The first year of a two-year teaching on the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje’s Mahamudra Aspiration Prayer, given at Bodhicharya Berlin.
The Aspiration of the Mahamudra of Definitive Meaning
by IIIrd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje.
Gurus, yidams of all mandalas,
And Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions and three times:
Kindly consider me.
Support and bless the fulfilment of my aspirations.
Streams of virtue unsullied by threefold fixation
Are born on the snow-covered mountain
Of the pure intentions and actions of myself and all innumerable beings.
May they flow into the ocean of the Buddhas’ four kayas.
Until that is attained, throughout all births, all lives,
May even the words “wrongdoing” and “suffering” be unheard.
May we enjoy the splendour
Of an ocean of happiness and virtue.
Acquiring the best leisure and resources, may we have faith, diligence, and wisdom.
Relying upon good spiritual friends and receiving the essence of the instructions,
May we practice them properly without obstacle.
In all our lives, may we practice genuine Dharma.
Hearing scripture and reasoning frees from unknowing.
Contemplating the instructions conquers the darkness of doubt.
The light of meditation clearly reveals the nature as it is.
May the brilliance of the three wisdoms increase.
The ground is the two truths, beyond the extremes of eternalism and nihilism.
Through the supreme path of the two accumulations, beyond the extremes of exaggeration and denial,
The fruition, the two benefits, beyond the extremes of samsara and nirvana, is attained.
May we encounter Dharma free from error and deviation.
The ground of purification is the mind’s nature, a union of lucidity-emptiness.
What purifies is the great vajra yoga of Mahamudra.
What is purified is the stains of adventitious delusion.
May the result of purification, the stainless dharmakaya, be revealed.
Severing misconceptions of the ground is certainty of the view.
Sustaining that without distraction is the point of meditation.
Training in all aspects of meditation is the best action.
May we have the confidence of the view, meditation, and action.
All dharmas are the mind’s manifestations.
The mind: there is no mind; it is empty of mind’s essence.
Empty, it is unceasing, and can appear as anything.
Having scrutinized it, may we find it.
We mistake self-appearance, which has never existed, to be an object.
Under ignorance’s power, we mistake self-awareness to be a self.
Under the power of dualistic fixation, we wander in the expanse of samsara.
May we get to the bottom of ignorance and delusion.
Not something, it is not seen even by Buddhas.
Not nothing, it is the ground of all samsara and nirvana.
This is not a contradiction; it is unity, the Middle Way.
May we realize the mind’s nature, beyond extremes.
Nothing indicates this, saying, “It is this.”
Nothing negates this, saying, “It is not this.”
Beyond the intellect, dharmata is not composite.
May we realize the perfect, ultimate truth.
Not realizing this, we circle in the ocean of samsara.
If this is realized, Buddha is not elsewhere.
Everything is this; there is nothing that is not this.
May we know dharmata, exposing the all-basis.
Appearances are mind; emptiness is also mind.
Realization is mind; delusion is our own mind too.
Arisen, it’s mind; stopped, it’s also mind.
May we sever all misconceptions in the mind.
Not sullied by the meditation that is conceptual effort,
Nor stirred by the wind of ordinary distractions,
May we know how to rest naturally and freely, not altering.
May we be skilled in and sustain the practice of the mind.
May the subtle and coarse waves of thought be naturally calmed.
May the river of mind, unmoving, come to natural rest.
Free from the polluting stains of torpor and dullness,
May the ocean of shamatha be unmovingly stable.
When looking again and again at the mind, which has nothing to look at,
Nothing to see is vividly seen as it is.
That is the resolution of doubts about what it is and is not.
Without delusion, may we recognize our own nature.
Looking at objects, there are no objects; they are seen as mind.
Looking at the mind, there is no mind; it is empty of nature.
Looking at both, dualism is liberated in its own place.
May we realize the clear light, the mind’s nature.
This freedom from mental engagement is Mahamudra.
Beyond extremes, it is the great Middle Way.
As this includes everything, it is also called the Great Perfection.
May we gain the confidence that to know one is to realize the meaning of all.
Unceasing great bliss without attachment;
The unveiled clear light, free from conception;
And spontaneously present freedom from thought, beyond the intellect:
May effortless experiences be unceasing.
May clinging to experiences as good be naturally liberated.
May the delusion of thoughts being bad be purified in the expanse.
May ordinary mind, with nothing to remove or add, to lose or gain,
Unelaborate, the truth of dharmata, be realized.
Although beings’ nature is always Buddha,
Not realizing it, we wander in endless samsara.
May unbearable compassion arise in us
For all beings who suffer endlessly.
The display of unbearable compassion is unceasing.
Within that affection, its empty nature arises nakedly.
May we cultivate this integrated path without error
Constantly throughout day and night.
The eyes and clairvoyances produced by meditation;
The ripening of beings; the purification of Buddha realms;
And the completion of aspirations to the Buddhas’ qualities:
May we perfect completion, ripening, and purification, achieving Buddhahood.
Through the compassion of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions,
And the power of whatever pure virtue there is,
May the pure aspirations of myself and all beings
Be fulfilled in accord with our intentions.
This updated translation was prepared for The Kagyu Monlam Prayer Book by the Kagyu Monlam Translation Team (Ringu Tulku, Yeshe Gyatso and David Karma Choephel)
Photograph of Third Karmapa thangka by Conrad Harvey.
For more information, visit: http://bodhicharya.de