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IN PRAISE OF THE TRIPLE GEM
THE REFUGE PRAYER OF THE BODHISATTVA PATH
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.
At the beginning of all prayer services (pujas) and even short prayers, this prayer is recited three times.
THE FOUR LIMITLESS MEDITATIONS
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness,
May all beings be away from sorrow and the causes of sorrow.
May all beings never be separated from the great happiness
that is sorrowless.
May all leave attachment to dear ones, and aversion to others
And live believing in the equality of all that lives.
(Note: These four lines express the four Brahma Viharas (Heavenly Abodes). Line 1: Maitri (Love); line 2: Karuna (Compassion); line 3: Mudita (joy in the joy of others); line 4: Upeksha (the feeling of the equalness of everything).
THE KHYABDRO OR ORDINATION OF TAKING THE REFUGE
OF THE TRIPLE GEM
(to be given by a member of the Sangha of the Buddha who has taken the Renunciation)
Bow down before the Buddha on the shrine three times.
Again three times before the ordaining lama )
Venerable One, listen to me:
My name is.................................From this time until my death,
taking the Enlightened One as
supreme among human beings
IN THE BUDDHA I TAKE MY REFUGE
Accepting that teaching supreme which is free from craving
IN THE DHARMA I TAKE MY REFUGE
Regarding it as the most excellent among communities
IN THE SANGHA I TAKE MY REFUGE
Until my death comes, will you, most Venerable One, take me
as your disciple The of three Refuges
(repeat this three times )
At the end of the third repetition, instead of "most Venerable One" say" most Venerable Lama"
The Lama then says :
Have you understood the method? (Thabs yin no?)
The new Genyen replies: Yes (Legs so , in Tib. )
The Lama snaps his fingers. Think : at this moment, I have received the ordination of the Buddha.
IN PRAISE OF THE THREE JEWELS
These prayers are said before entering the shrine on the Full Moon Day and the last dark fortnight (before the New Moon). They are the fundamental prayers of the worship of the Three Jewels, taken from the sutras of the Buddha.
The Blessed One, 1 the One who has Gone Beyond, 2 the Utterly Purified, 3 the Fully Enlightened Buddha, perfect in knowledge and conduct, the one who goes on the Path of Bliss, 4 knower of the worlds, training all men in the rules of morality, transcending, the guide of all Gods and men, the incomparable Lord of the Sakyas - at your sacred feet, immaculate, with my head bowed in reverence, in devotion I make obeisance.
At that time when you were born, most excellent among men, there in the Lumbini garden you took seven steps and declared, "I, in this world, am the Supreme One." To you who at that age had supreme knowledge, I bow.
With a body of complete purity, most perfect and good; ocean of transcending wisdom, like a mountain of gold, famous in the three worlds, most eminent; before you, the most excellent of Protectors, I bow.
With the supreme signs of the Buddha; immaculate, with a face like the moon; to you with the skin of golden hue I bow down. Away from all blemish, in all the three worlds beyond compare, to you, matchless in the higher knowledge, I bow down.
Supreme among men, who show control and how to keep the rules of morality; who shows us how to break the fetters that bind us; the One who Goes Beyond. 2 Calming the senses, knowing by stages the path that leads to the Great Peace: to you who lived in the Sacred Vihara of Sahet-Mahet, I bow down.
You, our Protector, always greatly merciful; the One who is our guide to omniscience, the basis 5 of merit and an ocean of virtues, to the Tathagata, the one who has gone beyond, I bow down.
Pure is the Dharma, the basis 5 away from all craving, by virtue of which we are saved from the hells. All in one, the Absolute, that which is most excellent: to the Dharma which is peace itself, I bow down.
The community of the Buddha, saved from suffering, you who guide all to salvation, completely devoted to the conduct that is pure the Sacred Field, the Field of all virtues - to the Sangha also I bow down.
To the Omniscient One I how down.
Thus is the Buddha, the Blessed One, 1 the One who has Gone Beyond, 2 the Utterly Purified, 3 the Fully Enlightened Buddha, perfect in knowledge and conduct, the one who goes on the Path of Bliss, 4 knower of the worlds, training all men in the rules of morality, the transcending, guide of all gods and men, the Buddha, the Bhagawan.
The Tathagata, the One who has Gone Beyond, who is the basis of pure merit properly arising; the root of all virtues, bringing fruit untellable; always adorned with the jewels of pure patience; the earth from which the treasure of merit emerges; beautiful with the eighty signs, good and auspicious; like a fully opened flower showing all the signs of Buddhahood, following the Path by stages in proper order never doing anything not in a proper way.
Having the greatest faith, always in the happiness that is real; glorious in His wisdom, unsurpassed. Possessing all powers, but never oppressing others, guide of all beings, the Heavenly Father of all the Bodhisattvas. 6
King of all the Holy Ones, whatsoever; the leader of all beings to the abode of Nirvana,7 of transcending wisdom beyond comprehension, with courage beyond thought. His words are perfectly pure; his voice is gentle, his body and bearing most excellent, beyond description. Away from passion, leading all across the river, 8 in the transcending knowledges complete and perfect. Of all the Buddhas of the past, future and the present, remaining in the wisdom transcending; liberated from suffering but not remaining in Nirvana. Away from both suffering and Nirvana, beyond. Looking on all sentient beings with kindly eyes, always remaining on the levels of the Bodhisattva.
So is the Buddha, the Bhagawan, in his body perfect, in all
virtues most excellent.
The sacred Dharma is beautiful in the beginning,
beautiful in the middle and beautiful in the end.
The meaning is good, each word is good.
Faultless, complete and perfect, completely purified.
Most rare is the word of the Bhagawan, seeing all, pure. Beyond the concept of time, to be but approached to be seen. To whoever sees it bringing spiritual benefit. To be realised each one for himself.
The Dharma of the Buddha's word leads us to most perfect practice of morality;9 it is born of the real. Showing the way across to the perfect Enlightenment; never showing anything that is not proper; that on which we can rely; cutting the root of the suffering of the world.10
The Order of the Sangha of the Mahyana is of excellent conduct, of wise conduct, of upright conduct, of proper conduct, worthy of reverential prostrations; the incomparable field of merit, able to purify all that is offered; worthy of offerings; worthy of all offerings whatsoever.
SHARING THE MERIT
By this merit may I become enlightened
Having become enlightened may I defeat all evils
Through the endless storm of birth, illness, old age and death
May I help all beings to cross the ocean of the suffering of the worlds.
THE MOUNTAIN OF GOLD
He who has all that is most excellent, a mountain of gold,
Protector of the Three Worlds whose mind is clear all the three stains.
Buddha, of the open lotus, whose eyes are like petals: In the Universe the first Mangala virtue comas from Him.
From the Buddha came the unutterably highest Teaching,
In the Three Worlds famed; that to which Gods and men
make offerings :
The Saddharma giving peace to all that is born,
In the Universe, the second Mangala virtue comes from This.
The holy Brotherhood who hold the Dharma the ones who
hear it, rich in things auspicious,
For devas and men and the asuras "the sacred field of Offering,
This Arya Sangha, transcendent, modest, the root of higher
In the Universe, the Third Mangala virtue comes from Them.
From missing anything or doing anything wrong, for sins of misunderstanding which we have committed or caused others to commit, O Protectors of the Dharma be patient and forgive us.
The prayers were translated from the original Tibetan Texts by the Buddhist nun Karma Tsultim Khechog Palmo (Freda Bedi) aided by the Lamas Chosgyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Thutop Tulku, Topgah Rinpoche, and Thrangu Rinpoche.
They are published for the benefit of all beings by Sister Karma Khechog Palmo, Buddhist nun, in memory of her only brother, John Houlston of Derby, England, who passed away in the autumn of 1968. May he attain to the blessed Buddhafields.
Printed for the Karma Rigdol Centre, P. O. Box 15438, Cape Town, by the Children of Atlantis Publications.
Om Mani Peme Hung.
1. Baghawan (Skt.)
2. Tathagata (Skt.)
3. Arahat (Skt.)
4. Sugata (Skt.)
5. Hetu (Skt.)
6. ‘Those on the path to Buddhahood'
7. The Absolute, the peace beyond thought
8. Of suffering
9. Vinaya (Skt.)
10. Samsara, the wheel of suffering.