42 Peaceful Dieties
58 Wrathful Dieties
Legend has it that the Hundred Deities text first descended on the rooftop of the Indian King Ja's palace. Realizing its importance, the King practiced the Hundred Deities text for six months. Then, the golden body of Vajrapani, measuring one inch tall, appeared and bestowed blessings upon the King allowing him to have full understanding of the text. It was King Ja who transmitted the Hundred Deities' teachings to our beloved Guru Padmasambhava. While on his way to West South of Roksha, Guru Padmasambhava also transmitted the Hundred Deities' teachings to his disciples. Lady Yeshe Tshogyal used golden ink to inscribe the teachings on a piece of paper and concealed it in a cave for the benefit of future generations. The teachings were later revealed by Karma Lingpa, who transmitted it to his disciple, Orthon Jiangpon and all the way down to our Palyul lineage master, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche.
Whoever sees, hears or touches the text of the Hundred Deities will be blessed. If one is able to receive the Hundred Deities Empowerment, practice it and abide by the samaya (precepts). The devoted practitioner will gain realization, be cleared of all obstacles for this lifetime and also have all their wishes come true. Then in their next life, they will be able to realize the nature of the Hundred Deities within them.
During the Ceremony, we call upon the Hundred Deities and make offerings to them. The merits accumulated from these offerings are dedicated to the deceased to help them in their karma purification and liberation. The prayer will also help awaken the consciousness and eliminate the desire of the souls in the Bardo (intermediate period between death and rebirth) so that they may be liberated and may take rebirth in Amitabha Buddha's Pure Land instead of the six realms of Samsara (wheel of existence).
At the end of the ritual, the paper tablets with the names of the deceased are burnt. The fire symbolizes the wisdom of the Hundred Deities and the act of burning represents the cutting of the attachment of the deceased from the notion of "ego" or "self" (which is the cause of one's sufferings). It is said that through this ceremony, the consciousness of the deceased are merged together with the wisdom of the Hundred Deities bringing the deceased to their liberation.
For those who participate and make offerings in the Hundred Deities Prayer ceremony, it is said that they will also accumulate immeasurable merits and also extinguish bad or negative karmic connections with the deceased