Seven-Limb Prayer

[4] Praises to the Lama

Then, to develop a feeling of appreciation and devotion towards the Lama, with hands folded in prostration, recite the following verses of praise:

The Qualities of the Lama

Pure body, faultless and unmistaken;
Perfect and melodious voice completely pervading all knowables without exception;
Mind which knows the depth and vastness of suchness,
The actual three vajras—I pay homage to the Glorious Lama!

Having utterly abandoned the two obscurations along with their propensities;
Endowed with the two purities, perfecting all enlightened qualities;
Actualising the two bodies for the sake of self and others;
I pay homage to the one who emanates throughout samsara and nirvana.

Having relied upon the immovable mind,
The blessings of unsurpassable enlightenment in a single instant;
Once again, I pay homage to you who definitely bestows the most high
That liberates with the supreme aspiration.

The innate indivisibility of the three realms of existence that is the actual great bliss;
The compassion without reference that frees all beings from the three realms;
By the power of the inexhaustible qualities that have the capacity of wisdom and compassion,
I pay homage to the undisturbed pure sphere of reality.

From the self-manifestation of your singular wisdom,
Which emanates as a cloud of victorious ones and their heirs;
By the power of their uninterrupted examples of the two truths,
I pay homage to the essence of the assembly of all Buddhas.

He whose kindness is great bliss itself,
Who comes into view in just a single moment,
The body that is similar to the precious lama,
I pay homage at the lotus feet of Vajradhara.

Because the master is the protector of all,
Even a single pore of his body,
Is especially good to have faith in;
Ignorance along with its causes is not.

Furthermore, from all Buddhas,
In all classes of Tantra, the Victors praise [the lama].
Similarly, it is mentioned in all Sutras and so forth.
I pay homage to the Victors who earnestly give praise.

Guides of the ten directions and their spiritual heirs,
Look in accordance with the indestructible mind of enlightenment.
In four sessions each day, they all
Prostrate, make offerings and say:

“By the power of all the Tathagatas, we call out to you—
Teacher of Method and Wisdom!”
Having taken refuge in you,
I prostrate to the teacher Vajradhara.

Even if you offer pure realms of precious jewels
To the Victors for countless aeons,
Offering a drop of oil to your body
Is the supreme form of merit.

If one asks why? All of the primordial wisdom
Of the Buddha arises from you.
Having abandoned all offerings,
I offer and pay homage to you, the Exalted One!

Accumulation of the accomplishments of the three vajras,
Abiding in one’s own body, speech and mind,
You do not abide in anything—
The space-like luminosity is wonderous!

In this time of strife, because of not having
the good fortune of directly perceiving Vajrasattva,
The forms of teachers are established.
I pay homage to the compassionate ones who accept [our] offerings.

For the sake of taming beings, the mandalas of the five families,
the five primordial wisdoms [are] the five aggregates.
The immeasurable mandalas of the four goddesses
[Are] the four elements. The teacher [is] amazing and wonderful!

Also, the eyes and so forth are the eight bodhisattvas;
The joints and so forth are the actual ten wrathful ones;
While forms and so forth are the vajra mothers.
I prostrate to the body of primordial wisdom.

Mistakenly holding to “the body of birth and death”,
I feel remorse and regret.
Therefore, with a resolute thought of letting go,
May I also manifestly be like you!

The thirty-seven factors conducive to enlightenment,
Are the Bhagavan’s excellent body parts.
The five primordial wisdoms are his crown and
The Conqueror Arhats are his fine hairs. Therefore, I pay homage!

The worldly gods are your seats.
The lamas of the three realms are only you.
You are the precious Three Jewels and
The agent of their precious activities.

As these are not mere words of deceit,
From this day forward, until attaining enlightenment,
With strong resolution, I go for refuge,
[And] prostrate with complete faith and devotion.

The Most Sublime Object for Making Offerings

Just as two thousand commoners are similar to a single Brahmin,
Like that, two hundred thousand Brahmins [are equal to a single] monk
Who is free from dust and possessing primordial wisdom;
However, all of these placed together are equal to just one master.

Because it is taught, that you—the protector, the vajra master—
Are never removed from the most sublime of realms,
It is said that repeatedly pleasing you, the Conqueror, [is the way] to attain the unsurpassable primordial wisdom of supreme omniscience.

Master, by that offering of Vajrasattva,
The relative merits cultivated in ascetic practices,
I prostrate to the destroyer of evil deeds, pacifier of suffering,
Who liberates from the depths of an ocean of existence.

Similar to you, when there is the devotion that gives offerings,
Disease and so forth does not arise to harm.
If I make offerings to all the Victors of the ten directions,
The sublime accomplishment will definitely be attained.

Master who enjoys the virtue and ease of the three times,
Having realised the non-apprehension of offering substances,
Aspirations, mantras, mudras and absorptions,
I make outer, inner and secret offerings.

The Need to Devote Oneself to the Lama

It is said that all those who despise you,
After being killed by the negative forces
of spirits, fire, poison and sickness,
Will boil in hell forever.

Those who despise and criticise you,
Despise and criticise all of the Buddhas.
Those who walk over bedding, cushions, shoes and umbrellas,
Or ridicule you,

The glorious experience of extensive meaning, will be struck by sickness.
To walk on [the master’s] shadow,
Is said to be similar to destroying a stupa.
Like that, I individually confess whatever [I have] done.

To disparage the master from the heart,
Even in a dream, never becomes accomplishment.
I should grasp the enlightened qualities of the master,
However, never [grasp] the faults.

If I grasp the qualities, [I will] accomplish reality,
[I will] experience the siddhis with [my] three doors.
Due to carelessly criticising the master,
I vigorously confess to everything.

The Best Method for Accumulating Merit

All of the activities of the buddhas of the three times,
Are not capable of making even a part of
The merits of [offering] to a single one of your pores;

Therefore, I prostrate, make offerings and so forth to just that
Self and the subsequent apprehension by the self.
In order to make the merits inexhaustible,
I especially rejoice with delight.

The Need to Receive the Pith Instructions

Even though fully purified by studying, reflecting and meditating
On the sutras and tantras for tens of millions of aeons;
Without the lama’s pith instructions,
It is said that [one] will not find the stages of blessing.

If one is going to attain without effort
The supreme accomplishment of the lama’s transmission,
Therefore, in order to free myself and others from bondage,
I entreat you to turn the profound wheel.

The Need for the Lama to Remain

Because the great bliss of innate clearlight
Which is empty of all things is the Lama,
If not for [your] kindness becoming clear,
When would I ever meet [with your] blessings?

Just like hardships without fruit,
Because one who lacks the master
will never find the mantras and mudras,
I supplicate [the ones] not passing into nirvana.

The Supreme Method to Attain Enlightenment

The Lord of the Gods in the abode of the heavenly realms;
The Wheel-Turning King on [the surface of] the earth;
The nature of the King of the Nagas beneath the earth;
The immaculate syllable OM, the supreme Brahma;

The masters, parents, relatives, and friends of beings;
Protector; Creator; Destroyer of faults; and the abode of all qualities;
I pay homage to [the one] possessing the Vajra Yogas.

The omnipresent primordial wisdom possessing the inanimate and animate,
Which pervades without coming and going;
The supreme among beings, the King of Sages,
The shelter of everyone poor and lacking protection,

To the wish-fulfilling jewel;
Because of fearing this horrible cycle of existence,
With conviction in everything of this life and the next and
with faith in the three doors, I rely on you!

The Importance of Protecting Samaya

The vajra lineage that is grasped by the master,
is said over and over again to be the root of all samaya.
Lesser offerings of alcohol and burnt offerings,
When free from butter, are the dharma of the fruitless lineage.

Giving like that is unreasonable and meaningless.
Without the master, even the Dharma does not establish the meaning.
Therefore, the samaya are special among everything.
While making effort at the samaya of the master, protect [them].

The Need to Please the Lama

In all times and occasions,
May I accomplish the enlightened activities of the glorious lama!
After accomplishing whatever pleases you,
May I abandon all that does not please you.

If just you are pleased, [this is] the superior
Way for us to attain supreme enlightenment.
If you are not pleased, [striving] in this life,
To attain enlightenment will not bring even a few sublime benefits.

In this life, by the power of unifying without exception
all of one’s own and other’s virtues of the three times,
[may] the supreme accomplishment become manifest and
may I always please the lama and make offerings [to him].

Because there is no other refuge than you who guides
those locked within the prison of samsara,
By continuously supplicating with devotion,
We pray that you look on us with unceasingly compassion!

The Blessings of the Lama

Grant your blessings as the Vajra-Body—
the inseparability of the Vajra Master’s body and my own body;
May we attain Vajra-Speech—the inseparability of accomplishing whatever
is said by the Glorious Lama and well-uttered speech.

Grant your blessings to mix inseparably the secret treasuries
of the exalted mind that grasps everything and [my own] mind.
The union of bliss and emptiness, the nature of emptiness,
The inseparability of method and wisdom,
the supreme union of the generation and completion [stages];

May we perceive and realise a direct experience of the unborn luminosity
—which resembles the actual Vajradhara.

Lama who truly perceives the Buddha,
[The one who] possesses the infinite absorptions of
the inseparability of shamatha and vipashyana
And whose actions of the three doors are stainless and perfect,
May I be released from dwelling in this cycle of dualism.

Because the inconceivable, ineffable and magnificent are the immeasurable supreme method,
In this very instant, the supreme accomplishment [is] the lord of the four bodies.
Having established the limits of space as the supreme vehicle of beings,
Quickly grant the pervasive blessings of all the realms of happiness and well-being.