The Melodious Tambura of Joy

A Guide to the Supreme Holy Place of Immortal Life, the Rocky Cave of Maratika

Homage to the guru, yidam, and dakinis!
To the essence of all appearances, Padma Amitayus,
To the embodiment of emptiness, the great mother, clothed in white,
To the three-root long-life deities, the mudra of nonduality,
I bow down with devotion and beseech you to bestow the empowerment of immortal life....

On seeing this place, boundless wonder arises. Through merely hearing the name, the seed of liberation is planted. By recalling it, accidental death is prevented. Through making prostrations, circumambulation and offerings, great accumulation of merit is accomplished.

The sky around it forms a vast eight-spoked wheel. The ground is shaped like an eight-petalled lotus with the middle swelling up like the flower's pistil. The landscape being wide and open, the sun remains for a long time and the weather is temperate. In the front, a stream gushes forth. The center of the holy place is a huge self-existing assembly hall, high and spacious with room for one thousand people. There is a single skylight in the center shaped like a round wheel.

Outside, various shrubs and trees grow out of the craggy rocks. Inside the cave, innumerable images of statues, seed-syllables and hand implements of the peaceful and wrathful deities abound. The unique characteristic of this holy place is the many stone lingam (stalagmites) ranging in size from six feet to six inches. Naturally formed, they are white, smooth, shiny and resplendent.

During auspicious times, nectar collects like moist dew and drips down. There are many crevice-like holes through which one can test one's positive or negative karma to see whether one is headed for a birth in the lower realms or to the higher realms and the path of liberation.

Below this holy place is a cave whose entrance faces to the southwest. The mouth of the cave is not so big, but once inside it opens up and is very wide and spacious, with enough room to fit a hundred people. There are many symbols of the body, speech and mind of the enlightened ones as well as hand and foot imprints, a white conch and many other amazing self-arisen things. When those of fortunate karma arrive there, dew-like nectar seeps out. Straight above, unobstructed, is a high vaulted skylight, making it renowned as a training place for the practice of transferring one's consciousness to a Pureland.

In the spacious expanse of the main cave are hosts of bats whom you can't see but who ceaselessly make the sound of the mantra of long life (one hears the sounds of tsey and bhrum).

For all tantric practitioners who have entered the path, it is a very good place for the practice of visualizing a luminous wheel of deities and mantras.

This text, which mentions only a drop from the ocean of good qualities of this holy place, was composed with the thought of benefiting others. Like a wish-fulfilling gem or an excellent vase, may it unfailingly bring all our wishes to fruition.

Having been introduced to this sacred place, it is certain that we Dharma brothers and sisters who follow Guru Padmasambhava will accumulate merit and purify obscurations by engaging in the recitation of mantras, the offering of tormas, the performing of fire ceremonies and especially the practices of longevity here.