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From Robert Beer's book: In the transmission of the dzogchen teachings, a rock crystal (Tib.

man-shel) may be symbolically revealed during initiation to introduce the disciple to the perfect clarity of his or her mind. In the book "The Crystal and the Way of Light", Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche describes how a mirror, a crystal, and a crystal ball may be employed in dzogchen to illustrate the 'three conditions' of essence, nature, and energy. Here the mirror reects light unconditionally, the crystal refracts light unconditionally, and the crystal ball appears to hold the image within itself. As a ritual object a radiating crystal appears in several of the painting that illustrate the text of The Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama. In the text it is described as being employed in the fourth stage of the initiation to both introduce and explain to the disciple the effulgent nature of the mind. The radiating crystal also appears in several of the dzogchen frescos from the Lukhang or 'naga temple' in Lhasa, which were painted during the short reign of the sixth Dalai Lama. In Dzogchen the respective symbols of a crystal and a peacock feather may be used to represent the esoteric transmission of the teachings on cutting through resistance (trekchod) and all-surpassing realization (togal). From an announcement for a teaching to be given by Lama Tsering: The fundamental nature of each of us is pure open being. Much like a crystal can be covered with mud, our absolute wisdom is covered by our ordinary thoughts and emotions. We need to learn to remove our obscurations and penetrate the essence of our being in order that the energy we transmit is pure. Crystals are powerful instruments for healing. But a person's ability to cure with crystals is totally dependent on their ability to purify their own mind. If one's mind is contaminated, the cure will also be contaminated. If the mind is pure, the cure will be pure. Crystals are recognized and used in ancient spiritual traditions as repositories of absolute wisdom energy, and are substances capable of sustaining the essence of luminous energy, which if correctly used, are powerful instruments of healing. In these teachings, transmitted to her by Chagdud Rinpoche, Lama Tsering will speak to us about the nature of mind, which is like a crystal, and will focus on the use of crystals in its healing aspects through specic methods. From an online website: Buddhists believe in the transmigration of the soul through various heavens before reaching the Heaven of heavens of Buddha. Otherwise known as Nirvana or the Land of Bliss, the lotus ponds there are made of the Seven Treasures. These treasures feature prominently within Samsara, the realm of reincarnation and rebirth, as well. It was said that after Buddha attained enlightenment, a king built a hall for him using these treasures, where he sat on a throne made of the seven gems. Stupas built in the mortal realm represent a microcosm of the heavens as imagined by Buddhists. Inspired by celestial stupas shrines containing celestial beings, earthly stupas are similarly made of these gems. Indeed, when Fa Hsien made his pilgrimage to the Buddhist shrines of India and Sri Lanka at the end of the fourth century, he described nearly every stupa he saw as being covered with layers of these precious substances.

The Seven Treasures So what exactly are these seven precious substances? Unfortunately, the answer is not so straightforward. In the original sutras (Buddhist scriptures) written in Sanskrit, the Seven Treasures are: Suvarna Rupya Vaidurya Sphatika Musaragalva Rohitamukta Asmagarbha Chinese Translations The Sanskrit terms were interpreted and translated into different Chinese terms in the various sutras. And even for the same sutra, different translations made during the various Chinese dynasties yielded different items. The Amitayurdhyana Sutra alone lists various sets of Seven Treasures as translated during different Chinese dynasties. Wei Dynasty: Purple gold White silver Lapis lazuli Crystal White coral Ruby (the Chinese characters for Rose originally meant Red stone) Amber. Tang Dynasty: Gold Silver Lapis lazuli Quartz/Crystal Jade Ruby Amber When Hsuan Tsang (the famous Tang Buddhist monk) translated the Pure Land Sutra, Jade and Amber were excluded from the above list and replaced by Agate and Carnelian. Song Dynasty: Gold Silver Lapis lazuli Quartz

White coral Pearl Amber The modern Chinese version is similar with the Song version, except that Pearl has been replaced by Ruby. Another version excludes Quartz, Pearl and Amber, and includes Crystal, Ruby and Agate instead. English Translations Further complications arose when the Chinese terms were translated to English, where the same Chinese term was interpreted as different substances in Western literature. For example, Mr. Rhys Davids listed the Seven Treasures as Gold, Silver, Lapis lazuli, Rock crystal, Ruby, Diamond / Emerald and Agate, while Major Cunningham replaced Diamond / Emerald with Amethyst. Gold, Silver and Lapis lazuli are featured regularly in the numerous variations. The first two are among the earliest precious metals discovered by human beings, while the third is prized for its intense blue color with golden inclusions of pyrites and its ability to ward off evil. Other precious substances that have been selected include: Red coral / Red pearl / Sapphire: Alternatives for Ruby. Pearl / Mother of pearl / Tridacna: Alternatives for White coral. Turquoise / Lazurite / Beryl / Karketana stone (Chrysoberyl): Alternativs for Lapis lazuli. Musk From the above, it is obvious that there are many interpretations of the Seven Treasures in Chinese and English, with the only definitive list being the original in Sanskrit. No matter the specific substance, the Seven Treasures embody the light and wisdom of the Pure Land. The positive influences they have on the believers include calming effects, relieving stress, increasing alertness, giving inspiration, eliminating negative energies and offering protection by driving away evil. The Seven Treasures, together with the Three Jewels - Buddha, Dharma and Sangha (community of Buddhists) - ensure that the country is at peace and that its people live harmoniously.