(By Tsem Rinpoche)
Nageshvaraja is also sometimes called Nagaraja. His name literally means ‘Tathagatha King of the Nagas’, known as ‘Luwang Gyalpo’ in Tibetan. He is also one of the 35 Confessional Buddhas as listed within the Mahayana Sutra of the Three Superior Heaps that we prostrate to in order to purify heavy negative actions.
On October 21, 2017 Kechara had the merits to invite the holy statue of Buddha Nageshvaraja to our land. A group of Kecharians gathered to welcome Nageshvaraja and together they cleaned, washed and polished the statue. Meanwhile, another team prepared the holy items and mantras to be inserted, they packed and sewed everything into yellow cloth bags together with mothballs, incense and potpourri.
After the statue was sealed, Nageshvaraja was lifted by crane and escorted to the stone pedestal that had been built for the statue. After he had been placed on the pedestal, the group queued to make offerings of candles, khatas (silk scarves) and flower garlands. On behalf of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, offerings of incense and milk were also made.
Buddha Nageshvaraja is known to be potent for bringing under peaceful control Nagas and other local deities that control the weather but can also cause drought or floods if they are displeased. Therefore Nageshvaraja’s practice not only helps to purify us of our negative karma that causes all of our many sufferings, but also calm’s energies in the environment making the land free of natural disasters. In fact, you can also pray to Nageshvaraja in times of drought to produce rain and generally to make the environment more abundant. Having his blessed image on the land not only controls wrathful energies but also promotes harmony, peace, and natural abundance, health and stability.
It is said that Nageshvaraja is accompanied by a large retinue of bodhisattvas, arhats and beneficial naga deities that all aid him in creating a prosperous environment, free of negativity and strife and full of peaceful healing energies. The tradition of his practice stems from the great master Arya Nagarjuna, and was transmitted by the scholar-yogi Jowo Atisha.
Nageshvaraja sits in full lotus posture with a blue body and white face. He appears as a fully enlightened Buddha, wearing the saffron-coloured robes of a fully ordained monk. Above his head stands a hood of seven serpents, and his hands are clasped at his heart with the middle fingers stretched upwards and touching. This mudra is known as the releasing of sentient beings from taking rebirth in the three lower realms: the animal realm, the spirit realm, and the hell realm. This indicates his practice is also know to save people from unfortunate rebirths.
You can recite the mantra of Nageshvaraja to purify heavy negative karma, bring stability and harmony to the environment, and promote peace, healing and well-being. The mantra is: TAYATHA TATHAGATE BHAGAWAN-NAGA-RAJESWARA ADHISTHANA ADHISTHITE SOHA.
May everyone be blessed by Buddha Nageshvaraja and just by seeing him, may seeds of enlightenment be planted in their mindstreams. This Nageshvaraja statue is just one of many already on the land and many more interesting and unique deity statues to be invited to Kechara Forest Retreat this year and beyond. If you would like to get involved, please contact Kechara House Front Desk to find out more or to make a contribution (firstname.lastname@example.org or +603 7803 3908).
Information on the Buddha Nageshvaraja statue
Height: 9 feet (2.7 meters)
Location: Next to the entrance of Tsem Ladrang (Enchanted Forest), Kechara Forest Retreat
Loma Gyonma, known as Pita Parnasvari in Sanskrit, is one of the most efficacious healing Buddhas within Tibetan Buddhism. Her name literally means “The Mountain Mendicant Wearing Leaves”. She is also known as “Leafy Clothing Kuan Yin” in some traditions and is considered an emanation of the Buddha Tara. She manifests as a deity that has mastered all the mysteries of the forest and therefore nature, which she taps into to pacify and subjugate all illnesses, their causes, destroys harmful spirits and enriches our lives with good health. Therefore Loma Gyonma is known for her tremendous ability to heal all sorts of diseases.
As the emanation of Tara, Loma Gyonma is regarded as Lhamo Rithrodma, the 20th Tara as mentioned in the “Praise to the Twenty One Taras”. The praise to Lhamo Rithrodma states that her right eye emits blazing rays of light that burns away all the lords of diseases and epidemics.
The word “savari” in Sanskrit refers to the ancient Savara tribe who were known to wears skirts made of grass and peacock feathers and hunted with bows and arrows. Due to their culture which was heavily based on nature, they were known to be masters of the healing medicinal properties of herbs and plants.
Historically speaking, Loma Gyonma is also remembered as a yogini who wore only leaves and spent her time meditating alone in the forests of ancient India. Focused on her meditations and study of the elements, living off what the forest provided, she eventually gained enlightenment.
Though Loma Gyonma is known to cure a whole range of diseases and illness, she is most efficacious in dealing with epidemics and wide-spread and dangerous diseases such as SARS, AIDS and H1N1. Praying or making offerings to her helps people overcome these, and having her holy image blesses everyone on the land and nearby to have good health, free of disease.
Within Tibetan Buddhism, there are powerful healing energies all throughout the universe, and a healer who knows how to harness these universal energies can cure just about any disease. Loma Gyonma is the most powerful of healers, which means she has attained transcendent wisdom, and can cure even the most dangerous illness and their causes.
Loma Gyonma is yellow in colour and is both peaceful and wrathful at the same time, with three eyes and her hair tied with a snake in a topknot. Her main face is yellow, her left face is red showing a desirous mood, and her right face is white with a peaceful expression. She is adorned with gold and jewelled crown and ornaments, and sometimes can be seen wearing a long snake necklace as well as a crown of leaves.
She wears a skirt made of thatched leaves tied with a yellow silk ribbon. She holds a vajra, arrow, noose, bow, and a freshly cut tree branch laden with fruits, flowers, and leaves. The vajra symbolises her intention to stop energies that cause disease and harmful spirits, and the axe shows that she can destroy them so they no longer cause us suffering. The bow represents wisdom and the arrow represents skilful means. This means that her enlightened wisdom propels her skilful means to not only aid practitioners overcome their sufferings but also that she can lead practitioners to enlightenment. Symbolically, it is said that the arrow pierces the heart of the enemy. On one hand this means she can strike at the root of our illness and purify the negative karma causing it, and on the other it symbolises that she can strike the heart of our ultimate enemy, the ego. It is the ego which must be destroyed for us to transcend worldly existence and become enlightened.
Her right knee presses down on her seat with the right heel underneath to support her, and her left leg is raised up in a lunging posture, showing she is ready to strike any disease or negativity afflicting those who pray to her. Her body is full of vitality and strength, a sign that she can bestow good health and her ability to battle negative energies.
Her mantra that we can recite for good health, to cure diseases, and to be free from all forms of negativity is: OM PISHATSI PARNASAVARI HRI HA HUM PHAT SOHA.
On October 21, 2017, Kecharians had the great fortune and merit to invite the enlightened Buddha Loma Gyoma to reside on Kechara Forest Retreat land. A group of Kecharians gathered together early in the morning to clean, prepare and properly invite to her final location on the land right next to the serene Tara Walk.
Information on the Loma Gyonma statue
Height: 9 feet (2.7 meters)
Location: On Tara walk behind Panglung Ritroe, Kechara Forest Retreat
It is a special tradition of Tibetan Buddhism to carve mantras onto stone. The act of carving the mantra is a way of purifying karma especially related to the speech. The mantra of a Buddha embodies the complete qualities of the Buddha’s enlightenment in the form of sound. Therefore when you recite the mantra, view the mantra or pay respects to the mantra, it is equivalent to paying respects to the Buddha and planting the karmic seeds to achieve the enlightenment of a Buddha. Carving or sponsoring the making of mantras onto stone is said to invite good fortune, merits, purification of negative deeds and the blessings of the Buddha. One can do this as many times as possible. The carved mantra can be placed near the statue or on a pedestal in an area where you can circumambulate around it and this further collects merits for the sponsor and the people who circumambulate. Kechara will have these stone carved mantras available at Naropa’s Cave at Kechara Forest Retreat.
Spectacular…Loma Gyoma, the goddess who has mastered the mysteries of the forest, positively glows at night under the stars
Inviting the Buddhas Nageshvaraja and Loma Gyoma
to Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia)
Location of Kechara Forest Retreat
(Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia)
Malaysia on the world map. Malaysia is considered a part of South East Asia. Click to enlarge.
Kechara Forest Retreat is located in Bentong, in the state of Pahang. You can see here the location of Bentong in relations to Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. It is a 45-minute drive along a pleasant green highway. Click to enlarge.
Loma Gyoma and Nageshvaraja are in Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Pahang.
The first time I ever saw Nageshvaraja was in 1979. At the time, I was still living in Howell, New Jersey with my parents. As you know, they were not supportive at all of my Dharma practice and did everything they could to stop me from attending teachings at a nearby temple Rashi Gempil Ling, which was the centre of my first guru Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche. Very often before, when my parents would agree to allow me to attend a particular event, they would retract their permission just days, or even hours before I was supposed to go. This had happened many, many times already.
So this particular time, I was really excited because I was actually in Geshe Ngawang Wangyal’s centre in Washington, New Jersey which was a few hours away from home. Hundreds of Kalmyks had hired private buses and driven in from all over the tri-state area which is New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. We were there to receive teachings from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and as unsupportive of my practice as my parents were, not even they would deny me the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama and receive teachings from him. It’s every Mongol’s dream to meet His Holiness once before they die.
The Dalai Lama was going to give teachings and oral transmission of the 8 Verses of Thought Transformation. So together with the other Kalmyks, my parents and I went up there and we arrived a little early. While everyone was busy catching up, and my parents kind of went off to talk to other people, I took the opportunity to explore the grounds and the setup. Basically I was ecstatic that I had been allowed on this trip, and my parents hadn’t changed their mind and stopped me from coming. I was 14 years old and in the middle of this great Mongolian geshe’s centre, about to receive teachings from the Dalai Lama so I was drinking in everything in sight.
And of course, as usual, I went to check out the altar. I wanted to see how Geshe-la had set up the altar, who he had put as the central figure and all of that. I remember the altar had been set up outdoors to accommodate the large crowd that had gathered there.
So in the middle of this altar set up for this extremely important event, there was one single thangka of an unusual deity I had never seen before. I didn’t recognise the deity but I was totally captivated by this blue Buddha with a white head. My 14-year-old mind thought,
“Who is this deity and why is he so important that Geshe-la would make him the only deity on the altar to make offerings to? He must be someone really special and powerful.”
It wasn’t until many years later that I found out who this deity was. I always wondered who he was and by the time I found out, I had run away from New Jersey and was now living in Los Angeles. My first guru, Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche in New Jersey, had given me permission to study under another great master, Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen at his Dharma centre, Thubten Dhargye Ling (TDL). So one day I was studying in TDL’s kitchen and reading a book called The Mahayana Sutra, when I came across this section on the 35 Confessional Buddhas. The Buddha Nageshvaraja was listed as one of the 35 Confessional Buddhas who are very effective for purification of negative karma. Finally I had figured out who that deity was that I had seen in Geshe Wangyal-la’s centre.
In the years since, I have come across this Buddha many, many times so there must be some sort of connection with him. And today, at Kechara Forest Retreat we had the merits to invite a 9-foot bronze statue of this incredible Buddha to our land.
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