Kopan Course No. 20 (1987)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, By Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup
Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1987 (Archive #399)

These teachings were given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the 20th Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 1987. Also included is a discourse on the bodhisattva vows by Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup, late abbot of Kopan Monastery. The edited transcript of these teachings is now available for download as PDF file.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings were edited by Namdrol Adams; second light edit by Sandra Smith. The teaching by Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup was edited by Sandra Smith.

Lecture Fifteen: Refuge

The teachings are beneficial, the meditation is beneficial for the mind, to bring happiness, either wanting happiness of this life or happiness of future lives, or liberation, enlightenment, whatever it is. It is beneficial to control the mind, effective to control ignorance, anger, attachment—those disturbing thoughts that give problems. And when you wish to practice these teachings, when you wish to meditate, to train the mind in the lamrim, the teaching of the graduated path to enlightenment, relying upon this, putting the teachings into practice, training the mind in these teachings, actually this is taking refuge. Refuge is already taken. The refuge is gone. It’s not that it has to come.

The teaching that you apply to solve the daily life problems, to control the mind, and the path that the teaching reveals has to be revealed by somebody, and this is revealed by the Buddha. So therefore, naturally you rely upon the Buddha, even if you don’t understand all the teachings taught by Buddha.

We understand some teachings and some teachings we do not understand; some teachings are difficult to understand, even though they are simple. It may even be difficult to understand reincarnation. Generally Tibetans and Eastern people think shunyata is the most difficult thing to understand, and karma and reincarnation are kind of usual things, like usual coffee and tea. But for Western people it’s different. It seems shunyata is easy to understand, it appears that shunyata is easy, but reincarnation is difficult.

Even if we don’t understand the whole teaching, there are many teachings that we really see are true. Sometimes we do not have enough discussion to clarify the points. Or we have not analyzed the points well, we have not spent enough time to analyze the points in the mind. Then sometimes when things are not clear, it is due to a lack of not having studied, a lack of not having received a clear explanation. Sometimes it is like that. But for some people, it doesn’t depend on a logical explanation; it doesn’t depend only on receiving a clear explanation.

For a few people, for a small number of people, the view that there’s one life, that there’s no reincarnation, is very fixed, of the past life’s karma and wrong views. This is experiencing the result similar to the cause. If you talk about karma, if you talk about the different results of karma, it will be the result of this. There are three negative actions, three nonvirtuous actions of the mind: ill will, heresy, and covetousness. Even though karma and reincarnation are many people’s experience, it is very difficult to break this fixed idea, the view. Even though in reality having one life is no one’s experience. I don’t know why we should have this one birth and why we even took this one birth, it’s very surprising. Whether we say there’s a creator or not, this one birth. Whether this birth has a cause or not.

First of all, it’s very important to search in the world whether there is anybody who has realized there is just one life. I’m not saying whether there is anybody who has this philosophy or theory; anybody can have a philosophy, anybody can write a book in their own way of thinking—but is there anybody who has realized that there are no past lives or future lives. Search in the East and the West. You can go to the moon to search there, whether there is one being who has realized this. People can remember past lives and see future lives, even those who haven’t met Buddhism. There are many children in the East and West, and also people can remember as they develop the capacity of their mind through meditation. There are so many, non-Buddhist, Buddhist, Hindus, so many. There are people who are born with the capacity to read other people’s minds, to see other people’s thoughts. But this capacity of mind is not common.

If something is the object of a valid mind, then it exists. If it is not the object of a valid mind, it doesn’t exist. Whether things exist or not is up to the mind, whether it is a perceiver or not. If a valid mind discovers an object, it exists. If it does not have a valid mind discovering it, it doesn’t exist. Anything that exists has a valid mind discovering it.

Therefore, if reincarnation is not existent it should be realized—it is something that can be realized and discovered. There is no book that says that somebody has realized that there’s no reincarnation, that there’s only one life. But there are, of course, many—of course, it depends on the philosophy, the society in which we live, what ideas we studied.                     

This idea of one life, no reincarnation, has not been analyzed well, or well-checked, with experience and logic, with reality and logic in the world.

Therefore, we need checking and analysis. There is a whole scripture, the Pramanavarttika, translated from Sanskrit—there’s a whole text, eight chapters, and the second chapter is mainly all the proof for reincarnation. There was no Christianity mentioned in the teachings, but so much about the Hindu views, in the form of debate. The Buddhist pandits debated with the Hindus and explained how their views are wrong.

This is something that you can analyze so much. The more you analyze, your understanding becomes deeper and clearer about reincarnation and karma. It is like science—the more they check the atoms, the more subtle their understanding becomes, the more they relate it to the mind, rather than relate it to the object. I heard that the most expert scientists, by checking atoms so much, finally discovered that how we see atoms is much more to do with the perceiver’s mind. That’s very, very true, that is exactly Buddhism.

Also, besides just believing the philosophy, you need to do analysis of it. Then also, because you have met only one culture, you haven’t met all the cultures in the world, your belief depends on what culture you meet. Your own philosophy depends on that. This doesn’t mean all the other cultures are wrong. However, it doesn’t mean also all the other cultures are right. So, one thing is having studied only Western culture, but not having studied Eastern culture extensively, not having analyzed well—whatever you learn early in life, you believe that. Except a few people, who due to their strong karma feel reincarnation by themselves without needing any Buddhist teachings. They feel it from their own side. Some people who have very, very strong karma, who practiced recently in past lives, the life before this, who meditated, have a very strong impression in their mind, so without depending on society or the culture around them or what has been taught, they feel it naturally.

So now, who sees and realizes past and future lives? Uncountable numbers. In regard to logic, infinite things can be explained. In regard to the statement that there is no reincarnation, there is nobody who has had this realization, there is no valid mind that sees this, so that means it doesn’t exist. There is no omniscient mind that sees this, there is even no ordinary being’s valid mind that sees that. I am not talking about a hallucinated mind, I’m talking about valid mind. The hallucinated mind can see anything; I am talking about a valid mind realizing that there is no reincarnation. There is not one single logic to prove that there is no reincarnation. Even if the person put a reason, after one or two reasons, then finished. Then stuck there. It’s like this.

It’s not so much to do with the clear explanation, logic, but even if there is a very strong, clear explanation and logic, it is very hard to break, very hard to feel, even though what the person believes is not according to their own evolution. It is not according to their own experience. It is not according to their own evolution. Even though it’s contradictory, it is difficult to see that it is wrong.

That is the result of the past life’s karma. There are three nonvirtuous actions of mind. There is the past life’s wrong view that there is no reincarnation, that there is no karma. For this one, what is needed is purification. However, the important thing is to feel that this is reality, to be able to relate it to yourself, and even with clear, logical explanation, for some people it’s not enough. What is needed is purification practice. By doing practice of purification, the mind becomes more and more clear, then you can relate, you can feel. Like how the mind doesn’t feel the emptiness at all. Emptiness is like a rock. For your own mind, emptiness is like a rock. It’s very hard to feel the I is empty. Very hard to feel that, isn’t it?

It seems impossible that we renounce ourselves and cherish others, it seems impossible, because in our life so far we have been cherishing only ourselves, so how is it possible to change this attitude? To cherish only others, how is it possible? According to this present state of mind, it looks like it’s impossible. But, through intensive, strong purification and mind training, accumulating merit, so much merit, it is possible. Putting into practice the six paramitas, such as charity, morality and so forth, taking as the object sentient beings and practicing patience, loving kindness and compassion. By doing the practice with the holy objects, by making offerings, prostrations and so forth, all those various practices, by accumulating extensive merit, training our mind in the actual path, bodhicitta, then gradually more merit accumulates, more purification is done, and  after some months, after some years, the mind feels more cherishing of others. Before, nothing, only oneself, unbelievably selfish. Then continuing, then after a while we completely renounced and we only cherish others.

Same thing with the realization of emptiness. Because the mind is a causative phenomena, dependent on cause and conditions, it can be changed. It is a causative phenomena, dependent on causes and conditions. If it were independent, it would not depend upon cause and conditions and then you could not change it, there would be no way to change it—whatever it is now, it is going to be forever like this. Whatever the mental state is now, if it is angry at this moment, then it is going to be angry forever, if it is independent. If there is attachment, then there is going to be attachment forever. However, even without meditating, the mind changes. Anger arises and stops, then attachment arises, or indifference. So even without meditating the mind changes all the time. That is because it is a causative phenomena.

Therefore, by accumulating merit, doing the practice of purification, mind training in the path, with these causes and conditions, the mind can be definitely changed.

In regard to reincarnation, I’ll stop there.

What I’m saying is, finding the teachings beneficial for the mind, even though we don’t understand some of the teachings; we may find them difficult to understand, to accept, to feel, but we wish to put them into the practice; when we meditate in order to transform the mind into the path that is revealed by the teaching, that is taking refuge. So we took refuge in the Dharma. For that, there’s the need of somebody to reveal the Dharma, and who revealed this is Buddha. So naturally we have taken refuge in Buddha. Take the example of people who have realizations, like Milarepa, like those great yogis, like Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Take their example, as we want to have the same realization as them; we want to have the same fantastic life as they had. The same experience and mind control as they have. So that is taking refuge in the Sangha. When we rely upon them, it means we are taking refuge in the Sangha. When we rely upon the holy beings, that means we are taking refuge in the Sangha. Like this.

Normally, when we are sick, we take refuge in a doctor. To make food, we rely upon a cook. We rely upon food to not starve. When there is rain, we rely upon an umbrella or a house. When there is hot or cold, we rely upon the house. We rely upon money, we take refuge in money. All the time it’s like this. When we have problems, we take refuge in the psychologist or psychiatrist. In some ways taking refuge is nothing new, relying upon something is nothing new.

In this case, this is the most important protection. Among all the various problems that we have in life, the most important protection is protection against taking a rebirth as a suffering migratory being—as a preta, animal, or narak—due to the cause of negative karma. Leave aside those beings, just think of the creatures that we see in everyday life, that we don’t want to be even for a minute, that we don’t even want to look at. A preta is one who has the heaviest suffering of hunger and thirst. A narak is one who has the heaviest pain of the six realms, the suffering of hot and cold. Animals we can see, so there is nothing to talk about.

Protecting ourselves from rebirth as a suffering migratory being, to stop going in suffering, in these evil-gone realms, is the very crucial, immediate protection that we should accomplish. It is immediate protection because death can happen any moment. Therefore this protection we need to get done right now. Even now, if there is no belief in reincarnation but in case we die, in case there is consciousness continuing, in case there is a next life, it is more skillful that we make preparations. It doesn’t hurt. But when we are dying, there is no time to practice, there is no time to make preparations. So that’s a good thing to think about, to keep in our heart—whether what I say is true or not.

The rebirth of the suffering migratory beings can be stopped by taking refuge in Dharma, by taking refuge in Sangha, by taking refuge in Buddha. Without taking refuge in all three, even with one, we can be protected. By living in morality, by taking refuge in Dharma, by living in the morality, living with a good heart. Even if we don’t know reincarnation, even if we don’t understand karma, reincarnation, and have no faith, but live with a good heart, that is Dharma. We rely upon Dharma, practice Dharma in that life, the good heart, therefore, we have good karma, strong good karma, and we don’t get reborn in the lower realms. Or by reciting and hearing the mantras, by remembering Buddha at the time of death, by relying upon the Buddha or hearing the mantras at the time of death, we are protected from the lower realms. Or the Sangha, also.

But that’s not enough. Not being born in the lower realms; being born as a human being or deva is not enough. That’s still not sufficient, because being in the human realm or the deva realm, we don’t cut off karma and disturbing thoughts, the cause of suffering, which bind us to samsara, which tie us to samsara, which keep us caught in samsara. As long as we don’t break this bondage of karma and disturbing thoughts, even if we are born as devas or human beings—look at us now—we are born as human beings, but full of problems, not free from karma and disturbing thoughts, pervasive compounding suffering.

As long as we don’t break the bondage, the chains of karma and disturbing thoughts, even if we are born as a deva or a human being, it’s like bringing a prisoner out of the prison for sightseeing. They go around the city for some hours for sightseeing and then go back to the prison again. The deva or human being is not a human being or a deva forever. Because there are so many negative karmas, that being will again get reborn in the lower realms and again create nonvirtuous actions. It circles like this, on and on. Therefore, even devas and human beings are completely only in the nature of suffering. The whole entire samsara is only in the nature of suffering. As you have heard, there are the six types of suffering, the eight types of human suffering, all that. To stop all these problems, to completely cease them, to never experience sorrow, we must cease the cause of samsara, karma and disturbing thoughts.

To be liberated from this, for the ever-release from the samsara, then one [refuge object] is not enough—not only Buddha, we need Dharma, and even that’s not enough, we need Sangha. Just as a serious patient has to rely upon the doctor and the medicine and the nurse. It is the same thing with the very serious patients, the samsaric beings, we have the sickness of delusions and to get completely free of samsara we need to rely upon Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, all three. Not only for ourselves, but for the sake of all sentient beings.

Think, “To achieve the greatest liberation, enlightenment, the ever-release from samsara, I must achieve this for the sake of all sentient beings, therefore I’m going to the Buddha as the founder of refuge, Dharma as the actual refuge, and Sangha, who are like the attainers of the actual refuge, Sangha are the helpers to achieve the actual refuge, the Dharma, within my mind.”

Without taking the particular precepts, even without taking the precept of killing, there is only refuge upasika vow. There is one vow like this. With this, if you can take one precept, two precepts, three precepts, five precepts, whatever number you are taking, then one vow, two vows, three vows, whatever number of vows you are taking. If it’s only refuge, then only take the refuge upasika vow.

One thing normally I explain is that by taking refuge in the Dharma, in order to receive protection from the Dharma, what you should do, what you should abandon, is giving harm to others. Among giving harm to others, the heaviest one is killing, the most dangerous one for other beings is killing. Even though there is only the refuge upasika vow that you can take without precepts, from those five without particulars, you have to abandon harming others, therefore killing is regarded as most dangerous for the other beings. It is very useful, because there are big differences between not killing and not living in the vow, and living in the vow. Even if you don’t do killing, if you are living in the vow, there are big differences. Living in the vow you have good karma continuously, every minute, even if you are sleeping or unconscious, until death.

For the person who has taken a vow until death, they are continuously creating good karma. The other person who doesn’t live in the vow and doesn’t do killing doesn’t have merit continuously accumulating. In that case, the person who is mute, the person who cannot speak, the dumb person, the person who doesn’t have limbs cannot kill others—and they will create a lot of good karma. If it did not depend on taking the vow, that person is creating much good karma. The person who is mute would create much good karma of speech. People who don’t have limbs or cannot move, so there is no way to kill anybody, would also create a lot of good karma.

Those who are taking precepts, make three prostrations, first to Buddha, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha…

[Tape ends]

…If you are going to do lamrim meditation, there might be many different ways, elaborate ways to do it. Before you meditate on lamrim, the graduated path to enlightenment, the teachings you have received, there are the preliminary practices—elaborate and short ones. There is an elaborate practice called Jorcho, the preparatory practice. The prayers that we have been reciting during this time are from this, and this is the main practice done by anybody who meditates on lamrim.

Accumulating merit is the necessary condition for realizations. In order to generate the realizations of the graduated path to enlightenment within your mind, you need to accumulate merit. The basic practices of the seven limbs and the mandala offering and so forth are the necessary conditions—they are the means to accumulate extensive merit, the necessary conditions for the realization. Refuge, confession and Vajrasattva practice also purify obstacles to the realizations, which interfere with the realization of the graduated path to enlightenment in our mind.

This also involves guru yoga practice. In order to receive the realizations of the graduated path to enlightenment we need to enter the blessings of the guru within our heart. In order for a seed to bring forth a sprout we need to pour water to make it wet;, similarly by doing the practice of guru yoga we receive the blessings of the guru, the virtuous friend, in our own heart and then through that our own mind is fertilized, is ripened. For the mind to become like the seed that brings the sprout, it must ripen in order to generate realizations of the graduated path to enlightenment.

We begin with the practice of refuge, which is the door to entering the teaching of the Buddha. Similarly with bodhicitta, after refuge, and bodhicitta—that is the door to the Mahayana path—to be able to enter the Mahayana path and practice it, and also to accumulate extensive merit and purify obscurations. After refuge, normally we do refuge and bodhicitta and the four immeasurable practices, which are the means of extending bodhicitta. We do this to feel more compassion, to make the compassion stronger, the loving kindness stronger, and the special attitude stronger, taking the works for other sentient beings upon ourselves, completely as our own responsibility, generating immeasurable joyfulness. Practicing this makes the bodhicitta stronger.

Then relating to tantra comes special bodhicitta—to achieve enlightenment quicker and quicker for the sake of all mother sentient beings. After that comes the seven-limb practice, the mandala offering and the requesting prayer to the lineage lamas in order to receive blessings. Then, after the mantra, one of the most important things to do in everyday life, since there’s the wish to develop the mind, since there’s the wish to achieve enlightenment, in order to offer greatest benefit to all sentient beings, since there is this wish within our mind, it is very important to recite the lamrim prayer, the prayer of the graduated path to enlightenment.

One Kadampa geshe—I don’t remember a hundred percent, Chengawa, or Khamlungpa—asked the question, “What is better, having the lamrim realization, having the realization of the graduated path to enlightenment, the mind renouncing samsara, bodhicitta, shunyata; which is better, to have this realization or to have the siddhis, the five types of psychic powers?” This refers to remembering past lives, being able to see past things, being able to see other people’s minds, and very far, distant things. With stable concentration one can concentrate for eons, without distraction. So, which is better, to have these powers or to have the realization of bodhicitta, renouncing samsara, or shunyata? One Kadampa geshe answered this question.

The Kadampa tradition was handed down by Lama Atisha, who came from Nalanda, the great university, from India in ancient times. In Nalanda there were many fully distinguished pandits, who were not only expert in words, but whose holy minds were rich in sutra and tantra realizations and paths. Lama Atisha was invited by a king of Tibet, I don’t know the century, the year, however, there had been much degeneration in Tibet, so the king of Tibet, Lha Lama Yeshe Ö, and Lama Atisha re-established Buddhism in Tibet. Atisha eliminated all the wrong conceptions that people had in terms of not knowing how to practice sutra and tantra together, or understanding that the whole teaching taught by Buddha is for one person to achieve, the gradual practice to achieve enlightenment, the teaching of the Lesser Vehicle path, the Paramitayana path and tantra.

According to what they requested and the problems they had, Atisha wrote this text called Lamp of the Path to Enlightenment and from that the title lamrim, the graduated path to enlightenment, arose. All the teachings taught by the Buddha are set up in the graduated practice for one person to achieve enlightenment, the integrated essence of the Buddhadharma.

Now we have the opportunity to practice the whole graduated path to enlightenment without any confusion, without finding any contradiction—it’s so easy and so integrated, so easy. By understanding this, by understanding the teaching of the lamrim, the graduated path to enlightenment, it is like opening the eye to understanding all the sutra and tantra teachings. We can understand and see that all the teachings of Buddha are to be practiced so we can achieve enlightenment.

The followers of Lama Atisha were Kadampa geshes, and their disciples, who preserved and who practiced the teachings that had been handed down from Lama Atisha. They are also called Kadampa geshes.

Why are they called “Kadampa” and why are they called “geshe”? They have the Dharma wisdom to be able to discriminate what is right and wrong—what is to be abandoned and what is to be practiced. Not only do they have the intellectual understanding, but they have realizations. Like infinite space, like the infinite sky, they have infinite realizations. Even though they have very high tantra realizations, they live life very humbly. No matter how much they have realizations, knowledge, intellect and wisdom, they live the life very simply, very humbly. They are great hidden yogis. Even if they have very high tantra, even if they have many psychic powers, they don’t show or reveal them to others. They are all great hidden yogis, the holders of the whole entire teachings—the teachings of the Lesser Vehicle, the Paramitayana and tantra. That’s why they are called geshes.

The Kadampas, the geshes, the meditators, the Tibetan lamas, the meditators, do not leave out even one syllable from the Buddha’s teachings. There is nothing to leave out, even one syllable—they see it all as advice. They see even one syllable as advice to achieve enlightenment. Besides the Lesser Vehicle teaching, the Paramitayana teaching, the sutra and tantra teachings, besides those teachings taught by Buddha, they do not leave out a syllable—it is all advice for us to achieve enlightenment.

So Kadampa—ka is the Buddha’s teachings, and dam is advice—so all the Buddha’s teachings are seen as advice for us to achieve enlightenment.

Chengawa or Khamlungpa asked another geshe a question: “Is it better to have the realization of the three principal paths, the graduated path to enlightenment, or is better to have the five psychic powers, such as stable concentration that will last for eons?” The Kadampa geshe answered, “Leave aside having the realization of the graduated path to enlightenment, I would prefer even questioning what the graduated path to enlightenment is to having stable concentration, the five psychic powers, and so forth.” The Kadampa geshe explained that we have had those five psychic powers numberless times in the past, but we have not had the realizations of the lamrim. That is true. If we did have realization of the lamrim—bodhicitta, shunyata and renunciation of samsara—if we had those realizations in the past, by now we wouldn’t be like this.

It’s very true, what the Kadampa geshe said—those psychic powers, concentrations, we have had numberless times. Even Hindus have concentration. Due to this they are born without wisdom—the concentration is there, but there is no shunyata, no bodhicitta, no wisdom of shunyata, no complete renunciation of samsara—so they are born in the realm of form and formless, still in samsara, those deva realms and god realms. When the karma finishes, they are born in the desire realm, as naraks, pretas, animals, human beings or devas. When they’ve finished that karma to be born in the realm of the form and formless, their other karma is ripened, and then again they are born in the realm in which they were born before. They circle continuously in samsara until they are able to develop the wisdom of shunyata, the mind renounced of samsara.

Reciting this lamrim prayer [The Foundation of All Good Qualities] includes the whole 84,000 teachings that Buddha taught. The whole path to enlightenment is revealed here, is condensed here. It is revealed by this prayer. Not just the sutra, but tantra too, very briefly. Each time we recite this lamrim prayer we leave the imprint of the whole path to enlightenment in our minds. Each time we leave the imprint, by reading this mindfully, we become closer—so each day as you read this lamrim prayer mindfully it leaves an imprint on the mental continuum, so each day our mind becomes closer to the lamrim realizations. Like this, we become closer, day by day, to enlightenment. Without leaving imprints of the path on the mental continuum, there is no way to generate the lamrim realizations, no way to transform the mind in the path to enlightenment.

To get an idea, if we are going to do lamrim meditation, some practice every day, then do this with the short preliminary practice, the graduated prayer that we have been doing. Doing a lamrim retreat is extremely important. You can see that from these Kadampa geshes, from their experience, from those who have actualized the whole path.

Even questioning the lamrim, the path, the graduated path to enlightenment, is much better than having those five psychic powers and stable concentration. Therefore now, the same thing—within a minute, even half a minute, just reading a short lamrim prayer, reading the teachings mindfully—if there is no question that questioning the lamrim is much better than those attainments, then this is [much better] as well.

A lamrim retreat—even if you do meditation for one or two days, or one week, or especially one month, it is unbelievably worthwhile. There is nothing left in the world, in life, nothing more beneficial than this. You cannot find something more beneficial than this anywhere, for yourself or all sentient beings.

The Foundation of All Good Qualities

The foundation of all good qualities is the kind and perfect, pure Guru;
Correct devotion to him is the root of the path.
By clearly seeing this and applying great effort,
Please bless me to rely upon him with great respect.

Understanding that the precious freedom of this rebirth is found only once,
Is greatly meaningful, and is difficult to find again,
Please bless me to generate the mind that unceasingly,
Day and night, takes its essence.

This life is as impermanent as a water bubble;
Remember how quickly it decays and death comes.
After death, just like a shadow follows the body,
The results of black and white karma follow.

Finding firm and definite conviction in this,
Please bless me always to be careful
To abandon even the slightest negative action
And accomplish all virtuous deeds.

Seeking samsaric pleasures is the door to all suffering:
They are uncertain and cannot be relied upon.
Recognizing these shortcomings,
Please bless me to generate the strong wish for the bliss of liberation.

Led by this pure thought,
Mindfulness, alertness, and great caution arise.
The root of the teachings is keeping the pratimoksha vows:
Please bless me to accomplish this essential practice.

Just as I have fallen into the sea of samsara,
So have all mother transmigratory beings.
Please bless me to see this, train in supreme bodhicitta,
And bear the responsibility of freeing transmigratory beings.

Even if I develop only bodhicitta, but I don’t practice the three types of morality,
I will not achieve enlightenment.
With my clear recognition of this,
Please bless me to practice the bodhisattva vows with great energy.

Once I have pacified distractions to wrong objects
And correctly analyzed the meaning of reality,
Please bless me to generate quickly within my mindstream
The unified path of calm abiding and special insight.

Having become a pure vessel by training in the general path,
Please bless me to enter
The holy gateway of the fortunate ones:
The supreme vajra vehicle.

At that time, the basis of accomplishing the two attainments
Is keeping pure vows and samaya.
As I have become firmly convinced of this,
Please bless me to protect these vows and pledges like my life.

Then, having realized the importance of the two stages,
The essence of the Vajrayana,
By practicing with great energy, never giving up the four sessions,
Please bless me to realize the teachings of the holy Guru.

Like that, may the gurus who show the noble path
And the spiritual friends who practice it have long lives.
Please bless me to pacify completely
All outer and inner hindrances.

In all my lives, never separated from perfect gurus,
May I enjoy the magnificent Dharma.
By completing the qualities of the stages and paths,
May I quickly attain the state of Vajradhara.