The Direct and Unmistaken Method

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

This book is a practical guide to the eight Mahayana precepts. It explains the benefits of the vows and the meaning of the ceremony for receiving them, and for easy reference contains the ceremony itself, written out clearly for regular use.

The Eight Mahayana Precepts: The Complete Practice

Compiled and translated by Lama Zopa Rinpoche3

The guru is Buddha; the guru is Dharma;
The guru is Sangha also.
The guru is the creator of all (happiness);
To all gurus I go for refuge. (3x)

La ma sang gyä la ma chhö
De zhin la ma ge dün te
Kün gyi je po la ma yin
La ma nam la kyab su chhi (3x)

Generating bodhicitta
To accomplish my own and others’ aims,
I generate the mind seeking enlightenment. (3x)

Dag dang zhän dön drub lä du
Dag gi jang chhub sem kye do (3x)

Purifying the place
Everywhere may the ground be pure,
Free of the roughness of pebbles and so forth.
May it be in the nature of lapis lazuli
And as smooth as the palm of one’s hand.

Tham chä du ni sa zhi dag
Seg ma la sog me pa dang
Lag thil tar nyam bäiduryäi
Rang zhin jam por nä gyur chig

Offering prayer
May human and divine offerings,
Actually arranged and mentally created,
Clouds of finest Samantabhadra offerings,
Fill the entire space.

Lha dang mi yi chhö päi dzä
Ngö su sham dang yi kyi trül
Kün zang chhö trin la na me
Nam khäi kham kün khyab gyur chig

Offering cloud mantra

The power of truth
By the power of truth of the Three Jewels,
Of the blessings of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas,
By the power of the great might of the completed two collections,
And of the completely pure, inconceivable sphere of reality,
May all these offerings become just so.

Kön chhog sum gyi den pa dang
Sang gyä dang jang chhub sem pa tham chä kyi jin gyi lab dang
Tshog nyi yong su dzog päi nga thang chhen po dang
Chhö kyi ying nam par dag ching sam gyi mi khyab päi tob kyi de
zhin nyi du gyur chig

Protector of all beings without exception;
Divine destroyer of the intractable legions of Mara;
Perfect knower of all things:
Bhagavan and retinue, please come here.

Ma lü sem chän kün gyi gön gyur ching
Dü de pung chä mi zä jom dzä lha
Ngö nam ma lü yang dag khyen gyur päi
Chom dän khor chä nä dir sheg su söl

Seven limb prayer
Reverently, I prostrate with my body, speech, and mind;
I present clouds of every type of offering, actual and imagined;
I declare all my negative actions accumulated since beginningless time
And rejoice in the merit of all holy and ordinary beings.
Please, remain until the end of cyclic existence
And turn the wheel of Dharma for living beings.
I dedicate my own merits and those of all others to the great enlightenment.

Go sum gü päi go nä chhag tshäl lo
Ngö sham yi trül chhö trin ma lü bül
Thog me nä sag dig tung tham chä shag
Kye phag ge wa nam la je yi rang
Khor wa ma tong bar du leg zhug nä
Dro la chhö kyi khor lo kor wa dang
Dag zhän ge nam jang chhub chhen por ngo

Extensive mandala offering
OM vajra ground AH HUM, mighty golden ground. OM vajra fence AH HUM.

Outside it is encircled by the surrounding wall, in the center of which are Sumeru, King of Mountains; the eastern continent, Videha (Tall-body Land), the southern, Jambudvipa (Rose-apple Land), the western, Godaniya (Cattle-gift Land), the northern, Kuru; [the eastern minor continents] Deha and Videha, [the southern], Camara and Apara-camara (Chowrie-land and western Chowrie-land), [the western], Satha and Uttara-mantrin (Lands of the Deceitful and the Skilled in Mantra), [and the northern], Kuru and Kaurava. [In the four continents are:] [E] the precious mountain, [S] the wish-granting tree, [W] the wish-fulfilling cow, [N] the unploughed harvest.

[On the first level are:] The precious wheel, the precious jewel, the precious queen, the precious minister, the precious elephant, the precious horse, the precious general, and the great treasure vase.

[On the second level, the eight goddesses:] Lady of grace, lady of garlands, lady of song, lady of dance, lady of flowers, lady of incense, lady of lamps, lady of perfume.

[On the third level:] The sun and the moon; the precious parasol, and the banner of victory in all quarters.

In the center, the most perfect riches of gods and human beings, with nothing missing, pure and delightful.

To my glorious, holy and most kind root and lineage gurus, and in particular to the deity host of Lama Tsongkhapa, King of Sages, Maha- Vajradhara, and their divine retinue, I shall offer these as a buddha-field.

Please accept them with compassion for the sake of migrating beings. Having accepted them, to me and all migrating mother sentient beings as far as the limits of space, out of your great compassion, please grant your inspiration!

Brief mandala offering
This ground, anointed with perfume, strewn with flowers,
Adorned with Mount Meru, four continents, the sun and the moon:
I imagine this as a buddha-field and offer it.
May all living beings enjoy this pure land!

The objects of my attachment, aversion and ignorance—
Friends, enemies, strangers—and my body, wealth, and enjoyments;
Without any sense of loss I offer this collection.
Please accept it with pleasure and bless me with freedom from the three poisons.


Extensive mandala offering
OM vajra bhumi AH HUM / wang chhen ser gyi sa zhi / OM vajra rekhe AH HUM / chhi chag ri khor yug gi kor wäi ü su

rii gyäl po ri rab / shar lü phag po / lho dzam bu ling / nub ba lang chö / jang dra mi nyän / lü dang lü phag / nga yab dang nga yab zhän / yo dän dang lam chhog dro / dra mi nyän dang dra mi nyän gyi da

rin po chhei ri wo / pag sam gyi shing / dö jöi ba / ma mö pa’i lo tog / khor lo rin po chhe / nor bu rin po chhe / tsün mo rin po chhe / lön po rin po chhe / lang po rin po chhe / ta chog rin po chhe / mag pön rin po chhe / ter chen pö’i bum pa

geg ma / threng wa ma / lu ma / gar ma / me tog ma / dug pö ma / nang säl ma / dri chhab ma / nyi ma / da wa / rin po chhei dug

chhog lä nam par gyäl wäi gyän tshän / ü su lha dang mii yi päl jor phün sum tshog pa ma tshang wa me pa tsang zhing yi du ong wa di dag drin chen tsa wa dang gyü par che päi päl dän la ma dam pa nam dang / khyä par dü yang la ma lo zang thub wang dor je chang / chen pö lha tshog kor dang chä päi nam la zhing kham ül war gyi wo thug je dro wäi dön du zhe su söl / zhe ne kyang dag sog dro wa ma gyur nam khäi tha dang nyam päi sem chen tham chä la thug tse wa chhen pö go nä jin gyi lab tu söl

Brief mandala offering
Sa zhi pö kyi jug shing me tog tram
Ri rab ling zhi nyi dä gyän pa di
Sang gyä zhing du mig te ül wa yi
Dro kün nam dag zhing la chö par shog

Dag gi chhag dang mong sum kye wäi yül
Dra nyen bar sum lü dang long chö chä
Phang pa me par bül gyi leg zhe nä
Dug sum rang sar dröl war jin gyi lob


Prostration mantra

Taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts
All buddhas and bodhisattvas dwelling in the ten directions, please pay attention to me. Just as the previous tathagatas, foe destroyers, perfectly completed buddhas who, like the divine wise horse and the great elephant, did what had to be done, performed actions, laid down the burden, subsequently attained their own welfare, completely exhausted the fetters to existence, and had perfect speech, well-liberated minds, and well-liberated wisdom, for the welfare of all sentient beings, in order to benefit, in order to liberate, in order to eliminate famine, in order to eliminate sickness, in order to fully complete the practices harmonious with enlightenment, and in order to definitely actualize the unsurpassed result of perfect, complete enlightenment, perfectly performed the Restoring and Purifying Ordination; similarly, also I, who am called [say your name], from this time until sunrise tomorrow, for the welfare of all sentient beings, in order to benefit, in order to liberate, in order to eliminate famine, in order to eliminate sickness, in order to fully complete the practices harmonious with enlightenment, and in order to definitely actualize the unsurpassed result of perfect, complete enlightenment, shall perfectly undertake the Restoring and Purifying Ordination. (3x)

Chhog chu na zhug päi sang gyä dang / jang chhub sem pa tham chä dag la gong su söl / lob pön gong su söl / ji tar ngön gyi de zhin sheg pa dra chom pa yang dag par dzog päi sang gyä ta chang she ta wu / lang po chhen po / ja wa jä shing je pa jä pa / khur bor wa / rang gi dön je su thob pa / si par kün tu jor wa yong su zä pa / yang dag päi ka / leg par nam par dröl wäi thug / leg par nam par dröl wäi she rab chän / de dag gi / sem chän tham chä kyi dön gyi chhir dang / phän par ja wäi chhir dang / dröl war ja wäi chhir dang / mu ge me par ja wäi chhir dang / nä me par ja wäi chhir dang / jang chhub kyi chhog kyi chhö nam yong su dzog par ja wäi chhir dang / la na me pa yang dag par dzog päi jang chhub nge par tog par ja wäi chhir so jong yang dag par dzä pa de zhin du dag [ming] (say your name) di zhe gyi wä kyang / dü di nä zung te ji si sang nyi ma ma shar gyi bar du / sem chän tham chä kyi dön gyi chhir dang / phän par ja wäi chhir dang / dröl war ja wäi chhir dang / mu ge me par ja wäi chhir dang / nä me par ja wäi chhir dang / jang chhub kyi chhog kyi chhö nam yong su dzog par ja wäi chhir dang / la na me pa yang dag par dzog päi jang chhub nge par tog par ja wäi chhir so jong yang dag par lang war gyi o (3x)

[Then the guru will say, “tab yin-no,” upon which you say, “leg-so.” ]

Upon completing the third recitation, think that you have received the vows in your continuum in the form of light and rejoice. Then regenerate the thought of bodhicitta, the altruistic aspiration to attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings, by thinking:

Just as the foe destroyers of the past have abandoned all misconduct of body, speech and mind, such as taking the lives of others, so shall I, for the sake of all beings, abandon for one day these wrong actions and devote myself to the pure practice of the training.

Deng nä sog chö mi ja zhing
Zhän gyi nor yang lang mi ja
Thrig päi chhö kyang mi chö ching
Dzün gyi tshig kyang mi ma o

The commitment prayer to keep the precepts
From now on I shall not kill, steal others’ possessions,
Engage in sexual activity, or speak false words.
I shall avoid intoxicants, from which many mistakes arise.
I shall not sit on large, high or expensive beds.
I shall not eat food at the wrong times.
I shall avoid singing, dancing and playing music,
And I shall not wear perfumes, garlands or ornaments.

Just as the arhats have avoided wrong actions, such as taking the lives of others, So shall I avoid wrong actions such as taking the lives of others. May I quickly attain enlightenment, And may the living beings who are experiencing the various sufferings Be released from the ocean of cyclic existence.

Kyön ni mang po nyer ten päi
Chhang ni yong su pang war ja
Thri tän chhe tho mi ja zhing
De zhin dü ma yin päi zä
Dri dang threng wa gyän dang ni
Gar dang lu sog pang war ja
Ji tar dra chom tag tu ni
Sog chö la sog mi je tar

De zhin sog chö la sog pang
La me jang chhub nyur thob shog
Dug ngäl mang thrug jig ten di
Si päi tsho lä dröl war shog

The mantra of pure morality

Prayer to keep pure morality
May I maintain faultless morality of the rules
And immaculate morality.
May I complete the perfection of moral conduct
By keeping morality purely and untainted by pride.

Thrim kyi tshül thrim kyön me ching
Tshül thrim nam par dag dang dän
Lom sem me päi tshül thrim kyi
Tshül thrim pha röl chhin dzog shog

Make three prostrations.

Dedication prayers
May the supreme jewel bodhicitta
That has not arisen, arise and grow;
And may that which has arisen not diminish
But increase more and more.

Jang chhub sem chhog rin po chhe
Ma kye pa nam kye gyur chig
Kye wa nyam pa me pa yang
Gong nä gong du phel war shog

Due to these virtues may all beings
Complete the collections of merit and wisdom
And attain the two holy bodies
That arise from merit and wisdom.

Ge wa di yi kye wo kün
Sö nam ye she tsog sag shing
Sö nam ye she lä jung wäi
Dam pa nyi yi tob par shog

Just as the brave Manjushri and Samantabhadra, too,
Realized things as they are,
I, too, dedicate all these merits in the best way,
That I may follow their perfect example.

Jam päl pa wö ji tar khyen pa dang
Kün tu zang po de yang de zhin te
De dag kün gyi je su dag lob chhir
Ge wa di dag tham chä rab tu ngo

I dedicate all these roots of virtue
With the dedication praised as the best
By the victorious ones thus gone of the three times,
So I might perform good works.

Dü sum sheg päi gyäl wa tham chä kyi
Ngo wa gang la chhog tu ngag pa de
Dag gi ge wäi tsa wa di kün kyang
Zang po chö chhir rab tu ngo war gyi


3 From Nyung Nä: The Means of Achievement of the Eleven-Faced Great Compassionate One, Avalokiteshvara of the (Bhikshuni) Lakshmi Tradition, composed by Losang Kälsang Gyatso, the Seventh Dalai Lama. Compiled and translated by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and George Churinoff. Wisdom Publications, 1995. [Return to text]