Nov 6, 2017

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PRAYING (PART 6):  TO WHOM DO WE PRAY? (Đối tượng cầu nguyện là ai?)

PRAYING (PART 6):  TO WHOM DO WE PRAY?
 
OBJECT OF PRAYER
 
It will be particularly beneficial to take refuge in an emanation of spiritual power if you want to achieve your prayers more easily. Therefore, stay focused on the image of the Great and Glorious Guru Rinpoche of Oddiyana who you show highest trust and respect to– that is Padmasambhava or Noble Avalokiteshavra (Kuan – Yin). Remember he is the emanation of all valuable sources of refuge. With single-pointed mind and fervent devotion, pray to fulfill your wishes.
 

Padmasambhava

Like a mother who always loves her only child, waiting for his prayer all day and night for a chance to save him from distress. But how can she if the child just vanishes into the blue? Likewise, praying helps us send signals calling for protection and blessing from the Liberator. To some extents, praying is likened to an antenna capable of receiving and transmitting signals of radio and television! This is because Arahants and Bodhisattvas are the samma sambuddha, especially the Buddha who is capable of bestowing blessings upon praying persons effortlessly. There are many marvelous tales about astounding effects of praying which I’m going to give you some examples as follows:

 
Story No.1:
 
Long time ago, a man was dancing and singing in front of a gorgeous cave when King Brahmadatta and his entourage passed by. The King got angry, commanding soldiers to catch him for execution. A mandarin dissuaded him from killing the man. That man then left his home for a monastery and finally became a Pratyeka Buddha. The mandarin showed his admiration and prayed to that Buddha. As a result, in his next lives, he was reborn into wealthy and powerful families or a long-lived Brahma or a person with special body. During the Shakyamuni Buddha’s time, the mandarin was reborn into the only son of a rich merchant. His father did not want him to live a monastic life. The son thought:” If I was born in a low-class family, I would be permitted to be a monk.” Just with that thought, he threw himself off the top of the cliff but did not die. He then jumped into a river but did not drown. A dose of poison also could not kill him. He was sentenced to death for three times (for breaking the King’s rules) but the arrows all fell down before reaching him.
The King astonishingly asked him:” Are you a Brahma or a demon?” After hearing the reason why that man wanted to die, the King permitted him to become a monk. He then got ordination from the Shakyamuni Buddha and became an Arahant. Thanks to saving the life of a person, nothing can shorten his life. Through earnest devotion and prayer to the Pratyeka Buddha, he became the Liberator from cyclic existence. Similar cases are also recorded in the Damamuka-nidana Sutra (The Fool and the Wise Person Sutra).  
 
This indicates that we, ordinary people, are hindered by karma and powerful negative emotions, and plunged in ignorance in the ocean of birth and death. Unless we pray, i.e take refuge in extraordinary emanations like the Padmasambhava, respectfully named as Guru Rinpoche (venerated guru), or the Avalokiteshvara, who are liberators from this ocean of sorrows, we will absolutely have no way out of repetitive suffering. Ordinary people tend to rely on the most powerful and influential person. So do we! We take refuge in the Padmasambhava and Avalokiteshvara.
 

The Avalokiteshvara

We pray to them because they promise to fulfill legitimate wishes of any one who asks them to. The Padmasambhava :” If a disciple prays to me with a devotion and chants The Seven Line Prayer, I will immediately come to him like a mother who cannot resist the urgent request of her only child.” Guru Rinpoche highly appreciated the devotion with a commitment:” I stand in front of the door of anyone who is devotional.”

 
The Avalokiteshvara, particularly, the Liberator who has unequal power of vows and good affinity with Saha world, promised:”… With all of my benevolence, I will take special care of those in misery… I thoroughly understand their mind and bestow the last reliance upon those who sink deep into despair. Disciples can connect with him through just several small conditions as pointed out in “Great Vows of the Avalokiteshvara”: chanting his name, reciting his mantra, bowing to him with strong belief and devotion. (See The Great Vows of the Avslokiteshvara in the Index). 
 
A special tradition in Tantrayana is praying to the guru and root guru. At his age of 80, Patrul Rinpoche who is well known in all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism kept praying to Guru Rinpoche with boundless devotion. This is a brilliant example for Dharma practitioners. 
 
 
 

Patrul Rinpoche

Another object of the prayer is our spiritual Guru. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche asserted:” Praying to the Guru is the kernel of the sadhana while merging your mind with the Guru’s is the essence of cultivation”. In “The Excellent Path to Enlightenment”, he emphasized that without Guru devotion, one cannot get high result on the cultivation path in spite of how long he has practiced in the stages of development and completion. Therefore, let pray to your Guru, particularly when you fall into a tragic situation. Below are typical cases:

 
Story No.2
 
...Monk Rechung is one of disciples of the Tibetan Tantric Siddha Milarepa in the 11st century. Having heard about the passing of his Guru, Rechung used the Quing Gong (a martial arts skill that enables the masters to defy gravity to run agilely and swiftly) to get to the Guru’s funeral which was going to be held in Chuba, thousands of miles away from his place. But time waits for no one. Upon arriving at Chuba, the monk saw thousands of mourners standing around the stage. He could not even squeeze himself into the crowd, let alone look upon the Guru’s face one last time! The monk introduced himself as Rechung, a close disciple of Milarepa, and asked young bhikkhus to let him in but they refused for not knowing who he was. At that time, tears fell down from his eyes, Rechung started sobbing for his extreme misfortune. The monk recalled the memory of the time when Milarepa and him travelled everywhere as father and son. Sometimes, Milarepa called:” Rechung, my son, come here!” Beautiful memories with Guru came back to him from the time Rechung was ordained with the precepts of Sadi to the present time when he was a senior bhikkhu.
 
In spite of knowing clearly about the impermanence of life, the monk could not resist worldly emotions from this unexpected separation. He suddenly burst out crying like a child, sitting on the roadside praying to the Guru fervently. He told about big graces the Guru gave him over the time of his cultivation and a strong wish to see him one last time though he knew the Guru passed away already. Being imbued with that endless flow of thought, he suddenly stopped praying for seeing the image of Milarepa in front of him. Still that scraggy appearance, the skin with nettle’s color, especially powerfully sparkling eyes, Milarepa smiled:” My son, are you praying to see me?” Couldn’t believe his eyes and ears, Rechung jumped up to hug him tightly, feeling the warmth spreading out from the Guru. Milarepa gave the monk comfort words, advising him to practice diligently. The monk stood there speechless in an indescribable joy. Then the venerated Guru suddenly disappeared as over there, the cremation ceremony was announced to begin. Right at that moment, Rechung knew that the Guru would never be separated from his disciples once they were still filled with faith and devotion. Praying to the Guru is a means of metaphysical and non-entity connection that goes beyond the imagination of outsiders!
 
Story No. 3:
    

Tenzin Palmo

Tenzin was being torn between ideal and heart. The spiritual call inside her seemed to have a strong, invisible power that she couldn’t turn her back to run after love. She was painful and in great torment. One night, tears shed down from her eyes, she kneeled down with her hands clasped together, praying to the Guru to help her make righteous decision on the path to follow. Miraculously, Khamtrul Rinpoche (her Guru) seemed to hear her urgent prayer. Tenzin saw a flow of yellow light shining all over her body and heard a clear voice of Guru in her ears:” Come back to India right now!” She suddenly woke up and bought a ticket to India right next morning. Since then, she has never seen that Japanese man again. Returning to Europe after twelve years of retreating in a secluded cave at 12,300 feet above the sea level, Tenzin Palmo related:” I am really happy. I have been protected and saved thanks to earnest prayer to my spiritual Guru.”

 
 
Story No.4:
 
At the age of 35, great master of Tibetan Buddhism and originator of Chod practice, Machig Labdron, came back to Lato to visit her gurus. She petitioned Lama Sonam (one of her gurus) for the transmission of the heart practice of Five Deities of Varahi. Due to lacking a mandala for offering, she presented him an eight-branch prayer with following spontaneous verses:
      

Great master of Tibetan Buddhism, Machig Labdron

    “To gurus I bow down

           For teaching me the wisdom of self-enlightenment
            To Yidam I bow down
            For bestow upon me achievements…
            (See full text in the Index)
 
Lama Sonam was pleased with the prayer and bestowed upon her a complete Dharma transmission. The Guru believed she was a Dakini and she proved to practice the development stage on Dakini visualization completely. Upon practicing the Highest Yoga Tantra in Tantrayana, she quickly showed some signs of achievements. Then the Guru gave her transmission on the tradition and demonstrated method of practice. She was given a Tantric name of Vajradhavisvari (Diamond Independent Goddess). 
 
Phuoc Thanh Village, November 4, 2013
THINLEY – NGUYEN THANH
 
Translated by Mat Hue Phap
———————-
  1. Dr.C H Lakshmi narayan says:
    Respected Guruji, I bow my head at the lotus feet of Guruji.

    Iam Tantra Nirvadeva.

    I am delighted to read your article with all  beautiful examples . No doubt, a desciples or a follower  should  respect and show the utmost  devotion  to the extent of Renunciation of his life to his Guru if circumstances arise to its need.  It is an universally  accepted  phenomena in between the Guru-disciple relationship!  And The Guru should stream line the desciple whenever he side tracked! This is observed from time immemorial from ancient Gurus and desciples whatever may be m the religions  or Nationality may be,not only in Buddhism.! Showing respect or devotion is what we notice in the form of Prayer. In prayer, two components are there. One is showing respect and the second component is an element of desire that requesting to fulfill his wishes for happiness joy or free from suffering or material gain of wealth etc !

    What I want to Impress is that this desire is the root cause of suffering ! It is to be noted here that Buddha never Prayed through out his life to any body, instead he meditated daily before starting his daily activities! Hence, I am of the view , it is better to meditate on Guruji or Avalokitheshwara as a mark of our respect and intense devotion rather than praying , desiring or expecting something in return !

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Long live our Guruji for upholding Dharma.

    Dr C H Lakshminarayan.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  2. Tantra Mahavita says:
    Querido y Amado Guru : Muchas gracias por compartir estos articulos ,tan interesantes. El respeto y devocion al Guru , son los pilares fundamentales , en el budismo Vajrayana. Por lo tanto debemos meditar diariamente , antes de empezar nuestras actividades . Es mejor meditar en nuestro Guru ….Padmasambhava …o Avalokiteshvara .Como un signo de respeto y devocion intensa…en lugar de orar , desear. o esperar algo a cambio…ademas para desarrollar la sabiduria .Aunque , a veces , quedamos atrapados por facebook . Que el Guru tenga salud y pueda vivir mucho tiempo para beneficio de todos los seres sintientes . Que todos los seres esten libres de sufrimiento y sus causas. Que todos los seres encuentren la felicidad y sus causas. Que todos los seres vivan con ecuanimidad ,libres de apego y aversion . OM MANI PADME HUM
  3. Tantramikaya ( Jane) says:
    dear holy guru. I have read your article and would like to thank you for this article and the examples you gave us. I understood this article as follows. Often our prayers are or were attachments because the root was the desire. And the desire leads to suffering. I learned that prayers like reciting mantras help me concentrate and fulfill myself. We Buddhists pray for people who need help or good thoughts. For example, that all beings are free of suffering. When we practice our meditations with dedication, we cleanse our minds and I myself can say that I use every opportunity to meditate. The hardest thing for me at the beginning was that I could not let go and thus did not really get my mind clear. But this time is behind me and I am at a stage where it is easier to practice the right meditation. Buddha himself did not pray to any god, he meditated and liberated himself from the suffering. It does not matter what nationality or color we have. We can all walk the path of enlightenment. Buddha is in each of us. We only need to work with dedication and respect for ourselves, trusting in the wise knowledge of our holy guru. May our holy Guru life long for the sake of all sentient beings. May all be successful on the way to the enlightenment. OM MANI PADME HUM
  4. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:
    Venerebol GURU;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    Very nice article; yes praying and devotion it’s the cain in which kip’s ho’s close to the venereite Guru and yadam but not for haorself  allway’s for the well fare of all sentient beings I ollwais bear that in mind. OM MANI PADME HUM……

    Faithfully.

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Siramitra (Salvatore Antonio Fois) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

      Con là Tantra Siramitra.

      Bài viết này của Thầy hay và sâu sắc ạ. Con hiểu rằng cầu nguyện với lòng sùng mộ chân thành sẽ giúp hành giả đến gần với Thầy tôn quý và  Bổn tôn. Nhưng cầu nguyện ở đây không phải chỉ cho riêng bản thân mà vì lợi lạc của tất cả hữu tình.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.

      Con kính đảnh lễ Thầy!”

  5. Sonam Tshering says:
    Dear Holy Guru,

    It is interesting and inspiring article with real stories. From this article of yours I have learnt to pray. Thank you so much for teaching how to pray.

  6. Mô Phật!

    Mật thúy rất hoan hỉ với thiện hạnh dịch bài viết của vị Thầy sang Tiến Anh của huynh Mật Huệ Pháp cầu nguyện cho huynh luôn tin tấn thực hành pháp để được tha lực hô trì  cầu mông tất cả chúng sanh luôn có duyên lành biết đến chánh pháp OM ah hùm

  7. nyimasangpo says:
    🙏 Dear Guru thank you so much for  the Beautiful  Articles 🙏
  8. Tantra Amishuta says:
    Dear Holy Guru,

    Today I have a prayer request. I am mentally ill as you know and I pray for stability. To live a normal life. I am not good at meditation and haven’t had the time with my new job to practice. I do listen to Om Mani Padme Hum chant when I can and recite it when I have free time. I have been working 12 hour shifts and I fear my mental healht will not hold up. I pray that I feel normal soon. I have been suffering many years straight with no relieve of sadness and depression. I pray for relief and stability. I don’t need to be happy all the time just stable. Thank you holy guru for your lessons and for the prayer request. May you be blessed and enlightened for the sake of all sentient beings

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