Practices › Long Life Prayers
Courtesy of Terton Sogyal Trust
A selection of prayers for longevity (zhabs brtan), first more general ones, then those for specific individuals (arranged alphabetically by subject):
- Youthfulness Gained in Vajra-like Immortality: Verses of Truth for the Long Life of the Perfect Masters by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
The author mentions that he wrote this general long-life prayer with teachers such as the Karmapa and Shamarpa particularly in mind, and that he was instructed to compose a practice incorporating both Guru Padmasambhava and Vajrakīla—although several other long-life deities are also invoked, including Tārā.
- The Indestructible Vajra Garland, An Aspiration Prayer for the Lives of the Supreme Holders of the Non-Sectarian Teachings by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Kongtrul wrote this prayer while at the site of Yamalung, sacred for its connection with Guru Padmasambhava. In a series of verses aspiring for the longevity of all non-sectarian teachers, he offers not only a powerful practice text, but also a concise statement of his celebrated Rimé ideals.
These verses in which the guru's body, speech and mind are related to the three kāyas—nirmāṇakāya, sambhogakāya and dharmakāya—constitute a brief prayer for longevity, or 'stable abiding' (brtan bzhugs), which can be recited to support the long life of any teacher.
This general prayer for the long life of the holders of the teachings was composed by Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche in 1888. It is part of the daily liturgy at the Nyingma Monlam Chenmo, or great prayer festival, held every year in Bodhgaya.
Alak Zenkar Rinpoche
Zenkar Rinpoche composed this prayer himself in May 2022 at the request of Tsewang Rigdzin, attendant and secretary to Pewar Rinpoche. Rather than praising the subject's own qualities, as is the custom for such prayers, Zenkar Rinpoche takes the opportunity to highlight what he sees as his own faults.
- Prayer for the Long Life of Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, the Incarnation of Do Khyentsé Yeshé Dorjé by Katok Rigdzin Chenpo
- Prayer for the Long Life of Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, the Incarnation of Do Khyentsé Yeshé Dorjé by Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche
Ḍākinī Muntso Rinpoche
- The Great Treasure of a Hundred Blessings: A Prayer for the Long Life of Ḍākinī Muntso Rinpoche by Fourteenth Dalai Lama
Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche
- Prayer for the Long Life of Dilgo Khyentsé II of Shechen, Urgyen Tenzin Jigme Lhundrup by Trulshik Rinpoche
Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche wrote this prayer for the longevity of Urgyen Tenzin Jigme Lhundrup (b. 1993), the incarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–1991), at the sacred Māratika cave in Nepal on Friday, 29 December 1995.
Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima
Khyentse Wangpo composed this three-verse longevity prayer for the Third Dodrupchen Rinpoche (1865–1926) at the same time as he bestowed upon him the name Kunzang Jigme Tenpai Nyima Trinlé Kunkhyab Palzangpo.
- The Drumbeat of Immortality: A Prayer for the Long Life of the Great Tertön Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This eight-line prayer for the longevity of the Seventh Dzogchen Rinpoches interweaves syllables from the name of his predecessor, Pema Rigdzin who was the first Dzogchen Rinpoche, and from his own name, Tendzin Jikdral Lhunpo.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
- True Words to Accomplish Immortality: A Longevity Prayer to the Tulku of Jamyang Khyentse, Thupten Chökyi Gyatso by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- A Supplication for the Longevity of the Peerless and Sublime Tulku, Dzongsar Khyentse, Thupten Chökyi Gyatso by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
Fourteenth Dalai Lama
The most commonly recited prayer for the longevity of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, which was adapted from a verse composed by Polhané Sonam Tobgyé (1689–1747) for the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kalzang Gyatso (1708–1757).
- The Magical Wish-Fulfilling Tree: A Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Melody of The Nectar of Immortality: A Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Supreme Victor and Omniscient One by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Music of Immortality: A Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Sweet Song of Virtue and Auspiciousness: A Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This prayer for longevity, which Jamyang Khyentse composed at the request of Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche (1929–2016) incorporates the syllables of the Dalai Lama's full name: Jetsün Ngawang Lobzang Tenzin Gyatso Sisum Wangyur Tsungmé Palzangpo.
Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Prayer for the Long Life of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö and Khandro Tsering Chödrön by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Sweet Song of Enduring Deathlessness: A Prayer for the Long Life of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jetsün Lochen Incarnation
Khandro Tāre Lhamo
Khandro Tsering Chödrön
Jamyang Khyentse composed this prayer entitled 'Removing Obstacles in the Life of the Ḍākinī' (ḍā ki'i sku tshe'i 'phrang bzlog) for the longevity of his consort Khandro Tsering Chödrön (Āyu Dharma Dīpam) at the request of Parkö Chöpel, a carver of printing blocks at Dzongsar.
Khyenrab Chökyi Özer
- The Flower of Auspiciousness: A Prayer for the Long Life of Khenpo Khyenrab Chökyi Özer, Masterful Expositor of Scripture and Reasoning by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Sweet Melody to Accomplish Words of Truth: A Prayer for the Long Life of the Dharma-Expounding Guide Khenchen Khyenrab Chökyi Özer by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Lodi Gyari Rinpoche
Mayum Tsering Wangmo
Minling Chung Rinpoche
- The Drum of Deathlessness: A Prayer for the Long Life of Minling Chung Rinpoche by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
Neten Chokling Rinpoche
- The Vajra Sitar of Immortality: A Prayer for the Long Life of the Fourth Incarnation of Terchen Chokgyur Lingpa by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
A prayer for the longevity of Neten Chokling Rinpoche (b. 1973) incorporating the name Rigdzin Gyurme Dorje (rig 'dzin 'gyur med rdo rje), which was given to Neten Chokling Rinpoche at his enthronement by His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa.
Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche
As he explains in the colophon, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche wrote this short prayer himself for recital during group rituals, in place of the more laudatory, effusive prayers composed by some of his teachers.
Sakya Dagchen and Son
- A Prayer for the Long Life of Ngawang Kunga Tekchen Palbar Trinlé Wangi Gyalpo, the Lord of Refuge and Precious Holder of the Throne of the Drolma Palace at Glorious Sakya by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche composed this four-line prayer for the longevity of the Seventh Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, Jikmé Chökyi Senge (b. 1966), by adapting the words of a prayer by Shechen Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Pema Namgyal (1871–1926).
This seven-verse prayer for the longevity of the Sixteenth Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpé Dorje (1924–1981) was written by Sakya Trichen Ngawang Kunga Tekchen Palbar (b. 1945) and is reproduced in the 2012 edition of the collected writings of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959).
This prayer for the long life of Sogyal Rinpoche was composed in 1995 in Māratika Cave, Nepal. At that time, Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche had completed a retreat focused on longevity and gave a long-life empowerment to Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche and Sogyal Rinpoche.
Tai Situ Rinpoche
- Padma’s Melodious Song: A Prayer for the Long Life of the Fourth in the Succession of Lotus-Tongued Jamchen Tai Situ Incarnations by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche
Tenth Paṇchen Lama
- The Sound of the Auspicious Conch: A Prayer for the Long Life of the All-Knowing Paṇchen Rinpoche of Tsang by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa
- The Sweet Song of Māra's Defeat: A Prayer for the Long Life of the Great Tertön and Vidyādhara Lerab Lingpa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Granting the Wish for Immortality: A Prayer for the Long Life of Dzarong Trulshik Rinpoche, the Representative of Guru Rinpoche by Fourteenth Dalai Lama
Tulku Thondup Rinpoche
- Prayer for the Long Life of Tulku Thondup Rinpoche by Gyalse Möndrup Dorje