HH Chatral Rinpoche

A Brief Account of the Iniquity of Tobacco

Deference to Padmasambhava and all the Buddhas who are inseparable from my Tsawa’i Lama – Ngag-gyi Wangmo. From him I received this brief account of the poisonous drug tobacco.

In ancient times, the monarch of demons and his six ministers uttered malevolent maledictions employing demonic blood, and from that malevolent seed the poisonous drug tobacco came into existence. There are five different plants—each with its individual coloured flowers—which are caused by the five dualistic derangements. The vapour of their smoke spreads pollution everywhere: space, sky, and on the ground. This causes anger to the Lha. It causes the kLu to faint, sa-dag to die and the chökyong to flee far away. Those who use tobacco, will be disturbed by demons and they will fall victim to malevolent maledictions. Inauspicious signs will arise in the region. The inspirational quality of sacred sites, gompas, and statues will diminish. The spiritual sanction of Dharma will gradually vanish. The demons from remote regions of the world will invade to the centre, and these pernicious entities will seize people’s thoughts. Lamas will not live long and Dharma will diminish. Many erroneous views and beliefs will thrive. People will die from unidentified diseases. Medications, rites, and remedies will lose their power. The opulence not only of Tibet, but of the entire world and its inhabitants will diminish, and suffer famine. The root of bodhicitta will wither for those who ingest tobacco and they will fall into vajra hell. It will spread in the veins, and the poisons of the five passions will increase. The light of self-awareness will be hidden. The path of the central channel will be blocked. Even the Buddha’s phowa will have no effect at death. Even practising will give no result. Even the power of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha will not avail. Quite apart from commerce – merely smelling tobacco requires washing and sprinkling mendrüp on your body due to contact. You should also avoid cups and clothes of those who smoke.

Padmasambhava’s advice is never deceptive – therefore avoid knowingly drinking deadly poison. From today – avoid it forever, because if you are able to do so, demonic obstacles will be repelled; your eminent intention of this life and the next will be accomplished; and you will be reborn in the realised dimension of Great Bliss.

There is no better method for the peace and prosperity of the world than to avoid tobacco – and it is therefore my main mission to influence everyone with this knowledge. Through this knowledge—and by following the true path of the three jewels—may the deluded cease from ingesting this poisonous substance. May all beings spontaneously enter the non-dual state.

The gTérma of Sang-gyé Lingpa

In answer to Chögyal Trisong Détsen’s request for prophesies.

In future degenerate times—due to destructive actions and lack of merit—manifold demonic impediments will arise. From the mingling of demonic impediments with demonic maledictions, poisonous foul smelling plants came into existence. These sources of harmful drugs grew everywhere in great varieties and spread in every land.

Due to the ingestion of tobacco and other drugs, Dharma will decrease and this will enrage the Lha and Chökyong. The essential source of good fortune will disappear, and happiness will be lessened for all beings. In contradistinction, disease, war, and famine will increase. In such times, most beings will be born in lesser realms. During such degenerate times, multifarious destructive activities will manifest – such as ingesting poisonous, bad smelling barbarian drugs rather than partaking of nourishing food. Tobacco never satisfies – one always desires more. Creative activities decline through clinging to this deadly poison. One’s nose will run, and mouth drip. One’s complexion will become pallid. Maladies such as backaches, blood, lung, and liver infection will arise. Teeth will blacken and loosen. Limbs will lose strength. One will suffer loss of good eyesight and one’s memory will become as one inebriated. One’s body and dwelling place will have a disgusting smell. The poisons of one’s delusions will increase and one’s death will be sudden. One may well fall into hellish dominions for the duration of hundreds of generations.

Due to the use of tobacco and related drugs, inauspicious portents will arise in the world. The sky will sometimes darken to the colour of blood. The rays of the sun and moon will be obscured. Stars will shift and new stars will appear. Dust storms will become prevalent. The earth will lack nourishment, causing fruit and crops not to ripen in due season. The elements will become enemies and rain will not fall in due season. Drought will burn like fire and earthquakes will proliferate. Medicines and mantras will fail, food will lack nourishment. People will become weaker as their deranged conceptuality increases in strength. Due to the disturbances of the Chö-kyong and Lha and spirits, mental illness, leprosy, and incurable ailments will prevail. People will increasingly die untimely deaths and be re-born as demons to cause further damage. Fathers and sons will fight. Brothers will quarrel. Humans and animals will give birth to deformed progeny. Famine will arise due to the whirlwind of greed. War will arise due to the fire of anger. Diseases will be spawned due to the floods of ignorance.

People will suffer as grains frying in a pan, due to unskilful action, but primarily due to this useless, bad smelling drug tobacco. There are so many evils caused by this drug that they are too sad to enumerate. Those people who are devoted to me who wish to follow me, must avoid this terrible poisonous drug. Whoever is wise must avoid tobacco. Whoever wants to seek permanent happiness must avoid tobacco. Whoever wants long life free from disease must avoid tobacco. Whoever wishes for wealth and children must avoid tobacco. Whoever wishes for happiness and prosperity must avoid tobacco.

I—Padmasambhava—swear this is the truth. How can anyone who calls themselves my followers ingest this drug? May all beings refrain from ingesting this drug.

The gTérma of Düd’dül Dorje

The great gTértön Düd’dül Dorje found this gTérma in the ‘Cave of Dakini’s Secret Channel’ in Sikkim.

According to ‘The Clear Lamp of Prophesy’, Yeshé Tsogyel and Vairotsana enquired of Padmasambhava as to the causes of all the sufferings which would come to Tibet in the future – why wars would occur in foreign countries, and why the lives of great Lamas would be ignored and short-lived. Padmasambhava replied:

As a result of demonic malediction, a poisonous orb was created and ground into powder. This was dispersed in all directions by the wind. Many varieties of plants grew from this seed and some people produced powders from them to sniff – whereas some chewed it or smoked it.

There is no doubt that the destruction of Buddhism in India was caused by this plant. Chögyal Trisong Détsen of Tibet was short-lived and his lineage was broken because of the spread of tobacco in Tibet. The destruction of Tibet by the Mongolians and Chinese was due to tobacco. Wars, epidemics, famine, storms, frosts, and rot that destroy crops are due to tobacco. The great holders of religion are short-lived due to tobacco.

The power of the six demonic kings concentrated into this evil plant and it is thus the primary cause of the destruction of Buddhism. The demonic king and his retinue enter into whoever ingests tobacco, and body, speech, and mind are thus overpowered. Because of this, even practitioners will always behave contrary to their religion.

Tobacco smoke permeates the sky deluding the Lha, and guardians who dwell in the sky will be disturbed. By spitting tobacco on the earth, the kLu and the eight kinds of guardians become agitated with dreadful consequences for all beings. Any contact with tobacco leads to turmoil throughout the world.

The Lha of the sky, the kLu beneath the earth, and the beings between will be at war as a result of tobacco, and the world will be shattered. Even by breathing the fumes of tobacco carried on the wind, the lives of the great Lamas will be shortened by a year. The power of tobacco can instantly destroy the accumulation of merit and integrity of many generations. My followers of the future should therefore avoid it.

If tobacco is ingested in the centres where the teachings of the holders of the tradition of Padmasambhava are practised, they will not last long – of this there is no doubt. In the future, children of parents who have inhaled the demonic plant will be destructive by nature and exhibit destructive behaviour. In this way the body, mind and speech will be possessed by Mara. How can a decent person be born under such circumstances?

If you can avoid tobacco—following Padmasambhava’s advice—you and others will be happy. Therefore, please listen to Padmasambhava’s advice. One can never be deceived by the words of Padmasambhava – therefore my followers of the future should avoid tobacco. Even though Padmasambhava has stated that one should avoid tobacco – due to overpowering demonic influence acting on his words – it will seem like swimming against the current of a river. In the future degenerate age, beings will doubt Padmasambhava’s word and consequently experience great suffering. The slightest doubt with regard to the teachings of Padmasambhava will cause happiness to diminishing in the people of a region, and after death they will suffer for protracted periods. One should therefore, never doubt the profound teachings of Padmasambhava, and keep in mind that Padmasambhava’s word is completely true and utterly reliable.