The Aura of Wisdom 

By Living Buddha Sheng-yen Lu
Translated by True Buddha Foundation Translation Team (Cheng Yew Chung, Victor Hazen, Dance Smith)

This was translated from Grandmaster Lu's 154th book, 智慧的光環.

CHAPTER 36 - The Jambhala or Wealth Deity Practice

Someone once asked me, `Wealth, sex, fame, eating and sleeping are the major desires of humans. They are known as the five roots of hell. Yet why is the Jambhala Practice included in Tantric Buddhism?`

I replied, `Tantric Buddhism, in its mission to succour sentient beings, is aware that sentient beings love wealth. Hence, projecting the extensive field of compassionate vows, it exercises the approach of first attracting the sentient beings through desire, and later leading them into the wisdom of the Buddha.`

Question: How does one approach the wisdom of the Buddha through the Jambhala Practices?

Answer: The cultivation of the Jambhala Practice will also lead to the experience of Dharma taste, resulting in a natural transformation of desire. Eventually, it leads to a transformation of consciousness into wisdom, reaching a level of attainment.

Question: How many Jambhala Practices are included in Tantric Buddhism?

Answer: There are the practices of Yellow Jambhala, Red Jambhala, Green Jambhala, Black Jambhala, White Jambhala, and the Five-Jambhalas together. In addition, the Dragon Treasure Vase Practice, Earth God Practice, Mountain God Practice and so forth are all wealth deity practices.

Question: When cultivating the wealth deity practices, what are the pre-requisites to achieving yogic response?

Answer: To achieve yogic response and results during cultivation, one must arouse bodhicitta such that upon receiving massive wealth, one gives away alms and vows to do more charities. Hence, with the expansion of one`s bodhicitta, fortunes and merits shall be returned in many-fold. These acts of generosity shall transform greed into the purity of compassion.

Question: Which of the Jambhala Practices in Tantric Buddhism is the best method?

Answer: They are the same. As long as one receives response and results, that would be the best Jambhala Practice.

My view is that the very spirit presented in the Jambhala Practice is the spirit of relinquishment. To relinquish is to receive, and only through relinquishing one thing would one receive another: the amount you may receive corresponds with the amount you are willing to relinquish or let go of. Hence, once you relinquish all, you naturally receive everything. If you hold on to something in your hand and are not willing to release it, how else can you receive another more precious gift that may come your way!

The Dharma taste of receiving and losing thus lies in the practice.

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01 - Spiritual Conviction
02 - Vanity
03 - Adopting a Monistic Life
04 - Manifestations
05 - Spiritual Response
06 - Purification of One's Mind
07 - Right View
08 - The True Acharya
09 - Self Importance
10 - The Four Levels of Empowerment
11 - Making Offerings
12 - Making Offerings (2)
13 - Spiritual Authentication
14 - Keeping the Codes and Precepts
15 - The Spirit of Upholding the Precepts
16 - The True Buddha School
17 - True Practice
18 - Respect the Guru
19 - The Most Comprehensive System of Buddhist Practice
20 - Do Not Slander the Tantric Teachings
21 - Ignorance
22 - Liberal Authentication
23 - The Sutra and Tantra Traditions
24 - Dharma Epithet
25 - The Secret Referred to in the Secret Teachings
26 - Mahabodhicitta, the Mind of Perfect Enlightenment
27 - Perfect Penetration of the Sutra and Tantra Teachings
28 - The Mandala
29 - Attaining Budddhahood in this Very Body
30 - Refrain from Killing
31 - Taking Meat or Vegetarian Meals
32 - Offering Wine and Meat to the Buddha
33 - Why Practice Buddhism and Do Cultivation?
34 - The Guru's Power of Blessing
35 - The Precious Teachings of Tantric Buddhism
36 - The Jambhala or Wealth Deity Practice
37 - The Wrathful Guardian Deities
38 - Yab-Yum, the Consort Practice
39 - Fundamental Rationale of Tantric Buddhism
40 - The Heart Essence and the Orally Transmitted Secrets
41 - Cultivating with Contemplation and Visualization
42 - Aijikan, the Visualization of the Seed Syllable AH
43 - Choosing One`s Principal Deity (Yidam)
44 - The Fourfold and Sixfold Refuge
45 - Radiating Light Blessing
46 - Radiating Light Invocation
47 - The Importance of the Four Preliminaries
48 - The Secret of Contemplating on Emptiness
49 - Elucidation on the Three Powers
50 - Reverence for the High King Sutra
51 - A Buddha Manifestation of Great Authority
52 - Merging as One
53 - The Key Instructions of Entering, Abiding and Absorbing
54 - Seen in the Context of Heresy
55 - The Importance of Cultivating Chi