In Tibetan Buddhism the Vajrasattva root tantra is Dorje Gyan, or "Vajra Ornament". Vajrasattva practices are common to all of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and are used both to purify obscurations so that the Vajrayana student can progress beyond Ngondro practices to the various yoga practices of tantra and also to purify any broken samaya vows after initiation. As such, Vajrasattva practice is an essential element of Tibetan Buddhist practice.
Vajrasattva represents the principle of purification and is a supreme Buddhist deity who delineates the purity of the enlightened mind. He manifests the purity of speech, mind and body of all Buddhas. He encompasses the ability to extinguish spiritual impurities such as negative karmic forces and tendencies in an effort to help sentient beings to a better rebirth or to reaching enlightenment. It is thought that visualizing Vajrasattva melting into ones body one will become inseparable with Vajrasattva’s pure body, mind and speech. His healing power is incredibly powerful and indestructible. In methodology and iconography he is typically seen as the minds pure essence and is always holding a thunderbolt (vajra) and a hand bell (ghanta). The thunderbolt (symbolic of a diamond) held in his right hand is a spiritual tool with the ability to cut any substance yet it cannot be cut itself. This insinuates the indestructible purity that Vajrasattva embodies. The hand bell (ghanta) in his left hand is symbolic of wisdom and compassion and the unity of the two, which is essential to reaching enlightenment.
(written by: Jenny Lee)
Vajrasattva practice is a tantric meditation done for the purification of karma. The practice of purification is applied by using the Four Opponent powers of the Vajrasattva: The Power of Regret, The Power of Reliance, The Power of Antidote and the Power of Promise. Vajrasattva is associated with the hundred syllable mantra. It is a chanting which is used in rituals of purification especially in funerals. There is also a short version of the Vajrasattva mantra seen below.
The mantra associated with Vajrasattva is as follows:
om vajrasattva samaya manu palaya/ vajrasattva deno patita/ dido may bhawa/ suto kayo may bhawa/ supo kayo may bhawa/ anu rakto may bhawa/ sarwa siddhi mempar yatsa/ sarwa karma su tsa may/ tsitam shriyam kuru at
hum/ ha ha ha ha ho/ bhagawan/ sarwa tatagata/ vajra ma may mu tsa/ vajra bhawa maha samaya sattva/ ah hum pey