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Karmapa Black Pills

One important aspect of the Karmapa's enlightened activity is to make andbless a very special substance, given in the form of small black pills,called rilnak.
They are believed to bring extraordinary blessing, through the power of interdependence,
from the Karmapa to the people who wear them or, in the face of dangerous circumstances, eat them.
They are usually carried as a blessing and protection, often in a relic box worn around the neck or on the body.
If ingested at the time of death, they are believed to aid liberation, by the power of connection with the Karmapa,
causing one to meet him in the form of Avalokiteshvara and be guided by him to a better condition.

The pills are rare and it is considered highly fortunate to have the chance to take one before dying.
The pills are also a support in sickness. In case of serious illness, they may bring a physical improvement or remission that seems impossible.
Modern doctors in communist China have been nonplussed bythe results of the pills,
which they have researched and found to be extraordinarily but inexplicably effective.
There have been many cases of people very near to death gaining a years remission, during which time many special things happen in their life,
making death itself less traumatic forthe patient and those left behind.
The pills often remove the bitterness and depression that can afflict those with chronic serious illness,
giving courage and a certain peace.

The Karmapa pills are made by His Holiness using special ingredients,some of them relics, such as a plough
used by Marpa the Translator and astone building implement used by Jetsun Milarepa.
It is the latter that give the rilnak their black colour.

His Holiness picks several lamas of pure conduct and strong spirituality
to help him in the actual making of the pills.
They rise early on the chosenday of fabrication, cleanse themselves and recite a special prayer known as the guru yoga of the 8th Karmapa.
Later while rolling the tiny (about 1 mm)pills, they recite the mantra Karmapa Chenno.
The Karmapa makes the mixture for the pills from a tsampa base,
to which are added precious ingredients from the relic treasury. He rolls larger (3-4 mm) 'mother' pills himself.
From the 'dough', enough pills are rolled to fill the 3rd Karmapa's begging bowl to about two thirds.
At the end of the day, it is covered with the robe of the 3rd Karmapa and laid on a cloth where it remains overnight.

During the night the pills multiply, spilling over onto the surrounding cloth.
Multiplication is one of the extraordinary qualities attributed tothe Karmapa mother pills, sometimes even the smaller pills.
A very rational surgeon who shunned the 'miraculous' side of Buddhism, was astounded to find that the pill he had been given and worn had turned into seven of the same size.

There are many similar accounts of this happening.
One lama carried afew mother pills around with him in a small case and had a constant supplyof 'baby' pills to give for the very sick and dying.
Some say that the pills reproduce in the presence of a virtuous mind.

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