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Devotion Pierces My Heart

A Far-reaching Cry to the Guru Prayer [1]

Namo gurave

Everyone knows the form of prayer called far-reaching cries to the guru. The key to invoking energy is devotion inspired by disenchantment and determination, [2] devotion that comes from the depths of your heart and the marrow of your bones, not merely from your lips mouthing the words. Sing this melodious song with complete conviction that your guru is none other than The Awakened One.

Guru, think of me.
Kind root guru, think of me.

Essence of the buddhas of the three times,
Source of the holy Dharma of teaching and experience,
Master of the sangha, the assembly of noble ones,
Root guru, think of me.

Great treasure of energy and compassion,
Source of the two attainments, [3]
Provider, through awakened activity, [4] of everything needed,
Root guru, think of me.

Guru Amitabha, [5] think of me.
Look upon me from the simplicity of the vastness of what is.
Because of my ruinous actions, I am lost in samsara,
Lead me to the pure Realm of Bliss. [6]

Guru Avalokitesvara, think of me.
Look upon me from the sheer clarity of the vastness of enjoyment.
Calm completely the suffering of the six realms
And churn the three realms of samsara to its depths.

Guru Padmakara, [7] think of me
Look upon me from your palace, Lotus Light, in Chamara. [8]
In these dark times I am weary and without refuge.
Quickly, out of your compassion, shelter me.

Guru Yeshe Tsogyal, [9] think of me.
Look upon me from the sky dweller [10] city of bliss.
Evildoer that I am, release me from the sea of samsara
Into the city of freedom.

Gurus of the kama and terma lineages, [11] think of me.
Look upon me from the vastness of indivisible pristine awareness.
Break through the darkness of my confused mind
And bring the dawn of direct understanding.

Complete knowing Trimé Özer, [12] think of me.
Look upon me from the vastness of the five naturally present lights.
Help me to master how to be in original purity
And complete the four visions. [13] father and son, think of me.
Look upon me from the midst of hundreds of gods in Tushita. [14]
Help me to give birth to awakening mind,
The essence of emptiness and compassion.

Three masters, Marpa, Mila, and Dakpo, [15] think of me.
Look upon me from the space of indestructible bliss.
Help me to master mahamudra, bliss and emptiness,
And awaken the form of what is [16] deep in my heart.

Karmapa, [17] lord of the world, think of me.
Look upon me from the space where you teach beings without limit.
Help me to know that all experience is insubstantial and illusory.
Make appearance and mind dawn as the three dimensions of awakening. [18] think of me.
Look upon me from the realm of sacred outlook.
Help me to clear away confusion in the four states [19]
And complete experience and understanding.

Five noble Sakya forefathers, [20] think of me.
Look upon me from the vastness of inseparable samsara and nirvana.
Help me to connect pure outlook, practice, and activity
And tread the excellent path of mysteries.

Incomparable Shangpa [21] masters, think of me.
Look upon me from the field of total purity.
Help me to practice method and release properly
And find the union beyond training.

Great master, Tongtong Gyalpo, [22] think of me.
Look upon me from the vastness of effortless compassion.
Help me to practice the deliberate behavior of knowing no reality
And unite mind and energy in their natural power.

Only father, Padampa Sangje, [23] think of me.
Look upon me from the realm of the mastery of action.
Make the energy of your lineage enter my heart
And make good conditions arise everywhere.

Only mother, Lapchi Dröma, [24] think of me.
Look upon me from the vastness of the perfection of wisdom.
Help me to cut through the arrogance of self-fixation
And see the truth of simplicity beyond self.

continued on next page, see link below footnotes

  1. The Tibetan term jang bö (rgyang.’bod) can be read in two ways, “crying from a distance” or “a cry that carries a long way.” Most translations take the former interpretation. The latter rendering has been chosen here because it avoids the connotation that one is separated from the guru, is emotionally more compelling, and makes for more natural English. []
  2. Disenchantment (also rendered as disgust and disillusionment) comes from the appreciation of the difficulties of pattern-based existence (samsara). Determination (also rendered as renunciation) is the wish or intention to become free of suffering and of pattern-based existence. []
  3. Ordinary attainments are sorcery abilities such as being able to disappear in a crowd or live on stones. These abilities arise from developing the capacity to charge objects with energy by focusing attention with visualizations and mantras. The special or supreme attainment is direct knowing of the nature of experience. []
  4. The four kinds of awakened activity are pacification, enrichment, magnetization, and destruction. []
  5. The buddha Boundless Light, head of the lotus family with its ethic of compassion. In this prayer, he is regarded as the expression of what is (dharmakaya), with Avalokiteshvara (the bodhisattva of awakened compassion) being the associated expression of enjoyment or quality (samboghakaya), and Padmakara (Guru Padmasambhava) being the associated expression in form (nirmanakaya). []
  6. The domain of awakening (buddha field or pure land) associated with Amitabha. []
  7. The Indian master who came to Tibet in the 8th century and became the archetypal teacher for the Nyingma tradition. []
  8. The subcontinent to the southwest of India in ancient cosmology, often identified with present-day Madagascar. []
  9. The archetypal female teacher in the Nyingma tradition, a consort of Padmakara. []
  10. Sky dweller is similar in meaning to the term sky traveler (Sanskrit dakini, Tibetan khandro). []
  11. The two forms of texts in the Nyingma tradition. Kama is the collection of teachings traced from Buddha Shakyamuni and Indian sources. Terma is the collection of texts originally hidden by Padmakara to be revealed at appropriate times. []
  12. Trime Oser (dri.med.od.zer), the Nyingma master Longchen Rabjampa (1308-1364). []
  13. The four stages of tögal in dzogchen: true pure being, increasing experience, maturation of awareness, and ending in pure being.)

    Incomparable Lord Atisha, ((Dipankara Atisha (982-1054), an Indian master who came to Tibet in the 11th century and began what became known as the Kadampa tradition. His coming marks the beginning of the new translation schools of Tibetan Buddhism. []

  14. Tushita is the only heaven in the gods’ realm where Dharma is practiced. Tradition holds that buddhas reside here until the time has come for them to take form in the world. []
  15. Marpa (1012-1097) was a translator who traveled to India and studied with Naropa and other Indian masters. Milarepa (1040-1123) was a mountain hermit who became one of the great folk heros of Tibet. Gampopa (1084-1161) was a Kadampa monk who combined the esoteric practices of Milarepa with the monastic discipline. All the Kagyu schools recognize these three as their patriarchs. []
  16. To the extent possible, this translation avoids Sanskrit terms. The form of what is is a literal rendering of dharmakaya, the open dimension of awakened mind. []
  17. The Karmapas, the heads of the Karma Kagyu school, are the oldest line of incarnations in Tibet. The first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa (1110-1193), was a student of Gampopa. Jamgön Kongtrul (1812-1899), the author of this prayer, was closely associated with the Karma Kagyu and the Nyingma traditions. []
  18. The three kayas, dharmakaya, samboghakaya, and nirmanakaya.)

    Kagyus of the four primary and eight secondary lineages, ((The four major Kagyu Schools were established by four of Gampopa’s disciples: Barom Dharma Wangchuk founded the Barom Kagyu, Pagdru Dorje Gyalpo founded the Pagdru Kagyu, Shang Tsalpa Tsondru Drag founded the Tsalpa Kagyu, and Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa founded the Kamtsang Kagyu (also known as the Karma Kagyu). The eight minor Kagyu lineages originated with Pagdru Dorje Gyalpo’s eight main disciples. These eight lineages are: Taglung Kagyu, Trophu Kagyu, Drukpa Kagyu, Martsang Kagyu, Yerpa Kagyu, Yazang Kagyu, Shugseb Kagyu and Drikung Kagyu. []

  19. Waking, sleeping, dreaming, and sexual union. []
  20. The Sakya tradition traces its origin to the Indian master Virupa. The five patriarchs are Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), Sonam Tsemo (1142-1182), Drakpa Gyeltsen (1147-1216), Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltsen (1182-1251) and Drogön Chögyal Phakpa (1235-1280). []
  21. The line of transmission brought to Tibet by Khyungpo Naljor (984-1139) who journeyed to India at the age of 57 and studied with numerous teachers, most importantly, Niguma and Sukha Siddhi. []
  22. Tongtong Gyalpo (1361-1485) was a Shangpa master extraordinarily skilled in many areas. He is probably most famous for discovering a process of making iron into a form of steel and building iron bridges that lasted into the 20th century. []
  23. Padampa Sangye, the 11-12th century Indian master who came to Tibet and established the Zhijé (pacifying) tradition. []
  24. Machik Labdrön, the 11-12th century Tibetan teacher who established the Chö tradition. []

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