Vajrasattva, the great purifier
In Tibetan Buddhism, Vajrasattva’s role as the “great purifier” is top-of-mind — a necessary first step in Buddhist practice, working on the negative karmas and obstacles that obscure our Buddha Nature. It is one of the core “foundation” practices of Vajrayana. Yet, Vajrasattva practice is much more than this.
“Vajrasattva is a manifestation of Buddha Conquerer Vajradhara and his practice is one of the most powerful healing and purification techniques in Vajrayana Buddhism.” — Gaden Choling description for a December 2017 Vajrasattva initiation.
Vajrasattva is one of the earliest practices in Vajrayana Buddhism and is also central to Shingon Buddhism. Vajrasattva is a beautiful manifestation of Vajradhara (in the dKar-hGya-pa and DGel-lugs-pa schools of Vajrayana) or of Samantabadra (in the older schools and Shingon.). Vajradhara and Samatabadra are two names for the same concept — the ultimate Dharmakaya aspect of Buddha.
“According to Tantra, one of the most powerful purifications is meditations on Vajrasattva. Recite the mantra of Vajrasattva, the 100-syllable mantra. If you don’t have initiation, you can say the mantra, no problem, you can visualize Vajrasattva in front of you. [Or] Above your crown, as well.’ — H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche (Video teaching below.)