Tsongkhapa Prayers

1. Gaden Lhagyama

Je Tsongkhapa embodies the Bodhisattvas of Compassion (Avalokiteshvara or Kuan Yin), Wisdom (Manjushri) and Power (Vajrapani). Connecting with Je Tsongkhapa by thinking of him with faith, reciting his holy mantra, meditating on his omnipresence and practising his Guru Yoga blesses us with a deep sense of peace and clarity of mind we never thought possible. It is simple, complete and effective for today’s modern individual.

Invocation
GA-DEN HLA-JI NGON-JYI THUG-KA NEY
RAP-KAR SHO-SAR PUNG-DEE CHU-DZIN TSER
CHO-KYI GYEL-PO KUN-CHEN LOZANG DRAG
SEY-DANG CHE-PA NE-DIR SHEG SU SOL

From the heart of the Lord of the Gaden devas(Maitreya Buddha)
emerges a brilliant white cloud, like a great mass of fresh yoghurt.
Atop sits Tsongkhapa all knowing, King of Dharma;
we request your coming to this place along with your great disciples.

 

Requesting to stay
DUN-JYI NAM-KHAR SING-TI PEE-DEE TENG
JE-TSUN LA-MA JYEH-PI DZUM-KAR CHYEN
DAG-LO DE-PE SO-NAM SHING-CHOG TU
TAN-PA JYEH-SHIR KAL-DJAR JUG-SU SOL

My Lord Guru is seated before me upon a lion-throne, lotus and moon cushion.
His body is white and he smiles blissfully.
Please remain many eons and serve as the great merit field for the growth of my mind’s faith,
and for the increase of Lord Buddha’s teachings.

 

Prostration and praise
SHE-JYEH CHON-KUN JAL-WEY LO-DO THUG
KAL-ZANG NA-WEY JYIN-JUR LIK-SHEY SUNG
DRAG-PI PEL-JYI HLAM-MER DZEY-PI KU
THONG-THO DRAN PI DON DHAN LA-CHAG TSAL

His omniscient wisdom-mind encompasses all that is existent.
His voice is a profound teaching, which ornaments the ear of the fortunate pupil.
His body’s beautiful radiance evokes wondrous admiration.
To Lama Tsongkhapa whom merely viewing, hearing or contemplating earns one great merit, I make prostration.

 

Offering
YIH-WONG TCHO-YON NA-TSOG ME-TOG DANG
DRI-JEM DUG-PO NANG-SAL DRID-CHAB SOG
NGO-SHAM YIH TUL TCHO-TIN GYA-TSO DI
SO-NAM SHING-CHOG CHE-LA CHO-PA BUL

I present to you, great field of merit, Tsongkhapa,
beautiful offerings, water, a display of flowers, fragrant incense,
butter-lamps, perfumes and more both physical and mental offerings,
vast as the clouds and wide as the ocean.

 

Confession 
DAG-GI TO-MEY DU-NEH SAG-PA YI
LU-NGAG YIH-KYI DIG-PA CHI-JYI DANG
CHEY-PA DOM-PA SUM-JI MI-TUN SHO
NYING-NEH JO-PA TRAH-PO SO-SOR SHAG

The unwholesome actions of body, speech and mind,
which I have accumulated over a measureless period,
especially actions contrary to the three vows (VinayaBodhisattvaVajrayana),
I regret extremely from the depths of my heart, and I reveal each and every such action.

 

Rejoicing
NIK-MI DU-DIR MANG-THO DRUP-LA TSON
CHO-JYED PANG-PI DAL-JOR DON-YO SHYE
NGON-PO CHEY-KYI LAP-CHEN DZE-PA LA
DAG-CHAG SAM-PA TAG-PEH YI RANG NGO

We totally rejoice in your magnificent achievements, my Lord,
who received numerous teachings and performed the practices with utmost diligence,
who abandoned the eight worldly objectives
and made the most meaningful use of the eighteen opportune conditions during these degenerate times.

 

Request to turn the wheel of Dharma
JE-TSUN LA-MA DAM-PA CHEY-NAM KYI
CHO-KU KA-LA CHEN-TI TIN-TIK NEY
JI-TAR TSAM-PI DUL-SHIH DZIN-MA LA
ZAB-JI CHO-KYI CHAR-PA WHAP-TU SOL

All you holy Gurus, unerring in conduct,
may you precipitate a rain of realisation of Bodhicitta and Shunyata
from the clouds of all-knowing compassion which fills the Dharmakaya sky,
providing for the field of disciples precisely what is needed.

 

Requesting to remain
NAM-DAG WO-SAL YING-LEY JING-PA YI
ZUNG-JUG KU-LA CHAR-NUB MI-NGA YANG
THA-MAL HNANG-NGOR ZUG-KU RAG-PA NYI
SEE-THEE BAR-DU MI-NUB TAN-PA SHUG

May the Vajra body of Tsongkhapa created from the purity of clear light,
free of the rising and setting of cyclic existence
but visible to the ordinary viewer only in its unsubtle, physical form,
stay on unchanging, without waning, until Samsara ends.

 

Dedication
DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PA JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHOG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others,
beneficially serve all sentient beings and the Buddhadharma
and especially may the essential teachings of the unerring master Tsongkhapa,
become clear and enduring.

 

Migtsema (Mantra of Je Tsongkhapa)

This can be recited anytime, anywhere, as many times as possible.  It has the benefits of receiving the blessings of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani.

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB
(Recite 21x or more, depending on time)

Je Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the holy Masters of the land of snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of Compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great Master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Drakpa,
I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.
(Recite 21x or more, depending on time)

 

Dissolving Je Rinpoche into ourselves

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG CHI-WOR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
KU-SUNG THUG-KYI NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Dear worthy root Guru, please ascend the lotus seat
atop the head of myself and the other beings,
and in your great kindness please remain with us.
Bestow upon us the blessings of your body, speech and mind.

 

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
CHO-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Precious, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please grant us your blessings for our temporal success
and for the supreme attainment.

 

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
JANG-CHUB NYING-PO BAR-DU TAN-PAR SHUG

Beloved, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please stay on until we achieve the great goal of Enlightenment.

 

2. Extracts from Gaden Lhagyama

Nine Line Prayer to Lama Tsongkhapa

NGO-DRUB KUN-JUNG THUB-WANG DORJE-CHANG
MIG-MEY TZE-WAY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL-YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY-DAG
GANG-CHENG KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN LO-SANG-DRAG
KYAB-SUM KUN-DU LA-MA SANG-GYA-LA
GO-SUM GU-PAI GO-NA SOL-WA-DEB
RANG-ZHAN MIN-CHING DROL-WAR JIN-GYI-LOB
CHOG-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DRUB TSAL-DU-SOL

The originator of all realisation, T’ubwang Dorje Chang,
Avalokiteshvara, great treasure of inapprehensible great compassion,
Manjushri, enriched with fully-knowing mind,
Vajrapani, destroyer of the entire hosts of MarasSumati Kirti, the most learned one, the crowning ornament of the Snow Lands,
Guru Buddha, the encompassment of the three objects of refuge.
Reverently I request you from my three doors
To ripen please the minds of myself and others,
And grant general and sublime realisations.

 

Four Line Prayer to Lama Tsongkhapa

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKHAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB

Avalokiteshvara, great treasure of inapprehensible great compassion,
Manjushri, enriched with fully-knowing mind,
Tsongkhapa, the most learned one, the crowning ornament of the Snow Lands.
To you, Sumati Kirti, I make requests.

 

3. Twenty-Seven Verses On Mind Training

Composed by Lama Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419)

1. With body, speech, and mind fully aligned, I prostrate fervently before those rare beings, who are victorious over all notions of limitation, and before their spiritual daughters and sons. May a cosmic celebration of pure poetry, perfectly expressing the most subtle teaching of these victorious sages and the inheritors of their wisdom, now burst forth like an infinite garden in perpetual spring.

2. Gaze calmly with the clear eye of Prajnaparamita (Perfect Wisdom) upon universal manifestation, this beginningless tapestry woven from vibrant karmic threads of conscious beings, and listen to the harmonious symphony of interdependence. Purify entirely from the slightest shadow of negativity this boundless expanse of apparent struggle and conflict. With diamond-clear intention, instill faith everywhere. With mirrorlike wisdom, stabilize all chaotic minds.

3. If shadows of negativity are not dispelled immediately, these strange insubstantial absences of light gain immense potency with every new action, until even those who understand the dangers of negation will not have enough power to choose the way of Clear Light. Even those who study philosophy and speak eloquently are unable to release themselves from illusory darkness.

4. The full spectrum of struggling and aspiring humanity, from immature persons to advanced contemplatives, suffers the painful delusion of clinging to these empty shadows as they become filled with affective power by self-centered action and intention.

5. This apparent bondage, this clinging to shadows, is constituted by reactions of pleasure and pain, obviously or subtly rooted in self-serving motivation. By those rare beings who have gone beyond, who throughout all time abide in bliss as Buddhas, the true nature of reactions and their results is clearly known to be insubstantial. But the boundless expanse of self-oriented beings, who bind themselves inexorably to selfish motivation, therefore cannot liberate or even distance themselves slightly from egocentricity.

6. We should meditate carefully and thoroughly upon the inevitably binding nature of negativity, learning to discriminate sensitively and unerringly between the actions which negate the preciousness of others and actions which affirm and judiciously care for others. From this clear viewpoint, renounce all negation and strive with the total commitment of your being to become entirely affirmative of all life everywhere.

7. The seeds of action are positive and negative intentions. Any intention consciously rooted in selfless motivation, desiring only sheer goodness for all conscious life, will establish the stable ground of goodness and will universally generate rich results of goodness. Any intention even slightly weakened by selfish motivation undermines both the ground of our life and its fruits. Intention is the sole creative force of existence.

8. To cling to the intention of triumphing over another, the desire to prosper at the expense of any being or to indulge in the slightest bias against any being because of personal feelings of attraction or repulsion, these alone are the causes for whatever suffering exists in personal lives and in the universe as a whole. We should meditate ceaselessly on this revolutionary truth, remaining conscious of it during every moment of existence.

9. Those who attempt to deceive with words of advice that in any way exalt selfishness and depreciate selflessness become hopelessly lost in narrow-mindedness, obsessed with their own selfish interests. Such persons create the only error in the universe: diverting our precious care and concern for others to ourselves. This deception not only expresses hatred for Buddha’s wisdom but is the absurd attempt to destroy universal Buddha nature.

10. To avoid decisively this disastrous way of hatred, bring to birth within your stream of awareness the maternal mind of totally positive intentions toward all beings as toward cherished children. This mind of kindness, supremely skillful in loving care, unveils the infinite value of every single life, demonstrating compassion as the meaning of existence. But the clumsy negative mind, operating blindly without concern for the preciousness of others, drains the nectar of meaning from human life. Cultivate diligently the selfless love that transforms every thought and action into tangible help for conscious beings.

11. The method taught by awakened sages to develop this skillful mind of kindness is to cut the root of all selfish projections by repeatedly and intensively studying Perfect Wisdom, meditating single pointedly on its essence in a state of contemplative stillness and stability. With the clarity and honesty of such concentration, projected worlds of self-serving desire will melt in the sunlight of meditation, like structures of ice, revealing the magnificent secret of our existence, its total significance and absolute justification, which is active compassion for all conscious life.

12. Such meditative practice brings to light the mind which envisions only the well-being of others, which is constantly grateful to all beloved beings for the immeasurable kindness they have poured forth through beginningless time as mothers, fathers, children, friends, benefactors, and teachers. This mind of goodness knows only the ceaseless longing to benefit all these blessed beings without exception in whatever manner and on whatever level imaginable.

13. To remember vividly during every moment the kindness that has been expressed by all beings, and to cultivate an intense and constant longing to return even a small portion of this kindness, unveils the true significance of life in all worlds. The person who fails to respond wholeheartedly to this call for universal kindness and concern is on a lower plane of development than animals, who are capable of experiencing immense gratitude.

14. Those who unhesitatingly embrace and tenderly serve all suffering creatures during this degenerate age, just as a loving mother painstakingly cares for even the most wayward of her children, they alone are the teachers of the holy life who authentically walk the Buddha Way.

15. The mind that faithfully and tirelessly serves and elevates conscious beings is sheer goodness, constantly giving the gift of itself, its faith in ever-expanding goodness, to all other minds thereby benefiting them in the most direct way. Of all possible forms of benefit on any level, the highest is to teach this practice of love, this indomitable faith in universal goodness, by the direct transmission of selfless awareness flowing transparently from mind to mind in accordance with the need and capacity of each mind. This is true teaching, tangibly transmitting the living energy of universal goodness, which becomes perpetually active in the recipient, even during the most pressing times of crisis, never evaporating into mere words or concepts.

16. During this blissful practice, continually cultivating the wonderful, ever-expanding mind of goodness, even the slightest lack of sympathetic joy disappears and awareness becomes more concentrated and selfless, while the selfish emotions and conceptual projections which compose this narrow conventional world are gradually effaced, and we are completely liberated. The brilliant sun of Great Compassion shines unobstructed. The spirit of wholehearted love in every thought and action constitutes the spontaneously radiating sunlight, effortlessly melting the mist of self-centeredness, vastly strengthening our constant efforts for all beings.

17. Beings benefit each other, consciously or unconsciously. Even enemies become profound benefactors in subtle ways. Those who clearly perceive this radical principle find no isolated object for hostile thought. They can discover and encounter only friends, benefactors, and inseparably related beings. This insight avoids aggressive thinking and allows the mind to expand endlessly into wholesomeness, generosity, and sympathy.

18. Never offering the slightest encouragement to hostility, never hesitating to embrace the concerns of others, pay complete attention to every altruistic impulse that arises in the stream of pure awareness. Contemplate the teaching of selfless compassion, calming and clarifying the turbulent flood of egocentric mind with the sweetest meditation. Renounce the meaninglessness of selfish life. Become devoted to the true meaning of existence: the spontaneous, active compassion for all living beings. If one does not refute self-centered motivation, the subtle tendencies of the mind can never be free from the gross or subtle disposition to negation.

19. Transform the intense activity of daily life into the harmonious expression and teaching of truth by affectionately reminding and being reminded that the bitter dark fruits of negating others are poisonous, to be most carefully avoided, while the sweet bright fruits of affirming others are life-giving, to be thoroughly enjoyed. Authentic delight exists only in serving others, and suffering springs only from harming others or insensitively ignoring the needs of living beings, all of whom are as intimately related to us as our own precious mother and father.

20. So sensitive an ecology is the interdependence of all, that the slightest attention and assistance to others creates moral elevation for ourselves and humanity, while the slightest indifference or neglect toward others creates moral harm for ourselves and our civilization. The faintest spark of ill will toward other beings can burst forth into a terrible forest fire, consuming vast expanses of sympathetic joy. Even the faintest negative reaction or malicious wish opens wide channels throughout our entire being for life-destroying poisons of negation and life-obscuring shadows of self-cherishing.

21. Cast far away from all precious humanity these lethal doses, these ominous shadows, by cultivating instinctive admiration and love for those who practice the way of selflessness. Adore such bodhisattvas for their irreversible vow to remain intimate with the struggle of living beings as beacons of love and as the light of panoramic vision.

22. Once identified with this luminous way of life, you will experience every moment as soaked in bliss, tasting the delight of compassionate responses to even the most negative actions of other beings. I have composed this poem of rapturous affection further to strengthen the diamond-sharp conviction of those already faithful to the path of wisdom.

23. Gazing back over these exuberant verses, I perceive an abundant banquet of poetry, easy to assimilate and to understand clearly. Entirely in accord with the teaching of the sutras and with the deep realization of awakened sages, these words are full of subtle nourishment. To contemplate their various levels of meaning is not only to taste the nectar of wisdom but is to walk the sublime path of compassion.

24. This surprising poem condenses into a few verses the profound and extensive teachings of my lineage. I have composed these melodic lines, like heavenly wish-fulfilling gems, to benefit the minds of all beloved beings. Those with strong capacity for meditation in action will deepen their insight into the nature of Reality by following these words into the heart of Buddha.

25. Some authors tie complex knots of philosophical terms, while others rave incoherently like mad persons. In the most beautiful hermitage, the snow mountains of Tibet, this poet, known as Ever-Expanding Mind of Goodness, has attempted to write with richness and lucidity.

26. May the bliss of the mystical fusion of transcendent wisdom with tender compassion fall like sweet summer rain from dark blue clouds, the motivation of goodness, skillfully and gracefully opened by lightening flashes of selfless awareness. May conscious beings in every realm and condition enjoy their glorious existence as the dynamic play of Lord Buddha’s four modes of manifestation: transparent, universal, heavenly, and earthly.

27. Having become, through the medium of this poem, the powerful and eloquent speech of Divine Manjushri, speaking directly with the harmonious and melodious voice of the transcendent Wisdom Deity, may I and all my relations and companions, from small insects to tenth-level bodhisattvas, attain the blessings of primordial Buddha nature: infinite bliss, infinite fulfillment, infinite perfection, and universal conscious enlightenment.

 

4. In Praise Of The Incomparable Tsongkhapa

By Gyalwa Mikyo Dorje, the Eighth Karmapa (1507 – 1554)

Once when Gyalwa Mikyo Dorje was travelling through the Charida Pass, thoughts of the incomparable Tsongkhapa welled up within him. Overcome by profound faith, he was moved to compose this poem.

At a time when nearly all in this Northern Land
Were living in utter contradiction to Dharma,
Without illusion, O Tsongkhapa, you polished the teachings.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

When the teachings of the Sakya, Kargu, Kadam
And Nyingma sects in Tibet were declining,
You, O Tsongkhapa, revived Buddha’s Doctrine,
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, gave to you
Special instructions on the thought of Nagarjuna.
Tsongkhapa, upholder of the Middle Way,
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

“Mind and form are not empty of their own natures
But are empty of truly existent mind and form”,
You, O Tsongkhapa, are Tibet’s chief exponent of voidness,
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

In merely a few years you filled
The land from China to India
With peerless holders of the saffron robes.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Those who become your followers
And look to you and your teachings
Are never again disappointed or forsaken.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

The trainees who walk in your footsteps
Breath the fresh air of the Great Way.
They would die for the good of the world.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Anyone who disparages your doctrine must face
The terrible wrath of the Dharma protectors.
Tsongkhapa, who abides in truth’s power,
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

In person and in dreams you come to those
Who but once recollect your image.
Tsongkhapa, who watches with compassionate eyes.
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

In order to civilize men and spirits you spread
Your teachings through Kham, Mongolia and Turkestan:
Tsongkhapa, subduer of savages,
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

For men coarse and far from the Way, you dispel
Mental clouds, evils and bad karma.
Tsongkhapa, who bestows quick progress,
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Those who take heartfelt Refuge in you,
Even those with no hope for now or hereafter,
Tsongkhapa, have their every wish fulfilled.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Having exposed false teachings transgressing
The excellent ways well shown by Buddha,
You firmly established your Bold Doctrine.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Manifesting sublime austerity and discipline,
The form and fragrance of your life was incomparable.
Tsongkhapa, controlled one pleasing to the Buddhas,
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

By the strength of the sons of your lineage
And by my having faithfully offered this praise,
May the enlightened activity of Buddha Shakyamuni
Pervade the earth for ages to come.

Footnote: Extracted from the Life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa (Edited by Prof. R. Thurman)

 

5. Song of the Tricosmic Master

by Khaydrub Choje Gelek Palzangpo (1385-1438)

Written by Khaydrub Choje Gelek Palzang-po, who learned a great deal by sitting for many years at the lotus feet of Je Rinpoche.

Je Tsongkhapa, master of the three worlds,
Who surpasses all others in compassion,
The eye through whom all beings
Can receive ultimate vision,
Peerless Refuge of liberation seekers,
To you, a supreme and incomparable Lama,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

In the very presence of the Victorious One
You entered the ways of enlightenment;
Here in this Land of Snow Mountains
You were renowned as Lobsang Drakpa;
Now in Tushita Pure Land you abide,
Famed as Wisdom Essence;
To you, mightiest of Bodhisattvas,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

By the force of ripening merits
You read the teachings and, without study,
Understood texts even in the language of mystics.
To you of naturally perfect excellence
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

From the time your sun-like body
Slipped radiantly from your mother’s cloud,
You ever shunned the dancing lights
Of the world and its vain fortunes;
To you I offer my spiritual aspirations.

From very youth you held no distaste
Toward the austerities of Buddhadharma
But secured yourself in perfect discipline.
To you who for countless lifetimes knew
The power of familiarity with meditation,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Having unrelentingly examined in depth
The words and meanings of Buddha’s teachings,
Constantly and with spontaneity you practised
The guidelines discovered therein.
To you, a treasury of vast knowledge,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Not satisfied with strings of empty words,
With subtle reason you fathomed that point
Not perceived by the millions of scholars;
To you who beheld reality itself
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Were all logicians to analyse
Your teachings a hundred times,
Not even a fraction’s fraction
Of your words would prove wrong.
To you of flawless mind
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Who but you has seen as they are
All the concepts contained
In the texts of the ancient masters?
To you in whom all teachings
Arose as practical advice
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

When the dust clothing the earth
Is inscribed by your lotus feet
Which always rests on the crowns of sages,
That dust becomes an object
Well worthy of worship by men; to you
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Although a fully omniscient one
Were to challenge your ethical temper,
Not a hint of a flaw
Could ever be discovered:
To you, a perfect renunciate,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Like an ocean of wish-fulfilling gems
Is the immeasurable depth of your love,
Beyond even the bounds of clairvoyance.
To you, a mine of benevolence,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

What load of benefit to beings
Is not carried by your mind so mighty:
For did you not reach the zenith
Of deeds sending endless waves?
To you of miraculous compassion
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

If each breath you release
Acts only as medicine to beings,
Why try to describe the effect
Of your stores of merit and wisdom?
To you, friend of the three worlds,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom,
Daily appeared directly to you
And rained ambrosial streams of teachings,
The synthesis of the minds of Buddhas,
Past, present and future;
To you I offer my spiritual aspirations.

“In the lotus garden of the Muni’s teachings
You are likened to a sun amongst Buddhas;”
With these very words Maitreya Buddha
Praised you when in a vision he appeared;
To you I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Beholding the sublime forms of countless Buddhas,
You directly received the transforming powers
Of Saraha, Luipa and the other mahasiddhas;
To you, a supreme and perfected being,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Having in a dream been given the blessings of
Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Buddhapalita and Chandrakirti,
Experience of the Very Dharma, profound emptiness,
Arose within you; to you, who has abandoned
Even the imprints of confusion,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

With the subtle meditation in samadhi centred
Upon reality itself, clear like the sky,
You moved not for a moment
Even in post-meditation
From viewing mind as illusory;
To you I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Having mastered the oceans of tantras,
Pinnacle of all Buddhas teachings,
You indeed are a perfect Lama
Inseparable from All-pervading Vajradhara;
To you I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Master who practised exactly as taught
The essential profundities of tantra’s two stages,
The ultimate paths, as never before
Shown by another in this land,
And then accomplished their purpose,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

By perfecting the coarse and subtle deity-yogas,
You eliminated the habitual thought patterns
That conceive existence as profane.
To you whose mind never stirs
From the blissful flow of mystic mandalas,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Coasting in the central nadi on a current of air,
You perceived the quintessence of emptiness,
The clear light itself, mahamudra,
Experiencing the summit of great bliss;
To you, the one of vajra mind,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Due to the force of your infinite prayers,
Countless disciples spontaneously were drawn
To the path that pleases all Buddhas;
To you, Refuge of all the world,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

In an era when nothing but the empty name
of “Doctrine” was upheld by teachers and trainees,
You brought into the light the three higher trainings
To you, the Great Reviver,
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

When you determined consciously to pass away,
Hosts of Dakas and Dakinis beyond imagination,
Making offerings filled the skies.
To you I offer my spiritual aspirations.

Mind focused on the clear light of Dharmakaya,
Your body transformed into a luminous sphere and,
In the bardo, illusory body yoga fulfilled Sambhogakaya.
To you who gained supreme siddhi
I offer my spiritual aspirations.

From this moment onward in all future lives,
May I sit before your lotus feet
And, hearing your teachings,
Practise only as delights you.

May I be blessed to abandon both
Viewing this life as something to crave
And yearning for happiness for myself alone.
And may I never abandon the bodhimind,
The wish to attain Buddhahood for all.

With clear wisdom focusing on the subtle,
May I fathom the perfect words of Buddha
And ascend the path of knowledge.
Thus may I arise to dispel the darkness
Of the ignorance pervading beings’ minds.

May I have power to discover
The import of the many tantras
And to practise single-pointedly
The profound significance of their two stages,
Unhindered by inner or outer obstacles.

In brief, may I receive grace to understand
All the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni,
Especially those of the peerless Vajrayana,
Just as do the Awakened Ones.
Thus may I bring light to the world.

By the virtue of this aspiration,
May I in all future lives never be
Parted from you, a perfect Lama,
And may I dwell with the taste of the teachings
That arose from the depths of your experience.

Because of whatever goodness
I have done or will do,
May you gaze upon me with pleasure,
And may I always unwaveringly practise
Precisely in accord with your advice.

By the power of the mighty deeds
Of Lama Je Tsongkhapa, the tantric Guru,
Until enlightenment may I never fall
From the good path praised by all Buddhas.

Footnote: Extracted from the Life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa (Edited by Prof. R. Thurman)

 

6. A Song Rapidly Invoking Blessings

By Lama Gyalwa Kalzang Gyatso, the 7th Dalai Lama

In the year of the Water dog, Lama Gyalwa Kalzang Gyatso visited Gaden Monastery. Inspired by the extraordinary vibration pervading the place and filled with marvel at the strength and kindness of Omniscient Lord Tsongkhapa, who had founded Gaden, His Holiness Kalzang Gyatso was moved to write this song.

Above, in actuality pristine awareness
Manifest as a radiant Buddha mandala,
The pure land of Tushita, the Joyous Abode
Blessed by Buddhas past, present and future.

Mountains of herbs blanketed in sweet aromas,
Flowers blossoming morning, noon and night,
A forest of trees with turquoise leaves:
Reminders of the splendid body of Je Rinpoche.

The murmur of a river swiftly flowing,
The stirring songs of birds,
The majestic sound of a Dharma teaching:
Reminders of the gentle voice of Je Rinpoche.

The blue sky freely hovering,
Clear, white clouds scattered abstractly,
The young sun casting beams everywhere:
The wisdom, compassion and power of Je Rinpoche.

Body adorned with the marks of a Buddha,
Speech raining down vast and profound Dharma,
Mind seeing all things in the sphere of clear light:
I recollect Je Rinpoche, Lobsang Drakpa.

Fulfill your vow to benefit beings;
Descend, grant protection and power.
To you I offer an ocean of all-good things.
Enjoy them within your great bliss.

On the Mighty Nomad Mountain, quiet, easy,
A land made pure with goodness and strength,
Stands your Gaden Monastery, prophesied by Buddha:
A monastery producing limitless Awakened Ones.

Your mind on Bliss and Void inseparable,
The flow of events appeared as a rainbow.
One body sends endless clouds of emanations
To set this world ablaze with joy.

Your profound teachings bridging Sutra and Tantra
Are jewels for those truly seeking liberation.
Even the words you used are perfect,
Nakedly pointing the way for the ripe.

O Je Lama, because of your infinite kindness
We can understand all Sutras and Tantras as precepts,
Can see the entire path leading to perfection
And can correct all delusions and mistaken concepts.

O Master, merely hearing legends of your deeds
Can place a man on the enlightening path;
With thoughts of your greatness, with heart
Trembling, I fix mind upon you.

Invisible father gone to Bliss,
Listen to this plaintive song
Of a boy still in Samsara’s quicksands,
Of an ill-fated son cut from his Refuge.

In terms of external appearances,
A monk is easily proud of his robes,
But if his thoughts fall only on the transient
Are his lusts not worse than a layman’s?

The masses revel in black actions
And through evil gain their ends.
Flashes of a degenerate age
Crash in the depths of my heart.

How glamorous and exciting to go
Through the motions of practising Dharma,
And to hear the profound teachings;
But the mind, hard as wood, is slow to change.

The spirit, weak and uncontrolled,
Staggers under the three psychic poisons
Whenever an object appears to it:
A golden vessel filled with urine

Precious humanity, the chance to be a Buddha;
But we create only misery with it
And throw away all hope of actually
Benefitting either ourselves or others.

I, born so late, unfortunate,
Pass my time amid negativity and confusion.
Father Lama, look upon me;
Hold me with hooks of compassion.

In this life, the bardo and future lives,
Pray, be my guide.
My Refuge, forsake me not.
Omniscient One, be with me always.

Care for all beings as a mother for her son.
Spiritual Father, to us who are children,
Reveal visibly the mandala of your body
Magnificent with every mark of perfection.

Bestow upon us the oral teachings
Which render every experience meaningful.
Bless us to make our minds at one taste
With great bliss and unapprehendable wisdom.

Life is impermanent like the setting sun.
Wealth is like dew on morning grass,
Praise is like wind in a mountain pass,
A youthful body is an autumn flower.

Bless me to understand the shortcomings
Of constantly turning on the wheel of becoming
And to fix the depths of my mind
On the path leading to ultimate knowledge.

Bestow upon me transforming powers to fill
My mental continuum with love and compassion,
To see the beings of Samsara’s six realms
As mothers who have forever helped me.

Bestow upon me transforming powers
Quickly to realize the way things are,
To understand images viewed by the mind
As paintings created by the mind itself.

Help me attain Enlightenment in this very life
Through the yogic methods of Tantra’s two stages,
To see external events as the sport of Buddhas
And the mind as satiated with Bliss and Emptiness.

And when, to fight delusion, meditation’s enemy,
I retreat to a cave on a distant mountain,
A place to give birth to serenity and joy,
Bless me to penetrate the innermost profundity.

Grant me powers swiftly to annihilate
All inner and outer negative forces,
And power to cleanse the stains of having dwelt
Far from the limits of Dharma’s three bonds.

O Manjushri, who reveals himself magically
In peaceful, wrathful and protective forms,
May your auspicious deeds reach fruition
And you remain a constant Refuge to the world.

Bestow upon me the powerful blessings
Of your mysterious body, speech and mind,
That my every physical, verbal and mental
Movement may benefit beings and the teachings.

May the thunder of the Sutras and Tantras shake the earth,
May the sun of Tsongkhapa’s “Practice Lineage” rage,
May all practitioners attain the power
And all sentient beings realize their wishes.

 

7. Song Of The Mystic Experiences Of Lama Je Rinpoche

By Jamyang Choje Tashi Palden (1379-1449)

Written at Drepung Chokyi Dechen at the request of the two meritorious Drungtrapa Palzangpo brothers, by Lama Tashi Palden, a Buddhist monk and teacher who had searched many hundreds of thousands of scriptures with the lights of his wisdom.

O sun-like Prince of the Conqueror,
Whose wisdom, vast as the heavens,
Has the brilliance of knowledge
That sees what ultimately is
And what merely seems to be;
O Venerable Lord of Dharma, Most Perfect Guru,
The dust of your feet I place
On the crown of my head.

Even the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
Who fill the ten directions,
Cannot describe the excellence
Of your body, speech and mind;
Yet out of passionate inspiration
I shall sing of them; pray,
Listen for but a few moments.

As a blossoming garland of flowers
To adorn the necks of the clear-minded,
And as a precious jewel
To enhance the force of conviction,
This song in praise of your oceans of splendour
To delight all sages, I have composed.

Like a cloud, the merit of your superb deeds
Releases a torrent of rain that swells
The virtue of those to be trained,
And proclaims with a dragon’s thundering roar
The sweetness of the vast and profound;
O glorious, powerful, billowing Lama.

Foremost of tantric adepts, the mighty yogi
Who mastered the many millions of samadhis,
Composed faultless expositions,
And made true effort in practice,
Most resplendent of Lamas,
You tower over the heads of all.

At Vajrasana in a former birth,
To the Victorious One you offered
A rosary of one hundred crystal beads.
Thus you acquired the fortune
Later to attain the perfect view;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

At the age of seven you directly perceived
Dipamkara Atisha, the great Path Clearer,
And Vajrapani, Lord of the Secret.
The exhortations of both the sutras
And tantras dawned upon you;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

O Jetsun, Lord of phenomenal existence,
You directly perceived Manjushri,
Bodhisattva of the wisdom of emptiness,
Seated in a radiant aura as blue
As the colour of a perfect sapphire;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

From this time onward, O High One,
Whenever desired, you could invoke
Manjushri, Treasure of Stainless Wisdom,
And constantly listen to the teachings
Of both Sutrayana’s Transcendent Wisdom
And Tantrayana’s Secret Assembly;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

When practising the seven-limbed ritual
Of the thirty-five Purification Buddhas,
Continually and clearly you beheld them
And all their forms, mudras and symbols;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Seated in the auspicious posture,
Hands in the Dharma-teaching mudra,
Buddha Maitreya prophesied that,
Just as the Sugatas who possess the ten powers,
You will one day perform the twelve acts
Of a supreme, universal teacher;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Victorious Master of both life and death,
Truth visions you received
Of Amitabha Buddha, the Medicine Buddhas,
And that teacher of men and gods,
Shakyamuni, Prince of the Shakya Throne,
Each with a retinue vast as the oceans;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Saintly Tara, source of all siddhis,
Ushnisha Vijaya, the one exalted and radiant,
Ushnisha Sitatapatra, dispeller of obstacles,
And other such mystic female Buddhas
Again and again you directly perceived;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Bodhisattva Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Holy Buddhapalita,
Magnificent Chandrakirti and the mighty yogi Nagabodhi
Appeared, then constantly cared for you.
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Exalted Asanga, who delights the three worlds,
The Brother, Vasubandhu, a Second Buddha,
And Dignaga, child of Manjushri,
Appeared, then constantly cared for you;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Dharmakirti, a moon amongst teachers,
As well as Gunaprabha, Shakyaprabha,
Shantideva and the glorious Abhaya,
Appeared, then constantly cared for you;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

All the mahasiddhas of India and Tibet,
Such as Indrabudhi, Saraha, Luipa,
Krisnacharin, Tilbupa, Tilopa and Naropa
Appeared, then constantly cared for you;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Clearly Manjushri prophesied
That, relying upon these lineages,
You would produce colossal spiritual boons
For yourself and for all sentient beings.
Great Bold One who spontaneously
Fulfills the wishes of the world;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

When the samadhi of the yoga combining
Mental tranquility with cognition of emptiness
Increased like the waxing moon,
You beheld the form of the Destroyer
Yamantaka, “Opponent of the Lord of Death”,
Complete with all mudras and expressions.
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Having touched your heart
To the wisdom sword of Manjushri,
A stream of undefiled ambrosia
Flowed into the depth of your being,
Spontaneously arousing the propitious
Absorption of highest joy.
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Prayer for Rebirth in the Land of Bliss
And An Eulogy of the Perfect Intent
Of the Dauntless Protector Maitreya Buddha
As well as their graduated levels of meaning
Manjushri lucidly conveyed to you,
Who recorded and skillfully presented them;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Whenever you consecrated a religious image,
The Wisdom Beings actually entered
Into the Symbolic Beings.
This host of deities that you summoned
Still generates fields of merit within beings;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

One night you dreamed of Nagarjuna
And his five spiritual sons
Amongst themselves discussing
The fabric of dependent origination.
From their midst came Buddhapalita,
Who touched you with a scripture.
The very next day within you
Rose the mind of a High One;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

By focusing on the pith of the six branches
Of Kalachakra, “The Wheel of Time”,
You directly perceived his Buddha-form.
He foretold that soon you
Would equal even King Suchandra;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

When for the first time you led
The Great Prayer Festival of Lhasa,
A hundred magical omens appeared,
At your making this joyous offering,
The Buddhas and their sons in the ten directions
Were filled with supreme delight.
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Generating the form of a great-bliss deity
Through the yoga of the non-duality
Of profound luminosity and illusory appearances,
You attained the vajrayoga body;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

By practicing the mantric science of inhaling
And exhaling OM AH HUM on the lotus heart,
The vital energies entered the central nadi,
Rested as breathing stopped, and then dissolved.
Thus you experienced the clear light,
Mahamudra, the great seal,
Attaining the vajrayoga speech;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Raising the navel chakra’s mystic heat
Which rests at the base of the central channel,
The letter HAM at the crown of your head
Melted and fell to your heart
As simultaneously the experience
Of the blisses dawned upon you.
Thus you attained the vajrayoga mind;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Having been invoked as witnesses
To your pure and perfect aspirations,
All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas came forth.
Only when you had summoned each of them
Into his respective position
Did you honour them with offerings;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

While contemplating the principal mandala
Of ManjushrivajraGuhyasamaja,
You dreamed that Maitreya and Manjushri,
Who were speaking of Dharma, passed down to you
A jeweled vase brimming with water,
Portending that you would master all teachings.
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

On a throne adorned with precious gems
Sat the omniscient Kargyu Lama
Buton Rinchen Trub.
A text of the Guhyasamaja Root Tantra
He gave to you, exhorting
You to be its keeper;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Accepting this responsibility
With mudras and mantras thrice
You touched the text to your head.
By its blessings it became obvious
That the tantra Separating and Mixing,
Obtained by Marpa of the Southern Hills,
Is the true oral tradition of Exalted Nagarjuna;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Your mind absorbed in the mystic circle of Heruka 
Chakrasambara, the Wheel of Perfect Bliss – myriads
Of dakinis of the outer, inner and secret placesMade you offerings of vajra songs,
Transporting you in ecstasy;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

In meditation destroying the forces of darkness,
You beheld the radiant Buddha, Mighty Demon Tamer,
Having an aura as pure as burnished gold,
More brilliant than a million suns.
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

Your being having become indivisible from
The body, speech and mind of all Buddhas,
The might of the power of evil was subdued.
As the Dharma protectors crushed the demon families,
Shrieks of the defeated satanic forces
Resounded across the universe.
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

These multitudes of Dharma protectors,
That you brought under control,
In a previous aeon had been subjected
By Buddha Vajradhara to guard your doctrine.
With profound reverence they work this still;
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

That you would, after entering parinirvana,
Sit in the presence of Dauntless Maitreya
In Tushita, Pure Land of Joy,
And would be known as Wisdom Essence
Was, O Lord of Life, rightly prophesied
By both Manjushri and Vajrapani.
O Illustrious Lama, at your feet I pay homage.

By the strength of this eulogy
Sung from the depths of pure love,
May the afflictions of beings
Limitless as the sky be extinguished.
In this and all future lives
May all be nurtured by true teachers
And embraced by the sacred Dharma.

May the innate wisdom of great bliss
Rain throughout the world;
May the stains of erroneously grasping
Mind and its objects be uprooted;
And may all be inspired quickly to become
Like you, a Jetsun Lama.

May the wisdoms of learning, contemplation
And meditation overtake the earth;
May the arts of deliberation,
Debate and composition flourish;
May the ordinary and supreme siddhis
Come to each and every practitioner;
And may all be inspired quickly to become
Like you, a Jetsun Lama.

By the limitless oceans of merit
Of having presented, like Samantabhadra,
Clouds of offerings spanning the skies,
Of having bared every negative imprint
And downfall accumulated since infinity,
Of having rejoiced in the spirituality
Of those on the paths to enlightenment,
And of having beseeched the Lamas
To turn the Wheel of Dharma
And not to enter parinirvana.

May all beings experience peerless samadhi;
May goodness swell like the waxing moon;
And may the doctrine of Omniscient Tzong Khapa
Thrive until time’s end.

Footnote: Extracted from the Life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa (Edited by Prof. R. Thurman)

 

8. Prayer for the Flourishing of Je Tsongkhapa’s Teachings

by Gung-tang Tan-Pai Dron-me

Translated by Martin Willson, Nalanda Monastery, August 1985. Taken from Rites and Prayers, Wisdom Publications, London, 1985.

Though he’s the father, producer of all conquerors,
As a conqueror’s son, he produced the thought of upholding
The conqueror’s Dharma in infinite worlds. Through this truth
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

When of yore before [Buddha] Indraketu
He made his vow, the conqueror and his offspring
Praised his powerful courage. Through this truth
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

That the lineage of pure view and conduct might spread,
He offered a white crystal rosary to the Sage,
Who gave him a conch and prophesied. Through this truth
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

His pure view free of eternity or destruction;
His pure meditation cleansed of dark fading and fog;
His pure conduct practiced according to conquerors’ orders:
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

Learned, since he extensively sought out learning;
Reverend, rightly applying it to himself;
Good, dedicating all for beings and doctrine:
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

Through being sure that all scriptures, definitive and
Interpretative, were, without contradiction,
Advice for one person’s practice, he stopped all misconduct:
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

Listening to explanations of the three pitakas,
Realized teachings, practice of the three trainings –
His skilled and accomplished life story is amazing.
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

Outwardly calmed and subdued by the hearer’s conduct,
Inwardly trusting in the two stages’ practice,
He allied without clash the good paths of sutra and tantra:
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

Combining voidness, explained as the causal vehicle,
With great bliss, achieved by method, the effect vehicle,
Heart essence of eighty thousand Dharma bundles –
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

By the power of the ocean of oath-bound doctrine protectors,
Like the main guardians of the three beings’ paths –
The quick-acting lord, VaishravanaKarma-yama –
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

In short, by the lasting of glorious gurus’ lives,
By the earth being full of good, learned, reverend holders
Of the teaching, and by the increase of power of its patrons,
May the conqueror Losang’s teachings flourish!

Footnote: Extracted from the Life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa (Edited by Prof. R. Thurman)

 

9. A Disciple’s Prayer

Translated by Geshe Lobsang Tharchin

He’s the Lord who stages and then withdraws the show, a myriad ocean
Of mighty deeds the Victors in all three times perform to keep
The teaching tradition that joins both ways, those passed from Gentle Voice
And from the saviour Loving One, the deep thought of the Victors.

He’s a god who goes to the matchless mystery of his mind, a treasure
Resplendent with all ten forces, to speak the gold mine of the sages;
He’s Lobsang Drakpa, of shining fame, and into this world came
The jewels of the holy Dharma spewed out from his lips.

He’s the revered father of all Victors; in the form of their son, a child,
Gave a teaching that draws the essence of the nectar from the cream
Of the eighty thousand, the mystery of the Buddhas’ speech: we call it
Three Principal Paths, well-known as the sun in the sky of the immaculate Word.

His lines are none of those empty words, supposedly deep, incomplete,
But rather spout a thousand riches, advice from experience
Of each step of the meaning itself, the high paths in their entirety,
Capturing the glory of good of the world or peace, wherever.

Come great warrior, who has no fear of what will make him wise;
Take up the bow of these wonderful books, the true Word, open and secret;
Use it with the feathered shafts of reasoning, way of the wise
Throughout the world, pierce the hearts of those who would teach wrong.

When will I decide to give the rest of my life some meaning?
When will I throw away this lie of happiness in this life,
The shining embrace of grabbing after good things in this world,
My forever friend, the foe of my forever happiness.

In this and my future lives may I never fail to collect
More of the short and long-term causes which bring me both the bodies;
May I win the beauty of eyes that guide myself and others too
On the excellent paths, fixed upon the wise and adept ahead.

This is not a load that the likes of me could ever bear,
But I’ve tried my best to put his eloquence down in black and white.
I may have slipped, and lost some words or meaning, or the like;
I kneel before my Lama and freely admit any error made.

By the pure white force in deeds like this endeavour I’ve completed
May my thoughts, those of others too, all turn to the holy Dharma.
May it come to cause us all to cut what ties us to this life,\
And help us take best essence from the time and chance we have.

Footnote: Extracted from Tsongkapa – the Principal Teachings of Buddhism, translated by Geshe Lobsang Tharchin with Michael Roach

 

10. A Prayer to Meet with the Teachings of the Great Je Tsongkhapa

Composed by Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Dechen Nyingpo
Translated by Vincent Montenegro

 

Je Tsong Khapa, Dharma King of the Three Realms

INTRODUCTION

This is a prayer to meet with the teachings of Je Tsong Khapa in all of our future lives. We, today, are extremely fortunate to have already met with them but we might not be entirely aware of our immense good fortune. To illustrate how rare it is to find such incomparably precious teachings Pabongka Rinpoche offered the following anecdote:

“Once when a certain Mongolian was beseeching the compassionate Panchen Pelden Yeshe to give his blessings for a number of things to come to pass, Panchen Pelden Yeshe replied, ‘You will be able to attain a noble human rebirth of leisure and fortune, and you’ll be able to meet with numerous teachings of the Buddha. However, that you will be able to meet with the teachings of the Lord Tsong Khapa, well, if you have not accumulated a large enough store of merit it will be extremely difficult for you to encounter them!’ Just the very fact that we have presently met with the teachings of Je Tsong Khapa indicates that we have greater merit than some Listener and Solitary Realizer Arhats and even some Bodhisattvas who have reached the bhumis.”

Every verse in the following prayer explains specific traits that render this system uniquely effective and swift for attaining Buddhahood, from arranging all the teachings in a graduated path so that they arise as personal instruction, to the supreme method for generating bodhichitta and the special attribute of the glorious Prasangika – the meaning of emptiness as dependent origination, and so forth.

These extraordinary qualities are expressed in this prayer not only as a poem of devotional praise but also as powerful reasons that should serve to ignite our fervent request to meet again with Je Tsong Khapa’s teachings in the future in a rosary of fortunate human rebirths.

 

1
gyel kün yab chik jam pel shi tro dang
lo sang gyel wa yab se gyü par che
kün gyi tuk je tu pung cher kye ne
dak gi mön lam de lak drub par dzö

I beseech you, all Victorious ones,
And the sole father of these teachings,
Peaceful and Wrathful Mañjushri,
The Victor Losang, father and spiritual sons
together with the masters of the lineage,
Please generate your powerful compassion as a mighty host
And accomplish this, my prayer, with ease.

 

2
dak ni tse rab treng wa tam che du
mi kom ne su nam yang mi tung war
tek chok kor lo shi den ten gyü mar
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings
Throughout the rosary of all my lives,
And never fall into a state lacking the freedoms,
And continuously have a life endowed with the
Four fortunate spheres of the Supreme Vehicle.

 

3
do gyü gong drel dang che gel me du
gang sak chik gi nyam len dam ngak tu
lek par dom pa tsang la ma nor lam
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings
Wherein the Sutras, Tantras, and their
commentaries are free of contradiction,
A complete and unerring path of perfect instruction,
Like personal advice for the practice of a single person.

 

4
dri me rik pe lam le rab jam shung
ji shin ten la beb pe shi lam dre
dzam ling gyen druk chok nyi shing te söl
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings
That uphold the tradition of the superior guides
– The Six Ornaments of Jambudvipa and Two Supreme sages –
In establishing the basis, path, and result
Through the stainless path of reasoning in perfect
accord with the myriad scriptures.

 

5
ta chö chik drok chik tu song wa yi
ke pa ma chel tsün pa ma mong par
kün kyang ten drö dön nyi hlur shuk pe
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings
Wherein perfect view and perfect conduct facilitate each other
Such that the learned do not become remiss
And the venerable do not become dull-minded,
But always act devotedly toward benefitting the teachings and beings.

 

6
do ngak sab chü tsang la ma nor war
jam yang shel lung ngar pö dren pa yi
sung juk go pang nyur le che nyur we
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
The complete, unerring quintessence of
the Sutras and Tantras most profound,
Which are sprinkled with the sweetness
of Manjughosha’s oral instructions,
Swifter than swift for reaching the sublime
state of union.

 

7
tö sam gom pa chok rer ma shor we
mang tö dam par shar we nying pö chü
drup pe nyam nyong tse mar rab sön pa
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
Which are unbiased toward study, contemplation, or meditation,
Wherein the quintessential teachings dawn in the
mind of the learned as personal instruction,
And valid knowledge is reached through the experience of practice.

 

8
dri me rik pe che ne gom pa dang
tse chik nyam par jok pa sung drel we
gom tsül shen la me pe kye chö chok
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
A method of meditation that conjoins examination
Through immaculate reasoning with equal placement
of the mind in single-pointed concentration,
A superior way to meditate not found in any other system.

 

9
rin chen sem chok dren pe tab ke su
di dang chi me nang she tsen tab su
dok ne ngen jung dren tsül kye shuk pe
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
Superior in their way of inducing renunciation
Through forcefully invalidating our fantasies of this and future lives,
A skillful method for inducing the supreme precious mind of bodhichitta.

 

10
gyun dre dün dang dak shen nyam je yi
men ngak chik tu dril ne kyong wa yi
sem chok kye tsül shen le kye shuk pe
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
Superior to others in their way of bringing
about the supreme mind in us
Through a practice that combines into one
The Seven-Point Cause and Effect Instruction
with Equalizing and Exchanging Self for Others.

 

11
jing muk göl sa pang pe ting ngen dzin
tsen den shung luk chen mo le ong shin
mi tok drup tsül shen le kye shuk pe
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
Superior to others in their presentation of
non-conceptual meditation,
A single-pointed concentration that overcomes
dimness, lethargy, and distractions
Originated from a great authentic scriptural system.

 

12
ke drup che we pe kyang pok min pe
sab mo ji shin sik shing sung wa yi
ta drel ta wa gong na me pe chok
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with the teachings of Victorious Losang
Who perceived and taught the profound exactly as it is,
– the supreme unsurpassable view free of extremes –
Unfathomed by myriads of scholar-adepts despite all their efforts.

 

13
tong dang ten jung chik le chik char shing
tok tak tra mor cha che kün te pe
lu drup luk sang den nyi che tre ne
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings
That reveal the subtlest of essential points
Regarding the Two Truths of the noble system of Arya Nagarjuna,
Whereby emptiness and dependent arising emerge the one from the other,
And action and agent are thoroughly correct as subtly conceptually ascribed.

 

14
sab mö tek la nö rung drup tsül dang
pel den gyü de shi yi lam gyi trö
sang we ne kün che la da drel we
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings
Incomparable in their way of determining
How to become a suitable vessel for practicing the profound vehicle,
And in distinguishing all the secret key points transmitted through
The path of the four glorious classes of Tantra.

 

15
shi yi kye shi bar dor kor we gyün
lam dang dre bü ku sum nyi gyur we
si pe kor lo chö la nyur we trül
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
Miraculously swift in cutting the cycle of cyclic existence
By transforming our samsaric basis
– the continuum of birth, death, and intermediate state –
Taking the result three kayas as the path.

 

16
nyur lam la me tek pe lam gyi sok
lung sem dhu tir dü pe hlen kye ying
ngö su dren tsül shen le kye shuk pe
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
Pre-eminent in their way of directly eliciting
The spontaneously born nature by gathering the wind-mind
– the life force of the path of the swift highest vehicle –
Into the avadhuti channel.

 

17
nyuk me sem kyi rang shel jen cher du
ngön du che ne de nyi de tong gi
ying su juk pe tab ke che lhak pe
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
Superior by far in the skillful method used
To enter the sphere of bliss-emptiness,
The true face of original mind nakedly manifested.

 

18
lung sem tsam le tsen pe shin lak gar
gyu trül dra war ngö su dang we tsül
shen gyi cha tsam pok min ngo tsar ne
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
Replete with wonderful vital instructions
not even partially envisioned by others
On how to arise directly from the wind-mind alone
As a dancing miraculous luminous weave of illusory display
With the major and minor marks adorned.

 

19
dön gyi hlen kye ying dang gyu trül gar
nyam jor pa war dro we ting dzin gyi
ku shi sa la ke chik nyi juk pa
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with the teachings of Victorious Losang
And enter instantaneously into the state of the four kayas
Through the Samadhi of Going Heroically
That unifies the dance of the miracle body with
The spontaneously arisen sphere of reality.

 

20
nyur le che nyur mi lo chu nyi dang
lo sum chok sum tsam la’ang sung juk gi
go pang de lak drup pe nye lam chok
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

May I meet with Victorious Losang’s teachings,
The most excellent path, swifter than swift,
For easily accomplishing the status of Highest Union
In the span of twelve human years
Or in just three years and three months.

 

21
dor na kye shing kye wa tam che du
tön pa jam yang la me je sung shing
ten pa drup ta kün gyi yang tse chok
lo sang gyel we ten dang jel war shok

In short, may I meet with the teachings of Victorious Losang
– those most sublime of tenets and instructions –
In this and all my future lives,
And may I ever remain under the care of my
teacher, Lama Mañjushri.

May all virtue and good fortune increase.

 

11. Teachings of the Victorious Losang

Composed by Lama Gungtang Konchok Tenpai Dronme
Translated by Vincent Montenegro

1
Though verily he is the father who produces all Conquerors alike,
Mañjushri, manifesting in this bodhisattva’s form
Resolved long ago to maintain the Buddha’s teachings in myriad Buddhafields.
By the power of truth may the teachings of Victorious Losang thrive forever.

2
Once in a previous life when he made a vow before the “Pinnacle of Kings,”
He was duly praised by the Buddhas and their spiritual sons
as the “Mighty Courageous One.”
By the power of truth may the teachings of Victorious Losang flourish forever.

3
For the propagation of the pure lineage of perfect view and conduct
In a previous life he offered the Sage a crystal rosary
And was given a conch and prophecy in return.
By the power of truth may the teachings of Victorious Losang abound forever.

4
His view is perfectly free of the extremes of eternalism and nihilism;
His meditation is perfectly purified of mental sinking, dullness, and darkness;
His moral conduct is perfectly practiced in accord with the Buddha’s conventions.
May the teachings of Victorious Losang ever flourish.

5
Wise indeed from extensive spiritual investigation, well steeped in learning;
Venerable indeed from the incessant practice of the meaning of all he learned;
Noble indeed from dedicating every deed for the benefit of beings and the furtherance of the teachings.
May the words of Victorious Losang prosper forever.

6
Surely all deleterious activity ceases on ascertaining
The true instruction of the practice complete for a single person
And upon discovering that all the teachings lack contradiction
– both interpretive and definitive.
May Victorious Losang’s teachings increase forever.

7
What a marvelous account this life of a scholar-yogi!
How he heard and taught the scriptural Dharma of the three baskets
And how he practiced the three trainings to gain the Dharma of realizations.
May the teachings of Victorious Losang last forever.

8
Externally, practitioners of this system are pacified and tame
– in the manner of Shravakas;
Yet, internally they carry the firm conviction of yogis
of the two tantric stages;
Hence, the noble paths of Sutra and Tantra are practiced
compatibly without being tangled in contradiction.
May the teachings of Victorious Losang flourish forever.

9
The unity of object with its subject is the quintessence
of the eighty-[four] thousand collections of Dharma,
Namely, emptiness as explained in the Causal Vehicle with
Great bliss, the method of the Result Vehicle,
May the teachings of Victorious Losang increase and never diminish.

10
O principal protectors of the paths of the three types of persons
– Mahakala, the swift-acting one, Vaisravana, and Yama Dharmaraja
Remember the oath you took to guard the Buddha’s teachings
with your oceanic force!
May the teachings of Victorious Losang flourish forever.

11
In brief, may the life of my glorious Lama be firm,
May the earth be replete with skilled and virtuous practitioners,
May the wealth of the teaching’s donors significantly increase,
And may the teachings of Victorious Losang remain forever!

 


 

lo sang gyel ten ma

1
gyel wa ma lü kye pe yab gyur kyang
gyel se tsül gyi shing kam ram jam su
gyel we chö dzin tuk kye den pe tü
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

2
ngön tse wang pö tok gi chen nga ru
dam che tse na nying tob chen po she
se che gyel we ngak jö den pet ü
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

3
ta chö tsang me gyü pa pel we chir
tup pe drung du shel kar treng wa pül
chö tung nang shing lung ten den pe tü
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

4
ta wa nam dak tak che ta le dröl
gom pa nam dak ching muk mün pa sang
chö pa nam dak gyel we ka shin drub
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

5
mang du tö pa gya cher tsel we ke
tö dön ji shin gyü la jar we tsün
kün kyang ten drö dön du ngo we sang
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

6
trang nge sung rab ma lü gel me du
gang sak chik gi nyam len dam pa ru
nge pa nye pen ye chö ta dak gak
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

7
lung chö de nö sum gyi che nyen dang
tok pe tenpa lab sum nyam len te
ke shin drub pe nam tar me du jung
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

8
chi ru nyen tö chö pe shi shing dül
nang du rim nyi nel jor deng dang den
do ngak lam sang gel me trok su kyer
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

9
gyu yi tek par she pe tong pa nyi
dre bü tab kyi drub pe de chen dang
nyam jor chö pung gye tri nying pö chü
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

10
kyi bu sum gyi lam gyi sung me tso
nyur dze gön dang nam se le shin sok
ten sung dam chen gya tsö tu tob kyi
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

11
dor na pel den la me ku tse ten
ke tsün ten dzin dam pe sa teng gang
ten pe jin dak nga tang dar wa yi
lo sang gyel we ten pa gye gyur chik

 

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