vajradhara andrew holecek


The Takpo Kagyu chant is the invocation for the practice of mahamudra in the Kagyu tradition. Kagyu is one of the four lineages in Tibetan Buddhism. The principal teaching of the Kagyu is mahamudra, which is the main meditative transmission handed down from Vajradhara and Tilopa to the present day. This chant is a condensed teaching for the whole mahamudra path. In this talk I unfold this incredibly rich teaching.

I believe if you can develop a deeper understanding of what you are saying in these chants, in addition to their inherent blessing power, they will deliver greater impact for you.

Some of what we discuss includes:

  • How the Kagyu fits within the various lineages
  • Vajradhara Buddha
  • Mahamudra
  • Talking about the definitions of luminosity and emptiness
  • Reflexive awareness
  • Revulsion and giving up hope for samsara
  • The importance of devotion: Heartbreaking certainty, heartbreaking trust. Longing and respect.
  • Mahamudra shamatha
  • Mahamudra vippashana
  • Non-distraction

For a wonderful discussion of the Takpo Kagyu supplication, see  Showing the Path to Liberation by Thrangu Rinpoche (Tara Publishing, 1983)

Supplication to the Takpo Kagyu

Great Vajradhara, Tilo, Naro,
Marpa, Mila, Lord of Dharma Gampopa,
Knower of the Three Times, omniscient Karmapa,
Holders of the four great and eight lesser lineages —
Drikung, Tag-lung, Tsalpa, these three; glorious Drukpa and so on —
Masters of the profound path of Mahamudra,
Incomparable protectors of beings, the Takpo Kagyu,
I supplicate you, the Kagyu gurus.
I hold your lineage; grant your blessings so that I will follow your example.
Revulsion is the foot of meditation, as is taught.
To this meditator who is not attached to food and wealth,
Who cuts the ties to this life,
Grant your blessings so that I have no desire for honor and gain.
Devotion is the head of meditation, as is taught.
The guru opens the gate to the treasury of oral instructions.
To this meditator who continually supplicates him
Grant your blessings, so that genuine devotion is born in me.
Awareness is the body of meditation, as is taught.
Whatever arises is fresh–the essence of realization.
To this meditator who rests simply without altering it
Grant your blessings so that my meditation is free from conception.
The essence of thoughts is dharmakaya, as is taught.
Nothing whatever but everything arises from it.
To this meditator who arises in unceasing play.
Grant your blessings so that I realize the inseparability of samsara and nirvana.
Through all my births may I not be separated from the perfect guru
And so enjoy the splendor of dharma.
Perfecting the virtues of the paths and bhumis,
May I speedily attain the state of Vajradhara.

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