Translations by Rigpa Translations
Rigpa Translations is the translation team associated with Rigpa, an international network of Tibetan Buddhist centres and groups.
Texts translated into English by Rigpa Translations
This short text (Bodhisattvamaṇyāvalī in Sanskrit), which is included in the Middle Way section of the Tengyur (Toh 3951), is regarded as a classic work of the Mind Training (blo sbyong) tradition. With its direct and pithy language, it is not so much a poem as a series of maxims on the bodhisattva path.
Bengar Jampal Zangpo
This famous prayer to the masters of the Kagyü (bka' brgyud) school by the 15th century master Jampal Zangpo remains popular to this day. More than just a simple supplication to the lineage, it also incorporates an instruction on Mahāmudrā meditation.
Popularly known as 'The Teachings Blaze' (bstan 'bar ma), this prayer for the spread of the teachings (bstan rgyas smon lam) is especially popular in the Gelug tradition. The first verse appears to be taken from the Pratimokṣa-sūtra (so sor thar pa'i mdo), while the remainder of the prayer, from the second verse onwards, is to be found in Atiśa Dīpaṃkara's Great Compendium of the Sūtras (Mahāsūtrasamuccaya; mdo kun las btus pa chen po).
- The King of Aspiration Prayers: Samantabhadra's “Aspiration to Good Actions” (Zangchö Mönlam) from the Words of the Buddha
So popular and influential is Samantabhadra’s “Aspiration to Good Actions” (bzang spyod smon lam) from the Gaṇḍavyūha chapter of the vast Avataṃsaka Sūtra, it is known as the king of all aspiration prayers. It is included in the Dhāraṇī section of the Kangyur (Toh 1095) and the Miscellaneous section of the Tengyur (Toh 4377).
- The Seven Branches from Samantabhadra’s “Aspiration to Good Actions” (Zangchö Mönlam) from the Words of the Buddha
Extracted from Samantabhadra’s “Aspiration to Good Actions” (bzang spyod smon lam, Toh 1095), this is the section on the seven branches (yan lag bdun pa; saptāṅga): 1) prostration, 2) offering, 3) confession, 4) rejoicing, 5) imploring the buddhas to turn the wheel of dharma, 6) requesting the buddhas not to enter nirvāṇa, and 7) dedication. This section is commonly recited as part of the preliminaries to other practices.
- The Ritual of the Bodhisattva Vow According to the Tradition of Patrul Rinpoche arranged by Chatral Rinpoche
This elaborate ritual for taking the bodhisattva vow, which includes preliminary recitations and practices as well as the vow itself, was arranged according to the tradition of the great Dza Patrul Rinpoche (1808–1887) by the holder of his lineage, Chatral Rinpoche Sangye Dorje, in 1986.
Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
This aspiration prayer is said to have been spoken by Guru Padmasambhava when revealing the Vajradhātu maṇḍala in the temple of Samye. The text was revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa and transcribed by Jamgön Kongtrul. Generally, it is known as Mönlam Chokchu Düzhima (Aspiration of the Ten Directions and Four Times), a name which derives from the prayer's first four syllables.
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.
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.
- 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.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
In these four short lines, written in 1989, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche encapsulates the entire Buddhist path, which includes the cultivation of devotion, non-distraction, the recollection of death and impermanence, and compassion.
Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje
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.
- Heart of Vajrasattva—The Heart of Confession, the King of Purification Practices, from 'The Immaculate Secret Vajrasattva' by 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 Trinle Özer
- A Constant Stream of Blessings: A Prayer to the Eight Supreme Vidyādharas of India by Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer
- The Excellent Path to Perfect Liberation: A Guidance Practice (Nedren) for the Dukngal Rangdrol (Natural Liberation of Suffering) Practice of the Great Compassionate One from the Longchen Nyingtik by Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer
This 'guidance' or nedren (gnas 'dren) practice is intended to help guide the deceased to enlightenment by purifying the various realms of saṃsāra and granting empowerment. It belongs to the Natural Liberation of Suffering (sdug bsngal rang grol) set of Avalokiteśvara practices, which, in turn, are part of the Longchen Nyingtik revelation.
- The Source of Accomplishment, the Fruit of the Twofold Truth: A Prayer to the Wisdom Ḍākinī Dechen Gyalmo by Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer
Drimé Ösal Lingpa
- A Concise Recitation of the Preliminary Practice according to the New Treasure of Dudjom by Dudjom Rinpoche
The root text of the Dudjom Tersar preliminary practices, including the outer preliminaries, i.e., the four contemplations that turn the mind from saṃsāra, and the inner preliminaries of taking refuge, generating bodhicitta, offering the maṇḍala, meditation on Vajrasattva, guru yoga and transference (phowa).
Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche composed this four-line prayer of aspiration spontaneously on the occasion of his first teaching of “Hitting the Essence in Three Words” in the West, to an assembly of thirteen students in Paris, 1976.
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."
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
- An Abundant Gift of Good Fortune: A Long-Life Prayer for Khenpo Sodargye by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Fifth Dalai Lama
Fourteenth Dalai Lama
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.
In this prayer, which he wrote in 1960, shortly after arriving in exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama invokes all the buddhas and bodhisattvas, especially Avalokiteśvara, and the power of truth itself, in order to bring an end to the turmoil in Tibet so that the Dharma and all aspects of Tibetan culture can flourish there once again.
Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
- 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.
Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul wrote this for his own practice during a time of great turmoil and upheaval, after Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo advised him of the importance of regular prayer for peace and stability. It has been popular ever since, especially when Tibet faces challenging times.
A lineage prayer for the practice of Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik ('chi med 'phags ma'i snying thig), the Heart-Essence of the Deathless Noble Tārā, a revelation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo which is associated with longevity.
- 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) .
In response to a question from his spiritual consort, Khandro Tsering Chödrön, Jamyang Khyentse explains the essence of the path in just a few lines. (Khandro's question is in the form of an acrostic poem, the opening syllables of its four lines being the first four syllables of the Tibetan alphabet).
A prayer to the lineage of Rigdzin Tsadrup (rig 'dzin rtsa sgrub), the Root Practice of the Vidyādhara Padmasambhava, which was revealed by Tertön Sogyal (1856–1926) and which Padmasambhava is said to have transmitted to Nanam Dorje Dudjom.
- 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
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- A Brief Prayer to the Precious Master Padmākara for Swiftly Fulfilling Wishes by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- Essence of the Profound Path: A General Visualization for Prayers to Guru Rinpoche by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
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.
- Harmonious Clouds of Sublime and Lasting Bliss: A Vajra Song for the Tsok Feast Offering to Venerable and Exalted Vajrayoginī by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Flower of Faith: A Prayer to the Twenty-Five Founders of Buddha's Teachings in Tibet by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Garland of Utpala Flowers: A Prayer to the Masters of the Lineage of Zabtik Drolchok by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- 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.
Jetsün Drakpa Gyaltsen
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.
A heartfelt prayer 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.
Sacred song and dance are important elements of the gaṇacakra, and this song by Jigme Lingpa, which is now widely-known and recited, was composed specifically for the gaṇacakra feast. The song concludes with the aspiration that all those gathered together may attain the rainbow body as a result of the feast offering.
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.
Khangsar Tenpé Wangchuk
- The Crystal Stairway: A Prayer of Aspiration to Cross Over to the Copper-Coloured Mountain of Glory in the South West by Khangsar Tenpé Wangchuk
Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
Khenchen Ngawang Palzang
Lhatsün Namkha Jigme
- Mountain Smoke Offering from The Life-Force Practice of the Vidyādharas revealed by Lhatsün Namkha Jigme
The Mountain Smoke Offering (ri bo bsangs mchod) from Lhatsün Namkha Jigme's Life-Force Practice of the Vidyādharas (rig 'dzin srog sgrub) revelation is one of the most famous and widely practised smoke-incense (bsangs) offering rituals in Tibetan Buddhism, and appears in a number of editions. This is the original version, without any introductory practices or other additions.
- The Mountain Smoke Offering Arranged for Recitation by Lhatsün Namkha Jigme, arranged by Dudjom Rinpoche
As the title implies, Dudjom Rinpoche Jikdral Yeshe Dorje arranged the text of Lhatsün Namkha Jikme's Mountain Smoke Offering (ri bo bsang mchod) for regular recitation by adding verses for taking refuge, generating bodhicitta, the seven-branch practice and self-visualization at the beginning, and verses of dedication at the end.
Lhodrak Namkha Gyaltsen
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.
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.
- The Prayer and Offering to 'The Great Lion, Gesar the Jewel', that Spontaneously Accomplishes Activities by Mipham Rinpoche
This brief rite of offering and requesting Gesar to carry out activity was written in 1880. As with the other texts in this section of Mipham's works Gesar appears not only as powerful warrior-figure but as an enlightened emanation of Guru Padmasambhava.
This popular prayer, which Mipham wrote in 1896, is addressed to the eight sugatas, eight bodhisattvas, eight goddesses of auspiciousness, and eight guardians of the world. It is recited at the outset of any virtuous project, or indeed any activity of any kind, in order to bring about auspiciousness, success and good fortune.
- 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.
Popularly known as "With Skilful Means and Compassion..." (thabs mkhas thugs rje ma), this is the liturgical arrangement of the Dvādaśakārastotra, Nāgārjuna's praise of the twelve great acts performed by Buddha Śākyamuni.
Nubpa Rigdzin Drak
Little is known about the author, Nubpa Rigdzin Drak, who may have been a student of Jetsün Drakpa Gyaltsen (1147–1216), but his commentary is among the best known works on Parting from the Four Attachments—partly as a result of its inclusion in the Blo sbyong brgya rtsa compendium. The text explains the antidotes to each of the four attachments and the results that will accrue from applying them.
Nyangral Nyima Özer
Nyoshul Khenpo Jamyang Dorje
Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche
This famous prayer of aspiration, which was a terma revelation of Pema Lingpa (1450–1521), is said to record the words of Yeshe Tsogyal to Guru Padmasambhava as he was about to leave Tibet for the land of the rākṣasa demons.
Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
- The Instructions on Parting from the Four Attachments spoken by Mañjuśrī to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
This famous four-line teaching was spoken by Mañjuśrī, who appeared in a vision to the young Sachen Kunga Nyingpo during a six-month retreat. It is said to encapsulate the entire bodhisattva path of the pāramitās.
Sakya Paṇḍita Kunga Gyaltsen
A brief commentary on Parting From the Attachments (zhen pa bzhi bral), the famous four-line instruction originally revealed by Mañjuśrī to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092–1158), Sakya Paṇḍita's great uncle.
- Cymbals to Invoke a Compassionate Response: A Prayer for Swift Rebirth of Khandro Tsering Chödrön by Sakya Trichen
- A Shower of Blessings: A Guru Yoga Practice to Accompany the Seven-Line Prayer (Addendum) by Shakya Shri
This arrangement of Mipham Rinpoche's famous Shower of Blessings Guru Yoga practice adds opening verses of refuge and bodhicitta, a torma offering to the obstructing forces, visualization of the protective sphere and the descent of blessings, as well as concluding verses for the remainder offering, aspiration and dedication.
Tertön Mingyur Dorje
Part of the Namchö (gnam chos) revelation, this extremely popular prayer of aspiration for rebirth in Sukhāvatī derives from a vision in which Buddha Amitābha appeared to Tulku Mingyur Dorje, when the latter was just twelve years old, in 1657.
For this prayer from the Vajrakīlaya cycle known as Yang Zab Nyingpo (Deepest Heart-Essence), the practitioner assumes the form of the deity Vajrakīlaya and prays to Guru Padmākara and consort, who are visualized above the head.
- The Verses that Saved Sakya from Sickness: A Prayer for Quelling the Fear of Diseases by Thangtong Gyalpo
- 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.
Trulshik Rinpoche compiled these brief verses of praise and mantras so that all those connected with him could recite them daily or on special occasions. The deities included are Buddha Śākyamuni, Vajrasattva, Amitāyus, Amitābha, Ratnaśikhin, Medicine Buddha, Maitreya, Avalokiteśvara, Mañjuśrī, Vajravidāraṇa, Vijayā, Tārā, Guru Padmasambhava, and the union of Hayagrīva, Vajrapāṇi and Garuḍa.
Tulku Bakhal Mukpo
Tulku Zangpo Drakpa
- Le'u Dünma – Chapter 7. The Prayer to Guru Rinpoche that Spontaneously Fulfills All Wishes (Sampa Lhundrupma) by Tulku Zangpo Drakpa
Popularly known as the Gang gi lodröma (based on its first four syllables), this is perhaps the most famous praise of Mañjuśrī recited by Tibetan Buddhists. According to legend it was composed by 500 Indian paṇḍitas simultaneously, in response to a request from their abbot, after whom it takes its formal name—Śrī Jñāna Guṇaphala (dpal ye shes yon tan bzang po), "Glorious Wisdom's Excellent Qualities". It is included in the Kriyātantra section of the Tengyur (Toh 2711).
- The Blossoming of Devotion: A Prayer to Receive the Blessings of Khenpo Sodargye by Yangthang Rinpoche
An invocation of Khenpo Sodargye (b. 1962) that includes verses of prayer to his teacher Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok (1933–2004) and the latter's previous incarnation Nanam Dorje Dudjom. (Access text via link in bio)