Requests to the Seventeen Glorious Nalanda Pandits

Illuminating the Three Types of Belief in Fact

(1) I bow my head to you, Chief of the Sages, Sun among Speakers, leading wandering beings through your teaching dependent arising. Deity over the Gods, you’ve attained the supreme refuge of (a complete set of) abandonments and realizations, born from compassion wishing the benefit of wandering beings.

(2) I make requests at your feet, Nagarjuna. Skilled in clarifying, with the profound methods of reasoning of dependent arising, the meaning of the actual nature, parted from extremes – the intended meaning of the Triumphant Ones’ Mothers – you have founded the Madhyamaka Middle Way system, the supreme vehicle, as prophesied by the Triumphant One.

(3) I make requests to you, Aryadeva, a Triumphant Ones’ son, glorious crown gem of all the upholders of Nagarjuna’s works. His chief spiritual son, supreme among the learned and accomplished, you have passed to the far shore of the ocean of the Buddhist and non-Buddhist systems of tenets.

(4) I make requests at your feet, Buddhapalita. You have clarified the ultimate meaning of dependent arising, the intention of the realized aryas, the profound and essential point of imputed existence exclusively established by name alone. You have advanced to the state of a supremely accomplished master.   

(5)  I make requests to you, the Masterful Teacher Bhavaviveka. Fully learned Pandit, you have founded a system of tenets that refutes extremes, such as truly established phenomena and production, while accepting external phenomena appearing in accord with valid cognition.

(6) I make requests to you, Chandrakirti, propagator of the complete path of sutra and tantra, skilled in expounding the vast and profound Madhyamaka manner whereby, through dependent arising and conditionality – and exclusively by this – appearance and voidness eliminate the two extremes.

(7) I make requests to you, Shantideva, a Triumphant Ones’ son, skilled in teaching, with a multitude of profound and extensive manners of reasoning, the wondrous and marvelous pathway mind of great compassion to hosts of those of good fortune, wishing to be tamed.

(8) I make requests to you, Shantarakshita, great abbot who spread the Triumphant One’s teachings to the Land of Snows. With the reasoning methods of Madhyamaka, as well as of valid cognition, you have founded a system that’s a path of the voidness of two (separate sources), together with Madhyamaka, in accord with the mindsets of those wishing to be tamed.

(9) I make requests at your feet, Kamalashila. You have clarified, without any confusion,  the Triumphant One’s teachings in the Land of Snows, having well explained, in accord with the sutras and tantras, the stages of the meditations on the Madhyamaka view, free of extremes, and the joined pair of a stilled and settled shamatha mind and an exceptionally perceptive vipashyana mind.

(10) I make requests at your feet, Asanga, taken under Maitreya’s care and skilled in widely spreading the entire Mahayana Basket of Sutras, you have taught the extensive path and founded the Vijnapti system, the Mind-Only chariot, in accord with the Triumphant One’s prophesy.   

(11) I make requests at your feet, Vasubandhu, Masterful Teacher, supreme among the erudite, renowned as the second Omniscient One. Upholding the systems of the seven abhidharma texts and the voidness of two (separate sources), you have clarified the Vaibhashika, Sautrantika and Vijnapti Mind-Only systems of tenets.

(12) I make requests at your feet, logician Dignaga.  Having opened up widely hundreds of doors of valid cognition in order to teach the Triumphant One’s scriptural tradition with reasoning based on the actuality of things, you have bestowed upon us the eyes of a discriminating mind. 

(13) I make requests to you, Dharmakirti, skilled in expounding the marvelous Dharma method whereby fully reflecting on all the essential points of Buddhist and non-Buddhist (systems of) valid cognition grants certainty about the profound and extensive Sautrantika and Chittamatra paths, from a pathway mind of complete understanding.

(14) I make requests at your feet, Highly Realized Vimuktasena, Arya who lit the lamp to illuminate the meaning of A Filigree (of Realizations, Abhisamayalamkara), in accord with the meaning of the Prajnaparamita (Sutras) deriving from the Asanga brothers, as well as of the Madhyamaka system, removed from the extremes of (true) existence and nonexistence. 

(15) I make request to you, Haribhadra, Masterful Teacher. Having received the oral transmission of the Triumphant One’s teachings, you have clarified the supreme Prajnaparamita texts, the Three Mothers, in accord with the oral instruction from Guardian Maitreya to open up the meaning of the Mothers.

(16) I make request at your feet, Gunaprabha. Integrating well the main points intended in the Basket of Hundreds of Thousands of Vinaya Rules, you became the supreme erudite and stable elder monk, giving the final, decisive word, without any mistake, on the pratimoksha monastic vows in accord with the Mulasarvastivada tradition.

(17) I make requests at your feet, Shakyaprabha, Upholder of the Vinaya. With mastery over a treasure trove of gems of excellent qualities from the three higher trainings, you have well explained the meanings of the extensive texts for the sake of the long-term promotion of the stainless teachings of the Vinaya. 

(18) I make my requests to Venerable Atisha. Kind master who spread the Able One’s teachings to the Land of Snows, you codified, in the pathway minds of the three types of persons, all the traditions, barring none, of the vast and profound words of the Able One’s speech.

(19) Having made requests, like this, with undivided pure faith, to these foremost erudite masters, who have become adornments embellishing the world, these superlative sources for excellent, wondrous explanations, inspire my mind-stream, please, to mature and become liberated.

(20) By knowing the meaning of the two truths, the foundational way in which all things abide, we gain certainty about how, through the four (noble) truths, we keep entering but can also reverse our recurring rebirth. Brought on by valid cognition (of this), our conviction becomes stable that the Three Refuges are indeed fact. Inspire me, please, to implant this root of the pathway minds that lead to liberation.

(21) Inspire me, please, to cultivate an uncontrived bodhichitta aim, rooted in a renounced mind, determined to be free, that strives for liberation with the stilling of suffering and its (true) causes, and also in compassion, reaching out to the ends of every direction in order to safeguard all wandering beings.

(22) Inspire me, please, to easily and quickly gain a decisive (attainment) of all the profound and essential pathway minds of the far-reaching Paramita and Vajra Vehicles of Mind, by hearing, thinking and meditating on the meanings of the texts of the great pioneers.

(23) Superbly obtaining, from lifetime to lifetime, a (precious human) basis for the three (higher) trainings, inspire me, please, to carry out works for the teachings in ways that match these great pioneers, in upholding and furthering the scriptural and realized teachings with explanations and actualization.

(24) May the great expanse of the world be beautified with a grand upsurge of  perfectly learned and accomplished masters, who have abandoned in full inappropriate ways of making a living, by spending their time in the activities of hearing, thinking, explaining and practicing (the Dharma) in all of the spiritual communities.

(25) By the force of this, may I course through the entire set of sutra and tantra levels and pathways of mind and, having quickly attained the topmost achievement, the omniscient state of a Triumphant One, automatically fulfilling the aims of both (myself and others), may I work for the sake of all wandering beings as long as space endures.