The Mandala of Adibuddha Samantabhadra

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SEVEN: THE MANDALA OF ADIBUDDHA SAMANTABHADRA

Although all that had been revealed conveyed deep and eternal truths in sundry mystical formulations, Vajrapanī and the gathered assembly had not moved an inch within Vajradhara’s luminous and concave-like pore. Then Blessed Vajradhara extracted the entire assembly from his pore and fashioned them once again into ordinary size wherein they all resumed their seats. 

“Incredible—astoundingly accomplished, Blessed One!” asserted Vajrapanī. 

Vajradhara Buddha then solemnly addressed Vajrapanī: 

“Review then, Noble Bodhisattva, all that has unfolded before your Mind’s Eye.” 

“Splendid inquiry, Blessed One, splendid indeed! For it is solely within one’s Mind’s Eye that such Eternal Truths can be disclosed. 

“The Blessed Matrix that houses all Bodhi-beings is first configured through Ratnasambhava’s patient and gentle equanimous spirit, accompanied with Amoghasiddhi’s All-Accomplishing and Salvific Wisdom—thus establishing the Tathāgatagarbhatārā, the mirrored reflection of the Noble Sugata-garbha that is the Self-Same extension of Prajñaic Union in the Unborn. 

“The Holy Amalgam of your Vivifying and Luminous Seed within Arya Tārā’s Womb mystically begets the garbha-child. This child grows in light-filled wonder as it ascends the Noble Path of the Ten Bhūmis. 

“Having reached fruition, the Noble Light-Bearer then begins the odyssey through the Three Scrutinies of Vairocana, Amitabha, and Akobhya before becoming consecrated as the adamantine-Vajrasattva. 

“Once Vajrasattvahood has been effectively Self-Realized the Seven-Fold Circle of the Tathagata Family is now complete: the Five Dhyanī Buddhas served by Vajrasattva who is in consummative union with Arya Tārā:

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“Those who engage in these Holy Mysteries will become faithful companions of the Tathagatas.” 

“Excellent! Excellent Noble Protector of the Buddhadharma!  The Tathagatas rejoice in your admirable Recollection!” expounded the Blessed One… 

“Recollect, then, that one who is in Union with the Primordial Samantabhadra will celebrate with a Clear Heart and Mind-Body as hard as a diamond. Attend well as this whole Sacred Assemblage reaches its Absolute Consummation… ” 

Thus spoke the AdiBuddha slowly dissolving his form as Buddha Vajradhara. The entire assembly—the Tathagatas, the vast numbers of Mahabodisattvas, the Nāgas and Garudas and Yakshinis, the multitudes of Devas, and the legion of hermit contemplatives all rejoiced exceedingly as the Blessed One resumed his Absolute Stature as the Seven-fold Mandala of Adibuddha Samantabhadra:

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And Acintapa the Mahasiddha smiled in gentle acquiescence in his humble hermitage on the White Island of Śvetadvīpa:

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COMMENTARY

Although all that had been revealed conveyed deep and eternal truths in sundry mystical formulations, Vajrapanī and the gathered assembly had not moved an inch: this is a literary convention oftentimes used in Sutras and Tantras to bring the reader home again to the marvelous time and place of the proceedings.

“Review then, Noble Bodhisattva, all that has unfolded before your Mind’s Eye: Vajrapanī is asked by the Buddha to clearly and concisely review all that has transpired within the Tantra, which he does and admirably so.

“Recollect, then, that one who is in Union with the Primordial Samantabhadra will celebrate with a Clear Heart and Mind-Body as hard as a diamond: this is an extraction from the Hymn to Samantabhadra which is a supplement to the Lankavatarian Book of the Dead. It truly encapsulates the significance of these mystical events as one blossoms from Bodhisattva into Vajrasattva.

And Acintapa the Mahasiddha smiled in gentle acquiescence in his humble hermitage on the White Island of Śvetadvīpa: the continuity within the Tantra is now complete as Mahasiddha Acintapa resumes his former position at the beginning; through it all he, in true yogic fashion, experienced Vajradhara Buddha, the Bodhichild, the developing Vajrasattva, as well as the Tantric-Union with Arya Tārā. He also is the literary vehicle through which the reader, too, can partake in these Sacred Mysteries.

Mandala of Adibuddha Samantabhadra: the accompanying snapshot here (see above jpeg) of the Mandala of Adibuddha Samantabhadra wonderfully captures its full mystic-import: the center can be likened to a Buddhist Monstrance that houses the Imageless Mirror, while the four outer-corners reveal the “cosmic guardians”. While watching the full video of this Mandala, one begins to discern over time many fascinating apparitions (indeed, I’ve discovered over this past year since its creation on YouTube that different people discern different characteristics; the salient one for me occurs near the center at the top towards the end of the video (the blue figurine with a Cross-Like configuration)—it resembles a developing-hierophant which is also one of Vajrasattva’s motifs).  Also, the continuity from last year’s Lankavatarian Book of the Dead runs full-circle as the seven petal-points within this Mandala represents the aforementioned seven members of the Tathatic Family.

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