relying on Guru Rinpoche is nothing but a skillful means for realizing and empowering ourselves with the phenomena of our own pure, joyful, and powerful perceptions and experiences, which arise from our own peaceful and open Buddha nature that we all have inherited. If we believe, then Guru Rinpoche will always be with us. He is not an individual person of a particular time or place. He is (or represents) the Buddha, the Buddha nature and its expression. In other words, he is the true nature of the universe and the pure character or expression of that universe. Whenever we allow our mind to connect with our inner truth, that truth will always be there to be reached, and then the manifestations or expressions arisen from that truth will always arise as pure and divine manifestations or appearances. If we let ourselves be inspired and see that very ultimate peace and truth, which we all have, through the support of and/or as Guru Rinpoche, we will realize and become Guru Rinpoche and his qualities and expressions.

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche wrote:

In the case of deity meditation, it is the mind consciousness that creates the body of the deity. It is thus a mentally created body, and thus, so to speak, unreal. When, however, the karmic imprints of this visualization get stored in the all-base and become more clear and more stable, it is actually possible to meet the deity one day, or Guru Rinpoche, for example, face to face! This is the result of deity meditation with in-front visualization. [From Everyday Consciousness and Primordial Awareness, p. 39]

Kunga Rinpoche, wrote in "Drinking the Mountain Stream": The deities of the tantric vehicle's extensive pantheon, the male and female personifications of psychic processes as "herukas" and "dakinis", are **"produced" by the yogin through the practice of controlled visualization until their reality overshadows that of the superficial apparent world.**When the yogin is able to visualize his own personal deity to the point where the visualization seems to have a life of its own, and when he's able to see the his environment as divine, he then practices the "divine pride" of direct identification of his own body and mind with those of his personal deity.

all these quotations from masters indicate that dakinis,herukas and even guru rinpoche are not existant in the sence of having a mindstream and cognition and actually existing in some heaven.Rather they are appearances or creations of the individual's(Yogi or yidam practicioner) mind.

but obviousely there are purelands as many people have visions of amitabha etc picking them up to go there etc Dawa Drolma had visitation to the pureland of avalokiteshvara guided by Tara.are these then just appearances of her own mind?like Nimittas?

  • Not sure if i see any conflict here. Basically those masters said it within the context of deity meditation, which is what a meditator should be doing or implementing. They are not talking about the ontological nature of existence of the deities themselves.
    – santa100
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


Deities are not completely creations of one meditator's mind. Meditator receives instructions from his/her teacher about how the deity looks, based on traditional description - so in some sense the deity exists in those descriptions and in the minds and stories of meditators passing the idea of the deity on, from generation to generation. So in a certain sense the deity exists over the lifetimes of many meditators who carry it on. And in some sense the character of the deity, the mood or style of the deity (as it's described and is then visualized) is an active force that conditions the meditator's mind.

So in a certain sense the deity actually has independent existence and plays an active role. It's not just meditator's imagination. Once you get seriously in touch with a traditional deity cultivated by thousands of meditator's over the course of many centuries you may realize that this imaginary entity nevertheless has power far beyond your own.

Now, to get to the purelands. The reality we perceive - the world we find ourselves in - is a result of our interpretation. Our reference point, our imprints, our selective attention, our associations, and our mental cycling - are the ingredients our world is assembled from. Correspondingly there are infinitely many worlds we can find ourselves in, some drastically different from a world of an average human.

These worlds can be dark&troublesome or high&pure, depending on the mind of a sentient being assembling that world. Sentient beings sharing a common mindset create a common world they can share.

Purelands exist as a continuum of worlds in the total range of assemblable worlds. So I see nothing strange in the fact that experienced meditators of the past visited other worlds, or were guided by deities helping them visit their world.

Perceiving our world as the only reality, and assuming that our own existence is more substantial than existence of deities is only a habit we are unwittingly cycling in.

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