Sanskrit：Vajra-sattva. Vajra is pronounced as benza, meaning hard as diamond, sattva means courageous or sentient being. In Tibetan, Vajrasattva is known as Rdo rje sems dpa, meaning Diamond Being or Thunderbolt Being. He is the esoteric aspect of the bodhisattva
Vajrasattva is a deity who is very effective in purifying negativities. Vajrasattva purification practice is usually among one of the traditional Tibetan tantric preliminary practices. Recitation of Vajrasattva root mantra 100 000 times with proper visualisation can eradicate all sins, thus it is highly valued. Even in the higher tantric ritual like Yamantaka and Vajrayogini ritual, there is also Vajrasattva practice.
There are rituals for Vajrasattva yoga tantra and Vajrasattva anuttarayoga tantra. In the yoga tantra ritual, Vajrasattva typically appears with one face and two arms; his right hand holds a vajra at his heart level while his left hand holds a bell resting upon his left thigh; his body is crystal white, completely luminous and pure. In anuttarayoga tantra ritual, he appears with a consort. Though Vajrasattva appears differently, there is no good or bad, the different appearances and practice rituals are for practitioners of different calibre and capacity.
Many people have this doubt: Why is the Vajrasattva 100-syllable mantra recited with different pronunciations?
This due to the different sections; in the Tara ritual, it is called Padma 100-syllable mantra as it belongs to the Lotus section; in the Yamantaka ritual, it is called Yamantaka 100-syllable mantra; in the Vajrayogini ritual, it is called Heruka 100-syllable mantra; in the common Vajra section’s repentance practice, it is called Vajra 100-syllable mantra, and the like. Though it is pronounced differently, there is no difference in its effect, one just need to practice according to one’s lineage.
Under normal circumstances, by the time practitioners finished the service visualisation and recitation of the 100-syllable mantra 100 000 times according to the instructions given, most will have signs of sins and obscurations being purified, like dreaming of black smoke and poisonous fluid seeping out of one’s body; snake, scorpions and worms being discharged from one’s body, one being able to fly in the sky and the like. If one has such dreams frequently, it means that one has already eliminated the cause for non-humans and evil spirits to harm oneself as well as most of one’s negative karma.