The Sadhana of Avalokiteshvara (Tibetan: Chenrezig),
with commentary by Lama Lodu
[Note: It's traditionally taught that what's called 'self-generation' - where
one visualizes oneself as the deity - should only be done by those who have
received the initiation of a particular deity, but that 'front generation' -
where one visualizes the diety in space above and in front of oneself - can be
done by anyone.] Chenrezig Puja
This book contains the recitation for the meditation of the Great Compassionate
One called 'For the Benefit of All Beings as Vast as the Skies', Tib.
(Begin with REFUGE.)
Refuge begins with visualization, the object is Avalokiteshvara, four armed
Chenrezig. The six, three jewels and three roots, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Lama,
Yidam, and Dharma Protector, these condense into one.The three jewels: the body
is Sangha, speech Dharma, and mind is Buddha. Body, pure, perfect, acting on
the path as a Bodhisattva is Sangha. Speech- teaching liberation from the ocean
of suffering is Dharma. Stainless, pure mind is Buddha.The three roots:
Avalokiteshvara's body is the Dharma Protectors, speech is Dieties, and mind is
Lama. Body is Dharma Protectors, the one who protects from obstacles and
preserves the teaching. Speech is Dieties, pure, perfect energies, appearing
according to the needs of sentient beings. Dieties represent pure speech.
Speech is a very subtle level of consciousness. In the word 'Yidam', 'Yi' means
mind, and 'dam' tight, holding very tightly. Always keep in mind the perfection
of the Dieties, and do not forget. Always remember, instead of feeling fear at
any time, always bring Dieties, this view to mind. Avalokitehvara's speech is
the pure energy of Dieties, and Chenrezig's mind represents the Lama, or
Guru.Lama means Buddha. La- means space, sky, above all the world; physically,
mentally, nothing above; true wisdom, compassion; wisdom is limitless,
compassion, limitless.La expressses all enlightened qualities. Ma, mother in
any language, represents compassion, boundless compassion and loving kindness.He
who has these qualities is the mother of all sentient beings. Like the love of
a mother for her child, the Lama has this love for all sentient beings.
Perfect, stainless and pure wisdom, perfect, measureless.He would not regret
being born one million times to liberate one sentient being. Without
discriminating, equal compassion for all, loving kindness for all, without
exception, that is Chenrezig, that is the Lama.Chenrezig represents the Three
Jewels and the Three Roots;The Buddha, Dharma, Sangha; the Blessing Root is the
Lama, , the Accomplishment Root is the Yidam, and the Activity Root is the
Dharma Protector.Visualize Chenrezig as the one who is capable entirely of
protecting sentient beings from suffering.The Buddhas, past, present and future,
are whoever attained enlightenment. They are the 'transcendant and accomplished
conquerors'.'All the Supreme Dharma' is all the Holy, Spiritual Dharma that
leads to liberation. Dharma is taught according to our afflictions. It is said
that there are 84,000 teachings to meet our needs. Dharma is given by the
Buddha to be practiced, and is all the truth spoken by the Enlightened Ones.
The Dharma refines our mind, and leads from suffering to liberation.The Noble
Sangha are those who do not do any negative action, and are continuously doing
positive action; noble and high beings, perfect and pure, and the ordinary
Sangha are those who help and encourage us.Dakas and Dakinis are male and female
Bodhisattvas, also enlightened beings. They are the 'Protectors and Defenders
of the Dharma'. When we take refuge sincerely, from the depth of our hearts,
they will protect us from any obstacle and any hinderance, and they will guide
us on the path of liberation.Each symbol represents an enlightened quality.
Dakas and Dakinis appear out of compassion, like a mother who is kind, gentle,
and who loves her child with her whole heart- that mother will give up her own
life to save her child, the Buddhas have that much compassion for all beings
equally.Sometimes a mother shows anger out of kindness, thinking, 'this may
help'. Dieties compassion is so strong to subdue, to protect, and to lead to
enlightenment. Sometimes a wrathful appearance is needed.Whoever possesses the
Wisdom Eye through their purity, and have the ability to protect sentient
beings, all these are united in Avalokiteshvara. When you are taking refuge you
are saying that you are under the protection of all these great beings, and not
only you but all sentient beings. Whatever sentient beings are suffering, they
are protected and led to the path.Recite until you feel devotion. Bring in your
mind the purity and the activity of enlightened beings. Mind is Buddha, speech,
Dharma, and Body, Sangha. Bring to mind their power, compassion and purity,
This is a most important practice of the Vajrayana. If you are in refuge, you
are 'inside'. 'Inside' also means looking at the true nature of mind.Think: he
can protect me, not only temporarily, not only this lifetime, but until
enlightenment. How? Study and practice Dharma. Devotion is how you look at
pure, enlightened qualities. Longing and practice, this leads to
experience.From this moment until the Heart of Enlightenment is reached, I and
all sentient beings as limitless as the sky * go for refuge to all the glorious
Holy Lamas; we go for refuge to all the Yidams, the Dieties gathered in the
Mandalas; we go for refuge to all the Buddhas, those that have conquered and
gone beyond; we go for refuge to all the Supreme Dharma; we go for refuge to all
the Noble Sangha; we go for refuge to all the Dakas, Dakinis, Protectors and
Defenders of Dharma who possess the eye of Transcending Awareness. (Repeat
three times from *.)
(Finishing the Refuge, the recitation for the Chenrezig meditation follows.
First the REFUGE and the Raising of BODHICITTA:)
Next, most important are the Six Perfections (sometimes Ten). We wish to gain
enlightenment. Why?- because I want to free all sentient beings from suffering
and guide them to enlightenment. This is bodhicitta, altruism. The Six
Perfections are: generosity, morality, patience, diligence, concentration, and
Generosity takes the form of material giving, giving fearlessness, and
giving Dharma. With skillful means we give so that they feel very free and
safe. Pure giving knows what will benefit. The best generosity is to give the
Dharma, to free them from samsara. The Dharma that you give is forever. When
they practice they are liberated from suffering and attain enlightenment and are
able to benefit other sentient beings. (Be careful that they are suitable.)In
this case, the generosity is the visualization of Avalokiteshvara, and reciting
the mantra of Avalokiteshvara, and resting in the majesty and radience of the
true nature of mind.Morality is whatever vow you have, especially during this
practice, concentrate stage by stage (without anger, desire, jealousy, greed)
according to the sadhana, not allowing these different kinds of
Patience- summer hot, winter cold, knee hurt, thirsty, hungry- no
matter what, I keep it until the end of the sadhana. By concentrating on the
sadhana I can dispel impure view of the world and it becomes the Pure Land.So,
whatever comes you take it.Diligence is the opposite of laziness. We know what
a great oppourtunity we have. Use this oppourtunity. Bring this good fortune
to mind. This brings encouragement to go through any obstacles.
Diligence is also called joyful striving. This will result in good. A little difficulty is
no big deal. Think of the great result.
Concentration- each prayer has its own meaning. Concentrate on the meaning,
on the visualization and the mantra.Wisdom is knowing that what you
visualize, mantra, prayer, sentient beings, all
together, all this is emptiness, they do not really exist inherently. That is
how you look.With an overview of the practice, you think I will do this
practice, then I will have the ability to benefit sentient beings.
Bodhicitta means the heart of enlightenment, altruism, Enlightened Mind. With sincere
compassion, wish for others to be free from suffering. We have to experience,
have sympathy, and send out compassion, wishing them happiness that lasts
forever, and wishing them to be free from suffering forever. Send out this
precious thought to others. Compassion and kindness are very important. Keep
Refuge and bodhicitta are a very important part of the tantric
sadhana. Refuge distinguishes one as a Buddhist, and bodhicitta distinguishes
this as a practice of the vajrayana.* To the Buddhas, Dharma, and Supreme
Assembly I go for refuge until Enlightenment. May I, through merit gained by
gifts and so on, accomplish Buddhahood for the sake of all beings.(Repeat three
times from *.)
(VISUALIZATION of the DIETY)
Generating DietiesFocus on the crown of your head and think:
the rest of sentient beings have as I have. There is a
lotus and moon seat with the syllable HRI, which is the nature of all Buddhas'
compassion. This is sending many rays of light; white, red, blue, green and
yellow, like sun rays, purifying all the world, and the world becomes like
Dewachen (the Pure Land of Avalokiteshvara). All beings become like
Chenrezig.The rays of light reach to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and they
send their blessing in the form of light which dissolves into the HRI. Then
instantly this changes into Avalokiteshvara, Compassionate One. His body is
white, crystal clear, luminous. It is radiating five-colored light rays,
bright, shining. He has one face, beautiful, charming, and is gazing with
compassionate eyes on all sentient beings.
On his forehead there is the syllable OM, at the throat center,
the syllable AH, and at the heart the syllable HUNG.
Light goes out the the Pure Lands, to the blissful realms, reaching to all
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, all the lineage holders, all wrathful and peaceful
dieties. They emanate many forms of Chenrezig which dissolve into the crown of
my head, like rain into an ocean. 'He is the essence of all sources of refuge'.
He is the source of all protection of sentient beings.On the crown of my head
and all sentient beings pervading space, there rests a white lotus and moon
seat. From HRI (on the lotus and moon seat) appears Noble All-Seeing One,
white, bright, and radiating five-colored light rays, smiling charmingly and
gazing with Eyes of Compassion.He has four arms, the upper two joined together
and the lower two holding a white lotus and crystal rosary. He is adorned by
precious jewels and silks; a deer skin covers his upper part (left shoulder).
The Buddha of Boundless Light adorns his head. He sits in the vajra asana. His
back is supported by a stainless moon; he is the essence of all sources of
refuge.With one-pointed devotion, make the wish-fulfilling prayer.
You can pray for what you wish to develop, the ability to benefit sentient beings; to pacify,
remove obstacles, hinderance, disease; for friend, or relative, when they
experience sickness, death; if they are in the bardo. Of all sentient beings,
your friend is the example. So think of all sentient beings, praying, 'give to
them the effortless accomplishment...'.(Make the following prayer thinking all
beings are making it with you as if in a single voice.)* Lord, whose white body
is not clothed by fault, whose head is adorned by a Perfect Buddha, who looks
upon all beings with Eyes of Compassion, to you Chenrezig I pay homage.(Repeat
as least three times from *.)
(The SEVEN BRANCH PRAYER)There is one part for each of
seven kinds of afflictions.Prostration, with all of our bodies, past, living
and this body, with one-pointed devotion, is the antidote for pride. With
self-cherishing, people think they are important. We become humble seeing the
purity of enlightened beings.To the Sublime One, the Mighty Chenrezig, to the
Buddhas and their Sons, who reside in the ten directions and the three times,
with complete sincerity I pay homage.
Second, offering, purifies attachment; to material things, house, car,
mountain, landscape, flower garden. All of this I see and am attached to,
all this I offer.Fill all the world with imaginary offerings, not because he
needs them, but because I need to purify my attachment
to things, including my speech, mind, and body.I offer flowers, incense,
butter-lamps, perfume, food, music, and other real and imaginary offerings and
so on, and beseech the Noble Assembly to accept them.
Third, confession, purifies mainly anger, and other afflictions too. All this we
confess: the ten non-virtues of killing, stealing, misconduct, harsh speech,
meaningless speech, lies, divisive speech, envy, illwill, and wrong view; also the five limitless
actions, such as causing a split in the Sangha, or between a teacher and
student. All these I repent from my heart, and I will not do these any more.
We say this in front of Chenrezig, and this purifies any negative actions.
I confess all the unskillful actions caused by the power of conflicting emotions,
the ten unvirtuous deeds and the five sins of limitless consequence done from
beginningless time until now.
Fourth is rejoicing in the virtues of living beings, which will result in good for them
(Hinayana Sravakas, Pratyeka Buddhas, Bodhisattvas).
Theirs is fortunate karma. This is the antidote to jealousy, to
rejoice in the happiness of others, to rejoice in the virtues of others.I
rejoice in the spiritual merit of whatever virtue Sravakas, Pratyeka Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas, and ordinary beings gather throughout the three times.
Fifth, to request teachings, purifies ignorance. This is very beneficial. It brings
Dharma Wisdom and purifies ignorance for all.I pray that the Dharma Wheel of the
Mahayana, Hinayana, and of the Teachings common to both be turned in accordance
with the wishes and aptitudes of beings.
Sixth, asking the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to stay, is the antidote to wrong view. For us to appreciate
teachers, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, it helps, it guides us. Without them we are
lost. We appreciate them and ask them to look with compassion on all sentient
beings and give them teachings.I beseech the Buddhas not to pass into Nirvana as
long as samsara is not emptied, but to look with compassion upon sentient beings
who wallow in the ocean of suffering.
Seventh, dedication, is the antidote to doubt. We know this practice to be effective,
and we say whatever suffering they have, may they be free from that suffering. This purifies doubt,
hesitation.May whatever merit I have accumulated be the cause for the
Enlightenment of Beings; may I quickly become a spendid leader of beings.Next is
the prayer for the benefit of Avalokiteshvara to reach the six different realms.
Visualize and pray.(The Vajra words of prayer to the Excellent Chenrezig
composed by the Great Mahasiddha, Tang tong Gyalpo, in his incarnation as Gelong
Pema Karpo:)I pray to you Lama Chenrezig. I pray to you Yidam Chenrezig. I
pray to you Perfect Noble Chenrezig. I pray to you Lord Protector Chenrezig. I
pray to you Lord of Love Chenrezig. Great Compassionate Victor, please hold us
with your compassion, numberless beings who wander in endless samsara
experiencing unbearable suffering. There is no other refuge than you,
Protector! Please bestow the blessing to obtain omniscient Buddhahood.Hell is
there because the negative emotion of anger becomes so strong. There is
unbearable suffering there. With no anger, hell realms dissappear. Bless us,
these beings and ourselves. Empty all the hell realms.By the power of
accumulating negative Karma from beginningless time, sentient beings, through
the force of anger, are born as hell beings and experience the suffering of heat
and cold. May they all be born in your presence, Perfect Diety. OM MANI PADME
HUNGHungry ghosts are there because of greedy mind, greedy emotions. Hunger,
thirst torture their mind. Chenrezig removes all this impurity.By the power of
accumulating negative Karma from beginningless time, sentient beings, through
the force of greed, are born in the realm of pretas and experience the suffering
of hunger and thirst. May they all be born in your perfect realm, the Potala.
OM MANI PADME HUNGAnimal realm comes from stupidity. Animals' suffering and
pain is removed and purified, and their realm is turned into a Pure Land.By the
power of accumulating negative Karma from beginningless time, sentient beings,
through the force of stupidity, are born as animals and experience the suffering
of dullness and stupidity. May they all be born in your presence, Protector.
OM MANI PADME HUNGIn the desire realm, human beings experience suffering because
of desire, longing, grasping. Through Chenrezig's compassion, wisdom, all this
is purified, this world is purified into the blissful realm.By the power of
accumulating negative Karma from beginningless time, sentient beings, through
the force of desire, are born in the human realm and experience the suffering of
excessive activity and constant frustration. May they all be born in the Pure
Land of Dewachen. OM MANI PADME HUNG(This prayer, the vajra words of prayer to
the Sublime Chenrezig, was composed by the Mahasiddha, Tang tong Gyalpo, who
remembered them from a previous incarnation when he had been the monk Pema
Karpo, who addressed this prayer one-pointedly to the Sublime Chenrezig while
doing the Nyung Ne practice from his twentieth to his eightieth year.)The
demi-god, or jealous god realm is there because of jealousy. This is our own
problem, not somebody else's problem. There the problem is our own mind.
Chenrezig's compassion, wisdom, and purity purify this to a Pure Realm.By the
power of accumulating negative Karma from beginningless time, sentient beings,
through the force of jealousy, are born in the realm of the demi-gods and
experience the suffering of fighting and quarreling. May they all be born in
your realm, the Potala. OM MANI PADME HUNG The god realm is the realm of pride.
All this is purified.By the power of accumulating negative Karma from
beginningless time, sentient beings, through the force of pride, are born in the
realm of the gods and experience the suffering of change and falling. May they
all be born in your realm, the Potala. OM MANI PADME HUNG The six afflictions
are the door to the six realms. Whatever we have, that means we are opening the
door to that realm. To purify is to close the door to that realm.Wherever I am
born may my deeds, by equalling Chenrezig's, liberate beings from impure realms
and spread the perfect sound of the six syllables in the ten directions.
Through the power of praying to you Perfect Noble One, may beings who I am to
discipline pay the greatest attention to action and result, and diligently
practice virtue and the Dharma for the benefit of beings.
(And then:)Light goes to the six realms, and beings become Chenrezig.From Chenrezig, light comes and
all this land becomes the Pure Land, soft, gentle, beautiful, luminous. All
beings are Bodhisattvas, no anger or afflictions; all sound is Pure Sound,
Mantra Sound; all the mind, empty, yet that which appears, vivid and clear.
Through this one-pointed prayer, light radiates from the body of the Sublime One
and purifies impure Karma, impure apearances, and the deluded mind. The outer
realm is the Pure Land of Dewachen, and the body, speech, and mind of beings
therein are the perfect form, sublime speech, and pure mind of Mighty Chenrezig,
the indivisible union of appearance, sound, and vivid intelligence with
voidness.With that kind of pure view, recite.
(Meditate like this as you recite the mantra.)OM MANI PADME HUNGWhile reciting,
Chenrezig moves from the crown of
your head to your heart, and is there as a thumb-sized Chenrezig, on a lotus and
moon-seat. Now you are Chenrezig, radiating light, purifying the world. In his
heart, on a lotus moon-disk, there is the mantra OM MANI PADME HUNG. Light
fills his body, then your body, then goes to the six realms. All become
Chenrezig's form, sound, mantra, and mind, empty luminosity, joy and bliss.Send
light to benefit sentient beings, then to lineage Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
wrathful and peaceful Buddhas, gathering blessings from them that dissolve into
your heart. Again send out light, back and forth like that. Then, to particular
beings, see their afflictions healed, their physical body healed; beings in the
bardo, where there is confusion, send light that dispels suffering and
difficulty.During recitation, you can pause and practice taking and sending,
removing the suffering of sentient beings and giving happiness and peace. Recite
as long as you can.
Then, the dissolution stage:The Pure Realm dissolves into beings; these melt into you,
and you into the Chenrezig at your heart; this to
the mantra and the mantra into the seed syllable HRI. This is your own mind,
shining. This transforms into a small dot, a crystal dot, small, small, then
nothingness, nothing whatsoever, yet very sharp awareness, inseperable. Nothing
clinging, grasping, just remain, completely empty space, without any kind of
artificial thought, without concept, without intellect.Dissolve everything into
the Dharmakaya stage that is empty, also bright, shining, aware; luminosity,
vivid, without grasping, without being attached to anything whatsoever. That is
called Introducing the Three Kayas in One Point, the empty, luminous and
unimpeded quality of your mind. Without 'I', bright, shining, do not grasp.
Unimpeded means don't hold onto that.
That is the way to practice quiet meditation.This purifies birth and death, creation and dissolution. This is
Mahamudra practice. (Recite as many times as you are able. Finally, let the
mind remain absorbed in its own essence without making distinction between
subject, object, and act.Stay like this as long as you want, then immediately
appear again as Chenrezig.This land is a Pure Land, and you are greeted by
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Some of them hold vases containing wisdom nectars,
which they pour on you, purifying any remaining traces of defilements or faults
of body, speech and mind.You see yourself as Chenrezig, and all others are
Chenrezig, sound, mantra, and everything you see is pure mind, appearing, vivid
and clear, yet not inherently existant, empty of this, transparent. All is a
manifestation of mind.Then repeat:)My body, the bodies of others and all
appearances are the perfect form of the Sublime One, all sounds the melody of
the Six Syllables, and all thoughts the vastness of the Great Jnana.Then you
make the dedication.
(DEDICATING the MERIT)
Through this virtue, may I quickly achieve the realization of Mighty Chenrezig and may I bring every single being
to that same state. (This text, called 'The Recitation for the Meditation of
the Great Compassionate One for the Benefit of Beings as Vast as the Skies', was
composed by the Mahasiddha Tang tong Gyalpo and bears the blessing of his
speech.)Through the merit of reciting and meditating may I and every being to
whom I am connected, when these imperfect forms are left behind, be miraculously
born in Dewachen. May I then immediately cross the ten levels and send out
emanations for the benefit of others.Through this virtue, may all beings perfect
the accumulation of spiritual merit and awareness. May they attain the Two
Supreme Bodies which arise from merit and awareness.Bodhicitta is precious; may
it arise in those who have not cultivated it. In those who have cultivated it,
may it not diminish; may it ever grow and flourish.
Requesting and offering prayers and aspirations for those in need.
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