Kopan Course No. 06 (1974)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1974 (Archive #028)

The following is a combination of notes taken at the teachings and a transcript of taped teachings given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the Sixth Kopan Meditation Course in March-April 1974. They form an auto-commentary on the course text, The Wish-fulfilling Golden Sun of the Mahayana Thought Training.

You may also download the entire contents of these teachings in a pdf file.

Appendix One: The Mahayana Ordination Ceremony

(Taken each morning for the last fourteen days of the meditation course)

First, morning prayers were said: see Pages 10 - 39

Then, the bodhisattva motivation for taking the ordination was generated with a different talk on each day, as previously shown in these notes.

THEN: (see stencil 192 for the explanation of the following prayer)

Visualize the person giving the ordination as Guru Shakyamuni, surrounded by infinite buddhas, bodhisattvas, and arhats filling space and facing you, and that you are taking ordination from them. Repeat this prayer three times, as if you are repeating what Guru Shakyamuni says.

chog chu na shug peh. sang gye dag. chang chub se pa tham ched.
dag la gon su sol. chi ter ngon gyi. de shin sheg pa.
da chom pa. yang dag par zog pei sang fye. ta chang sheh ta wu.
lang po chen po. cha wa che shing. ched pa ched pa. khur vor pa.rang gi don. jes su tob pa. sid par kun tu chor wa. yong su zed pa.yang tag pei ka. leg leg par nam par drol pei thug.
leg par nam par drol pei she rab chen, de dag gi.sem chen tham ched gyi chhir dang. phen par cha we chhir dang.drol war cha weh chhir hang. mu ge med par cha weh chhir dang.
ned med par cha wei chhir dang. chang chuub kyi chhog kyi chho nam yong su zog par cha wei chhir dang. le na med par.
yang dag par zog pei chang chub. nge par tog cha wei chhir so cho.yang dag par zed pa de shin du. dag ming. (say your name)
che gyi we kyang. du di ne zung te.
chi sid sang nyi ma ma shar gyi bar du.
sem chen tham ched kyi don gyi chhir dang. phen par cha wei chhir dan.
drol war cha weishhir dang. mu ge med par cha wei chhir dang.
ned med par cha wei chhir dang. chang chhub kyi chog kyi chos nam.
yong su zog par cha wei chhir dang. la na med pa. yang dag pa.
zog pei chang chub. nge par tog par cha wei chhir.
thek pa chen pu. so chong. yang dag par lang war gyi o.

After the third repetition of this prayer, think that you have received the ordination in the form of light, and that your whole body is full of light. All your atoms from head to feet are full of the light of the ordination.

Then repeat the prayer of the precepts thinking, “I will follow these precepts until tomorrow morning as did those previous bodhisattvas and arhats,” and thinking with strongly renounced mind that all of samsara, whichever of the six divisions the samsaric body is in, it is always like being on red-hot burning iron ground, with no control or peace anywhere on that fire ground, always in the nature of suffering. And whatever samsaric pleasure there is, however much samsaric pleasure there is that we experience, that is also like being on hot-red burning iron ground, also in the nature of suffering. None of these samsaric experiences is beyond suffering. Think with the mind strongly renouncing samsara that you will follow the precepts until tomorrow morning; make this vow in front of all the holy beings that you have visualized. Actually, these precepts are supposed to be taken with such strong renunciation that it makes the hairs stand on end and brings tears to the eyes. But also think, keeping the precepts with rejoicefulness, think that these are the cause of peace and all happiness. They are only eight precepts for twenty-four hours, but they are very powerful and they are taken with the Mahayana motive. The prayer:

deng ne sog chöd mi cha ching. chen gyi nor yang liong mi cha.
trig pei chho kyang mi chöd ching. zun gyi tsig kyang me mer o.
kyon ni mang po nyer ten pei. chang ni yong su pang war cha.
thri ten chhe tho mi cha shing. de shin du ma yin pei zee.
di dang threng wa gyen dang ni. gar dang lu sog oang var cha.
chyo tar dra chom tag tu ni. sog shod la sog mi ched tar.
de shin sog chog la sog pang.la med chang chhub nyur thob shog.
dug ngal mang thrug jig ten dir. sid pei tsho le drol war shog.

Now say the mantra, to keep the precepts pure and to revive broken precepts, twenty-one times.


Now say the prayer to be able to keep the precepts purely and without pride. If the precepts are kept with pride, obscured by pride, the result is less.

thrim kyi tshul thrim kyon med ching(1)
tshul thrim nam par dag dang den.(2)
lom sem med pei tshul thrim kyi.(3)
tshul thrim ha rol chhim dzog shog’.(4)

(1) That means to not have any danger of breaking the Dharma law, the morality.
(2) That means having pure precepts, unbroken precepts, undegenerated precepts.
(3) and (4) That means: “By keeping the precepts without pride may I complete the paramitas, the gone beyond, of morality. There are six—gone beyond charity, morality, patience, energy, concentration and wisdom. This prayer is to complete morality.

Totally, “May the gone beyond (the paramita) of morality be completed by not having danger for the morality of the law, and by keeping the precepts purely, without pride.”

Now say the dedication prayers.

1. chang chhub sem chhog rinpoche
ma kye par nam kye hyur ching
kye pa nyim pa me pa yi
gong ne gong du phel bar shog.

Meaning: “May I receive the bodhicitta that has not yet been received, and may the bodhicitta that has been received be increased.”

2 kye wa kun tu yang dag lama damg
trel me cho kyi pal la long cho ching
sa dang lam gyi you ten rag tsog ne
dorje chang gi go chang nyur thob shog.

Meaning : “May I quickly attain the enlightenment of Dorje Chang (Vajradhara, the owner of all the enlightened beings, the total leader of all the enlightened beings), not being separated from perfect gurus in all future lives, and enjoy the teaching and complete the whole knowledge of path and the different leaves.”

3 ge wa di yi kye bo kun
so nam ye she chhog dzog shing
so nam ye she le chung pei
ma pa ku nyi thob par shog

Meaning: “Due to the merits of taking ordination and keeping precepts may I and all sentient beings achieve the two enlightened holy bodies that are formed by the accumulation of fortune (merits) and transcendental wisdom.” (The two holy bodies are the rupakaya and the dharmakaya—see Page 69.)

jam pel pa wo ji khyen pa dang
kun tu ang po de yang de shin te
de dag kun gyi je su dag lob chir
ge wa di dag tham chi rab tu ngo
du sum sheg pai gyal wa tham che kyi
ngo wa nga la chhog tu ngo wa yi
dag gi ge wa tsa pa di kun kyang
je po cho chir rab tu ngo par gyi.

Meaning: “The noble Jampel has completely destroyed the wrong conception of self-existence, is brave to work for sentient beings and realizes absolute nature as it exists. Also the noble bodhisattva Kuntu Zangpo, skillful in the way of dedicating the merits for enlightenment, possesses the superstitionless wisdom as does the bodhisattva Jampel; I shall fully dedicate whatever merits I created, those which arise from making the prayers of the noble actions, for I also follow those supreme bodhisattvas, and follow the holy deeds they did.

All the buddhas who descended and passed away in the three times for the sake of sentient beings, their form of dedicating, what they altogether greatly admire, is dedicating for the cause of achieving the sublime state, enlightenment, to increase the most supreme happiness and panacea for the sentient beings covering space for as long as samsara exists. Also, all my merits that arose from such things as making prayers of the noble actions will be fully dedicated in order to achieve enlightenment through following the bodhisattva Kunto Zangpo’s deeds.

During the day try to remember each precept, not completely forgetting that they have been taken, and knowing whether or not they have been broken.

At the end of the day, dedicate with this prayer.

“Due to the merits of taking ordination and keeping precepts, may I receive enlightenment soon, by receiving bodhicitta, fully renounced mind, and the realization of the absolute true nature, for the sake of sentient beings.”

(Other explanations about these precepts are given in various parts of this book. They may be taken by anybody, not necessarily in the presence of a guru or abbot. In fact, the first prayer printed here is in a special form for a person taking the precepts alone, and is therefore slightly different than the one given by Rinpoche during the meditation course. The precepts should be taken before light, at a time when one cannot yet see the lines on the palm of the outstretched hand, and the precepts should be observed for twenty-four hours.)

The benefits of keeping these precepts are infinite.