Empowerment

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Empowerment (dbang), (dbang bskur).

The conferring of power or authorization to practice the Vajrayana teachings, the indispensable entrance door to tantric practice. Empowerment gives control over one's inherent Vajra Body, Vajra Speech and Vajra Mind and the authority to regard forms as Deity, sounds as Mantra and thoughts as Wisdom. See also 'Four Empowerments.' [RY]


Empowerment (dbang bskur)

  • A ritual ceremony performed by spiritual teachers and lineage-holders, the function of which is to empower prospective trainees, enabling them to practice the tantras. The ritual processes of the empowerment ceremony are intended to activate the potentials inherent within the body, speech and mind of the trainee, thus making him or her eligible to engage in the specific practices of tantra. Such an empowerment ceremony is therefore an essential prerequisite for the practice of tantra in the Buddhist tradition. Within the sūtra traditions, the term empowerment (Skt. abhiṣeka) is also used to describe the conferral of blessings in the form of rays of light which the buddhas bequeath to bodhisattvas of the tenth level. On this consecration, which is likened to the coronation of a monarch, see bDud-'joms Rin-po-che's description in NSTB, pp. 911-913. The general procedures of the empowerment ceremony employed in the tradition of the tantras are described by Klong-chen rab-'byams-pa in GGFTC, Ch. 10, pp. 786-810. It is important to note that the aspects of empowerment will vary, depending on whichever of the six tantra vehicles the trainee is about to enter. For example, those entering upon the practice of Kriyātantra receive the water and crown empowerments, those entering upon the the practice of Ubhayatantra receive the water, crown, vajra, bell and name empowerments, and those entering upon the practice of Yogatantra receive the empowerment of the vajra-master in addition to the previous five. Similarly, those entering upon the practice of Mahāyoga receive the eighteen aspects of the vase empowerment, the secret empowerment, the empowerment of discriminating pristibne cognition, and the empowerment of word and meaning, while those entering upon the practice of Anuyoga receive thirty-six empowerments, and those entering upon the practice of Atiyoga receive the empowerment of the expressive power of awareness (rig pa'i rtsal dbang). In the context of the present work, the prescribed rituals frequently include the long-life empowerment (tshe dbang), associated with the mediational deity Amitāyus. GD (from the Glossary to Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings)