This practice is in the lineage of Amitabha Buddha, the guru of Avalokiteshvara and is also a hidden treasure text from Guru Padmasambhava. Most of the Secret Hayagriva transmissions were brought from India to Tibet by the great Nyingmapa master Vairochana Lotsawa. The founder of Sera Je, Kunkhyen Lodro Rinchen Senge had an especially strong connection to this practice from his own father, a Nyingmapa Lama. Kunkhyen Lodro Rinchen Senge was looking for a place to build a monastery and came upon a cemetery with a thorn bush in it. He saw a red raven fly to that same thorn bush and disappear into it. A vision of the entire mandala and deity of Hayagriwa then appeared to him where the bush stood. Taking heed of these auspicious signs, he proceeded to build the first temple of Sera Je Monastery on that very site. The bush is preserved as a relic within the Hayagriva statue at Sera Je in Tibet until today. After this Lama Tsong Khapa gave his blessing for this lineage of Hayagriva to be adopted as the principal protector of the monastery, and Sera Je has maintained a strong relationship with Hayagriwa ever since.
Benefits of this practice On the relative level, the Hayagriva puja is extremely powerful against obstacles created by nagas (such as cancer, leprosy, skin diseases, etc.) and landlord spirits (which manifest as paralysis or spirit harm). The main cause is one’s negative karma but these are the precipitating conditions. It also works against epilepsy which is connected with spirits harm. Hayagriwa is the most powerful antidote against these conditions. Especially during degenerate times, sentient beings have so many sufferings and illnesses like sudden deaths or being struck down by cancer. Such degeneration is related to our degenerate minds and the power and strength of our delusions. Praying to Hayagriva, Black Manjushri and Vajrapani is strongly recommended during such degenerate times. On the Ultimate Level, Hayagriva puja controls the gross, subtle and extremely subtle minds which leads to the actualisation of the clear light and truth body (Dharmakaya).