For those who have taken initiation, at this point the prayer can be varied to suit individual paths of practice, and individual preferences. The Guru-Lama usually indicated a yidam or divine form of the Buddha which is specially beneficial for us. The following are short shlokas or verses, which may well come into daily prayers, and which can later be expanded, according to the yidam chosen.
OF THE GURU RINPOCHE
The great Indian Guru-Lama who established the Buddhist religion firmly in Tibet in the eighth century A.D. was Guru Padma Sambhava. It was he who founded the Temple and Monastery of Samye and opened for Tibet the Treasury of the Tantric Teach ings. Known as Guru Rinpoche, or the great Lama Jewel, he is well-known for his manifold esoteric powers that defeated all the enemies of Dharma. He is called Pema Jungnes or the Lotus Born, as he appeared miraculously in the heart of a lotus in the Lake of Rewalsar, in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, the mountain state of India. The nun Princess of Mandi, Maildarava there became his spiritual disciple.
Rewalsar is still a place of pilgrimage. The tenth day of the moon, every month is specially sacred to the Guru Rinpoche, and special prayers are said on that day, and on certain occasions in the year when he promised to appear to those who were devoted to him. He is regarded as a special protector of Tibet.
INVOCATION TO THE GURU LOTUS BORN
Born in the North-West country of Urgyen,
In the pollen heart of the lotus,
Marvellous is the perfection of your attainment
And therefore are you famous as the Lotus Born.
Surrounded by your circle of many dakinis
It is you in whose footsteps I tread
Give me your blessing and come to me.
From your supremely sacred place
Deign to give me the supreme attainment of the four initiations
Removing all bad spirits, hindrances, and obstacles,
Bestow on me the siddhis, both transcending and ordinary -
Repeat the mantra many times:
OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG
Another prayer can be said:
0 Guru Rinpoche, the Buddha of Past, Present, and Future,
Master of the Siddhis, always in the great bliss,
I bow at your feet.
Remover of all hindrances; showing yourself
In angry form to drive away delusions,
To you I am praying: pour your blessings on me.
May all disturbances - outer, inner and secret -
Grant that all our aspirations may be fulfilled.
OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG
Repeat many times
Of your mercy, bless us.
Of your compassion, help us on the Path.
From your mind, bestow on us the siddhis most perfect;
By your powers, may all the hindrances of myself and others
From outside, may the outer hindrances be removed.
Inwardly may the inner hindrances be removed.
Of themselves may the secret hindrances disappear.
In devotion I bow in homage, and take my refuge in you.
In his form of the Compassionate One, the Buddha manifests himself to alleviate the sufferings of the six worlds......... those of the Gods and the Asuras; the human world; the world of animals; the ghosts or unsatisfied spirits; and the worlds of unremitting suffering that we call the heirs. Avalokiteshwara, who is called in Tibetan, Chenrezi or "Glancing Eye" manifests in his earthly form as H. H. the Dalai Lama and H. H. Gyalwa Karmapa. Chenrezi has many forms, but he is usually shown as a figure of great beauty, white in colour, with four arms, one of which holds the lotus and the other a crystal mala on which he says his famous mantra:
OM MANE PADME HUM
Two arms hold a jewel-the mani ratna - to his heart.
INVOCATION TO THE COMPASSIONATE ONE
Faultless one, of pure white colour,
With the Fully Enlightened Buddha as the decoration on your head,
Looking with greatly merciful eyes on all that lives:
To Chenrezi I reverently bow.
Repeat his mantra many times, to help all suffering beings,
Identify His compassion with your own:
OM MANE PADME HUM
For purification say the long mantra:
OM AMOGA SILA / SAMBHARA SAMBHARA / BHARA BHARA / MAHA SHUDDHA SATTVA / PEMA BHIBHU SHITA BHUNTSA / DHARA DHARA / SAMANTA AVALOKETE HUNG PHAT SWAHA.
Beloved of Students and lamas is the Mahabodhisattva Manjusri, who is the Buddha in the Wisdom Aspect. He is called in Tibetan: Jambeyang. "The sweet-voiced one" is a being of the uttermost delicacy and purity, not easy to realise, and he is therefore often worshipped and meditated on in his form as indivisible with the learned lama.. guru. He manifests in his earthy form as H.H. the Sakya Trizin, head of the Sakya line. In his right hand he brandishes aloft the sword of discriminating knowledge, flaming with transcending wisdom. In his left hand is a lotus on which the books of the Perfection of Wisdom are resting.
It is said that when five hundred Buddhist mahapandits or greatly learned professors were asked to produce some poetry in praise of Jambeyang, they all produced identical verses. These are daily said by students before starting their studies, and the mantra is recited every morning early :
OM ARAPACHANA DHI........ or, in Tibetan, OM AHRA PATSA NA DHI.
The beej or seed syllable DHI Is repeated at the end of a few mantras
and said an endless number of times:
DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI and so on. The more correct rendering for those who understand Sanscrit phoenetics is DHIH
PRAYER TO THE BUDDHA IN HIS WISDOM ASPECT
He who has the supreme intellect, free of the clouds of the two veils,
Like the sun shedding a glorious light that is utterly pure.
He who knows all meanings whatsoever, of perfect realisation,
Holding to his heart the books of the Perfection of Wisdom.
Those who live in the world are the prisoners of ignorance,
Afflicted by the darkness of suffering.
Looking on all beings like a mother caring for an only child,
You have a voice which has sixty separate tones.
Roaring like a dragon you wake people up from the steep of craving
Shatter the shackles of Karma, dispersing the darkness of ignorance,
You cut down the seedlings of suffering with the blade in your hand.
Pure from the beginning, you have attained the Ten Levels
of the Bodhisattva Path,
0 chief of the Buddha's spiritual sons, whose body is full of virtues.
Adorned with the hundred and twelve attributes of the Buddha,
To Jambeyang, with the uttermost reverence, I bow down.
Jetsun Dolma, or Arya Tara as she is called in Sanscrit, has a special place in the hearts of those on the Bodhisattva Path. As the helper of Chenrezi, symbolically born of the tear that fell from his eye when he saw the agonies of the world, Jetsun Dolma comes in two forms, the white and the green. In her green form, of the colour of the lakes of melted snow in the mountains, she removes difficulties and dangers, and blesses the devotees with perfect wisdom. In her white form, with seven eyes (four being on her hands and feet) she represents increase of transcending knowledge, long life, and progress in spiritual attainment.
PRAYER TO THE MOTHER OF THE BUDDHAS
She who is the ruling queen of the gods and the asuras,
Whose sacred foot is resting on the lotus,
She who removes all difficulties whatsoever -
To Dolma, who is the Mother, I bow down.
Most beautiful in his rainbow silks and jewels is the glorious Buddha of Limitless Life, Amitayus. In Tibetan, he is called Tsepagmed. Like all the Celestial Buddhas, he is shown in a Buddha palace, made of rare and precious stones. Like Jetsun Dolma, he removes all the dangers of untimely death, and bestows a long and happy life and freedom from sickness on his devotees.
INVOCATION TO THE BUDDHA OF LIMITLESS LIFE
In this world our greatest saviour is the Buddha Amitayus,
He who removes all the dangers of untimely death.
Help of the helpless, who comes to our aid when we have
no protector against suffering :
To the Buddha of Limitless Life I bow down.
Repeat the mantra many times OM AMARANI JIWANTIYE SWAHA
One day we receive the higher initiations and we can put our foot on the deeper path. Before that time comes and even afterwards, we pray that we may be worthy of it. This is a prayer written by the Guru called the first Jamgon Khontrul Rinpoche:
PRAYER FOR THE DEEP PATH
May my mind become the fit vessel for the deeper path
In the attainment of the Saddharma may there be no hindrances.
May, the power of Sunyata ( wisdom ) and compassion
become perfect in us:
Their union in the Buddha who holds the Vajra,
may we attain it.
The helper of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is she who is called the Queen of the Vajra, or the Vajra Yogini. She is a powerful protector against the dangers of the way, and in her form of the Vajra Varahi removes all the delusions and grossness of the lower mind. Born of the Dharmadhatu, figure of light, she represents the union of wisdom (voidness) and means that leads to the enlightenment of Buddhahood.
INVOCATION TO THE VAJRA YOGINI
She who is the transcendental knowledge of the Prajna Paramita,
Mother of the Buddhas,
Enfolded with the supreme bliss, inseparably,
She who wears the countenance of the Earth-Digger
removing all delusions,
May the Vajra Varahi always reciting PHEM protect me.
At the end of the sadhana we pray for the long-life of the lama gurus, and begin with the
PRAYER FOR THE LONG LIFE OF HIS HOLINESS KARMAPA
OM SWASTI SIDDHAM
Marvellous is your sublime body of transcendent knowledge,
Sinless, realised, an ocean of virtues : such is your nature.
The Victorious Ones, the Buddhas of the Past, Present and Future,
Are all in you, 0 Karmapa:
Rangjung Rikpi Dorje, Vajra of Spontaneous understanding,
May you live long:
Remaining in the Dharmadhatu, always adept in the inner activity,
Still you care for us and show your form in this wheel of existence.
Marvellous it is: that which is difficult to achieve,
An the three times, you have achieved.
You are the D harma Ruler of the Three Spheres:
You from whom the Teaching of Buddha radiates like the sun
May you live long.
Whoever has seen you, heard you, or been touched by you
His foot is on path to liberation.
Wisdom, love and power stream from you, shining in radiance.
Thousands of rays, auspicious, emerge from you
Removing the darkness of the Three Worlds:
You who make the garden of happiness and well - being come to flower,
May you live long .........
The three Teachings and the Sila immaculate adorn you.
The three skills: listening to the Dharma, contemplating on it, and meditating :
In your mind all have reached perfection, and you can bring others to liberation.
You who fulfill the Buddha activity as did the Bodhisattvas of old,
May you live long
You who understand the teachings that are beyond sect,
And the secret path of realisation of the Kagyudpa line,
That Dharma that is immaculate, and the pure and perfect method
of teaching it-
The whole world you fill with it at this auspicious time
Great saviour, may you live long.
Miraculous beyond thought are the countless forms
That, like an ocean, you show to the world.
Living and dying are only words for you.
Away from all signs; the absolute, the unborn:
Possessing the power of all the Buddhas, all-knowing, all seeing,
May your lotus feet remain with us for a hundred aeons:
May your mercy, which is indestructible like the Vajra
Remain in this world.
Now, with deep devotion, from my heart I am praying to you.
By the blessing of the Kagyudpa lamas, may all come to be,
May the true meaning of my prayer be fulfilled:
May all that is good and righteous spread everywhere.
As long as Tibet remains in the memory and hearts of men the prayer for the Lama-King of the land of snows will be said..
THE LONG-LIFE PRAYER OF H. H. THE DALAI LAMA
In that Paradise of Tibet, that is ringed with the snows
All happiness and benefits limitless are born of you,
0 Tenzin Gyatso, in whom the spirit of Chenrezi resides
May your lotus feet remain with us till wheel of Samsara ends.
Then, as the Buddhas in the past have always shared the merit,we also share it ;
SHARING THE MERIT
By this merit, may I become enlightened
Having become enlightened, may I defeat all evils.
Through the endless storm of birth, illness, old age and death
May I help all beings to cross the ocean of the suffering of the worlds.
May the day be well and the night be well,
And the midday hours bring happiness too;
May both day and night always be well-
By the blessing of the Triple Gem may all be auspicious.
PRAISE OF THE TRIPLE GEM
THE MOUNTAIN OF GOLD
He who has all that is most excellent, a mountain of gold,
Protector of the Three Worlds, whose mind is clear of all the three stains,
Buddha of the open lotus, whose eyes are like petals:
In the universe the first Mangala virtue comes from Him.
From the Buddha comes the unutterably highest teaching, the steadfast,
In the Three World famed, that to which men and gods make offering,
The Saddharma, giving peace to all that is born :
In the universe the second Mangala virtue comes from this.
The Holy Community who preserve the Dharma, the ones who hear it,
rich in things auspicious,
For devas, and men and the asuras, the sacred Field of Offering,
This holy Sangha, transcendent, modest, the basis of the higher knowledge
In the universe,the third Mangala virtue comes from Them.
PRAYER TO THE PROTECTOR OF THIS BOOK
At the feet of the great Vajra Mahakala I bow down. To you I offer a great pile of oblations, beyond thought, like a cloud. My failings without number, conscious or born of lack of knowledge...... by this penitence may they be purified. In your powers of removing evil, shining in your perfect purity of higher realisation, A rejoice. Arise, I pray you turn the Wheel of Dharma with an ocean of Buddha Activity. Remain always with us; do not go into Nirvana, we beseech you. Never forget all that lives: may we always be inseparable from you.
Maywe attain the Great Enlightenment without any hindrance.
From missing anything, or doing anything wrong, for sins of misunderstanding which we have committed or caused others to commit, O Protectors of the Dharma, be patient and forgive us.
These prayers have been translated from the old Tibetan texts by the Buddhist nun, Karma Tsultim Khechog Palmo, with the help of the Lamas, Chosgyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Topgah Rinpoche, and Karma Thinley Rinpoche.
They were completed in the Monastery Wreathed in a Thousand Rays of Rainbow Light, known as the Dharma Chakra Centre, in Rumtek, Sikkim, in the Rainy Season Retreat of the Buddha, in the summer of the year I969. By virtue thereof may all beings, numberless as the grains of sand on the banks of the Ganges, have the Darshan or sacred Sight of the Karmapa in this very lifetime, and after death reach the bliss of the blessed Buddhafields.
'OF ALL GIFTS, SUPREME IS THE GIFT OF THE TEACHING OF THE BUDDHA.'
Reprinted by Mandala,
P.O.Box 15438, Vlaeberg, Cape Town South Africa, October 1974.
The Original First Edition ends with:
This book comes to you as the bounty of
His Majesty the King of Bhutan
founder of monasteries, protector of the Sangha
Published by the nun Karma Khechog Palmo, of the Karma Drubgyu Tharjay Ling Mahayana Buddhist Nunnery, Tilokpur, (Kangra) H.P. in the Holy Land of India in 1970.
Illustrated by Tashi Gyamtso, refugee Tibetan artist.
PRINTED AT: EMJEET PRINTERS NEW DELHI
Electronic Edition August 21st 1999.
It is Offered in Devotion to the Memory of The Venerable Gelongma K.K. Palmo to help spread the Ocean of the Mahayana, by Samten de Wet and Sheila Fugard.
Garland of Morning Prayers Part I