The Amrita of Love
The Amrita of Love
A Liturgy for Saving and Ransoming the Lives of Animals
Compiled from the writings of Ju Mipham and the 1st Dodrupchen Rinpoche
Homage to Avalokiteśvara!
Those who wish to save and ransom the lives of animals should begin by taking refuge. Recite the following:
Until I reach enlightenment’s essence,
I take refuge in every Buddha,
In the Dharma, and in the assembly
Of bodhisattvas—just as they have done. (3x)
Second, awaken bodhicitta by reciting the following:
Just as the Blissful Ones of the past
Awakened bodhicitta and trained
Step-by-step in the bodhisattva precepts,
So shall I awaken precious bodhicitta
And train in the bodhisattva precepts,
Step by step, for the benefit of beings,
Just like the Blissful Ones of the past. (3x)
And then recite the following:
My life has now become fruitful,
And a good human existence has been obtained,
For today I have been born into the family
Of the buddhas and now am their child!
Thus, whatever I now will do
Will be in harmony with my new family.
I will act in such a way that I will not defile
This immaculate and pure line.
Just like a blind man who has found a jewel
Amidst a heap of filth and rubbish,
So bodhicitta, this mind of enlightenment,
Has somehow now arisen in me!
Today, in the presence of all the Protectors,
I invite all beings to be my very own guests,
To become sugatas, and to be happy until they do.
May gods, demi-gods, and others rejoice!
Next, recite the following verses as the main body of the practice:
The ignorance and unawareness of all species of animals
Cause them to wander throughout the cycles of saṃsāra.
This liturgy of auspicious connections, sealed with the ultimate,
Will lead them to the path to liberation without fail.
Following this, envision all these creatures being taken under the care of the Three Jewels. Recite each of the following verses three times:
I pay homage, make offerings to, and take refuge in the Bhagavan, the Tatagata, the Arhat—the Genuine and Perfect Buddha with the Jewel Crest! (3x)
I pay homage, make offerings to, and take refuge in the Bhagavan, the Tatagata, the Arhat—the Genuine and Perfect Buddha Shakyamuni! (3x)
I pay homage, make offerings to, and take refuge in the Bhagavan, the Tatagata, the Arhat—the Genuine and Perfect Buddha, protector Amitabha! (3x)
I pay homage, make offerings to, and take refuge in the mighty and compassionate bodhisattva—the great being Avalokiteśvara! (3x)
You may also recite the essence mantra of Amitābha:
om ami deywa ayu siddhi hung hri
The essence mantra of Avalokiteśvara:
om mani pedmey hung hri
And teach the meaning of profound interdependence with the following verses:
Each and every phenomena arises from a cause,
And these causes the Tathāgata has taught.
That which brings an end to these causes
Was taught by the Great Mendicant as well.
Engage in no negativity whatsoever,
Practice virtue, perfect and complete,
And thoroughly tame your own mind—
These are the teachings of the Buddha.
Next, recite the following:
om namo bagawatay apari mita ayur jana subini shita tedzo radza yata tagataya arhatey samyak sambuddha ya teyata om punyey punyey maha punyey aparimita punye aparimita punya jana sambharo patsi tey om sarva samskari pari shita dharma tega gana samungha tey sambhawa bi shudey maha naya pari ware soha (3x)
Then imagine that all these creatures have triumphed over all that has put their life in danger and that they attain the siddhi of power over longevity in all their lives. Next, place blessed substances in their mouths and transform everything into emptiness by reciting the following mantra:
OM SOBHAWA SHUDDHO SARVA DHARMAH SOBHAWA SHUDDHO HANG
Out of this state of emptiness, the body, aggregates, elements, and sense fields of the animals that are the focal point of the practice transform into the nature of the great bliss of complete purity, becoming an inconceivable cloud-like mass of offerings.
Next, recite the following:
OM AH HUNG (3x)
And then bless them with the mantra of the treasury of space:
nami sarva tatagata baiyo busho bhaiy sarva tatkang utgatey saparana heymam gangana kang soha (3x)
Then recite the following:
Through this sacred offering
To the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
To the Guru, Yidam, and gathering of Dakinis,
And to the ocean of oath-bound Dharmapalas
Throughout the pure realms of the ten directions,
May all sentient beings, endowed with consciousness
And the breath that supports their life, be freed
Of all that endangers their life and be relieved of their fears.
Their aggregates, elements, and sense fields
Are a cloud of offerings, by nature completely pure
And great bliss, endowed with all that brings pleasure.
May these substances that bring supreme immortality
Manifest in a boundless and infinite array
And fulfill your sacred and weighty pledges,
Bringing the most sublime and supreme form of contentment.
May all sentient beings, both myself and others,
Be freed from all obstacles that bring untimely death,
May we live for an extremely long time
And may every form of goodness and happiness be ours!
May any degeneration of the aggregates and elements be restored,
May the pith and essence of the inanimate and animate universe be revitalized,
May our longevity and wellbeing, and our radiance and splendor flourish,
And may we be free from illness and possess the wealth of Dharma!
Through this virtue, may all sentient beings
Attain the sacred state of the vajra kaya—
That of the protector Amitayus—
And transcend all birth and death!
And if you wish to pray for the longevity of the lamas and such, recite as follows:
Through the auspicious connection of having done this good act
May the form and life of the glorious lamas be completely stable,
May their wondrous activities fill all the ten directions
And may the wishes of their enlightened minds come true!
Finally, conclude with the following prayer of aspiration:
By having cast aside the inferior three gates of samsara
And through the power of planting the seed of liberation
May the teachings of the Victor spread and may beings find happiness,
May the suffering of the lower realms be completely cleared away,
And may the state of liberation and total omniscience
Be swiftly actualized without the slightest impediment!
As soon as this impure body is cast aside,
May we all be miraculously born in the Realm of Bliss!
May we traverse the ten levels the moment we take birth
And then emanate throughout the ten directions to benefit others!
May all sentient beings be happy,
May the lower realms be forever emptied,
And may the aspirations of all the bodhisattvas
Who dwell on the levels be fulfilled!
By habituating ourselves to non-violence, along with its basis,
May negative mindsets not even occur in our dreams,
May we never lose sight of bodhicitta,
And may our perfect discipline bring great auspiciousness!
These prayers and recitations were drawn from the omniscient Mipam Gyatso’s ‘The Glorious Gift of Longevity and Granting All Desires: A Liturgy for Saving Lives’, Dodrupchen Jigme Trinley Ozer’s ‘Ladder to the Realm of Bliss: A Liturgy that Plants the Seed of Liberation in Animals’, and other such texts. To these enlightened writings and words of truth, some names and dharani mantras that are said to be particularly beneficial for animals have been added. Without defiling these writings with my own words, this joyful grove for living beings, the beneficial practice of saving and ransoming lives, was compiled by Tenzin Gyatso. May virtue prevail!
| This text was translated at the request of the great khenpo of Pukang Gön, Sherab Sangpo, by Tsultrim Shönu [Cortland Dahl] for use on the sacred day of Lhabab Tüchen, 2006. Sarva Mangalam!