This calligraphy of the seed syllable ‘Hung’ was painted by Ngak’chang Rinpoche. There are five sections that create the syllable Hung. Starting from the top, first there is the thig-lé, then the half moon, then the letter Ha, then the letter ’a, (or ‘A-chung’, which means ‘little A’) ; and finally the vowel mark – a curl which resembles a question mark lying on its side – which gives the syllable the sound ‘U’. The thig-lé and the crescent moon, are the sound ‘Ma’. So from the zenith to the nadir the syllables are: Ma, Ha, ’a, and U, which combine to produce the sound ‘Hung’.
Hung contains the practices of kyab and changchub sem – refuge and Bodhicitta; and simply by singing Hung with this knowledge one can accomplish these. Hung is refuge and Bodhicitta. In terms of Kyab—refuge—when one comes to vocalise Hung, one is not necessarily engaging in a cognitive process. One is simply emotionally informed through the knowledge of Hung one has received through transmission. In terms of the practice of bodhicitta, one recites Hung for the benefit of all beings, so their neuroses may be transformed into the five wisdoms.
Hung is the heart syllable, the seed syllable of Padmasambhava. Hung is also the seed syllable of Yeshé Tsogyel. Hung is the primordial union of emptiness and form; the understanding of which, in itself, encompasses refuge and bodhicitta. There is no refuge and bodhicitta greater than the comprehension of the non-duality of emptiness and form. We see within this seed syllable, the union of Kuntuzangpo and Kuntuzangmo and the union of Padmasambhava and Yeshé Tsogyel. We also see the union of our Tsawa’i Lamas, where our Lamas are a teaching couple.