Yumka Recitation Manual
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Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
The Main Recitation Manual for the Female Practice of the Queen of Great Bliss
from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse
by Jigme Lingpa
Mother of the victorious ones of the three times together with their heirs,
Display of the indestructible Lady of basic space,
Queen of Great Bliss— to you I pay homage!
Grant me the two types of accomplishment!
If you wish to practice the approach and accomplishment phases of the female practice of Yumka, then go to a special and sacred place where the ḍākinīs gather. Arrange a maṇḍala of coloured sand or a painted cloth [in the shape of] a half-circle with one door (facing towards you). In the centre, draw a red dharmodaya marked by a baṃ syllable. Upon that, place an excellent vessel with alcohol and Dharma medicine and sprinkle it with sindūra. If you intend to practice for a long time, seal the opening of the vessel with ghee; alternatively, it is also appropriate to fill it with dry substances such as jewels, cowrie shells, essences of medicines, and various excellent seeds. On top of that, place a mirror coated with sindūra, and draw a crossed dharmodaya with a syllable baṃ in its centre using the menstrual blood of a virgin. Beginning at the front and proceeding in an anti-clockwise direction, draw one of the syllables jñā na vā rā hī hūṃ at each corner. Then place a crystal and red canopy on top. Finally, arrange outer and inner offerings all around.
Sit facing west, looking towards the pure realm of Uḍḍiyāna. Begin by taking refuge and arousing the mind set upon awakening (bodhicitta). Then focus your attention on the meaning of the generation and completion phases. All appearances are none other than the nature of the five elements: in the space of the five female buddhas they are primordially awakened. From a tantra:
Earth and water are Buddhalocanā and Māmakī,
Fire and wind are Pāṇḍarāvasinī and Samayatārā,
Space is Dhātviśvarī;
The three realms of existence are primordially the realm of awakening.
While keeping in mind how all appearance and existence is naturally perfected as the pure realm of the ḍākinīs, clearly visualize the appearance aspect of the reflection-like manifestations of the palace and deity, while keeping the meaning of the words in mind. There is a tradition that explains the supports as the channels, essences, and wind-energies, and the supported as the twenty-four sacred places and thirty-two sacred lands, such as Jālandhara on the crown. The hosts of maṇḍalas of the various tantras are complete within the space of the deity's body. Those with superior faculties will understand the meaning of this, those with medium faculties will take aspiration as the path, and those with lesser faculties will train in clearly visualizing the main and wisdom deity. That is the general explanation.
Now, the essential heart-instructions for the approach phase are as follows. In your heart is the wisdom deity Vajravārāhī, dark blue in colour. With her right hand she holds a curved knife aloft in the sky and with her left hand she holds a skull-cup filled with blood at the level of her heart. Her right leg is bent with the heel pointed towards her bhaga. Her left leg is extended and tramples on the heart of a corpse that is laid upon a lotus and sun-disk seat. She is naked and adorned with the five mudrās and six bone ornaments. Behind her ear is the grunting face of a sow. In her heart is a four-part coil of joy, which turns and spins anti-clockwise. In its centre is a baṃ syllable surrounded by the twelve seed-syllables of the root mantra, which resemble coral anointed with oil.
Concentrate on this arrangement and meditate until the body of the deity appears clearly. Once you have achieved such clear appearance, visualize the mantra-garland radiating with light-rays that shine out from the crown of your head and invoke the wisdom mind of the Lord of the family. He is pleased by the offerings of bliss-emptiness. Rays of light radiate from him and fill the whole of space, making offerings to buddhas residing in their pure realms, who are also moved and pleased thereby. The light gathers back into you, and you attain the two kinds of accomplishment. Light radiates out once again, purifying the suffering—together with its causes—of all six classes of beings in the three realms. Saṃsāra is transformed, and you should consider that even its name becomes non-existent. Rest your mind in emptiness.
Then, a stream of nectar flows from the guru, the Lord of the family. As you continue to visualize yourself clearly as the ḍākinī, the nectar arrives at your crown and you experience joy; it arrives at your throat and you experience supreme joy; it arrives at your heart bringing special joy; and when it arrives at your secret place, innate wisdom. Impurities of your channels, essences, and wind-energies are purified, and you gain special qualities. In this way, you obtain the four empowerments of all the classes of tantra of the secret mantra vehicle and purify the four obscurations. This is a very profound point. The process brings more joy than thousands of feast-gatherings, and entirely fulfils the purpose of hundreds of thousands of self-initiations and empowerments. Impairments, breakages, negative actions, and downfalls are purified, and you become a fit vessel for the great accomplishment. The powerful radiance of awareness expands, and experiences and realization naturally increase. Since [Vajrayoginī] is the source of all things and the mother of all the victorious ones, all the maṇḍalas of the various sections of the tantras are complete within her body. By accomplishing her practice, all auspicious interdependent circumstances of the profound and swift path of secret mantra will come together.
As for the number of recitations: in order to be able to perform the activities, recite a hundred thousand for each syllable. For the approach phase, when based on the number of mantras, you need to multiply that by four. In order to perfect the practice, you need to practice until signs arise. The signs of the recitation are as the main text says:
Although signs of accomplishment are inconceivable in number,
The supreme sign is to possess an unwavering wisdom mind.
The supreme accomplishment and special realization will dawn in your mind, bringing ordinary accomplishments, such as the eight great accomplishments, and minor accomplishments, such as the three gatherings—that is, gathering people during the day, ḍākinīs during the night, and sustenance at all times.
In the breaks between sessions, perform activities in accordance with the general tradition of secret mantra. The amendment of the fire offering must be understood from other texts.
In response to the insistent request of Palding Jetsün Drung, I, the vidyādhara Khyentsé Lha, swiftly wrote this.
'Jigs med gling pa. "Yum ka bde chen rgyal mo'i rtsa ba’i bsnyen yig", in gSung 'bum/_'Jigs med gling pa/（sde dge par ma). 9 Vols. BDRC W27300. Gangtok, India: Pema Thinley for Dodrupchen Rinpoche, 1985. Vol. 7: 237–41.
___ . "yum ka bde chen rgyal mo'i rtsa ba’i bsnyen yig", in gSung 'bum/_'Jigs med gling pa (a 'dzom par ma/ 'brug spa gro la bskyar par brgyab pa/). 14 Vols. BDRC W7477. A 'dzom chos sgar par khang, 1999?. Vol. 10: 271–75.
___ . "yum ka bde chen rgyal mo'i rtsa ba’i bsnyen yig", in gSung 'bum/_'Jigs med gling pa. 9 Vols. BDRC W1KG10193. Gangtok, Sikkim: Sonam T. Kazi, 1970-1975. Vol. 7: 365–70.
___ . "yum ka bde chen rgyal mo'i rtsa ba’i bsnyen yig", in klong chen snying thig rtsa pod. 5 Vols. BDRC W1KG13585. Bodhnath, Kathmandu and Bodhgaya, Bihar: Shechen Publications, 1994. Vol. 1: 313–19.
___ . "yum ka bde chen rgyal mo'i rtsa ba’i bsnyen yig", in Rig ’dzin ’Jigs med gling pa’i gsung ’bum. 9 Vols. China: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang & Bod ljongs bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang, 2018.
Literally 'the source (udaya) of all phenomena (dharma)'. It is triangular in shape and represents the space out of which all phenomena arise. Often two triangles are combined to form a star (like the Star of David) known as ‘a crossed dharmodaya’, which is marked with the sign of the deity. ↩
I.e., ambrosia (Skt. amṛta). ↩
Normally either sindūra or red pigment is used. ↩
The Secret Essence Tantra (Skt. Guhyagarbha Tantra), chapter two. ↩
Tulku Dawa Zangpo explains that the support can also refer to the body of the deity and the supported to the twenty-four sacred places and thirty-two sacred lands, and the channels, essences and wind-energies. ↩
Tulku Dawa adds that the light radiates from you, visualized as Vajrayoginī. ↩
Since there are twelve syllables, this means 1.2 million. ↩
This then amounts to 4.8 million. ↩