Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Night-flowering Lotus of Compassion

There is a rather beautiful short practice of Avalokiteshvara by Mipham Rinpoche which I have recently translated into English. I’m just an amateur translator so my apologies if there are any errors or omissions in the translation.


In Appendix Four of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying it says:

“It is written in the Mahayana Sutras that Avalokiteshvara gave his mantra to the Buddha himself, and Buddha in turn granted him the special and noble task of helping all beings in the universe toward buddhahood. At this moment all the gods rained flowers on them, the earth shook, and the air rang with the sound OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH."

In the words of the poem:

"Avalokiteshvara is like the moon
Whose cool light puts out the burning fires of samsara
In its rays the night-flowering lotus of compassion
Opens wide its petals.”



Similarly we read in the Surangama Sutra:


"How sweetly mysterious is the transcendental sound of Avalokiteshvara, It is the primordial sound of the universe .... It is the subdued murmur of the sea-tide setting inward. Its mysterious sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their pain are calling out for help, and it brings a sense of serene stability to all those who are seeking Nirvana's boundless peace.”

So here is a translation of the practice:


Visualization and Recitation of the Six Syllable Mantra of Chenresig


If you wish a simple way to practise the visualization and recitation of the six syllable mantra of Chenresig, first it is important to take refuge, generate bodhichitta and the four immeasurables. And then:

Hrih! In the centre of the pure realm of Potala,
Brilliant white, on a lotus and moon disc seat,
Is oneself in the form of Noble Chenresig,
White and radiant with one face, four arms and two feet.
My first two hands are at my heart with palms placed together.
The lower two are holding a crystal mala and a white lotus,
I am adorned in silk with jewelled ornaments and seated with legs crossed.
As the jewel ornament above my head is Lama Amitabha, the buddha of limitless light,
And all around are buddhas and bodhisattvas gathered like clouds.
From om ah hung at the three places light streams out
Inviting, without duality, the hosts of wisdom deities.
In the centre of my heart on a lotus and moon disc seat is the syllable hrih
Surrounded by the mantra mala. From it
Light streams out as a supreme offering to purify the obscurations of all beings.
All becomes the pure realm of Potala Mountain.
All that appears is the form of the Great Compassionate One,
All that resounds is the sound of the six syllable mantra,
All thoughts are the wisdom mind of emptiness and compassion.
With nothing to cling to, let the natural way of being completely pervade and while in this state recite the mantra.


om mani pemé hung


During the recitation the seventh syllable hrih can be added to the six syllable mantra if you so wish.


Hrih! Look at your own mind with mind!
It defies description, just like empty space.
It cannot be seen as anything whatsoever yet is vividly present
It rests in its empty essence.


om mani pemé hung hrih


From the condition of unimpeded emptiness
Appearances are unobstructed and vividly clear.
Without boundaries, all-pervading and uncompounded,
With nature of clear light. How wonderful!


om mani pemé hung hrih


Apparent and yet empty, empty and yet apparent
Clarity and emptiness inseparable, beyond thought and expression
This spontaneously present natural state of great bliss,
The absolute truth, is Lord Avalokiteshvara.


om mani pemé hung hrih


Consider the meaning and recite the mantra.

Finally dedicate the merit and recite verses of auspiciousness.

I set this down in writing according to the meaning of the tantras, oral transmission and pith instructions for those who wish to practise. May it be virtuous! Mangalam!

1 comment:

  1. a la la - rejoice in the cool moons light of bodhicitta

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