Middle Way Aspiration
© Tertön Sogyal Trust.
Middle Way Aspiration
by Khenchen Shenga
Guiding light of this world, crowning glory of the Śākya clan,
Seniormost of buddha’s heirs, precious wisdom’s treasure,
Successors to these teachings, noble Nāgārjuna and your spiritual sons,
I prostrate before you all, the supreme of guides for living beings!
Buddhapālita, you who realized the Middle Way beyond extremes,
Master of the bodhisattvas’ enlightened actions, Śāntideva,
Upholder of the great tradition of the Prāsaṅgika, Candrakīrti,
Respectfully, I bow before you—think of me with great compassion!
From this day on, throughout all my future lives,
May I gain the freedoms and endowments and meet with buddhas’ teachings.
Accepted by an authentic spiritual teacher,
May I serve him well, with all three kinds of faith!
Having fully received instructions from my supreme and noble guide,
On the definitive meaning that is the intent of the profoundest sūtras,
May I reach conclusive certainty through the three kinds of wisdom,
And gain the conviction of one who relies upon the Dharma!
Taking faith and great compassion as the basis of my path,
And never forgetting the Three Jewels, the objects of my refuge,
May I embark fully upon the path of the Mahāyāna,
And arouse a mind of bodhicitta that is uncontrived!
With the courageous willingness to sacrifice even life and limb,
May I give away to others all that I own and have within myself,
And, guarding my mindstream with the purest moral discipline,
May I never stray beyond the boundaries of my vows!
Seeing all who do me harm as equal to some priceless treasure,
May I honour them with a mind of joy and great respect,
And always, in all my lives to come, may I rely
Upon this wondrous conduct born of a noble heart!
The naturally pure absolute, which is the basic nature of reality,
Is entirely beyond the realm of concepts such as ‘is’ or ‘is not.’
May my failure to understand and false ideas be cleared away,
So that I come to see the true nature of everything directly.
May I go beyond the four extremes of the mistaken mind,
Clinging to false ideas of existence, nothingness, both or neither,
And may I come to see the genuine approach of the Middle Way,
Just as it has been taught by all the great and learned masters!
All outer and inner things are beyond arising from themselves,
From something else, from both or without any cause at all.
May I adopt and avoid in the proper way whatever I should
Of these phenomena the world fully believes to be real.
May I abandon all falsely conceived notions of a self,
Thinking it is identical to the aggregates, distinct from them and so on,
And, through the sevenfold reasoning of the chariot,
May I gain certainty that it is but a dependent imputation!
All knowable things have always been empty by their very essence.
May I now eliminate entirely the pain of my conceptual thoughts,
With their mode of perceiving which obscures genuine reality,
Thinking for example that things abide forever or even partially persist.
May I manifest my own true nature, which is the excellent meaning,
Conveyed through examples such as gold within rock, or a lamp inside a vase,
According to the vision of the noble and glorious lord Nāgārjuna,
And may I complete all the stages and paths to gain the dharmakāya!
Then may I manifest continuously in many billions of emanations,
To all the buddha’s heirs throughout the far reaches of space itself,
And to infinite oceans of beings of every type, lesser and greater,
Guiding each and every one according to their mind’s capacity!
From now until I reach that perfect level of attainment,
In all my lives, may I realize and skillfully teach to others,
The meaning of the Middle Way beyond all extremes,
And become the equal of glorious Nāgārjuna and Āryadeva!
I, the beggar monk Shenpen, made this prayer of aspiration related to the sources of virtue, so that in this and all my future lives I may uphold the flawless scriptural tradition of noble Nāgārjuna and his spiritual heirs and teach it to others.
May it be virtuous!
| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2005.