Mystical Verses of a Mad Dalai Lama

This is an excerpt from the Mystical Verses of a Mad Dalai Lama, translated by Glenn H. Mullin. The Second Dalai Lama, "Melodious Laughing Vajra," wrote and taught extensively in Tibet in the 1500s. He wrote numerous Tantric songs, one of which is reprinted here A Prayer of Pure Aspirations.

Copyright (c) 1994 by Glenn H. Mullin.
Reprinted with permission.

(Part One: A Call to the Guru:—)

Second Dalai LamaMost kind root guru, who always rests
On a sun and moon above my head,
I, a humble disciple, call out to you
With emotion surging in the depths of my heart.

From wherever you may physically be in this world,
Send forth a mystical emanation to heed me.
Reveal your countenance to me;
And may we never ever become parted.

(Invocation of the Field of Merit:—)

Present masters, lineage gurus, Three Jewels,
Peaceful and wrathful meditational deities,
And all Dharma Protectors and guardians and truth,
I call out to you with this prayer.

Come forth as a billowing cloud
Of profound wisdom and great compassion.
Release a dragon's roar of Dharma teachings,
A fiery smoke of your transforming powers,
And a shower of mystical realizations.
Place your inspiring blessings on my mindstream,
That I may achieve spiritual maturity and freedom.

(The Seven-Limbed Offering Prayer:—)

Embodiment of the Three Jewels of Refuge,
Wherever you may be in the universe,
I bow to you in body, speech, and mind
With forms as numerous as the atoms of the world.

Without hesitation I send forth to you
Vast clouds of beautifully arranged offerings.
As well as all things linked to this life
And all virtues past, present, and future.

In your presence I face all my shortcomings;
For under the power of the three inner poisons,
I have created a mountain of negative karma,
Even harming and abusing the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.

You who have accomplished the twofold purpose,
I rejoice in your enlightenment deeds.
Turn the precious Wheel of Truth
In accordance with the needs of living beings.

I request you to remain in this world
And not pass away into parinirvana
For as long as space exists,
In order to benefit all living beings.

(Prayer of Pure Aspirations:--)

Although I have met with spiritual masters
Possessing full compassion, knowledge, and power,
I did not see them as the root of all siddhi
Nor appreciate them as being perfect Buddhas.
The negative mind of mundane perception
That always find fault in others overpowered me;
Looking back at the many missed opportunities,
My heart fills with sadness and regret.

O noble and holy root guru, I call to you:
Hold me in the sphere of your compassion
Until enlightenment is achieved;
Watch over me with heartfelt care
As I strive to accomplish enlightenment's way.

This rare and precious human rebirth
Has so far gone mostly to worldly works
That have produced little of lasting value.
I send forth this pure aspiration:
May whatever remains of my brief life
Be dedicated to the enlightenment trainings,
That I may achieve spiritual maturity.

The Lord of Death indiscriminately devours
People of strong, medium, and weak constitutions,
Yet we are deceived by the demon of grasping
At the sense of our own immortality.
I send forth this pure aspiration:
May I have constant awareness of death
And knowledge that I could be dead in a moment,
That I might transcend the materialistic mind
And pass my days and nights in spiritual ways.

There is every chance that when my breath stops,
I could fall to a rebirth in the lower realms,
For, feeble in mindfulness and prone to delusion,
Have gathered much negative karma.
I send forth this pure aspiration:
May I avoid the confusion created
By false teachers and distracting friends,
And always take my inspiration from Dharma,
Thus strengthening the good within myself
And undermining the forces of imperfection.

All accomplishments in the material world
Are unreliable and are easily swept away.
We see this all around us, but still
Our aspiration to spiritual freedom remains weak.
I send forth this pure aspiration:
May the free spirit of moderation
Always arise spontaneously within me.

And I send forth the pure aspiration
That I may transcend the negative habit
Of discriminating between the living beings,
Regarding some with attachment and others aversion;
And that instead I may learn to hold them all
Within the meditation of love and compassion
That cherishes others more than it does oneself.

I also send forth the pure aspiration
That I may attain the naked insight that perceives
The emptiness nature of all that exists:
How all the appearing and transforming phenomena
Have no real existence whatsoever and are
Mere imputations of the conceptual mind.

I send forth the pure aspiration
That after this meditational insight is gained,
I may carry the vision into daily activities
And observe all the things that appear
Without grasping at them as being real,
Like watching a magician's illusory tricks.

I send forth the pure aspiration
That I may always be aware of the way in which
All these things that are mere mental labels
Nonetheless function according to the laws
Of relativity and unfailing cause and effect;
And thus may I amass the two collections
Of meritorious energy and wisdom combined.

I send forth the pure aspiration
That I may complete the yogic meditations
Of the two profound levels of tantric practice --
The generation and completion stages -- that take
The confused appearances of birth, death, and the bardo
And transform them into the three perfect kayas.

I send forth the pure aspiration
That the state of the four perfect kayas
May quickly be fully achieved,
And that I may then fulfill my wish to be
Of continual and ultimate benefit to the world.

Finally I offer the auspicious prayer that
As I train in the ways leading to enlightenment,
I may meet with every helpful circumstance
And my path remain unhindered by any obstacle.