Part Two

Part One:  



Dedicated to



who first opened for me the door of the Mahayana,

Ocean wide

Ocean deep

it is by your Grace

that this humble seeker offers these prayers

in the language of her birthland

to her Guru-Lama



Sixteenth in the line of the incarnates of the

First Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa (1110. A.D. - 1193 A.D.)


Honour to the Triple Gem

To the GYALWA KARMAPA I bow in devotion.

Body of the Order transcending

Voice of the Teaching beyond words

Mind of all the Enlightened Ones.

Most profound is your Dharma body

covering all like the skies;

Most radiant is your celestial body

showering heavenly bliss;

Most compassionate is your earthly body

the undying form of illusion.

Across what stormy seas of grief come those

Who see your sacred Vajra Crown:

It is the water cooling the eyes of all

Who are tired of seeking,

The amrit nectar that fills their mind

Bringing liberation from suffering.


It is early in the morning. In every Buddhist home there is some quiet corner where the Buddha Rupa or form of the Buddha is kept, The floor is brushed clean as only a clean place is worthy of the Buddhas.

While cleaning, think : my mind has also to be cleansed like this.

While making offerings it is what you think of while you offer them that is really important.

Offer them with devotion from your very heart.

Before the Buddha place a small bowl of water. This is the simplest of all offerings...make it, thinking that you are offering all that is most precious, all the Dharma teaching you have heard. If you wish to make the classic seven offerings, then offer two small bowls of water, for drinking and bathing; flowers symbolising the virtues of the Buddha; incense, the perfection of moral conduct ( sila ); a lamp or light of any kind, symbolising wisdom. A bowl of water in which a little saffron or perfume is put represents the "odour of sanctity". Grains or cakes for plenty; sounds to please the ear. According to Tibetan custom, there are always seven little bowls, four of which are filled with uncooked rice, and three with water. These are left on the shrine all day and in the evening emptied, and the bowls cleaned.

It is also customary to offer a three-tiered Mandala, plied with rice in a special way which must be learned from a teacher. Alternatively, the rice may be piled on an inverted round box. It is customary to crown the three-tiered Mandala with a silver Dharma Chakra, and to put any precious stones or shells on the rice pile to decorate it. If you have no Mandala, you may offer one in your imagination, holding a few rice grains in your hands, and imagining the Buddhas, the Bodhisattavas and the Lamas of your line like a radiant cloud in the sky before you.


Holding the Offering Mandala in both hands, raise it above your head, and recite the following short prayer:


The ground is purified with scented water and strewn with flowers.

It is adorned with Sumeru, King of mountains, the Four Quarters of the Universe, the sun and the moon.

Thinking of it as the blessed Buddhafields I offer it.........

By virtue of this may all beings here and now

Attain the happiness of that Pure Land.

All that is purest and most perfect can

be offered to the Buddha. The first tea made during the day; fruits; the first plate of food at midday.

 When dusk fails, before saying the Protector's prayer we offer tea or milk, and sometimes a little food to those who guard the Dharma and keep illness, difficulties, dangers and obstacles away from us and all beings.

 Think, as you make the offering: Just as you, 0 divine protectors have made the vow to protect the Dharma, so I pledge myself to make offerings to you, and remember you.



 In the Buddha, his Teaching, and the Order most excellent,

I take my refuge until Enlightenment is reached.

By the merit of generosity and other good deeds

May I attain Buddhahood for the sake of all that lives,

Repeat the prayer three times

The Enlightenment Thought (Bodhicilia arises.



May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;

May all beings be away from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;

May all never be separate from the sacred happiness that is sorrowimm;

May all leave attachment to dear ones, and aversion to others

And live believing in the equalness of all that lives,

 Repeat this prayer three times.


 The Buddha's teaching, of the line of Kagyudpa realisation, which all Karmapas teach, originates from the celestial Buddha Vajradhara (in Tibetan : Dorje Chang). it was He who taught it in the higher way to the famous meditator Tilopa, born in Chittagong in E. Bengal, and known there as the Bhikshu Prajna Bhadra. He, in his turn, handed the teaching to his Kashmiri pupil, Naropa, -acarya or Vice-Chancellor of the ancient seat of learning, the Nalanda University in Bihar, India.

 Afterwards, this devoted and learned lama taught Father Marpa, who came from Tibet, and made him a Master of the Ocean of the Tantric Teachings. Marpa's spiritual son, the singing yogi, Milarepa, the poet-saint of Tibet, served him with legendary devotion, living and meditating in his later life in the caves and mountains of Tibet. The next in the line is the learned Abbot Gampopa, a great professor of Buddhist philosophy and meditation, who, in his turn, became the teacher of the First Karmapa.

 The line of Karmapa lamas, whose main central trunk was in Tsurphu in central Tibet, not far from Lhasa, continues uninterrupted until the present day. Each Karmapa, by his esoteric powers, gives before his passing detailed infromation about where his successor will be horn.

 During this period, the Karma Kamsang of the Karmapas were the guardians of the precious teaching, and from this central trunk four big branches emerged, under different galaxies of gurus, and these were called the Drigung, Taklung, Tsalpa and Dukpa Kagyudpas. The monasteries of the Kagyudpas proliferated mainly in the Eastern Province of Tibet, and beyond that in Bhutan, Sikkim, Ladakh, and in the frontier state of Himachal Pradesh in India.

 The lamas of the Karma Kamsang are to be found in two distinct lines. His Holiness Karmapa, for the benefit of all beings, wears a blue-black crown or mitre decrated with gold and jewels on certain ritual occasions, and the Zhwamars or Red Crown Lamas wear an almost identical one of scarlet colour. Both work and study together in perfect unity under the guidance of the Karmapa Gurus. The present seat of His Holiness Karmapa in his exile from Tibet is the Dharma Chakra Centre in Rumtek, near the capital of Sikkim.


The Buddha who holds the Vajra, Dorje Chang;

Tilopa and Naropa

Father Marpa and Milarepa

Learned Abbot Gampopa

He who knows past, present and future

Omniscient Karmapa.

The four great branches, and the eight smaller ones:

Drigung, Taklung, Tsalpa, all three,

And honoured Dukpa too,

Wondrous is your skill in the deep path of the Mahamudra meditation.

Matchless in the protection of beings are all followers of Gampopa.

The Abbot Gampopa

All the Kagyudpa lamas I pray to. Your line I honour:

Pour your blessings continuously on me.

Disgust with the world is the legs of meditation, so our Gurus say.

May I not be attached to food and wealth.

By you, 0 meditator, all life's attachments have been cut:

Pour your blessings on me that I may not have the greed of being honoured.

 Devotion is the head of meditation say the Gurus.

 To the Lama who opens the door of the secret teachings

For me who meditates and is always devoted to, him

May spontaneous devotion be born, and bring its blessings.

A mind that does not wander, the Gurus say, is the body of meditation.

The essence of the thought that arises of itself is ever fresh:

The meditator who truly understands dwells in naturalness.

Pour on me your blessings that my meditation may go beyond thought.

Thought in itself is the Dharma body, so our Gurus say,

 Nothing really is: everything arises in the meditator's mind.

Unending is the play of the transcending wisdom that arises.

May we have the realisation that the world and the Great Peace

Are indivisible............ that Sameara and Nirvana are one.

Meditate on this.


 In all my lifetimes may I not be separated from my lama.

May I use to the full the high teachings he gives me.

 May I reach the Bodhisattva levels and attain the good qualities of the Path. Soon may I attain the realisation of the Buddha who holds the Vajra.

 Then repeat many times KARMAPA CHEN NO

 This is the mantra invoking the help of the Karmapas, and is to be said outwardly or inwardly, with intense devotion and concentration.

Remembering with compassion the great sufferings of all in the Wheel of Life, one with the great heart of all that lives, reaffirm the Vow of the Bodhisattvas: 


 May we realise the holy happiness that goes beyond;

May we cross the ocean of unbearable suffering;

May we never be separated from the sacred happiness of liberation.

In order to save all beings from the fears of this world

That mind that desires the Fully Perfect Enlightenment

I will keep inseparable from me, even at the cost of my life,

From now, until Buddhahood is attained.

 My lama, the Buddha, and the Buddha's spiritual sons -

Please listen to me.


As In the Tathagatas of the past the Enlightenment Thought arose,

As they practised the Bodhisaftva conduct for the benefit of all,

And in proper order attained it, stage by stage,

I too, the Enlightenment Thought having arisen In me,

Will practise the Bodhisattva conduct in due order,

For the benefit of all sentient beings.


At this time, in this life, the good result has come.

I have gained the human sphere.

Today I have become the Son of the Buddha.

Now, whatever happens, I will practise what is suitable,

According to the Buddha's race,

And in that transcending race without stain,

Faultless, will remain for ever

Then, thinking of myself as not alone, but with a multitude of living beings behind me, I imagine the lama as a figure of light in the sky before me, the essence of the three Bodies of the Buddha


 All sentient beings, our mothers, limitless as the sky,

Pray to the Lama, who is the Buddha Jewel,

The Maharatana.

All sentient beings, our mothers, limitless as the sky,

Pray to the Lama who is the Dharma body of the Buddha,

Covering all.


All sentient beings, our mothers, limitless as the sky,

Pray to the Lama-Guru who is the celestial body Of perfect bliss.


All sentient beings, our mothers, limitless as the sky,

Pray to the Lama-Guru who is the body of illusion

Most merciful.

Meditate on the Lama indivisible,

,4gain repeat the Mantra KARMAPA CHEN NO

 After the first one or two repetitions, the remaining ones can be inner and silent, ending with one mantra spoken aloud.


 I pray to the Lama, the Jewel of Jewels.

Pour on me blessings that I may leave the thought of self.

Meaningless may all worldly things appear.

Pour blessings on me that unreligious thoughts may stop.

May I understand my mind as the unborn and the unbeginning.

Pour on me your blessings that innate unrest is calmed.

Until enlightenment is reached, our realisations and practice are not perfect and are mixed with defilements and ignorance of different kinds. Therefore we do purificatory prayers to wash these impurities away.


In the Triple Gem I take refuge. Sins and wrong ( akusala ) thoughts

are all cleansed: I am penitent. I rejoice in the virtues of others,

The aim of enlightenment is firm in my heart.

In the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the most excellent of communities,

I take my refuge until enlightenment is reached.

For the sake of myself and all others may the perfect Enlightenment

Thought the unutterably high Bodhicitta, arise.

When that Bodhicifta most excellent has arisen, all we shall call

upon to come with us, and, fulfilling the supreme conduct of the Bodhisattvas, lovely to the hearty bring all beings to the attainment of Buddhahood.

The gateway to the deeper path of meditation is the conferring of the empowerment or authority ( Kahwang : jesnang ) by a competent Lama. This is called an initiation. Since important and necessary initiations are many, and smaller ones of varying uses to be counted in their hundreds, we should offer prayers that we may attain to these


 All you holy, honoured lamas, our spiritual teachers,

Give me the initiations of the four kinds which bring a rich harvest.

May I get the good result soon on all the four bodies

Bless me, I pray, with the Siddhis, the perfection of the four kinds

of activity.


At the very moment when I say this prayer,

The lama is suffused with light in which is merged the forms of his

gurus and disciples.

Meditate on that form symbolising the great uniting of the Triple Gem,

The form which looks like the living body of the Guru-Lama.


From the centre of the Guru's forehead stream rays of white light

Which are absorbed into my brow, purifying the defilements of my body.

When I have attained the Vase Initiation I can meditate on Form

And as a result become worthy of the Body of Illusion.


From the base of the Guru's throat stream rays of red light

Which are absorbed into my throat purifying the words I utter.

When I have obtained the Secret Initiation, I can do the meditation

of the veins and the airs

And, as a result, become worthy of the Celestial Body of Bliss.


From the heart of the Guru stream rays of blue light

Which are absorbed into my heart, purifying the defilements of my mind.

When I have attained the Initiation of Wisdom I can meditate on the Higher Yoga Union,

And as a result become worthy of the Dharma Kaya, the Body of the Void.


From the three places, white, red and blue, the three lights are streaming,

Are absorbed into my three places, purifying all defilements.

When I have attained the Fourth Initiation I can meditate on the Mahamudra

And as a result become worthy of the Essential Body, intrinsic in all.


After that, the lama is dissolved in light which is absorbed into myself:

The body, speech, and mind of the lama become mine.

The three Vajras, no longer separate, are united in me.

All forms are my lama's form, all sounds his voice, all thoughts his mind,

As this thought arises we realise our liberation.

Part Two