Tenth Day Benefits
Image courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
The Concise Benefits of the Festival of the Tenth Day
Composed by Jikdral Yeshe Dorje, Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche
Like a vase of excellence, a wish-granting tree, a wish-fulfilling jewel,
You grant us blessings, siddhis and everything we could yearn for.
The very thought of you wipes out all suffering, Orgyen Dorjechang.
In every one of our lives, may we find you as our refuge.
Now, the root tantra of Lama Gongdü, entitled The Pile of Lotus Stems, proclaims:
‘Naturally arising Padma’—this is what I am called,
The emanation of Buddha Amitābha’s wisdom mind,
The light of Ārya Avalokiteśvara’s enlightened speech,
The brother to all ḍākinīs, the king of warriors,
The master of the buddhas’ actions, past, present and future,
The incomparable great Kunzang Dorjechang.
In nirmāṇakāya forms I appear, endowed with powerful compassion,
Taming each according to their needs in a great wave of enlightened action,
And fulfilling the hopes of sentient beings, just as they desire.
Declarations such as these are secret vajra speech, the pledges roared by a fearless lion. For the embodiment of the wisdom of all the infinite buddhas combined, the one from whom every one of the maṇḍalas of the three roots emanates and re-absorbs, and, above all else, the vajra master whose kindness to disciples in the snowy land of Tibet is greater than that of even the Buddha himself, is known far and wide as Padmasambhava or Pema Jungné, the Lotus-born. From the viewpoint of ordinary short-sighted disciples, the main occasions when he displays the actions of his wondrous liberating life-story fall precisely on the tenth days of the waxing moon.
And so, when at sunrise on the tenth day of the sixth month, the monkey month, he is born within a lotus blossom on Lake Dhanakośa and turns the wheel of Dharma for the ḍākinīs of the island, he is known as Guru Tsokyé Dorje. 
On the tenth day of the twelfth month, the tiger month, when he is welcomed by Indrabhūti, the king of Oḍḍiyāna, who invests him as crown prince, and he takes Prabhāvatī as his princess and governs the kingdom according to the Dharma, he is known as Guru Pema Gyalpo.
On the tenth day of the first month, the hare month, when he abandons the kingship and the realm, practises yogic disciplines of union and liberation in the Chilly Grove charnel ground, and brings all the mātrikas and ḍākinīs within his power, he is known as Guru Śāntarakṣita.
On the tenth day of the second month, the dragon month, when he gives the appearance of taking ordination from Ānanda, studying with many learned scholars and realized teachers, mastering all the sūtras and tantras and perfecting infinite fields of knowledge, he is known as Guru Loden Choksé.
On the tenth day of the third month, the snake month, when the Zahor king tries to burn him alive, he arouses faith by magically transforming the pyre into a lake, establishing the entire kingdom in Dharma. By depending on Princess Mandāravā, he then arises in the vajra body, and is known as Guru Chimé Pemajungné.
On the tenth day of the fourth month, the horse month, when the demonic ministers of Oḍḍiyāna seek to burn him and his consort alive, he transforms the pyre onto a lake, miraculously shimmering in majesty, appearing on a lotus blossom, and inspiring faith in them all, and when he ripens and liberates the entire kingdom through the Kadü Chökyi Gyatso teachings, he is known as Guru Padma Vajra Tsal.
On the tenth day of the fifth month, the sheep month, when the tīrthikas of southern India are causing great harm to the teaching of Buddha, through a vast display of magical power, he smashes them to dust along with their gods and guardians, and raises the victory banner of the teaching of the buddhas. Then he is known as Guru Sengé Dradok.
On the tenth day of the seventh month, the bird month, when the tīrthikas of Zangling fling him into the River Ganges, through his miraculous feat of performing a vajra dance in the sky and reversing the flow of the river, he inspires devotion and establishes the kingdom in the teaching of Buddha, and is known as Guru Khading Tsal.
On the tenth day of the eighth month, the dog month, when the tīrthikas give him poison, not only is he unharmed, turning the poison into nectar, but his radiance becomes even more majestic and dazzling than before. With such a miraculous feat, he arouses faith, and the tīrthikas along with all their entourages embrace the teaching of the buddhas. Then he is known as Guru Nyima Özer.
On the tenth day of the ninth month, the pig month, when at Yangleshö in Nepal, he manifests in the form of Vajrakumāra, binds under oath the gods and spirits of Nepal and Tibet, accomplishes the practice of the great glorious Yangdak, and attains the supreme vidyādhara stage of mahāmudrā, he is known as Guru Dorje Tötreng Tsal.
On the tenth day of the tenth month, the rat month, when he arrives in central Tibet, subjugates all the wild unruly gods and spirits of Tibet, raises the Dharmacakra of glorious Samyé, lights the lamp of the sacred Dharma of sūtras and tantras, and ripens and liberates the fortunate ones, the king and his subjects, he is known as Guru Padmasambhava.
On the tenth day of the eleventh month, the ox month, when he assumes a wrathful crazy form at Paro Taktsang in Mön and other places, he swears in all the earth lords of Tibet as guardians of the termas, over the whole of the land of snows on the borders and in the centre he conceals unimaginable terma troves of teachings, precious materials, sacred substances and so on, and he gives predictions and advice for safeguarding what will remain of the teachings by means of the termas, he is known as Guru Dorje Drolö.
On each one of these successive tenth day festivals, the specific benefits of observing the practice follow in this order:
In the sixth month, all kinds of illness, döns, and obstructors are pacified, and lifespan, merit and prosperity are increased.
In the twelfth month, happiness and sharpness of mind are accelerated and confidence increases, so that humans and non-humans are brought under your power.
In the first month, power, position and wealth will grow, and earth-lords and guardians obey you like servants.
In the second month, harm and damage caused by the lord of death and the eight classes of gods and spirits are pacified, discipline is purified, and unlimited wisdom blazes.
In the third month, you are untouched by harm from inauspicious conjunctions of planets and stars, and from enemies and thieves. At home and abroad, auspiciousness, peace and goodness increase everywhere.
In the fourth month, you will be immune to harm from earth-lords, nāgas and nyens, and dharmapālas and guardians will accomplish whatever activity you have entrusted to them.
In the fifth month, all harm from obstacles, enemies and döns is pacified, and the objects of your wishes are brought under your control.
In the seventh month, chronic ailments, weaknesses of the immune system and the like are purified, the body is healthy, the mind is happy, your entourage and wealth increase, and your aspirations are fulfilled.
In the eighth month, obstacles of the year, month, day and time, as well as evil signs and the like, are all pacified, and any decline in wangthang or lungta is restored.
In the ninth month, sickness and döns caused by the eight classes and jungpo demons, untimely death and fatal accidents all are pacified, serious curses are eliminated, you are freed from sorcery and psychic attacks, and your own body becomes vajra.
In the tenth month, wrongs and downfalls of the three vows such as disrespecting sacred objects, and breakages and impairments of samaya are all healed, and your mind stream is purified.
In the eleventh month, sudden misfortune, such as untimely death, will not occur, and as soon as we transfer from this life, we are born in the pure land of Lotus Light before Guru Rinpoche himself.
Not only are the benefits of observing the tenth day absolutely limitless, but for concentrating on the various practices of gathering merit and making prayers, these occasions are praised as extraordinarily special. As the Lama Sangdü explains:
On the tenth day of the monkey month in the monkey year
And on every tenth day
My emanations spread out to fill the world,
Granting siddhis ordinary and supreme.
If you spend this human life accomplishing the lama,
When your life-time reaches its end
You will melt into my, Orgyen’s, heart.
And Ratna Lingpa’s terma instruction says:
At sunrise on each tenth day of the month
If anyone remembers me,
They and I will be inseparable.
King of Tibet, ministers, disciples who are like my children,
On the tenth day of every month
To you I will come in person, and this I swear.
Padmasambhava is not one to deceive others.
And The Golden Mālā Instruction declares:
Especially on the tenth day festival, I, Orgyen,
Will come to Tibet, the land of snows, and be present everywhere,
Riding on the rays of sun and moon, and the droplets of moisture in the rainbow,
Clearing away the obstacles of my devoted children,
Granting the four empowerments just as you desire.
This is my solemn pledge; and Padma never deceives, this I swear.
If you are devoted to me, practise continually on every tenth day,
And by acting according to my instructions, the whole country will enjoy happiness and well-being.
Promises such as these he made not just once, and they are the true vajra words of his enlightened speech, which can never be false or deceptive. This is why all of his followers, from the bottom of our hearts, should trust in this completely, and we should make a vast effort to encourage and spread this celebration of happiness and bliss for ourselves and others, now and forever more.
This talk inspiring you to virtue is akin to a beautiful maiden;
As it explains with eloquence its excellent meaning, so she flaunts her elegant dress.
Towards those who yearn for liberation, let her step forward
And offer them a feast of every kind of happiness and bliss!
Padma’s messenger, who roams in every direction, Jikdral Yeshe Dorje, wrote this and may virtue and auspiciousness abound!
| Rigpa Translations, 2013
Recognizing the birth of Guru Rinpoche in the monkey month is according to the Lama Gongdü. Alternatively, the famous Phugpa system recognizes it in the fifth Tibetan month. ↩