THE TORCH OF CERTAINTY
misdeeds we have gathered in this life greatly obstruct meditative experience. Violations of the three vows (Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana) are particularly (obstructive); transgressions against your guru's body, speech and mind are even more so. [Misdeeds such as] violation of other sacred Mantrayana commitments, trading images for cash or food, etc., tend to cloud earlier meditative experiences and inhibit new ones. The hundred-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva is the most praiseworthy (of all remedies J because it clears away all such misdeeds. According to Lord Atisha: Just as a freshly cleaned mandala placed in a very dusty spot immediately becomes covered with dust again, many minor violations of Mantrayana (commitments] constantly crop up.u
If you ask [in despair], "Will the time never come when the path [to enlightenment] will truly become part of me?", the answer is: The Mantrayana employs a great variety of skillful means. Although you have committed many minor transgressions of the Mantrayana, employing just one cJf these means for one moment will purify them all ! For this reason, we have provided a detailed account of the meditation and hundredsyllable mantra of Vajrasattva. IN PRAISE OF THE HUNDRED-SYLLABLE MANTRA
The measureless immediate and ultimate benefits [of reciting Vajrasattva's mantra] are unanimously proclaimed in both the new and old tantras. An Indian work sums it all up: Though they embody the five transcending awarenesses, Practices called dharani, mantra, mudra, stupa and mandala, Do not amass the merit of one recitation of the hundred-syllable mantra. Whoever chants the hundred syllables Is said to gather merit equal to That which adorns all Buddhas, Numerous as motes of dust. And further: Whoever chants the hundred syllables Is struck by neither sickness, pain, nor early death.