HH Dalai Lama: Prayer for the Flourishing of the Non-Sectarian Teachings of the Buddha

A Prayer for the Flourishing of the Non-Sectarian Teachings of the Buddha

by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Embodiment of the four kayas, omniscient Lord Buddha ‘Kinsman of the Sun,’

Amitayus, Amitabha, supreme and noble Avalokiteshvara,

Manjughosha, Vajrapani the Lord of Secrets, and Tara who wears a wrathful frown,

The victorious buddhas and all their bodhisattva heirs,

Seven Great Patriarchs, Six Ornaments and Two Supreme Ones,

Eighty Mahasiddhas and Sixteen Arhats

All of you who seek only to benefit the teachings and beings,

All you great beings without exception, turn your attention towards us!

The supreme sage Shakyamuni spent countless aeons

Completing the two accumulations of merit and wisdom,

To attain perfect wisdom, love and capacity. Through the power of this truth,

Long may the complete teachings of the Buddha continue to flourish!

Khenpo Shantarakshita, Guru Padmasambhava and the Dharma King Trisong Deutsen,

Were the first to open up the land of snowy mountains to the light of Buddha’s teachings.

Through the power of their aspirations and those of all the translators, panditas, vidyadharas and disciples,

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

In the treasure-palace that is the Buddha’s extensive teachings,

The profound class of sadhanas are like great Dharma treasures,

And the profound and vast teachings of Nyingtik sparkle with brilliant light.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

Within the vast expanse of primordial purity and the essence of luminosity,

All the phenomena of samsara and nirvana are perfectly complete—this pinnacle vehicle

Is the method for reaching the primordial stronghold of Samantabhadra.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

The two major lineages—profound view and vast conduct—

Are both complete within the treasury of instructions mastered by Atisha,

The tradition of practical instructions passed on by Dromtön Gyalwé Jungné.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

The Words of the Buddha gathered in the three scriptural collections were

Wonderfully arranged into instructions for beings of the three levels of spiritual capacity,

As the golden rosary of Kadampa teachings, with their four deities and three sets of texts.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

The jewel treasury of the Kagyü teachings is a source of inspiration and blessings,

Coming from the translator Marpa, Milarepa Shepé Dorje and the rest,

A marvellous system of instruction from an unrivalled succession of masters.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

All the phenomena of samsara and nirvana are the radiance of the natural mind,

And mind itself, free from complexity, is realized as the essence of the dharmakaya.

This is the great seal, Mahamudra, pervading all that appears and exists throughout samsara and nirvana.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

Learned masters who guard the Buddha’s teachings through explanation, debate and composition,

On the key instructions of hundreds of texts for the outer and inner sciences, sutra and mantra,

This is the Sakyapa tradition of the great compassionate teachers from the divine family of Khön.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

The extremely profound and crucial points of the practice of Lamdré, the path and its fruit,

With its four criteria of validity, have been passed on in a whispered aural lineage,

The tradition of special instructions coming from Virupa, the powerful lord of yogins.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

Teachings of the victorious Lobzang Drakpa, skilfully combining the profound and the clear,

By perfectly uniting the profound view of the Middle Way

And the two-phase approach of the great and secret Vajra vehicle.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

This is the supreme and noble tradition for practising,

Without mistake, the essence and gradual stages of the path,

Which incorporates all three pitakas and all four classes of tantra,

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

The combined traditions of Butön and Jonang, the transmission of instruction and realization,

For the outer, inner and alternative cycles of the Kalachakra Tantra,

Including unique explanations, not to be found in any other sutra or tantra.

Long may these teachings of the Buddha flourish in the Land of Snows!

In short, may all the teachings of the Buddha in the Land of Snows

Flourish long into the future— the ten great pillars of the study lineage,

And the chariots of the practice lineage, such as Shijé (‘Pacifying’) and the rest,

All of them rich with their essential instructions combining sutra and mantra.

May the lives of the masters who uphold these teachings be secure and harmonious!

May the sangha preserve these teachings through their study, meditation and activity!

May the world be filled with faithful individuals intent on following these teachings!

And long may the non-sectarian teachings of the Buddha continue to flourish!

Throughout all the worlds, may war, conflict, famine and evil thoughts or actions

Be eradicated entirely, so that even their names are no longer heard!

May the minds of beings be infused with love! May signs of virtue increase throughout the environment and beings!

And may an ocean of happiness and wellbeing pervade throughout the whole of space!

From this moment on, may I follow the complete path of the teachings,

Arouse the vast motivation of bodhichitta, and exert myself

In study, reflection and meditation upon the profound view,

So that I swiftly reach the ground of temporary and ultimate happiness!

For the sake of all sentient beings, who are as infinite as space,

May I engage in the activity of the buddhas and bodhisattvas,

Without ever feeling discouraged or falling prey to laziness,

Always remaining joyful, with confidence and enthusiasm!

May my body, my possessions and all my merits,

Contribute towards the happiness of beings—my very own mothers,

And may whatever sufferings they are forced to undergo,

All ripen directly upon me!

May all who see me, hear my voice, think of me or put their trust in me,

Experience the most glorious happiness and virtue!

And may even those who insult, punish, strike or disparage me,

Gain the good fortune to set out upon the path to awakening!

In short, for as long as space endures,

And for as long as there is suffering among beings,

May I too remain, to bring them benefit and happiness,

In all ways, directly and also indirectly!

The enlightened activity of the transcendent and victorious Buddha—our teacher who embodies immeasurable compassion, and has seen the nature and the multiplicity of all illusory phenomena—radiates everywhere, as far as space itself. His complete teachings of the Hinayana, Mahayana and Secret Mantra have become the most beloved treasures of Tibetan practitioners. The various traditions have developed their own specific names and terminology, according to how they have been preserved and spread by various great masters and holders of the teachings who made powerful aspirations for the preservation of the Buddhadharma. This is a prayer for these precious non-sectarian teachings of the Buddha to remain without declining in the Land of Snows, and spread widely even in this final age, as a glorious expression of the merit of beings. For a while now, I myself have thought that there should be an aspiration prayer such as this, and then I was also requested to compose one by Bardrok Chuzang Trinley Gyatso, the incarnation of Phadampa Sangye, and by several others with faithful aspirations. In particular, I received a request from Dzarong Zhadeu Trulshik Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö Rinpoche, the great upholder of the Vinaya, who maintains and furthers the transmission of vows for the Lower Vinaya (Medül) lineage coming from Lachen Gongpa Rabsel, and who clarifies the Ngagyur Nyingma teachings and enthusiastically takes the non-sectarian buddhist teachings to heart. So, as someone who has developed faith through learning something of the Dharma taught by the Buddha, and who has devotion and pure perception towards all the non-sectarian teachings of the victorious one, I, the buddhist monk Tenzin Gyatso, who diligently pursues study, reflection and meditation, wrote this prayer 2543 years after the Buddha’s parinirvana, in the Tibetan year 2126, on the thirteenth day of the first month of the Earth Hare year in the seventeenth calendrical cycle (28th February 1999), at Thekchen Chöling Monastery, Dharamsala in the Kangra district of the state of Himachal Pradesh in the noble land of India.

May the buddhas and bodhisattvas grant their blessings so that this prayer may be fulfilled! And may virtue and goodness increase!

Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2005. Many thanks to Matthew Pistono for his helpful suggestions.

Mahakashyapa, Ananda, Shanavasika, Upagupta, Dhitika, Krishna and Mahasudarshana.

Nagarjuna and Aryadeva (the ornaments of Madhyamika), Asanga and Vasubandhu (the ornaments of Abhidharma) and Dharmakirti and Dignaga (the ornaments of Pramana).

Gunaprabha and Shakyaprabha.

The Sixteen Arhats, or literally Elders (Sthaviras), were Angaja, Ajita, Vanavasin, Kalika, Vajriputra, Shribhadra, Kanakavatsa, Kanakbharadvaja, Bakula, Rahula, Chudapanthaka, Pinadola Bharadvaja, Panthaka, Nagasena, Gopaka and Abheda.

The four deities are Shakyamuni, Avalokiteshvara, Tara and Achala. The three sets of texts are the three pitakas: vinaya, sutra and abhidharma.

Valid scripture (lung tshad ma), valid commentaries (bstan bcos tshad ma), valid teachers (bla ma tshad ma) and valid experience (nyams myong tshad ma).

Thönmi Sambhota, Bairotsana, Kawa Peltsek, Chokru Lu’i Gyaltsen, Shyang Yeshe De, Dromtön Gyalwa Jungné, Rinchen Zangpo, Ngok Lotsawa Loden Sherab, Sakya Pandita and Gö Khukpa Lhetse.

These are the three ‘wheels’ or spheres of dharmic activity: the study sphere of listening and reflection, the renunciation sphere of meditation and the action sphere of spiritual work.


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