Taking Safe Direction (Refuge) and Reaffirming the Bodhichitta Motivation
I take safe direction, till my purified state, from the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Highest Assembly. By the enlightening networks (built up) from my giving and so on, may I actualize Buddhahood to help those who wander. [3x]
The Four Immeasurable Attitudes
May all limited beings have happiness and the causes for happiness. May all limited beings be parted from suffering and the causes for suffering. May all limited beings never be parted from the happiness that is without any suffering. May all beings abide in equanimity, parted from dualistic (feelings) of close and distant, attachment and repulsion. [3x]
Purification of the Environment and the Offerings
May the ground everywhere lie as smooth as the palm of the hand, free of pebbles and the like, gentle, and be made of beryl. May divine and human objects of offering, actually arrayed and those envisioned as peerless clouds of Samantabhadra offerings, completely fill the sphere of space.
OM NAMO BHAGA-VATE VAJRA-SARA PRA-MARDA-NE, TATHA-GATA-YA ARHA-TE, SAMYAK-SAM-BUDDHA-YA, TADYA-THA, OM VAJRE VAJRE MAHA-VAJRE, MAHA-TEJA-VAJRE, MAHA-VIDYA-VAJRE, MAHA-BODHICHITTA VAJRE, MAHA-BODHI-MANDA UPA-SAMKRAMA-NA VAJRE, SARVA-KARMA AVA-RANA VISHO-DHANA VAJRE SVA-HA. [3x]
By the truth of the Three Rare Supreme Gems, the inspiration of every Buddha and bodhisattva, the great might of the complete enlightening networks of positive force and deep awareness, and the force of the pure and inconceivable void sphere of reality, may all be transformed in their accordant true nature.
In the sphere of the space of Dharmakaya, established together with great blissful awareness, amidst billowing clouds of the varied offerings of Samantabhadra, on a throne ablaze with gems, supported by lions, on cushions of water-born lotus, sun, and full moon, sits the supreme noble arya, Lokeshvara, great treasure of compassion, in the role of a monk wearing saffron robes.
O Vajradhara root spiritual master, kind in three ways, glorious, ennobling, impeccable Losang Tenzin-gyatso, your face, with a shining pink complexion, smiles in delight; your right hand at your heart, in the gesture of expounding the Dharma, holds (the stem of) a white lotus with a book (on top) and marked with an (upright) sword; your left in meditation pose cradles a thousand-spoked wheel; you are draped with the three Dharma robes of lustrous saffron, and your head is graced by a pandit’s hat, the color of refined gold.
Your aggregates, elements, the stimulators of your senses, their objects and your limbs complete a mandala circle with the functional nature of the five Buddha-families of fatherly and motherly (Buddhas), male and female bodhisattvas, and furious protectors.
(Seated) in the center of a dome of shimmering bands of five-colored lights, your two legs (crossed) in the (full lotus) posture of an indestructible vajra, you stream forth masses of clouds, a network of illusory (emanations of yourself), which tame (all others).
In your heart sits Avalokiteshvara, a deep awareness being, with one face and four arms, the (upper) pair of which have palms pressed together, while the lower (two) hold a crystal rosary and a white lotus.
Beautifully adorned with jewel ornaments and clothes of silk, his left breast draped with an antelope skin, (like) a youthful new moon, he sits cross-legged on a lotus and moon.
In his heart is a being for absorbed concentration, a shining white syllable HRIH emanating rays of light in the ten directions.
Your three places, my spiritual master, are marked with the three vajra (seed-syllables). Light-rays emanated from the syllable HUM at your heart invite back before me all the infinite Three Supreme (Gems).
By dissolving into you, you become, in essential nature, an amalgam of every single source of safe direction.
Your enlightening body, liberating to behold, is beautifully adorned with a clear, complete set of excellent signs and exemplary features; your enlightening speech is unhindered, possessing the sixty melodious qualities, harmonious to the ears; your enlightening mind, profound in its omniscience and extensive in its loving affection, is difficult to fathom; with appreciation and respect, I prostrate to the circle of your adornments, your three hidden factors.
I present you with material offerings, both those I possess and those owned by no one, both actually arrayed and mentally created, as well as my body, my wealth, and the entire network of my lustrous constructive actions, built up over the three times, imagining them as an ocean of clouds of Samantabhadra offerings.
Whatever mistakes I’ve committed of wandering astray – my negative acts and downfalls due to my naturally and prohibited uncommendable acts (done) with my mind weighed down by unawareness’s thick gloom – I openly admit, with strong regret and a promise of refraint, in a state of mind unaimed (at truly established existence).
From the depths of my heart, I sincerely rejoice in the liberating deeds of the glorious masters and in the mass of lustrous constructive acts, (committed) throughout the three times, of myself and others, and of ordinary beings and highly realized aryas possessing the three vehicles of mind.
By resounding in the sphere of the profound and the pacified, the divine music of the hallowed Dharma that accords with the dispositions of the varied persons needing to be tamed, I request you to rouse from their sleep all those with a mind emotionally and cognitively obscured.
Till all wandering beings have gained the breath of relief of blissful awareness with a realization that is parted from the extremes of compulsive existence and tranquil nirvana, please remain firmly seated on the thrones of my indestructible vajras, with your two legs crossed in the undissipating posture of EVAM.
I dedicate all the lustrous good I’ve been doing, have done and shall be continuing to do, so that I may be cared for by ennobling, impeccable spiritual masters, without ever being parted, and, having fulfilled the prayers of the supreme deeds of Samantabhadra, that I may attain full enlightenment for the sake of all wandering beings.
By offering this base, anointed with fragrant waters, strewn with flowers, and decked with Mount Meru, four islands, a sun, and a moon, imagining it as a Buddha-field, may all those who wander be led to pure lands.
The body, speech and mind of myself and others, whatever we enjoy, as well as our bountiful store of constructive potential from throughout the three times, a splendid jeweled mandala and expansive Samantabhadra offerings – I envision these all and present them to you, o my spiritual master, my yidam, my Three Precious Gems. Accepting them out of the force of compassion, grant me inspiring strength.
IDAM GURU RATNA MANDALA-KAM NIRYATA-YAMI
I send forth this mandala to you, my precious spiritual master.
Receiving Inspiration from Our Spiritual Master
From the HRIH in the heart (of Avalokiteshvara, seated in your heart), my ennobling, impeccable spiritual master, flow streams of nectar and rays of light of five colors. They enter me through the crown of my head and cleanse me of my negative karmic potentials and obscurations; they bring me to attain the supreme and common actual attainments, without an exception.
OM AH GURU VAJRADHARA VAGINDRA SUMATI SHASANA DHARA SAMUDRA SHRI BHADRA SARVA SIDDHI HUM HUM
[Repeat His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s name mantra as many times as possible.]
Prayer for Inspiration to Develop the Graded Pathway Minds (Lam-rim)
Inspire me so that, having found certainty that you, my kind and ennobling spiritual master, who teach the unerring pathway minds, thereby forming the basis for every provisional and longterm bliss, without an exception, are a mass of infinite (sources) of safe direction, I may rely on you properly, with pure thoughts and deeds.
Inspire me so that, (having understood that) a working basis of respites and enrichments cannot be matched by tens of millions of the most precious gems – even having attained one, it’s never stable; it’s never certain when it will be lost – I may pass (my life) with pure Dharma activity and never be distracted by whatever might appear in this (life).
Inspire me so that, having sincerely taken eternal safe direction from the Three Supreme (Gems), the best of protections from the fears of the worse states of rebirth, so hard to endure, I may be able to rid myself of my negative karmic potentials and accomplish constructive deeds, by having the urges that bring me to act be in accord with (understanding) the cause and effect of lustrous and murky (behavior).
Inspire me so that, having roused my mind-stream with the strong determination to be free that sees that even all the splendors of the King of the Gods are (merely) deceptions, like the sirens’ beguiling, seductive allure, I may practice the three (higher) trainings.
Inspire me so that, having considered the situation of how wandering beings, who’ve (all) been my mothers and have raised me so well with their kindness, from beginningless time, are tormented by the crippling effects of compulsive existence or tranquil nirvana, I may develop a supreme bodhichitta aim and train in an ocean of (bodhisattva) deeds.
Inspire me so that I may develop on my mind-stream a yoga of the joined pair: a stilled and settled state of shamatha and an exceptionally perceptive state of vipashyana, in which the hundreds of thousands of wonders of voidness, free, from the start, from the extremes (of truly established existence and total nonexistence) appear vividly, without impedance, on the face of the mirror of my perfectly clear and unwavering total absorption.
Inspire me so that, having entered the gateway to extremely profound mantra practice through the kindness of my fully qualified Vajradhara-mentor, a holder of the vajras, I may be able to uphold, in strict accordance, the close-bonding practices and vows: they are the roots of the actual attainments.
Inspire me so that, having cut off the coursing of my all-creating karmic energy-winds with the sharp sword of the deep awareness of nondual blissful awareness and voidness, I may manifest in this lifetime a greatly blissful state of mahamudra: a unified pair of an enlightening body and enlightening mind.
Merging of Our Spiritual Master into Our Hearts
Requested in this way, my supreme spiritual master, you gladly come (to the crown of my head). Passing through my aperture of Brahma, you dissolve into the undissipating drop at the center of my eight-petalled heart.
Now, right at that spot, your enlightening body, my spiritual master, with the three beings stacked as before, appears clearly, once more, on a lotus and a moon.
The HRIH (at the heart of the Avalokiteshvara) at your heart is encircled by a garland of his six-syllable mantra. From them, a stream of nectars pours down, cleansing me of all sickness, harmful spirits, negative karmic potentials and obscurations, and expanding my good qualities of scriptural knowledge and realization. Thus I obtain the complete inspiration of the Triumphant (Buddhas) and their spiritual offspring, with nothing left missing.
Once more light rays emanate forth, cleansing the environment and the beings therein of all their faults. I remain in the supreme yoga of taking appearances, resoundings, and knowings as the three hidden factors of the noble aryas.
OM MANI PADME HUM
[Repeat the mantra of Avalokiteshvara as many times as possible.]
OM VAJRA-SATTVA SAMAYA MANU-PALAYA, VAJRA-SATTVA TVENO-PATISHTA, DRIDHO ME BHAVA, SUTOSHYO ME BHAVA, SUPOSHYO ME BHAVA, ANURAKTO ME BHAVA, SARVA SIDDHIM ME PRAYACCHA, SARVA KARMA SUCHA ME, CHITTAM SHRIYAM KURU HUM, HA HA HA HA HOH BHAGAVAN, SARVA TATHAGATA VAJRA, MA ME MUNCHA, VAJRI BHAVA, MAHA-SAMAYA-SATTVA, AH HUM PHAT
[Repeat the Vajrasattva mantra once, for cleansing yourself of any faults in the mantra recitation.]
In the white jasmine garden of the method of Dharma of the Triumphant Mind-Treasure (Manjushri), may the blossoms of explanation and accomplishment burst forth through the myriad-fold brilliance of the youthful new moon of my excellent deeds, as illustrated by this. And by making everything propitious thereby on the face of our great Earth, may it beautify (the universe) till the end of (everyone’s) compulsive existence.
By hoisting above and beyond the three planes of compulsive existence the never-lowering magnificent jeweled banner of Ganden religious and secular rule, blazing with a host of splendid, constructive and excellent (features), may it satisfy all wishes, a hundred thousand-fold, for benefit and bliss.
Having banished afar the masses of darkness of our degenerate times from across the broad face of our Earth, a coquettish goddess offering us extensive wealth, may all beings be filled with pride and merrymaking at the magnificent good omens, appearances of bliss and happiness, lighting up and spreading everywhere.
In short, my guardian, by the force of being happily cared for by you, without ever being parted throughout the rosary of my lives, may I quickly pass, with ease and no effort, to the great royal city of a unified pair, (becoming a Buddha) with majestic command over all.
Verse for Propitiousness
By the force of the wondrous compassion of the Triumphant Buddhas and their spiritual offspring, may the masses of adversity and oppression be stilled everywhere and forever, and may there be the propitiousness of good omens spreading, with whatever is constructive and excellent in compulsive existence and peaceful nirvana increasing and expanding like the waxing moon.
In this land surrounded by a ring of snow mountains, may the lotus-feet of Avalokiteshvara, Tenzin-gyatso, the spring for all benefit and joy, remain firmly planted till samsara's end.
For as long as space remains, and for as long as wandering beings remain, may I too remain for that long, dispelling the sufferings of wandering beings.
By the Teacher having come to this world, and by his teachings illuminating like sunlight, and by students and instructors upholding his teachings living in harmony, may all be propitious for the teachings to remain for a very long time.