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Aspirational Prayers



CONTEXT
If possible, the dying person should recite these three aspirational prayers with intense longing at the time of death.
Otherwise, the attending lama should recite these prayers, also with intense longing, immediately before the Liberation by Hearing (Chapter n) is read to the dying person. That is, following the taking of refuge in the Three Precious Jewels – the Buddha, the sacred teachings and the monastic community – and the making of offerings.
At this time, when it is likely that the dying person’s consciousness is dimmed and the dying person may be feeling afraid, it is regarded as crucially important for the dying person to place their confidence in the buddhas and bodhisattvas and to request the buddhas and bodhisattvas to be their refuge and guide.
Herein is contained the Aspirational Prayer [Calling] to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for Assistance.1
I bow down to the Peaceful and Wrathful Conquerors!
This prayer should be recited at the time of one’s own death, [or whenever appropriate]. First, make offerings, both actual and visualised, to the Three Precious Jewels. Then, while holding fragrant incense in one’s hand, say the following words with fervent intensity:
O, buddhas and bodhisattvas, abiding in the ten directions, refuge of living beings, imbued with compassion, imbued with knowledge, imbued with clear vision and imbued with love, come to this place, by the power of your compassion and accept these displayed and visualised offerings! O, Compassionate Ones, as you are the fountain of all-knowing pristine cognition, of loving compassion, of effective activity, and of a power to grant refuge, beyond conception, [come to this place!]
O, Compassionate Ones, this human being, (say the name), is leaving this world and journeying to another shore. He2 is being cast off from this world and approaching the great transition of death. Suffering deeply, he is without a friend, without a refuge, without a protector and without a companion. His perception of this life is fading away. He is moving on to another world, entering a dense darkness and falling into an unfathomable abyss. Entering the thick forest of doubt, he will be driven on by the potency of past actions. He will be entering a great wilderness, borne away on a great ocean, and driven on by the vital winds of past actions. He will be moving in a direction where there is no firm ground, entering a great battlefield, being seized by great malevolent forces and becoming overwhelmed by fear and terror upon meeting the executors of the unfailing laws of cause and effect. In accord with his past actions, powerless [to resist], he may even, yet again, be entering the realms of rebirth. The time has come when he has no choice but to move on, alone, leaving his dear friends behind.
O, Compassionate Ones, grant refuge now to this person (say the name), who has no refuge! Protect him! Be his companion! Defend him from the great darkness of the intermediate state! Turn back the great hurricane of past actions! Protect him from the great fear and terror of the unfailing laws of cause and effect! Rescue him from the long and dangerous pathways of the intermediate state! O, Compassionate Ones, be unsparing in your compassion! Grant assistance to him! Do not allow him to be expelled into the three kinds of inferior existence. Without wavering from your ancient vows, swiftly release the power of your compassion. O, buddhas and bodhisattvas, for the sake of this person (say the name), be unsparing in your compassion, skilful means and ability! Seize him with your compassion! Do not allow [this] sentient being to fall under the power of negative past actions! O, Three Precious Jewels, protect us from the sufferings of the intermediate state!
This Aspirational Prayer [Calling] to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for Assistance should be read aloud with intense devotion three times, by oneself and by all others present. May its impact not cease until cyclic existence has been emptied!
SAMAYA rgya rgya rgyal Let good auspices prevail!
Herein is contained the Aspirational Prayer which Rescues from the Dangerous Pathways of the Intermediate States.3
I bow down to the spiritual teachers, [meditational deities] and dakinls,
May I be guided on the path by their great love.
O, as I roam in cyclic existence [driven] by deep-seated bewilderment,
May the spiritual teachers, holders of the oral lineages, draw me forward,
Leading me on the path of [radiant] light, Which is undistracted study, reflection and meditation.
May the supreme consorts, the hosts of dakinis, support me from behind,
And thus [encircled] may I be rescued
From the fearsome passageway of the intermediate state,
And be escorted to the level of an utterly perfect buddha.4
O, as I roam in cyclic existence [driven] by deep-seated delusion,
May the transcendent lord Vairocana draw me forward,
Leading me on the path of radiant light,
Which is the pristine cognition of reality’s expanse.
May the supreme consort [Akdsa]dhdtvisvart support me from behind,
And thus [encircled] may I be rescued
From the fearsome passageway of the intermediate state,
And be escorted to the level of an utterly perfect buddha.* O, as I roam in cyclic existence [driven] by deep-seated aversion,
May the transcendent lord Vajrasattva draw me forward,
Leading me on the path of radiant light,
Which is the mirror-like pristine cognition.
May the supreme consort Buddhalocand support me from behind,
And thus [encircled] may I be rescued
From the fearsome passageway of the intermediate state,
And be escorted to the level of an utterly perfect buddha.
O, as I roam in cyclic existence [driven] by deep-seated pride,
May the transcendent lord Ratnasambhava draw me forward,
Leading me on the path of radiant light, Which is the pristine cognition of sameness.
May the supreme consort Mamakf support me from behind,
And thus [encircled] may I be rescued
From the fearsome passageway of the intermediate state,
And be escorted to the level of an utterly perfect buddha.
O, as I roam in cyclic existence [driven] by deep-seated attachment,
May the transcendent lord Amitabha draw me forward,
Leading me on the path of radiant light,
Which is the pristine cognition of discernment.
May the supreme consort Pdndaravasini support me from behind,
And thus [encircled] may I be rescued
From the fearsome passageway of the intermediate state,
And be escorted to the level of an utterly perfect buddha.
O, as I roam in cyclic existence [driven] by deep-seated envy, May the transcendent lord Amoghasiddhi draw me forward, Leading me on the path of radiant light, Which is the pristine cognition of accomplishment. May the supreme consort Samayatara support me from behind, And thus [encircled] may I be rescued From the fearsome passageway of the intermediate state, And be escorted to the level of an utterly perfect buddha. O, as I roam in cyclic existence [driven] by the five virulent poisons,
May the transcendent conquerors, [the male buddhas] of the five enlightened families, draw me forward,
Leading me on the path of radiant light,
Which is the four pristine cognitions combined.
May the five supreme female buddhas, [the purity of] the expanse, support me from behind,
And, thus [encircled], may I be rescued
From the light-paths of the six impure classes [of beings]
And be escorted to the five utterly supreme and pure buddha fields.
O, as I roam in cyclic existence driven by deep-seated habitual tendencies,
May the assembly of spiritual heroes and awareness holders draw me forward, Leading me on the path of radiant light,
Which is the coemergent pristine cognition.
May the supreme consorts, the hosts of dakinis, support me from behind,
And thus [encircled] may I be rescued
From the fearsome passageway of the intermediate state,
And be escorted to the level of an utterly perfect buddha.
O, as I roam in cyclic existence driven by deep-seated bewildering perceptions,
May the assembly of Blood-drinking Wrathful Deities draw me forward,
Leading me on the path of radiant light,
Which is free of fear and terrifying perceptions.
May the assembly of the Krodhesvart, Queens of the Expanse, support me from behind,
And thus [encircled] may I be rescued
From the fearsome passageway of the intermediate state,
And be escorted to the level of an utterly perfect buddha.
[OM AH HUM]5
May the elements of space not arise as a hostile force. May I see them as the field of the blue buddha.
May the elements of water not arise as a hostile force.
May I see them as the field of the white buddha.
May the elements of earth not arise as a hostile force.
May I see them as the field of the yellow buddha.
May the elements of fire not arise as a hostile force.
May I see them as the field of the red buddha.
May the elements of wind not arise as a hostile force.
May I see them as the field of the green buddha.
May the [awesome] sounds, lights and rays not arise as a hostile force.
May I see them as the infinite fields of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities.
May the rainbow-coloured elements not rise up as a hostile force.
May I see them as the fields of the manifold buddhas.
May I recognise all sounds as my own sounds. May I recognise all lights as my own lights. May I recognise all rays as my own rays. May I spontaneously recognise [the characteristics of] the intermediate states. May the fields of the three buddha-bodies be manifest.
SAMAYA!
Herein is contained the Aspirational Prayer which Protects from Fear of the Intermediate States.6
When my life’s course is ended, And I roam alone in the intermediate states, The loved ones of this world can no longer help me. So, [at this critical time], may the Conquerors, the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities,
[Quickly] release the power of their compassion,
And may the deep darkness of my ignorance be dispelled.
When I roam alone, separated from my loved ones,
And [myriad] images of emptiness arise, naturally manifesting,
May the buddhas [quickly] release the power of their compassion,
And may the fear of the awesome and terrifying intermediate states be annulled.
When the five radiant lights of pristine cognition dawn,
May I recognise them as my own [nature], without awe and without terror,
And as the [manifold] forms of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities arise,
May I be fearlessly confident and recognise [the characteristics of] the intermediate states.
When I experience suffering, as the result of negative past actions, May the Great Compassionate One dispel all such misery, And as the natural sound of reality reverberates like a thousand peals of thunder,
May all sounds be heard as the teachings of the Greater Vehicle.
When I am driven on by past actions, unable to find a refuge,
May the meditational deities dispel all such misery,
And as I experience the suffering of habitual tendencies and
past actions,
May the meditative stabilities of inner radiance and bliss
[naturally] arise.7
When I am miraculously born into the intermediate state of
rebirth, May I not be beguiled by the perverse prophecies of Mdra And as I [freely] arrive at every place that I think of, May the bewildering fear and terror, generated by my negative
past actions, not arise.
When the roars of savage wild beasts echo around me, May their cries be transformed into the sound of the sacred
teachings, the Six Syllables, And as I am engulfed by snow, rain, wind and darkness, May I achieve the pure clairvoyance of radiant pristine
cognition.
May sentient beings in the intermediate state, similar in kind to myself,
Be born into the higher realms, free from rivalry,
And as severe dissonant mental states generate insatiable hunger and thirst,
May the afflictions of hunger, thirst, heat and cold, be annulled.
When I see my future parents in union,
May I perceive them as Mahdkarunika and consort,
And for the sake of others, being blessed with the power to
choose a birthplace, May I achieve an exalted body, adorned with the auspicious
major and minor marks.8
Once I have achieved birth in a supreme human form, May I act so as to swiftly liberate all who see and hear me. And may I not be influenced by my negative past actions, But multiply and emulate my past merits.
Wherever I may be born, in whatever land it may be,
May I quickly encounter the meditational deity of my past lives.
Knowing, from immediately after birth, how to speak and walk,
May I remember my past lives and attain the power of non- forgetfulness.
May I easily come to master by study and reflection,
The manifold stages of learning – small, intermediate and great.
May the country into which I am born be auspicious,
And may all sentient beings be blessed with happiness.
O, Peaceful and Wrathful Conquerors, may I and all others Become entirely at one with you, and come to resemble you, In all your forms, your retinues, your lifespan and your buddha fields,
And in every quality of your supreme auspicious marks.
Through the compassion of Samantabhadra and the infinite Peaceful and Wrathful Deities,
By the power of the truth of pure reality,
And by the blessing of the mantrins who practise one-pointedly,
May [every wish of] this aspirational prayer be fulfilled.
This prayer entitled the Aspirational Prayer which Protects from Pear of the Intermediate States was composed by the preceptor from Oddiyana, Padmakara. May this profound sacred teaching not be extinguished until all the worlds of cyclic existence have been emptied.
SAMAYA rgya rgya rgya!
This is a treasure-text of Tulku Karma Lingpa.