In our Upavastha Full Moon retreats we use the Vajrasattva 100-syllables dharani. This dharani - a dharani is a kind of extended mantra - is associated with purification. Vajrasattva is the bodhisattva (or yidam) of purification; and purity, and here means true love, pure love. The mantra is as follows:
♫ Om Vajrasattva samaya, manu palaya,
Vajrasattva teno patita, dridho me bhava,
Suto kayo me bhava, supokayo me bhava,
Anurakto me bhava;
Sarva siddhi me prayacha,
Sarva karma sucha me,
Tzitam shriyan kuru hum,
Ha ha ha ha ho,
Bhagavan sarva Tathagata
Vajra ma me muntsa,
Maha samaya sattva
Ah Hum Phat ♫
This mantra can be repeated many times and it is, as all of these dharanis are, an invocation, an invocation of Vajrasattva.
Vajra means “the diamond”. The diamond is the most precious jewel. The term Vajra can also mean “a thunderbolt”. So, there is a sense here of also great power. So: purity, beauty, power – all rolled into one. Sattva means a being, a spirit. So, this is the spirit of the Vajra. So, one is invoking that spirit and this is the spirit of renewed purity, so, we do this at the beginning of a new lunar month. We put behind us all the errors and troubles of the previous month and invoke the help of Vajrasattva to start anew, to start with a clean slate, with purity.
Samaya: - Vajrasattva samaya – samaya means pledge. So, it’s like commitment. We commit ourselves to Vajrasattva. Vajrasattva commits himself to us. So, we are united with Vajrasattva at this point at the beginning, and the meaning of the mantra essentially has to do with asking Vajrasattva to support us, to approve of us, to be pleased with us, to be completely satisfied with us: to love us, basically. Vajrasattva will love us and through that love we shall purify our minds, we shall live virtuous lives. This is the basic meaning and it’s also a plea that Vajrasattva not abandon us.
Sometimes it is called the “King of Mantras”, because if Vajrasattva is always with us, this will give us the courage in our hearts to live a true and virtuous life, to go through all the difficulties that we may encounter in the month that is to come. So, it’s a kind of love token, if you like, a love token joins the lovers together, and in this case, we are loved by Vajrasattva. Sometimes you see an iconography of Vajrasattva alone, sometimes Vajrasattva united with a consort. So, there is an element here of being united, being joined by love joining the two beings.
So, we invoke Vajrasattva into our lives to help us live in a true Dharmic way for the months to come.
Namo Amida Bu
Thank you very much