The Aura of Wisdom
By Living Buddha Sheng-yen
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.