Shantideva: The Seven Limb Prayer

Shantideva: The Seven Limb Prayer

I take safe direction, till my purified state, from the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Highest Assembly. By the positive force of my giving and so on, may I actualize Buddhahood to help those who wander.

May the surface of the land in every direction be pure, without even a pebble, as smooth as the palm of a child’s hand, naturally polished, as is a beryl gem.

May divine and human objects of offering, actually arrayed and those envisioned as peerless clouds of Samantabhadra offerings, completely fill the sphere of space.

(1) I prostrate to all you Buddhas who have graced the three times, to the Dharma and to the Highest Assembly, bowing down with bodies as numerous as all the atoms of the world.

(2) Just as Manjushri and others have made offerings to you, the Triumphant, so do I, too, make offerings to you, my Thusly Gone Guardians, and to your spiritual offspring.

(3) Throughout my beginningless samsaric existence, in this and other lives, I’ve unwittingly committed negative acts, or caused others to commit them, and further, oppressed by the confusion of naivety, I’ve rejoiced in them – whatever I’ve done, I see them as mistakes and openly declare them to you, my Guardians, from the depths of my heart.

(4) With pleasure, I rejoice in the ocean of positive force from your having developed bodhichitta aims to bring every limited being joy and in your deeds that have aided limited beings.

(5) With palms pressed together, I beseech you Buddhas of all directions: please shine Dharma’s lamp for limited beings suffering and groping in darkness.

(6) With palms pressed together, I beseech you Triumphant who would pass beyond sorrow: I beg you, remain for countless eons so as not to leave in their blindness these wandering beings.

(7) By whatever positive force I’ve built up through all of these that I’ve done like that, may I remove every suffering of all limited beings.

By directing and offering to the Buddha-fields this base, anointed with fragrant waters, strewn with flowers, and decked with Mount Meru, four islands, a sun, and a moon, may all those who wander be led to pure lands. 

Om idam guru ratna mandala-kam nir-yatayami. I send forth this mandala to you precious gurus.

Yan-lag drug-gi smon-lam” from Shantideva, “Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior” (sPyod-‘jug, Skt. Bodhisattvacharya-avatara) translated by Alexander Berzin.