Most Secret Hayagriva Prayer Festival

 

Our three-day prayer festival of Most Secret Hayagriva is held in late July or early August. The Most Secret Hayagriva Puja is highly appreciated by our members and benefactors for its profound and powerful benefits in pacifying harms and obstacles.

All are welcome to observe the lively and ceremonious rituals where elaborate offerings including numerous decorative tormas [ritual offering cakes], medicinal nectar bowls and tsog offerings are presented. The prayers include extensive confession, as well as offerings and requests to various Dharma protectors for their swift enlightened activity.

Most Secret Hayagriva is a wrathful aspect of Chenresig [Sanskrit: Avalokiteshvara]. The Most Secret Hayagriva Puja [Tibetan: ‘Tamdrin tsog kong’] is extremely powerful against obstacles created by nagas such as cancer, leprosy and skin diseases, landlord spirits which manifest as paralysis or spirit harm, and epilepsy which is connected to spirit harm. The principal cause of these illnesses is one’s negative karma, while the non-human entities are precipitating conditions. Relying on this practice dispels such obstacles.

About the Practice

Praying to Most Secret Hayagriva is a swift and powerful means to overcome negative forces and obstacles including those caused by spirit harms. Prayers to the deity are especially beneficial in these degenerate times when sufferings and illnesses are rampant, arising from the strong delusions of sentient beings. As a manifestation of Chenresig, the practice of Most Secret Hayagriva helps to develop compassion.

The practice originated from eight sets of transmissions [Tibetan: ‘Kagye’] which were revealed to Padmasambhava and eight Indian masters. From this series of major deity practices, that of Most Secret Hayagriva was revealed to the great Indian master Nagarjuna. Through Guru Padmasambhava, the lineage of Most Secret Hayagriva was brought to Tibet into the Nyingma tradition.

Most Secret Hayagriva came to be of particular significance to the Gelug monastery of Sera Je in central Tibet. The founder of the monastery, Kunkyen Lodrö Rinchen Sengge, was a close disciple of Lama Tsong Khapa. Kunkyen Lodrö Rinchen Sengge received the entire lineage of Most Secret Hayagriva from his father, a Nyingma lama, fulfilling the latter’s dying wish that he preserve and uphold the practice of Hayagriva. Je Tsong Khapa too, gave his blessings for him to continue the Hayagriva practice.

The place where Kunkyen Lodrö Rinchen Sengge built Sera Je Monastery, outside Lhasa, was chosen after he received auspicious signs from the deity. While scouting for the land, he came upon a cemetery, which had a thorn bush. He saw a red raven fly to the thorn bush and disappear into it. A vision of the entire mandala and deity of Hayagriva then appeared to him where the bush was. That marked the very site where the first temple of Sera Je Monastery was built.

600 years later, Most Secret Hayagriva remains the special protector deity of Sera Je Monastery, with its lineage fully preserved in the original monastery in Tibet, as well as at its re-established seat in south India.

Through our founders, Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and our resident teacher Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi, who were from Sera Je Monastery, Amitabha Buddhist Centre has established a direct link to the lineage and practice of this deity.