Sunday, March 1, 2009

Start Prostrations Ngondro early

On the recent TVB Hong Kong programme shown on TV, the first episode showed actor Lo Ka Ying visiting Qinghai, China. He visited the various temples there and the lake where divination on reincarnation of lamas are sought. It was a fantastic show.

The TV show also included a section where they showed how the Tibetan lamas make medicinal pills. Will you believe it if I tell you their medicine is not only made of herbal plants? but also include dead animal parts, human excrement, other animal excrement, charcoal and metals such as gold, silver, lead (YES, lead which is actually poisonous), but I think there is a logic in it but don't ask me...:) and they put tiny quantity of each only. And also stones like jade and other precious stones. Really amazing to see how the lamas can make all these medicines and after that, recite mantras to make it effective.

The actor also went to a temple where there was a footprint of a lama who did 1500 million (or 1.5 billion) prostrations. WOW!! And as a result of his prostrations, at the spot where he did his prostrations, there was an imprint of his feet on the wooden flooring. We can actually see the shape of his foot. AMAZING! This is just like our precious Je Tsongkhapa who also left imprints on the spot where he did his prostrations.

And to compare, we complain and feel tired after doing less than 100 times prostrations. How useless we are, right? Or at least, I am. Like today I did 100 prostrations and will try to do 100 times everyweek. If I don't increase my prostrations, I will never be able to finish my 100,000 prostration ngondro. Buddhists who are serious in their practice should not wait for their gurus to give them ngondros, or wait for their gurus to tell themt o do prostrations. You should self-impose. I started my prostrations this way too. Almost every Tibetan Buddhist lineage ngondro consists of prostrations. So, I am not sure what are people waiting for, before they start doing the prostrations accumulations. Do you want to wait till you are old or develop arthritis or leg problems or other health problems? By then, it will be too late. You won't be able to do it anymore.

And don't think that you are young that you have a lot of time to do your prostrations. Do it before your bad karma ripens and you cannot do it anymore!


Anonymous said...

my friend have finished 100000 prostrations, & now he has knees problem, btw what is the benefits of 100000 full prostrations?

Mahabodhiyana said...

Hi there,
I understood the benefits of ngondro from what was told to me on the life story of Je Tsongkhapa. The benefits need not be from doing prostrations per se,but also other types of ngondro. The space here is inadequate for a full answer but in short, doing ngondros prepares one for gaining realisations during meditation or during dharma lectures, or gaining "spiritual access" to the Buddhas. Example: when Je Tsongkhapa sucessfully communicated with Arya Manjusri.

Anonymous said...


I like the blog posts you put up on ngondro, I'm glad you did that. I actually started up a blog after I ran into yours. I think more people should talk about this practice and their experiences

Mahabodhiyana said...

And you know what? I actually did increase my ngondro prostrations from the traditional 50 per week to 100 per week since I wrote that post. Normally I do it during the weekends.

Anonymous said...

Prostrations practice is difficult, but doable. If you feel a lot of pain, see your doctor, but also talk to your teacher to see if there is something you can do better when performing prostrations.

Also, depending on your tradition, you may need the lung (reading transmission) to actually perform the Ngöndro.