Shijie and Chod

The Shije lineage of Phadampa Sangye is also known as the Pacification of Suffering and is part of the major traditions in Tibet. Padampa Sangye’s disciple Machik Lapdron established Mahamudra Chod, the only lineage that originated in Tibet and was taken back to India.  Chod is more of a specific spiritual practice followed by various schools that follows the Prajnaparamita Sutras with specific meditation methods and tantric ritual. It literally means “to sever” and is known as “Cutting Through the Ego.” It has never been considered a separate school, but is more of a tradition or lineage. Since it developed outside the monastic systems, it has been adopted by all four of the main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Machig Lobdron, founder of the Mahamudra Chod lineages, is nown as the Mother of Chod, while Padampa Sangye is known as the Father of Chod. There is more on him in the story of Kamashila. It’s ritual involve self-sacrifice. The practitioner visualizes his or her own body as the offering at a tantric feast (ganachakra) in order to engender a sense of victory and fearlessness. The victory banner or dhvaja and the ritual knife or kartika are used to symbolize overcoming obstacles and the cutting through the ego.