JE TSONGKHAPA’S PRAYER OF THE VIRTUOUS
BEGINNING, MIDDLE AND END
(1) May the boundless prayers I have offered with a
pure, extraordinary wish be able to free countless beings from cyclic existence
be fulfilled as true words by the might of the non-deceptive Three Jewels of
Refuge and the powerful sagely masters.
(2) In all my lives, one after the next, may I never
be born in any rebirth state in which I have reverted to being a miserable
creature in an unfortunate realm. But rather, may I always attain a human
body with complete liberty and endowments for Dharma study and
(3) From the moment I am born, may I never be
attached to worldly pleasures. But rather, in order to attain Liberation,
may I, by my thoughts of renunciation, involve myself with unrelenting joyous
effort in seeking to live a pure moral life.
(4) In order that I might take robes, may none of my
circle or possessions cause me any interference. But rather, may all
favourable conditions come about as I have wished.
(5) Once I am ordained, then as long as I live may I
never be stained by the fault of committing any proscribed or naturally
unspeakable negative actions just as I promised before the eyes of my Abbot and
(6) By relying on pure moral conduct, may I, for the
sake of all my mothers, be able to actualize over countless eons, with the
myriad difficulties involved, every profound and vast Mahayana Teaching that
(7) May I be continually cared for by a holy
Spiritual Master whose mind-stream abounds with good qualities of scriptural
knowledge and insight, whose senses are calmed, who has self-control, a heart of
loving-compassion and the courage of mind to accomplish undauntedly the purposes
(8) Just as Sadaprarudita devoted himself to
Dharmodgata, may I also totally please my holy Spiritual Master unpretentiously
with my body, life and all my possessions, thereby never causing him displeasure
for even a moment.
(9) May the meaning of Perfected Discriminating
Awareness in all its profundity, stilled of extremes and devoid of mentally
fabricated modes of existence, be shown to me always as it was taught to
Dadaprarudita, unpolluted by the fouling waters of distorted
(10) May I never fall under the influence of misleading
friends or wrong-minded Gurus who are teachers of either nihilist or eternalist
views which transgress the meaning of what Sage Buddha intended.
(11) By securing myself to the boat of listening to
teachings, thinking about and meditating upon them, and by flying the mainsail
of a pure, extraordinary wish, being propelled by the wind of unrelenting joyous
effort, may I free all beings from the ocean of cyclic
(12) However much I might improve my mind by listening to
teachings, being especially generous, keeping pure moral discipline and
developing analytical discriminating awareness, may I be free to the same extent
from all consequent feelings of haughty conceit.
(13) Without being quenched, may I hear endless teachings
on Buddha’s scriptural pronouncements close at the side of a learned master who
opens up the exact meaning of these texts by relying on nothing but the force of
(14) Having analyzed fully and correctly with the four
types of reasoning, day and night, the meaning of the teachings I have heard,
may I cut off all doubts with the critical awareness I have gained from having
thought about the points to be contemplated.
(15) When, through an awareness that has come from having
thought about the extremely profound ways of the teachings, I have found certain
conviction in what they actually mean, may I devote myself to solitude with the
joyous effort that severs all entanglements with this life and thereby actualize
the insights with proper meditation.
(16) When, by having listened to the teachings, thought
about and meditated upon them, I have developed on my mind-stream the insights
of the essential points of the Victorious Buddha’s intentions, may I never have
any attitudes arise of longing for my own happiness or for the appearances of
this lifetime which would just cause me attachment to worldly
(17) When, with an attitude of detachment from all objects
of wealth, I have overcome miserliness, may I first gather beings into my circle
by material generosity and then satisfy them completely by teaching the
(18) Having thought well about renunciation, may I always
uphold the victory banner of Liberation for which I would never forsake until my
attainment of Enlightenment even the most minor moral training I have assumed,
though my life be at stake.
(19) Whenever I see, hear or recall any beings who would
beat, tease or humiliate me, may I be free of anger and in response address
myself to their good qualities and thus meditate on patience.
(20) Having completely abandoned the three types of
laziness that prevent me from gaining virtues not yet attained and from
improving further upon those that I have, I exert joyous effort in virtuous
(21) Having forsaken the mental quiescent states that
would practically propel me into cyclic rebirth by their missing the power of
penetrative insight to deflate the extreme of worldly existence and their
lacking the moisture of compassion to soften away the extreme of tranquil
passivity, may I meditate instead on a joint achievement of all
(22) Having fully abandoned the endless variety of wrong,
distorted views which take as supreme a partial idea of Voidness which the mind
has made up from having become frightened at the true meaning of the profound
nature of reality, may I gain the insight that all phenomena are primordially
void of inherent, findable existence.
(23) May I yoke to the flawless rules of discipline those
monks who with a inconsiderate attitude discard the pure moral trainings, never
fearing the actions despised by the holy and who, in breaking their precepts,
are in fact trainees in virtue in outward appearance alone.
(24) May I quickly and easily lead to the path praised by
the Victorious Buddhas anyone who has missed the right path and is on a
distorted, wrong trail, having come under the influence of a wrong-minded Guru
or a misleading friend.
(25) When I have captivated the bold masses of foxes of
misinformed speech with my lion-like roar of correct explanation, debate and
written exposition, may I then care for them with whatever means might be
skilled for their taming and thus uphold the victory banner of the undeclined
(26) Each time I am born and can drink of the nectar of
the Sage Buddha’s words, may I be endowed with a good family, body, wealth,
power and wisdom, a long life, no sickness and great happiness so that I might
be best equipped to help others.
(27) Toward those who continually harbour thoughts of
harming my body, life or possessions and also towards those who speak
unpleasantly to me, may I especially develop love as if I were their
(28) By developing on my mind-stream a pure, extraordinary
wish and an Enlightened Motive of Bodhicitta through meditating on cherishing
others more than myself, may I thereby confer on those who would harm me the
peerless attainment of Enlightenment without any delay.
(29) May everyone who sees, hears or recalls these prayers
be undaunted in realizing the aim of all the great waves of Bodhisattvas’
prayers that they become enlightened.
(30) By the force of offering these extensive prayers
which have come into being by the power of my pure, extraordinary wish, may I
fully complete the perfection of prayer and thereby fulfill the hopes of all