Jul 27, 2017

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PRAYER (Part 3): THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF PURIFICATION (Ý nghĩa và mục đích tịnh hóa)

PRAYER:  THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF PURIFICATION (Part 3)
 
Quite a few classic prayers in Buddhism have been passed from generation to generation. Each lineage or division has its own prayer. In Tibet, there exist four major Buddhist schools, including Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug. This article alone will give a general introduction rather than being partial towards any school. 
 
Tantric prayers may be different in length (long, short, medium) but they are all classic, stable and often passed through generations. Typical examples are “The Seven Line Prayer”, “Tibetan Buddhist Lineage Prayers” , “The Seven Branch Prayer” (see Index), A medium prayer compiled by Gyalwa Longchenpa (see Index), “Prayer for Time of Death” (see Index)…
 
 
 

Gyalwa Longchenpa

Different prayers are used in different stages of Tantric practice. In the preliminary stage (Ngondro), particularly, prayers are even put before meditation. Such prayer, for instance, comes from the practice of “Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro”

 
“O Master! Omniscient Master!
Now I have freedom and advantages, important conditions that are not easy to obtain, I vow to bear in mind the impermanence of all objects and phenomena. To be free from the ocean of sufferings in three realms, not to be mistaken between goodness and badness, I vow to practice diligently and patiently.”
 
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche noticed in “The Excellent Path to Enlightenment” that:” But even whether long or short, the most important thing is to be aware of the meaning and purpose of the prayer.”

Prayers of masters and aryas bear their own spiritual purposes. Some created prayers from the teachings of Dakinis in their dreams. Such prayers hold strong powers bestowed from superior realms of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Bodhisattvas. Practitioners chanting them will have their spiritual capacity enhanced to a new height.
 
An anecdote in Chinese Buddhism puts forth a case in which Emperor Liang Wudi had a dream where he saw his queen (dead) begging him to ask Chan Master Baozhi to do requiem ritual for her. Baozhi then compiled the Jeweled Repentance (Luong Hoang Sam – Liáng huáng chàn) to help the queen be reborn in Brahman realm. This work has left for the posterity sincere and genuine repentant prayers.  
 
 
A similar legend tells about the origin of the Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance, a well-known text in Chinese Buddhism written by National Master Wu-da. In Tang dynasty, there was a master named Wu-da. Before he got successful accomplishments, he had a close relationship with a leprous monk from a poor pagoda. Being moved by Wu-da’s deep solicitude, the monk told him:” You shall get a disease in knee in the future. You should come to Mount Wutai in Péngzhōu, Xī shǔ. I’ll be there waiting to give you a cure. Remember that my place is marked with two pine trees.” 
 

National Master Wu-da could purify his karmic retribution thanks to Ven. Kanaka

As time went by, Wuda became famous which made him grow arrogant. He immediately encountered a distress with a human face-shaped boil on his knee (as foreseen by the monk). The boil was the manifestation of a person he killed unjustly while he’s still a judge named Xī shǔ in Xī-hàn dynasty seven kalpas ago. This causal relation was then driven away only by the help of Venerable Kanaka. Wu-da was taught to compile the “Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance” as a way to repent and purify karmas. 

 
In Vietnam, through goof affinities, the enlightened monk, King Tran Thai Tong (Tran Dynasty) met a great master and was taught to compile Khoa Hu Luc which comprised of prayers and devotions. 
In this modern time, many masters and siddhas in Tibet under the blessings of Master, Yidam and Dakini have written heartfelt prayers bringing benefits for Buddhist practitioners. HH. Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1988), old father of the Nyingma, composed the “A prayer to recognize my own faults and bear in mind the objects of refuge”. 
 
In this book, he described the origin of the prayer: “One night early in Water-Pig year (1983), my wisdom consort Rigdzin Wangmo had a dream in which appeared a female companion who had often appeared in her dreams. The girl said, “Now you should ask Rinpoche to write a supplication prayer. Alright?” and left. Later, on the tenth day of waxing moon, she appeared again, saying, “Why haven’t you asked about the writing of that prayer?”
That next morning, when we were discussing the dream and the prayers, Rigdzin Wangmo insisted: “No matter how long or short it is, you must write this supplication.”

HH. Dudjom Rinpoche

Then I thought, “This age is being threatened by disease, war and famine. To protect people from these dangers, I should write a prayer reminding the Compassionate Ones of their vows to help beings.” But I didn’t have the chance to do it for being distracted by quite a lot of events at that time. 
 
Once again, on the evening of the 10th, the girl re-appeared in my dream: “Don’t neglect the prayer I asked for before. There is a great need for it!”
So, I thought to write it on the 15th of the same month. On the night of the 14th, I prayed with single-pointed mind to Guru Rinpoche, asking for his blessings to compose the prayer. Then I went to sleep. Next morning at dawn, in my dream, I stood at the head of a large hall like temple. Out of nowhere appeared a young white man in white clothes with long hair spread out over his shoulders, holding a pair of cymbals. He rolled the cymbals, making a lovely sound, and danced toward me, spiraling closer and closer, in circles toward the right, dancing as do the Ging. He said:
 “If you want to establish the teachings,
Make them firm in your mind.
In the depths of mind, you will find Buddhahood.
If you wish to visit Buddha fields,
Purify ordinary deluded attachment.
The perfect, excellent Buddha field is near at hand.
 Develop diligence to practice
The essence of the teachings.
Without, who can gain the siddhi?
It is hard to see one’s own faults.
So, pointing them out to oneself
Is a crucial instruction.
In the end, when faults are, one by one, removed
Enlightened qualities increase and shine forth.”
 At the end of this poem, he rolled the cymbals, crashed them together and then I awoke. I did not forget what he said in my dream and got it as an advice on practicing what to accept and what to reject. It’s regretful that I had actually seen the face of the Guru Rinpoche but did not recognized him.

Padmasambhava

That’s the story about the dream that made Dudjom Rinpoche write down sincere prayers which brought back inconceivable blessings to yogis who follow Tantrayana:   

 
I pay homage to the Guru!
 
Shakyamuni, Victorious One.
Supreme guide of the realm for this fortunate aeon,
Sons of the Victorious One,
Assembly of noble Bodhisattvas who tame sentient beings,
Lord guru, matchless savior of beings in the dark age,
The three Roots and oath-bound Dharma guardians—
Again and again, I ask from my heart,
Recalling you with longing and one-pointed mind—
Please turn your attention toward me.
Take hold of me with your loving-kindness
And with the power of your unhindered compassion
Grant your blessings that my thoughts and aims
be carried out in accord with Dharma.
Through past acts, not without merit,
I have obtained this precious human birth.
Through past merit, not slight,
I have met the sublime Dharma.
Accepted by the guru, I was able to obtain empowerments,
Blessings and the essential instructions—
All this wealth I now hold in my hands.
But my mind, like a babbling monkey, falls under the sway
Of the enticing, deceptive demon of distraction
And I cannot take advantage of the wealth that is my own… (See Index for full text).
Phuoc Thanh Village, October 21, 2013
THINLEY-NGUYEN THANH
Translated by Mat Hue Phap
—————————
  1. Dear Holy Guru,

    I am delighted to read your article. I have in my mind that prayer in Buddhism is not only an expression of gratitude for the Guru and Buddhas, Yidam.., but it is also a practice of inner transformation; the purification of bad karma, the creation of a state or condition conducive to the development of compassion. We therefore have a happy life.

    Buddhists pray to express gratitude and devotion towards the Guru, Buddha. This gratitude is directed to the Guru for his teachings. He is praised for providing a path to enlightenment; an escape from the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth. In addition, prayers towards the Guru is a practice of keeping solid in the faith in the Guru and Buddhas.

    Prayers play an important role in assisting the practitioners to set our intention towards the main goal; the development of kindness and compassion and the detachment of the material world. Through prayers, Buddhists aim to keep the mind from worldly interests and selfish concerns. In this way, prayers function to free the mind from mundane thoughts, worries and anxieties so that the practitioners can reorient themselves towards attaining enlightenment. It is a practice of inner transformation.

    Moreover, prayers in Buddhism make it possible for practitioners to connect with the pure energy from sublime realm of Buddhas through the Guru. By repentance with intense faith and devotion in prayers, the practitioners have a good chance to purify their bad karma. Through prayers, the practitioners connect with the Guru and Buddhas, so their legitimate wishes come true due to their diligent cultivation and their good deeds. The Lord Padmasambhava said: “I am present in front of anyone who has faith in me, just as the moon casts its reflection, effortlessly, in any vessel filled with water.”

    Buddhist prayers is a practice of developing compassion and wisdom. Because Buddhists pray for not only themselves but also they pray for those who are in need. In this way, the practitioners learn to develop compassion and as a result, their lives are happier and more peaceful.

    I would like to express my gratitude for your meaningful article.

    May you and your consort have a good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    I also rejoice in the English version translated by Mat Hue Phap. Her translation supports to flourish your teachings all over the world.

    May Mat Hue Phap get joyful on the path to enlightenment and achieve the success in family, career and cultivation.

    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  2.  Tantra Mahavita says:

    Dear Guru : Thank you for sharing these interesting articles.Sentences play a very important role in helping practioners to establish our intent towards the main goal. Developing our goodness and compassion and material detachment is the main goal of the practice of prayers in Budhhism connect us with the pure energy of the sublime kingdom of Budhhhas Through the Guru And this gives us the opportunity to purify bad karma,May the Guru have health and can live many years for the benefit of all sentient beings ,That all beings are free from the suffering and their causes. OM MANI PADME HUM

  3. Steve Rogers says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    The teaching you have given me above has helped me understand the use of prayers in my chosen path.

    The focus, understanding and connection with teachers from history will help me realise my need to learn from the example of teachers and place intent into my heart for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    Their use clears my mind of unnecessary thoughts and brings me closer to enlightenment.

    My practice suffers when I loose focus and these prayers you have taught me will guide me to practice with greater love

    I consider myself lucky to be born in a life where I can practice, pray and live in the refuge of the three jewels and I hope not to waste the opportunity.

    May my actions assist all sentient beings be free from suffering and its causes

    May the Holy Guru have good health and live long for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

    For your consideration Holy Guru

    Om mani padme hum

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của bạn đọc Steve Rogers sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

      Những lời dạy của Thầy trong bài viết đã giúp con hiểu ý nghĩa và mục đích của cầu nguyện trong đạo Phật, con đường mà con đã chọn để thực hành.

      Sự chú tâm trong cầu nguyện, hiều được tác dụng của lời cầu nguyện và sự kết nối với Đạo sư giúp con nhận ra con nên noi gương các vị Thầy, thực hành Pháp vì lợi mình lợi người.

      Mục đích của cầu nguyện sẽ giúp con loại bỏ những ý nghĩ tiêu cực, không cần thiết và hướng tâm con đến gần với giác ngộ.

      Khi con giãi đãi, buông lung, con chìm trong đau khổ, thì nhờ những lời dạy của Thầy về cầu nguyện  sẽ giúp con tiếp tục thực hành pháp.

      Cảm cảm thấy rất may mắn khi được sinh ra trong kiếp này để được thực hành Pháp, được cầu nguyện và nương tựa vào tam bảo. Con mong rằng mình không bỏ lỡ cơ hội quý báu này.

      Con cầu nguyện những hành động của con sẽ giúp được chúng sanh hữu duyên.

      Con thành tâm cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì sự lợi lạc của chúng sanh.

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã để tâm đến con.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  4. JeongGeun Mok says:

    Dear Guru

     

    Thank You for the teaching

     

    I want to write whole prayer when I use my pc

    right now I’m using my phone 📱 so I write short

     

    Om MaNi PadMe Hum

    • Nguyên Thành says:

      No problem!

      • JeongGeun Mok says:

         

         

        I pay homage to the Guru

        shakyamuni, victorious One.Supreme guide of the realm for this fortunate aeon,Sons of the Vitorious Onw,Assembly of noble Bodhisattvas who tame sentient beings,Lord guru, matchless savior of beings in the dark age,Again and Again, I ask from my heart,Recalling you with longing and one-pointed mind –

        Please turn your attention toward me.Take hold of me with your loiving kindnessand with the power of your undindered compassionGrant your blessings that my thouhgts and aims be carried out in accord with Dharma.

         

        Through past acts, not without merit,I have obtained this precious human birth.Through past merit, not slight,I have met the sublime Dharma.

        Accepted by the guru, I was able to obtain empowerments,Blessings and essential instructions –

        All this wealth I now hold in my hands.But my mind, like a babbling monkey, falls under the sway of the inticing,deceptive demon of distraction.

        and I cannot take advantage of the wealth that is my own

        OM MANI PADME HU

        • Kính bạch Thầy!

          Con xin phép dịch comment của bạn đọc Jeong Geun Mok sang tiếng Việt như sau:

          “Con xin kính đảnh lễ Thầy!

          Hỡi đức Phật Thích ca Mầu ni, những đấng chiến thắng, những trưởng tử của chư Phật, những vị Bồ tát luôn giúp đỡ chúng sanh,

          Hỡi vị Thầy từ bi,  không dừng nghỉ trên con đường độ hóa quần sanh trong thời kỳ mạt pháp này, con xin khẩn thiết cầu nguyện, xin các ngài để tâm đến con.

          Xin Thầy từ bi để tâm và gia hộ cho con để con luôn thực hành theo đúng quỹ đạo chánh pháp.

          Bởi vì, do những nhân duyên trong quá khứ mà con có được thân người quý báu này. Do duyên lành mà con gặp được chánh pháp. Nhờ sự để tâm của Thầy, nhờ có sự chấp nhận của Thầy mà con có được cơ hội học pháp, được nhận ơn phước gia trì từ Thầy và con nhận được những lời giáo huấn từ Thầy. Con may mắn có được những tài sản vô giá này, nhưng tâm con dao động như khỉ leo cây, chuyền cành, không lúc nào yên khiến con rất dễ rơi vào tình trạng bị quỷ quấy rối nên đôi khi con bị sao nhãng, không biết tận dụng cơ hội quý báu để tinh tấn hành pháp tựa như con có tài sản mà không biết trân quý và sử dụng.

          Om Mani Padme Hum.”

        • I am deeply touched by your whole-hearted invoking and your sincere prayers. I promise to pay attention to you from now to the supreme enlightenment.

  5. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerebol GURU;

    Excellent comment, yes the are many good mantras, and Sadhanas in all four sculls, the first buk I come across in Vajrayana teachings it was in French but it was very good it was so good that I lend it to a freand at work and I never got it back! It started; the flawer of the faith is melted in my heart, Lama full of goodness manifest your presence, give protection to this misereboll been oppressed by is karmek detes by taking place in my crown chakra, and so on I liked so much that I learned by heart, but trancelated from the French to English it’s not the same it’s better explained in French.

    Thank you venerebol Guru.

    OM MANI PADME HUNG……

  6. Tantra Dorji says:

    Dear guru

    Thanks a lot guru for sharing such a important teaching.

     

  7. Tantra Dorji says:

    Fine and how about guru la?

  8. LeeBeeLay says:
    Dear Guru,

    Go through your article more than 15 copy and would like to say thank  you to you.

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