.”
So, if you keep the whip in your house and wave it now and then, all your wishes will be accomplished without hindrance…
“Such is the power of Gesar’s horsewhip.”
Every aspect of such a whip, as stated in the invocation, has tremendous significance and is explained in great detail.
The text now tells you how to keep and use the whip.
“Hold it wherever you go and wherever you stay…”
This means that you can take it with you wherever go and that you should keep it with you wherever you stay.
What are the benefits of carrying Gesar’s whip?
“Generally, it will protect you from all obstacles, everything will become auspicious and all your wishes will be fulfilled; more specifically, every attempt at harming you will be eliminated, and you will accomplish everything you set out to do.”
The text adds that when you start a new project or travel you should wave the whip in that direction. In the case of heavy rainfall and strong winds, waving the whip in the direction of the storm is extremely effective.
“All enemies along the way, all inauspicious signs, all conflicts will be warded off.”
This means that all potential problems or accidents on your travels will vanish.
Should you wish to bring all lands and countries under your control, wield the whip while reciting the Gesar mantra, adding sarva loka akarshaya dza washam kuru ho, as you visualize yourself as Gesar holding the whip. From the top of the whip an inconceivable number of dakas, dakinis, dralas and wermas pour out, radiating rays of red light, transforming the nature of all lands and countries into red light, and ‘magnetizing’ them to bring them all under your control. This is what you must actualize.
And if you’re having trouble with someone or get into a fight with someone, wave the whip energetically in the direction of your enemy and visualize wermas, dralas, armies and so on emanating from the whip and utterly annihilating them.
If you enter into a debate with somebody, wave the whip in your opponent’s direction and visualize dralas, wermas and generals of armies storm out of the whip and resoundingly defeat your opponent. Return the whip to your pocket or bag without letting anyone see it. If you do all this, you will be victorious.
In case of sickness, as you wield the whip, visualize a shower of nectar cascading out of the whip and consider all illnesses cured.
And if you need to conduct enriching activities, raise the whip above your head and visualize all the dralas and wermas, dakas and dakinis and all the deities of wealth that dwell inside the whip streaming out to gather the essence of all the food, resources and wealth of the universe.
Translated by Gyurmé Avertin
Edited by Janine Schulz