Supplications to the Zhentong Lineage
By Jetsun Taranatha
To the masters, I prostrate! What follows is a supplication to the lineage of the profound Zhentong Madhyamaka:
To the victorious ones and their spiritual heirs, I prostrate!
Actual three dimensions, Imbued with the illustrious five wisdoms, Source of the eighty-four-thousand teachings, Supreme principle of the noble assembly’s gathering, To you, Bhagavan and Majesty of Sages, I make requests!
From the time of Asanga, Even though enlightened buddhas have taught The way of the victorious one’s heirs for the benefit of beings, You attained coronation as the great Regent of the victorious one. To the feet of the protector Maitreya, I make requests!
To you who attained the level illuminating the tranquil wisdoms, Invincible protector and savior of ambrosia-like oral instructions, Sovereign of the Mahayana’s teachings in this world, To you, Arya Asanga, I make requests!
Sovereign of secrets and vajra-holder beyond duality, Having taken to heart every word of the victorious one without exception, You have become the sole bringer of awakening for the Buddha’s teachings. To you, the victor’s heir Vasubandhu, I make requests!
The path of a Great Siddha is difficult and most subtle to realise, This is the lion’s roar of eloquent expositions on enlightened essence. As these teachings were about to disappear during ancient times, You were the one to elucidate them. To you, Ganga Maitripa, I make requests!
To you who performed the gentle yogic conduct, And utterly relinquished the defilements of distorted dualistic fixations, Avadhuti, the manner of your invincible graceful gaze glides in all directions. To you, Anandakirti, I make requests!
Bhikshu adorned with gloriously pure conduct, You have carried the supreme vehicle’s scriptural tradition beyond. Kashmiri who gazed upon the meaning of profound abiding reality, To you, Jungné Zhiwa, I make requests!
Born into the family who was learned and realised beyond calculation, Blessed due to the exceptional view beyond measure, Supreme yogi whose knowledge of eloquent speech is beyond limitation, To you, Brahma Sajña, I make requests!
Graced by a vision of Chakrasamvara, learned to the highest degree, You who proclaimed Zhentong Madhyamaka in [Tibet], And realised the vajra-body in the Peerless City, To you, Lotsawa [Zu] Gawai Dorje, I make requests!
Due to the scriptures of the invincible one, you attained the highest degree of learning, From the path of Madhyamaka, you profoundly gazed upon the actuality of phenomena, Sublime observer of precepts, Khawoché from the family of Tsen, To you, Drimé Sherab, I make requests!
Having arrived in foreign lands, You relinquished attachment and aversion to friends and enemies. Knowing the myriad divisions of the profound sutras and tantras, You were praised and cared for by the Regent Maitreya. To you, Darma Tsöndru, I make requests!
Having given birth to self-manifesting pristine awareness instantly within your heart, You are renowned for entering the path, then having been immersed in visions, Dolpa Nyan, you elucidated the essential teachings. To you, Yeshe Jungné, I make requests!
To the two most exalted, regarded as a single a mind, You elucidated the teachings of the Mahayana Abhidharma. Jangchub Kyab and Jangchub the Younger, To you, brothers of Jadtön, I make requests!
To the observer of precepts, bound into serving the dharma protectors, Upholder of the Tripitaka with inconceivable power and strength, Graced by a vision of Vajrapani, master whose teachings protect, To you, Monlam Tsultrim, I make requests!
Through the blessings of the unwavering protectors and exalted ones, You took to heart all of the Buddha’s words and their commentaries. Scholar of scholars, you upheld the victory-banner of the teachings, To you, Chömden Raltri, I make requests!
Perfectly learned, treasure trove of the sublime teachings, Through listening and explaining you composed teachings all day, Supreme spiritual guide who bowed at the feet of all that is great, To you, Kyiton Jamyang, I make requests!
Here, among the snowy mountains, You were the master of the teachings on definitive meaning. Unrivalled in how you turned the sublime Wheel of Dharma, Miraculous emanatory Jonangpa, majesty of this world, To you, Great Omniscient One [Dolpopa], I make requests!
Embodiment of clear mindedness, ornament of total sublimity, Sovereign of intelligence who subdued adversaries, Master Kunga Pal, supreme scholar among everyone, To you, Nyabon Chöje, I make requests!
Having accomplished great benefit for beings due to blessings from you master, Through great compassion, you were embraced as a child of the victorious ones. You realised the definitive meaning of the essence of the tathagatas. To you, Chöpal Gonpo, I make requests!
Though you went beyond the ocean of what is actually to be subdued, You will supremely explain the one-hundred scriptures at a later time. Endowed with sublime conduct, you cultivated the two levels of bodhicitta. To you, Lodrö Zangpo Gyatso, I make requests!
Having attained stability in samadhi on the profound meaning, You actually gazed upon illusion-like relative reality. With glorious purpose, you dissolved the delusions of dualistic fixation. To you, Dönyod Pal, known as the second Maitreya, I make requests!
From the thorough gaze of the definitive secret scriptural tradition of sutra and tantra, You dispelled countless blasphemous expressions through your perfect intelligence. Master of the teachings whose position is the highest among the five sciences, To you, Shakya Chokden, I make requests!
From the secret voice of this supreme scholar, Endowed with an ever unwavering intellect, Sovereign of knowledge, radiant vajra wisdom-mind, To you, Dönyod Drubpa, I make requests!
Having relinquished prejudice, you are the gateway to sublime dharma, Having been transformed by extensively listening and taking to heart, You fulfilled the wishes of the fortunate minded. To you, Jamgön Drubpa [Kunga Drolchok], I make requests!
Victor, through the path of rejoicing, you attained the consummate, Having mastery over the ocean of ambrosia and the sublime dharma, You were the supreme guide whose aspiration frees all beings. To you, Kunga Gyaltsen, I make requests!
Amidst an ocean of great blessings, samadhi, incantation, and prayer, You are the King of the Mountain of Wisdom. Through the entire assembly of powerful deities, I rely upon you in order to benefit beings, To you, supreme Drakden Drubpa, I make requests!
Due to the blessings from every buddha of the three times, Until the end of time, through the body of a spiritual guide, May I work for the benefit of beings! At all times, may I arrange for all beings to be free! To the feet of the root masters, I make requests!
Infusing the union of emptiness and compassion, Through increasing experiences of quiescence and insightful samadhi, And through dispelling every defilement of delusory dualistic perceptions, May the essence of the tathagatas that is free from defilements fully manifest!
Although there will be other masters who will enter this lineage at a later time, of the buddhas throughout the three times, these are the ones [in this lineage] who have entered up to this point. These verses to the buddhas of the three times are a supplication to the root masters.
After Yeshe Jungné, there were scholars who followed from the northern world of Tukhara, and even though this was not necessary to mention, it did indeed occur. In particular, there is another transmission lineage from the brothers of Jadtön [Jangchub Kyab and Jangchub the Younger], Zhang Mya Nganmé, Lotsāwa Chogdenpa, Pang Lotsāwa, Lotsāwa Jangchub Tsemo, Nyawon [Kunga Pal] and so forth; even though this lineage followed later, it is known to be accepted.
Although there is no need to mention the transmission from Asanga and his brother [Vasubandhu], it is necessary to definitively establish that they were the charioteers of this tradition. Subsequent to these brothers, with devotion towards this single successive transmission line, there were those that likewise followed in this lineage such as Lodrö Tenpa, Yontan Lodrö, Gangpel, Dharmamati, Bajamitra, Ratnamitra, Shantiwa Maitripa. There is also a transmission lineage from Nagarjuna of the successive zhentong view; this is from our teacher the Majesty of Sages, Vajrapani, Rahulabhadra, Nagarjuna, Shawari Maitripa all the way up to and including those who have already been mentioned.
This is the transmission lineage of oral instructions that gather together the single intended meaning of everything that belongs to the commentaries on the intent of the sutras of the final turning. There is a separate transmission lineage on the particular instructions from the “Five Treasures of Maitreya”.
This is the lineage supplication of instructions on the view of the Zhentong Madhyamaka. Composed in verses and edited by Tāranātha.
Addendum: Supplementary Verses to the Zhentong Lineage Supplication
Following Lhawang Drakpa on:
Having realised the intended meaning of the ocean of the great secret within the tantras, With certainty as to the single consummate ground expanse from within sutra and mantra, Learned master, you widely diffused the definitive meaning through conjoining explanation and practice, To you, Master of Secrets and majestic Taranatha, I make requests!
Heart-disciple [of Taranatha] and supreme yogini, Having departed beyond the elevated status of an accomplished adept, You upheld, preserved, and diffused the definitive secret of the causal and resultant vehicles. To you, Jetsun Trinlé Wangmo, I make requests!
Having received instructions in the presence of the Jetsunma, You captured the treasury of teachings on the profound definitive meaning. Diffusing the teachings in our realm, you were a supreme individual. To you, majestic Kunga Palzang, I make requests!
Up until this very point, you came from the successive lineage of disciples, Sustaining and upholding the lineage of the secret definitive supreme vehicle, Your waves of activity have benefited the teachings on the profound view. To all of you, I respectfully make requests!
Great central axis of the teachings and this distinctive practice lineage, You upheld this profound tradition of dharma explanations on sutra and mantra. Sublime master who conferred the extreme performance of the twofold benefit, To you, Kunga Yontan Gyatso, I make requests!
Expanding the heart-elixir through realising the sutras and mantras of definitive meaning, In hundred-fold ways, your infinitely vast enlightened activity has benefited others. Protector of beings in this degenerate age, your learnedness is without compare.
To you, Palden Namnang Dorje, I make requests!
Upholder of this lineage, treasury of profound dharma instructions, Successor who explicated eloquently through perpetual gentleness, You possessed the power that accomplished the benefit of both yourself and others. To you, Kunga Ödzer, I make requests!
You increased the elixir of the teachings on the ultimate supreme jewels, Scholar who upheld the profound intent of the definitive secret, And became the glorious support for unlimited disciples, To you, supreme Palden Lama, I make requests!
Upholder of this lineage, skilled in the means for taming beings, Sublime master who possessed the excellence for benefiting others, Spiritual friend and protector of beings in these degenerate times, To you endowed with threefold kindness, I make requests!
Through the blessings of all the buddhas of the three times, In accord with what is included here and what has been explained, These supplementary verses were composed by Mati [Khenpo Ngawang Lodrö Drakpa].
To you Shakyamuni, son of [King] Shuddhodana, our fearless guide who taught the three turnings and the secret mantra; this supplication to the lineage of masters who indicate the way things exist was composed in order to exponentially increase [your teachings] without exhaustion!
This was arranged by Jetsun Yontan Zangpo. May the stable bliss for beings without exception swiftly arise, and may they quickly encounter the magnificent dimension of phenomena! Again, this is what was spoken and expanded by Lodrö [Drakpa], and was transcribed in his presence by Sonam Pal. Translated by Michael R. Sheehy, Ph.D.
© 2007 Michael R. Sheehy. Courtesy of the Ngedon Thartuk Translation Initiative. Available at Jonang Foundation’s Digital Library (www.jonangfoundation.org/library).
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