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The Bodhisattva Vow

by Chatral Rinpoche

The Bodhisattva Vow


The ritual for the Bodhisattva vow arranged according to the tradition of
Patrul Rinpoche and edited by Kyabjé Chatral Rinpoche. The first step in taking the
Bodhisattva Vow, the key to the path of the Mahayana, is to recall the qualities of the
Three Jewels:

Recalling the Qualities of the Three Jewels

Homage to the omniscient one!

Thus the Buddha, the transcendent, accomplished conqueror,
The tathagata who has attained suchness,
The arhat who has conquered all foes,
Is a perfectly and completely enlightened Buddha,
Endowed with insight and worthy of reverence,
The sugata who has reached the state of bliss,
The knower of the entire world,
The guide and tamer of beings,
The unsurpassable one,
The teacher of gods and humans,
The Buddha bhagavat.
The tathagata is in harmony with all merit.
He does not waste the sources of virtue.
He is fully adorned with patience.
He is the foundation of the treasures of merit.
He is ornamented with the excellent minor marks.
He is the full blossoming of the major marks.
His activity is timely and fitting.
Seeing him, there is nothing displeasing.
He brings true joy to those who have faith.
His insight overwhelms all in its splendour.
His powers are invincible.
He is the teacher of all sentient beings.
He is the father of all bodhisattvas.
He is the sovereign of all the noble ones.
He is the guide who leads beings to the city of nirvana.
He has measureless wisdom.
He possesses inconceivable fearlessness.
His speech is utterly pure.
Its tones are melodious.
One can never have enough of looking at him.
His form is without comparison.
He is unsullied by the realm of desire.
He is quite unsullied by the realm of form.
He is not caught up in the formless realm.
He is completely liberated from suffering.
He is totally liberated from the aggregates.
He is not possessed with the constituents of ordinary experience.
He is in control of the sense fields.
He has cut right through the knots.
He is completely liberated from torment.
He is freed from craving.
He has crossed over the river.
He is perfected in all the wisdoms.
He abides in the wisdom of all the Buddhas of past, present and future.
He does not dwell in nirvana.
He abides in perfect finality.
He remains on the level where he sees all sentient beings.
All these are the authentic and supreme qualities of the embodiment of the Buddha.

The sacred Dharma is good at the beginning, good in the middle and good at the end.
It is excellent in meaning, excellent in words and syllables.
It is distinctive.
It is totally complete.
It is utterly pure.
It completely purifies.
The Buddha teaches the Dharma perfectly.
It brings unerring vision.
It is without affliction.
It is constant and always timely.
It is trustworthy when applied.
Seeing it fulfils one's purpose.
The wise can validate it through their own awareness.
The Dharma taught by the Buddha relies entirely on training the mind.
It brings about renunciation.
It causes one to arrive at perfect enlightenment.
It is without contradiction.
It is all-embracing.
It is constant.
It is the cessation of all uncertainty.

As for the Sangha of the Great Vehicle, they enter thoroughly.
They enter with awareness.
They enter straightforwardly.
They enter harmoniously.
They are worthy of veneration with palms joined together.
They are worthy of receiving prostrations.
They are a glorious field of merit.
Offering to them brings great purification.
They are an object of generosity.
They are in every way the greatest object of generosity.


The lord who possesses great kindness,
The omniscient teacher,
The source of oceans of merit and virtue,
I prostrate to the Tathagata.

Pure, the cause of freedom from passion,
Virtuous, liberating from the lower realms,
This alone is the supreme, ultimate truth:
I prostrate to the Dharma, which is peace.

Having been liberated, they show the path to liberation.
They are fully dedicated to the disciplines,
A holy field of merit, endowed with noble qualities:
I prostrate to the Sangha.

I prostrate to the Buddha, the leader
I prostrate to the Dharma, the protector,
I prostrate to the Sangha, the community,
I prostrate respectfully and always to these three!

The Buddha’s virtues are inconceivable;
The Dharma’s virtues are inconceivable;
The Sangha’s virtues are inconceivable.
Having faith in these inconceivables,
Therefore the fruition is inconceivable:
May I be born in a completely pure realm!


Prayer to the Bodhicitta and the Bodhisattvas

Now it is to the precious bodhicitta and the bodhisattvas, those who possess it, that we
express our respect and go for refuge:

Turning us back from the road to the lower realms,
It shows us the road to the higher realms,
And leads to where there is no old age and death:
To this bodhicitta, in homage I bow!

I bow to those who have given birth
To this most precious and sacred of minds,
Who bring bliss to even those who cause them harm.
In such sources of happiness, I take refuge!


The Consecration of the Environment

Through the force of the truth of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha,
The blessing of all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas,
The great power of the completed accumulation of merit and wisdom,
And the purity of the inconceivable dharmadhatu,

Now this whole environment becomes like the landscape of the Buddha-field Sukhavati,
magnificently arrayed with all kinds of exquisite ornaments, captivating and incredible in
its beauty.

OM SARWA BID PURA PURA SURA SURA AWARTA YA AWARTA YA HO
SAPARANA KHAM

Recite three times


Consecrating the Offerings

In this perfect realm, the sacred possessions of gods and men – forms, sounds, fragrances,
tastes, textures, and the like – inconceivable ocean-like clouds of offerings, so pure and
enchanting, fill the entire expanse of space:

NAMAH SARWA TATHAGATE BHAYO BISHVA MUKHE BE SARWA
THAKHAM UTGATE SAPARANA HIMAM GAGANA KHAM SOHA

Recite three times


The Offering Cloud Dharani

NAMO RATNA TRAYAYA NAMO BHAGAVATE VAJRA SARA PRAMARDHA
NE TATHAGATAYA ARHATE SAMYAK SAMBUDDJAYA TADHYATA OM
VAJRE VAJRE MAHA VAJRE MAHA TEDZO VAJRE MAHA VIDYA VAJRE
MAHA BODHITSITTA VAJRE MAHA BODHI MANTO PASAM KRAMANA
VAJRE SARWA KARMA AWARANA VISHVA DHANA VAJRE SOHA

Recite three times


Inviting the Buddhas and their Entourages as a Field of Merit

O three sources of refuge, of all directions and all times, along with those who attend
you,
In all your wisdom and love, think of living beings, tormented by our negative emotions,
And come now, from limitless realms in unobstructed emanations,
To take your place at the heart of this cloud of offerings.

You are the protectors of all beings, every single one.
You are the deities who remorselessly destroy the maras and their forces.
You who know all things just as they are, in their true nature,
Enlightened ones, with your retinues, come now to this place!

Enlightened ones, over countless incalculable aeons,
Because of your love for sentient beings, you cultivated compassion.
Your aspirations are vast, your vision all complete,
And if now is the time you intend to benefit beings,

Then from the palace of the dharmadhtau, spontaneously perfect,
Display all kinds of magical emanations and blessings, and
And to liberate limitless sentient beings,
Come now, I pray and with you your retinue, in all their utter purity.

You are the lords of all dharmas;
Like the hue of refined gold,
Your brilliance brighter than the sun.
With faith and devotion, I invite you here.

You possess peace and great compassion,
You reside in gentleness and the stages of concentration;
You possess Dharma and wisdom free from desire,
And strength that is completely inexhaustible.

Come now, come from that state of peace,
Mighty sages, supreme beings, omniscient ones,
Assume exquisite illusory forms,
And come to this place of offerings, I pray!

And so invoke them.


Inviting the Buddhas and their Retinues to Remain

Enlightened ones, welcome, now that you have come.
We have such good fortune and merit.
Accept these offerings and then
Turn your minds towards us, please.





Offering the Buddhas Their Places

PADMA KAMALA YÉ STAM


I. The Preparation: the Seven Branches for Gathering the Accumulations

1. Prostration

Incomparable masters, precious Buddhas, as your nature
You possess the blessing of body, speech and mind
Of all the sugatas and bodhisattvas, ...

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