Practices › Prayers
Courtesy of Jurek Schreiner
A selection of prayers or supplications (Skt. adhyeṣaṇa; Tib. gsol 'debs):
- The Ambrosia of Blessings: A Prayer to the Vidyādhara of Unparalleled Kindness, Drodül Pawo Dorje by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- A Prayer to the Precious Teacher of Incomparable Kindness, Jamyang Lungtok Gyaltsen by Akhyuk Rinpoche Lungtok Gyaltsen
Akhyuk Rinpoche says that he composed this prayer to himself in order to increase the pure perception of his disciples. In it he lists some of his previous incarnations: the mahāshiddha Śāntipa, Drokmi Palgyi Yeshe, Langdro Lotsāwa, Gyalwa Chokyang, Longchen Rabjam, and Longsal Nyingpo (1625–1692).
In 1758, one year after the first, principal revelation of Dukngal Rangdrol, Jigme Lingpa had a vision of Avalokiteśvara, the Great Compassionate One, in standing posture and extending to the far reaches of the eastern sky. Following this, he tells us in his autobiography, "tears of devotion welled up" and he composed this prayer.
This brief prayer to Avalokiteśvara, combined with the famous mantra oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ, is a heartfelt request for blessings and inspiration, so that all obstacles to the path may be overcome and bodhisattva activity may be accomplished.
- Vajra Speech of the Prayer to Noble Avalokiteśvara from the Great Siddha Thangtong Gyalpo's Lifetime as Bhikṣu Padma Karpo recalled by Thangtong Gyalpo
- The Tambura’s Yearning Song of Devotion: A Prayer Summarizing Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal’s Life and Liberation by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye composed this beautiful prayer summarizing Samten Lingpa’s famous terma biography of Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal in 1893 at the request of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and the yoginī Doshul Khandro.
- A Prayer Recalling the Life and Liberation of the Great Perfection Adept Rangjung Dorje (‘Naturally Arisen Vajra’), Jigme Lingpa by Jigme Lingpa
Jigme Lingpa wrote this prayer recalling his own life and liberation at the request of the First Dodrupchen, Jigme Trinlé Özer (1745–1821). The prayer includes a summary of his previous lives, as well as his most important accomplishments and qualities, when—as he puts it—he emphasized the positive.
This prayer recalling the accomplishments of Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, written by the master himself, was later supplemented by additional verses composed by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö at the behest of Khenpo Kunpal (1862–1943).
- A Prayer Recounting the Lives and Liberation of the Exalted Ḍākinī Mandāravā revealed by Samten Lingpa
Butön Rinchen Drup
Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
- The Melody of the Auspicious Spiralled Conch: A Prayer Based on the Liberation Life of the Great Emanated Tertön Chokgyur Lingpa by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul’s biographical prayer to Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (1829–1870) details the master's life and legacy, especially his terma revelations and accomplishments. The text is included within the Rinchen Terdzö collection.
As Dudjom Rinpoche himself explains, this is simultaneously a supplication, confession, and aspiration prayer. It involves the invocation of one's gurus, contemplation and confession of one's faults, and aspiration to overcome such flaws and realise the nature of the guru.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Rabjam Rinpoche adapted the text of 'A Short Remembrance of, and Prayer to My Master, the Wish-Fulfilling Jewel entitled, A Lament of Faith,' which was composed by Khenpo Chimé Rigdzin and addressed to Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok (1933–2004), in order to create this moving supplication to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–1991).
This short prayer invokes the figures of the Dzogchen lineage from Buddha Samantabhadra onwards, including the peaceful and wrathful deities, calling upon them all to grant their inspiration and blessing, so that the practitioner might perfect the four visions and attain the rainbow body.
- The Pure Three Kāyas Ablaze in Perfect Splendour: A Prayer Based on the Meaning of the Great Perfection by Longchen Rabjam
This prayer invokes the blessings of all the three-kāya gurus, yidam deities, ḍākinīs and dharmapālas to inspire recognition of the ultimate nature of the Great Perfection (Dzogpachenpo), which Longchenpa describes in evocative detail.
- Bestower of Supreme Twofold Attainment: A Prayer to the Great Fifteenth Karmapa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Fourteenth Dalai Lama
Ga Rabjampa Kunga Yeshe
Gatön Ngawang Lekpa
This prayer invoking the blessing of the buddhas, bodhisattvas and accomplished practitioners (vidyādharas) of Tibet is taken from the compilation A Shower of Precious Blessings: A Garland of Supplications to Guru Rinpoche, Embodiment of All Refuge Objects, and to the Three Roots and Lineage Masters.
- Great Pangs of Devotion: A Prayer to the Gurus and Three Roots in General and Especially the Two Thartsé Khenchen Vajradhara Brothers and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Composed in 1958, this prayer invokes the Three Roots in general and three gurus in particular: the two great Thartsé khenpo brothers, Jampa Kunga Tendzin (1776–1862) and Jampa Naljor Jampal Zangpo (1789–1864), and their student, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892).
- Prayer to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgön Kongtrul and Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Three prayers—a petition for the purification of impairments and breakages of samaya, a brief supplication to Mañjuśrī, and an appeal to the Three Roots—all composed in the Earth Pig year, i.e., 1899/1900.
- The Potent Nectar of Accomplishment: A Prayer and Supplication to the Vidyādhara Gurus of the Three Lineages by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
Rabjam Rinpoche composed this prayer and aspiration in October 2020, at the request of Ven. Lungrik Nyima, after completing the textual arrangements for several of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's mind treasures (dgongs gter).
- The Wish-Fulfilling King of Great Might: A Universally Beneficial Prayer, Aspiration, and Supplication to the Three Jewels and Three Roots by Tai Situ Rinpoche
Brief verses of prayer invoking Buddha Śākyamuni, Prajñāpāramitā, Avalokiteśvara, Guru Padmasambhava, Vajrasattva, and the protector Bernakchen, together with their mantras, composed for daily recitation or use on special occasions.
- The Spontaneous Fulfilment of Wishes: A Daily Prayer to Gesar, King of the Dralas by Mipham Rinpoche
Gorampa Sonam Senge
- The Treasure of Wisdom Illumination: A Prayer to the Omniscient Sun of the Teachings Sonam Senge by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Götsang Gönpo Dorje
This prayer to the extraordinary Gyarong Khandro Dechen Wangmo, who was considered to be an emanation of Mandāravā, was written by Jamyang Khyentse at the request of Khandro Tsering Chödrön (1929–2011).
Gyurme Tsewang Gyatso
- The Yearning Song that Swiftly Inspires Compassion: A Prayer to the Vajradhara Gurus, the Gentle Protectors by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Melodious Speech of Samantabhadra: A Prayer to the Glorious Master Jamgön Kongtrul Thaye by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
This prayer to Jamgön Kongtrul was composed by the master himself at the request of one of his disciples. It contains references to his life and the qualities he considers important, such as—to adopt the words of the text—the pure perception, with which he upheld all Buddha's teachings impartially.
Jampa Kunga Tendzin
- The Swift Infusion of Blessings: A Prayer to the Omnipresent Lord Vajradhara Jampa Kunga Tendzin by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Prayer on the Occasion of the Reading Transmission for the Omniscient King of Dharma's Thirteen-Volume Collected Writings by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This prayer to Jamyang Gyaltsen occurs twice in the latest version of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's collected writings. The colophon to this second occurrence provides the circumstances of its composition: when Jamgyal gave the reading transmission for his new 13-volume edition of Gorampa Sonam Senge's writings at the Dragang retreat centre.
Jamyang Khyenrab Tayé
- The Fresh Utpala: A Prayer to the Great Learned Teacher and Vajra-Holder Jamyang Khyenrab Tayé by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This prayer is the only known source for key biographical information about Jamyang Khyenrab Tayé (1862–1937), a master from whom Jamyang Khyentse received the Kālacakra empowerment and other teachings.
Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Quintessence of Marvellous Nectar: A Prayer Based on the Liberational Life of the Gentle Protector Guru by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche adapted the words of a long-life prayer he had previously composed in order to create this supplication, which incorporates the name Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö into three of its four verses.
This two-verse supplication, composed by Jamyang Khyentse himself at the behest of a certain Lama Chödrak, invokes the master's inspiration and blessings as a means to realize the view of the Great Perfection.
- Prayer to Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Composed for Khangsar Tulku by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Prayer to Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Composed for Khedrup Chödar by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Prayer to Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Composed for Ngawang Lobzang by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Prayer to Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Composed for Ngawang Sherab by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A four-line prayer composed by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö himself at the behest of Lama Lodrö. The text includes an alternative fourth line for transforming the prayer into a long-life supplication.
- Prayer to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Melodious Sound of Gathering Auspiciousness: A Prayer Based on the Liberational Life of the Omniscient Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul composed this biographical prayer (rnam thar gsol 'debs) to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo by extracting verses from a longer prayer to the masters of the Shangpa Kagyü lineage. For this edition, which is found in the Rinchen Terdzö, Jamyang Khyense Chökyi Lodrö composed three additional verses that refer to Khyentse Wangpo's parinirvāṇa and rebirth.
- A Short Prayer Based on the Life and Liberation of the All-Knowing, All-Seeing Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo by Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso
This short biographical prayer (rnam thar gsol 'debs) to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892) is drawn from the collection of texts known as The Whispered Transmission of Thangtong Gyalpo (thang stong snyan brgyud).
- Devotion That Pierces the Heart: A Prayer to the Omniscient Jigme Lingpa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse composed this prayer to the great revealer of the Longchen Nyingtik when he passed through the master's place of residence, the Yarlung Valley, during his first trip to central Tibet in 1925.
- A Prayer to Jowo Rinpoche Combined with Aspirations and a Means to Receive the Four Empowerments by Jigme Lingpa
Jigme Lingpa wrote this prayer for a student who was accumulating prayers before the famous Jowo Rinpoche statue in the Jokhang temple in Lhasa. It is not only a prayer to Śākyamuni Buddha, but also a means to receive the four empowerments: vase, secret, wisdom-knowledge, and the supreme empowerment of great rays of light.
- The Honey of Devotion: A Prayer to the Garland of Glorious Karmapa Incarnations by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Khandro Tsering Chödrön
Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, one of the pioneers of Tibetan Buddhism in America, composed this short prayer to Khandro Tsering Chödrön, the spiritual wife of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, shortly after her parinirvāṇa in 2011.
Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
This devotional prayer to invoke the blessings of the guru is one of Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok's best known compositions. It was written in 1987 at Mount Wutai (Wutai Shan) at the request of an elderly disciple, Lama Rigdön.
- A Lament of Faith: A Short Remembrance of, and Prayer to, My Guru, the Wish-Fulfilling Jewel by Khenpo Chime Rigdzin
This celebrated prayer extols the benefits of guru devotion in general and praises the qualities of Khenchen Jikme Puntsok Rinpoche (1933–2004) in particular, invoking his inspiration and blessings as a means to progress along the path.
Khenpo Ngawang Palzang
Khyen Kong Chok Sum
This song of devotion, composed on the master's anniversary in 1950, emphasizes the ultimate nature of Longchen Rabjam, according to which he does not exist externally but in the nature of one's own mind.
- The Sweet Call of the Kalaviṅka: A Song Evoking the Omniscient King of Dharma by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Wangdü: The Great Cloud of Blessings—The Prayer Which Magnetizes All That Appears and 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.
This prayer to Buddha Amitābha, Mañjuśrī the 'Lion of Speech' (smra ba'i seng ge) and the goddess Sarasvatī was composed by Karma Chakmé for his own daily practice. It includes a series of aspirations related to wisdom and intelligence.
This prayer invokes the great translator Marpa Chökyi Lodrö, together with his wife Dakmema, his physical heir Darma Dodé and his foremost spiritual heir Milarepa. Jamyang Khyentse composed the text while on a visit to the site of Marpa's estate in Lhodrak, most likely in 1956.
Marpa, Milarepa & Gampopa
- The Melody of Complete Accomplishment: A Prayer to Those Praised as Ornaments of the Practice Lineage by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Jamyang Khyentse says that he wrote this four-verse prayer to the founders of the practice lineage, i.e., Marpa Lotsāwa, Milarepa and Gampopa, in the first month of the Wood Ox year (1865) following a dream.
Ngawang Samten Lodrö
- The Swift Infusion of Blessings: A Lament and Prayer to Invoke the Wisdom Mind of Khenchen Vāgindra on the Occasion of His Passing into the Great Peace of the Dharmadhātu by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Treasury of Blessings: A Prayer to Recall the Sublime Masters who Showed Great Kindness to the Land of Snows by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A non-sectarian prayer invoking many of the greatest luminaries in Tibetan Buddhist history, from King Trisong Detsen and the twenty-five disciples of Guru Padmasambhava down to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgön Kongtrul.
Nyala Pema Dündul
Nyala Pema Dündul composed this prayer to himself at the request of his disciples. It is a plea to receive his inspiration and blessings in order to follow in his footsteps and perfect the practice of Dzogpachenpo.
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this twelve-line prayer to Patrul Rinpoche during the festival of Chökhor Düchen in 1860. The text identifies Patrul as an emanation of Śāntideva and the early Dzogchen adept Aro Yeshe Jungne, and praises his qualities of renunciation, bodhicitta and wisdom.
Prayers to Previous Incarnations
- Beautiful Garland of Flowers: A Brief Prayer to the Successive Incarnations of Dzogchenpa Changchub Dorje by Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer
This prayer to the chain of successive emanations (skye phreng gsol 'debs) of the First Dodrupchen was written by the master himself and includes a verse that famously prophesies his subsequent incarnation as Jigme Puntsok Jungné (1824–1863).
- The Beautiful Garland of Uḍumbara Flowers: A Prayer to the Previous Incarnations of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö himself composed this prayer to the 'garland' of his own previous incarnations (skye phreng gsol 'debs), from the Buddha Mañjuśrī down to his immediate predecessor, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892).
- The Moon’s Illusory Reflection to Gladden the Devoted: A Prayer to the Successive Rebirths by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Waves in A Sea of Devotion: A Prayer to the Garland of Zurmang Trungpa Rinpoche Incarnations by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A supplication to the successive Trungpa (drung pa) incarnations of Zurmang Monastery, up to and including Jamyang Khyentse's own teacher, Karma Chökyi Nyinché (c. 1879–1938), who was the Tenth Trungpa, and a prayer for the longevity of his immediate reincarnation, Chögyam Trungpa (1939–1987).
- Prayer to the Successive Lives of the Great Trulshik 'Destroyer of Delusion' by Ngawang Tenzin Norbu
- The Lotus of Faith: A Supplication to the Successive Lives of Shechen Rabjam by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
Rabjam Rinpoche composed this prayer to the various masters in his own incarnation line at the request of Tulku Kunga, who had transcribed the list of names from a handwritten note by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
- Gateway for the Faithful: A Supplication Recalling the Lives and Liberation of Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö by Trulshik Rinpoche
Rendawa Shönnu Lodrö
- Prayer to the Supremely Learned Holders of the Glorious Sakya Teachings by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A prayer to six master scholars from the Sakya tradition: Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (1382–1456), Dzongpa Kunga Namgyal (1432–1496), Yaktön Sangye Pal (1350–1414), Rongtön Sheja Kunrig (1367–1449), Gorampa Sonam Senge (1429–1489) and Śākya Chokden (1428–1507).
- Prayer to Root and Lineage Masters, and the Assembly of Deity, Ḍākinīs and Dharma Protectors of the Sakya Lineage by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
According to his biography, Gatön Ngawang Lekpa recited this prayer to Sakya Paṇḍita together with the famous four-line Shejama (shes bya ma) prayer that he accumulated 4,300,000 times while performing prostrations.
A supplication to the great Sakya scholar and patriarch Kunga Gyaltsen (1182–1251) calling upon him to assist beings of the degenerate age, especially practitioners of the Dharma. Shenpen Nangwa composed the text while visiting the Sakya monastery of Lhundrup Teng in Derge, also known as Derge Gonchen.
Jamyang Khyentse composed this prayer as part of a series of supplications addressed to the Dharma King Tri Songdetsen, Guru Padmasambhava, and Abbot Śāntarakṣita (mkhan slob chos gsum) as well as the future king of Shambhala, Raudracakrin, all written at the behest of the Sixth Dzogchen Rinpoche and a lama from Dzogchen Monastery called Pema Düdül.
Sé Pakchok Dorje
A prayer to Sé Pakchok Dorje, the mind emanation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892) and one of the six sons of Tokden Śākya Śrī (1853–1919), invoking his inspiration and blessings in order to perfect the path of Dzogchen.
It is said that Atiśa spoke this prayer to the goddess Tārā during a life-threatening storm on his journey across the ocean to meet the master Serlingpa. Tārā, who is renowned for the swiftness with which she protects living beings from fear and danger, appeared directly and rescued Atiśa and his fellow travellers from peril.
- Eliminator of Suffering: A Prayer to the Venerable and Exalted Tārā by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Three Deities of Long Life
- The Melody of the Deathless Vajra: Imploring the Three Deities of Immortal Life to Fulfil Wishes and Grant Attainment by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse says he composed this prayer to the three deities of long life—Tārā, Amitāyus and Vijayā—after completing the recitation of Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik during his thirty-third year, i.e., in or around 1925.
- Great Drum of the Devas: A Prayer to the Dharma King Tri Songdetsen by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse composed this prayer as part of a series of supplications addressed to the Abbot Śāntarakṣita, Guru Padmasambhava, the Dharma King Tri Songdetsen (mkhan slob chos gsum) as well as the future king of Shambhala, Raudracakrin, all written at the behest of the Sixth Dzogchen Rinpoche and a lama from Dzogchen Monastery called Pema Düdül.
Tsarchen Losal Gyatso
A lineage prayer for Tsogyal's Whispered Transmission of Kīla (mtsho rgyal snyan brgyud phur pa), which was revealed by Gyarong Khandro, together with Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö and Khandro Tsering Chödrön, from the Zadü (gza' bdud) cave at Khyungdrak Dorjei Yangdzong in the water snake year (1953), and then transmitted by Jamyang Khyentse to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in the wood sheep year (1955).
For this prayer from the Vajrakīla cycle known as Yang Zab Nyingpo (Deepest Heart-Essence), the practitioner assumes the form of the deity Vajrakīla and prays to Guru Padmākara and consort, who are visualized above the head.
Composed in 1946, this supplication to Yeshe Tsogyal identifies her as the universal mother and queen of ḍākinīs and calls upon her assistance to transform one's subtle channels, wind-energies and essences and attain the state of deathlessness.