Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
Of all the buddhas, you are their very face and their embodiment, Precious Guru of Oḍḍiyāna,
From the depths of my heart, the core of my being, I pray to you:
Outer, inner and secret obstacles—dispel them into space,
And through your blessings, let all my aims and wishes be spontaneously fulfilled.
Prayers to the Precious Guru Padmasambhava or Padmākara (padma 'byung gnas), the "Lotus-Born", who is credited with establishing Buddhism in Tibet:
Alak Zenkar Pema Ngödrup Rolwe Dorje
Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
This famous prayer to Guru Padmasambhava for the elimination of all obstacles on the spiritual path is the outer practice of The Guru's Heart Practice: Dispelling All Obstacles on the Path (bla ma'i thugs sgrub bar chad kun sel), a joint revelation of Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
- Sampa Lhundrupma—'The Prayer to Guru Rinpoche that Spontaneously Fulfils all Wishes' from The Guru’s Heart Practice: The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa’s revelation of the Sampa Lhundrupma (bsam pa lhun grub ma), a famous prayer to Guru Padmasambhava for the spontaneous fulfilment of wishes, forms the outer section of The Guru’s Heart Practice: The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel (thugs sgrub yid bzhin nor bu). The prayer is very similar to Tulku Zangpo Drakpa’s Sampa Lhundrupma prayer, which is counted as the final chapter of the Le’u Dünma or Prayer in Seven Chapters.
Popularly known as Dü Sum Sangye (Dus gsum sangs rgyas), this short prayer to Guru Padmasambhava was discovered as a treasure (gter ma) by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa. As indicated in the colophon, it was—and still is—regarded as especially pertinent for the current time.
- The Wish-Fulfilling Tree: The Life Story of the Master of Uḍḍiyāna as found in Padmasambhava’s Sevenfold Cycle of Profundity by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
This concise biography of the eighth-century master from Uḍḍīyana, Guru Padmasambhava, who established Buddhism in Tibet in the 8th century, was revealed in 1856 by the great treasure-revealer Chokgyur Lingpa as part of the Sevenfold Cycle of Profundity (zab pa skor bdun). The text consists of ten short chapters, each relating to a different aspect of the master’s life and activities.
- A Yearning Song of Prayer to Invoke the Wisdom Mind of the Compassionate Teacher Padmasambhava by Fourteenth Dalai Lama
This prayer to Guru Padmasambhava, calling upon him to remember his pledge to come to the aid of Tibet and its people, was composed in 1980 at the request of the cabinet of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- All Wishes Swiftly Fulfilled: A Prayer to the Mahāguru of Uḍḍiyāna in Eight Chapters by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
This very short prayer to the three kāyas, the dharmakāya Amitābha, sambhogakāya Avalokiteśvara and nirmāṇakāya Guru Padmasambhava, for 'clearing obstacles from the path' (bar chad lam sel) was composed by the treasure-revealer Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje.
- The Lightning Bolt of Compassion: A Short Prayer that Spontaneously Fulfils All Wishes (Sampa Lhundrupma) by Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje
The famous tertön (gter ston) Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje wrote this brief prayer to Guru Padmasambhava Tötreng Tsal for the spontaneous fulfilment of wishes (bsam pa lhun grub) at the request of his consort and son.
Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima
- The Adamantine Magical Wheel—Invoking the profound pledge of the glorious Victor Padmākara to turn back the final war by Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima
This prayer of invocation, which was written by the Third Dodrupchen Rinpoche during a period of political unrest, calls upon Guru Padmasambhava to protect Tibetans from aggressors and the ravages of war. More recently, it was redistributed at the behest of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, who recognized its continued relevance amid the turmoil of the twentieth century.
Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer
- A Joyful Chariot for the Fortunate: An Aspiration to Travel to the Copper-Coloured Mountain of Glory by Dudjom Rinpoche
Dudjom Rinpoche composed this prayer of aspiration to be reborn on the Copper Coloured Mountain of Glory, or Zangdok Palri (zangs mdog dpal ri), after his firstborn daughter, Dekyong Yeshe Wangmo, had left this world. The inspiration for this prayer, it is said, was therefore her parting gift.
Dudjom Rinpoche composed this short prayer invoking the Abbot, Master and Dharma-King (Khen Lob Chö Sum), i.e., Śāntarakṣita, Guru Padmasambhava and Trisong Detsen, at Samyé monastery in Tibet at the request of his son, Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.
The tenth day of each lunar month of the Tibetan calendar is connected to a key event in the life of Guru Padmasambhava. In this brief text, Dudjom Rinpoche—who refers to himself here as "Padma's messenger"—explains the correlation of these events and the particular benefits that accrue from observing practice on such days.
In this commentary on the famous prayer to Guru Padmasambhava popularly known as Dü Sum Sangye (referred to here as the Vajra Verses Prayer) Dudjom Rinpoche explains the outer, inner and secret significance of every line.
- The Prayer to Guru Rinpoche that Swiftly Removes Obstacles and Fulfills All Wishes by Dudjom Rinpoche
Dudjom Rinpoche tells us that he wrote this prayer to Guru Rinpoche "for the peace and happiness of the world, at a time when we are all afflicted both physically and mentally by all kinds of outer and inner circumstances."
A brief prayer to be reborn on the Copper Coloured Mountain of Glory, or Zangdok Palri, in the presence of Guru Padmasambhava, and to complete the path to enlightenment in that pure realm, so as to work for others’ benefit.
Fifth Dalai Lama
The Great Fifth Dalai Lama wrote this prayer to Guru Padmasambhava in his eight manifestations, calling upon him to remember his pledge to Tibet and its people, for recitation on the tenth day of each lunar month.
Gönpo Tseten Rinpoche
- Accomplishing the Lama through the Seven Line Prayer: A Special Teaching from the Lama Sangdü by Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
The original revelation of the Seven-Line Prayer (tshig bdun gsol 'debs), which is the most famous and widely chanted of all invocations of Guru Padmasambhava, and which, according to later commentators, can be understood and practised on multiple levels.
- The Prayer of the Tenth Days in Guru Rinpoche’s Life Story entitled ‘The Nucleus of Blessings’ by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul wrote this biographical prayer (rnam thar gsol 'debs) to Guru Padmasambhava at the request of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. It focuses on the deeds the Precious Guru is said to have performed on the tenth day of each month, when he is commemorated by his followers.
Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This prayer was composed in 1956, the Fire Monkey year, at Samye, while Jamyang Khyentse was offering a tsok feast in the presence of the special ‘Looks Like Me’ image of Guru Padmasambhava (gu ru nga 'dra ma) .
Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö wrote this prayer in Lhodrak Kharchu on the tenth day of the monkey month in the monkey year (1956)—a point in the Tibetan calendar that holds particular significance for followers of Guru Padmasambhava.
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- A Beautiful and Wondrous Udumbara Garland: A Supplication and Summary of the Chronicles of Padma, The Life and Liberation of the Precious Guru of Uḍḍiyāna by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
This prayer beautifully summarizes the Padma Kathang (The Chronicles of Padma), one of the most famous and influential of Guru Padmasambhava's many biographies. It reveals how Guru Rinpoche manifests in an infinite variety of forms in order to protect and spread the Buddhadharma.
- A Brief Prayer to the Precious Master Padmākara for Swiftly Fulfilling Wishes and Dispelling Obstacles by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Chariot of the Vidyādharas: An Aspiration Prayer for Travelling to the Realm of Lotus Light by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
This poetic prayer relates the Lotus Light (padma 'od) pure realm of Guru Padmasambhava to the four visions of Dzogchen practice and contains the aspiration that we may all be reborn there, to advance through the four stages of a vidyādhara and swiftly reach the level of the Lake-born Guru himself.
These verses to be recited before and after prayers to Guru Padmasambhava, especially the famous Prayer in Seven Chapters (le'u bdun ma), include the practices of taking refuge and arousing bodhicitta, a seven-branch offering, the generation and dissolution of a visualisation, and the dedication of merit.
- The Heart of Blessings: A Brief Anthology of Prayers to Guru Rinpoche and the Twenty-Five Disciples, the King and Subjects by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
This is a complete set of practices, including taking refuge, generating bodhicitta, visualization, invocation, seven-branch offering, heartfelt prayer—addressed to Guru Padmasambhava, his various manifestations and twenty-five disciples—mantra recitation, and dissolution.
- Turning Back Obstacles and Adverse Circumstances: A Prayer to Orgyen Rinpoche, Embodiment of All Sources of Refuge by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
A prayer to the Precious Guru of Oḍḍiyāna as the embodiment of all sources of refuge (skyabs gnas kun 'dus) in order to avert all forms of obstacle and hindrance, on the outer, inner and innermost (or 'secret') levels.
- Wish-Fulfilling Feast of Siddhis: An Aspiration Prayer to Orgyen Rinpoche, the Precious Master of Oddiyana by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Written in 1850, this is a prayer to the guru, who is understood to be inseparable from Guru Padmasambhava and the true nature of mind, and an aspiration to be reborn in the Lotus Light pure realm, if not already liberated during this life or when clear light dawns at the moment of death.
Jigme Lingpa explains why the tenth day of each month is dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava and the benefits of recalling his twelve most significant deeds, which are commemorated on these days throughout the year.
This is a heartfelt prayer Jigme Lingpa for invoking Guru Padmasambhava—"the great guru of Oḍḍiyāna"—as the embodiment of all sources of refuge and pledging to entrust oneself to him completely in all situations and circumstances, but especially in times of difficulty, during this current degenerate age.
- Secret Path to the Mountain of Glory—A Prayer of Aspiration for the Copper-Coloured Mountain of Glory by Jigme Lingpa
This prayer of aspiration to be reborn in Guru Padmasambhava's heaven of Zangdok Palri (zangs mdog dpal ri), the Copper-coloured Mountain of Glory, includes detailed descriptions of its wonderful features and extraordinary qualities. The text is a terma (gter ma) revelation and part of the Longchen Nyingtik cycle.
Jigme Lingpa himself describes this text as "a prayer invoking and imploring Guru Rinpoche, coupled with an aspiration prayer suitable for daily recitation based on the root words of the way to attain liberation through the experiences of the bardo states." It was inspired by a sense of sorrow and renunciation when, one morning during a retreat near Samye, Jigme Lingpa glimpsed Mount Hepori in the distance and thought about the great events that had taken place there during Padmasambhava's lifetime, little or no trace of which remained.
Khenchen Ngawang Palzang
This prayer to Guru Padmasambhava for the swift fulfilment of all wishes begins with a verse from ‘The Infinite Cloud Banks of Profound Meaning’ (zab don rgya mtsho'i sprin phung), which is part of Longchen Rabjam’s Khandro Yangtik (mkha' 'gro yang tig), and concludes with several verses written by Jigme Lingpa. It is said to be particularly beneficial for Tibet, as it has the power to pacify illness, prevent famine and border invasions, and contribute to the welfare of the teachings and beings.
Menlungpa Mikyö Dorje
One of the most famous four-line prayers to Guru Padmasambhava. It is attributed to Menlungpa Mikyö Dorje, who is also credited with a detailed commentary on the prayer. The final line is often adapted to turn the text into a tea-offering (ja mchod).
Minling Chung Rinpoche
This short text in verse, written in 1902, outlines the twelve major deeds of Guru Padmasambhava, which are to be commemorated in the course of a year—a different deed being recalled on the tenth day of each month.
- Wang Dü: ‘The Great Cloud of Blessings’—The Prayer which Magnetizes All that Appears and All that Exists by Mipham Rinpoche
This prayer of magnetizing (dbang du bsdud pa) all appearance and existence, which Ju Mipham wrote in 1879, focuses on nine deities associated with magnetizing: Padmasambhava in the form of Padmarāja or Pema Gyalpo (padma rgyal po), Vajradharma (rdo rje chos), Amitābha, Avalokiteśvara in the form of Padmapāṇi, Hayagrīva, Guhyajñāna, Vajravārāhī, Kurukullā and the King of Desire ('dod pa'i rgyal po). It was made popular in recent years by the late Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok.
Nyang Ral Nyima Özer
- A Prayer Recalling the Life and Liberation of the Precious Master Padmasambhava by Nyangral Nyima Özer
This prayer in 26 verses recounts the major events of the life of Guru Padmasambhava, from his miraculous birth upon a lotus to his final departure from Tibet for the land of the rakṣasas. Upon recollecting each stage or episode in the Guru's life, the reader requests empowerment and blessings.
Pawo Lerab Tsal
- Victory Over All Adversity: A Prayer to Invoke Guru Rinpoche’s Wisdom for the Swift Fulfilment of Wishes by Rangrik Dorje
- Cloud Banks of Blessings: A Prayer Recounting the Eleven Deeds of the Life and Liberation of the Guru from Uḍḍiyāna by Ratna Lingpa
A prayer to Guru Rinpoche recounting eleven significant deeds in his life: 1) forming the enlightened intention to tame beings, 2) descending into the lotus flower, 3) spontaneously taking birth, 4) enjoying the pleasures of a prince, 5) taking ordination, 6) practicing various austerities, 7) overcoming Māra's hosts, 8) attaining complete awakening, 9) turning the wheel of the Dharma, 10) engaging in yogic disciplines, and 11) hiding terma treasures to spread the Dharma far and wide.
In this brief treasure text, Padmasambhava prophesies the many ways in which he will reveal himself to disciples in the future. He encourages his students to pray to him continually and gives specific instructions on how to invoke him on the tenth day. The text concludes with a description of the destined revealer of this treasure, Ratna Lingpa.
- Topical Outline of the Prayer That Swiftly Fulfils All Wishes (Sampa Nyur Drupma) by Patrul Rinpoche