The Vajra Speech of Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo: The Blessed Prayer Known as “Liberating Sakya from Disease”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has recommended this prayer from Thangtong Gyalpo for protection and healing from the coronavirus COVID-19. Rinpoche said that while reciting this prayer, students should look at an image of Thangtong Gyalpo. The image of Thangtong Gyalpo on this page is from a thangka in Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s house. You can find a PDF of this prayer here. See also the new FPMT webpage: Resources for the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The great yogi, Thangtong Gyalpo (1385–1464)
Motivation

All sentient beings—my mothers who are infinite like space— go for refuge to the precious Guru-Buddha.

This form of going for refuge was given by Arya Avalokiteshvara to Ka Ngapa Paljor Sherab and by him to Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo. Afterwards, it provided infinite benefits for living beings.1

We go for refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
We go for refuge to the assembly of gurus, yidams, and dakinis.
We go for refuge to the empty clarity of our own minds—the dharmakaya.

Recite these verses as many times as you are able.

OM MANI PaDME HUM

Recite this mantra hundreds of times. Then:

The Actual Prayer

May all the diseases that sadden the minds of sentient beings
That result from karma and temporary conditions,
Such as the harms of graha-spirits,2 illnesses, and the bhutas,3
Not occur in the realms of the world.

May whatever sufferings there are from life-threatening diseases that,
Like a butcher leading an animal to be slaughtered,
Separate the body from the mind in a mere instant,
Not occur in the realms of the world.

May all embodied beings be unharmed
By acute, chronic, and other epidemic diseases,
The mere sounds of whose names terrify beings,
As though they had been placed inside the mouth of Yama, the Lord of Death.

May all embodied beings be unharmed
By the 80,000 classes of interferers,
The 360 evil spirits4 that harm suddenly,
The 4245 diseases, and so forth.

May whatever sufferings there are due to disturbances of the four elements,
Depriving the body and mind of every happiness, be totally pacified
And may the body and mind have radiance and power,
And be endowed with long life, good health, and well-being.

By the compassion of the gurus and the Three Jewels,
By the power of the dakinis, Dharma protectors, and guardians,
And by the power of the truth of the infallibility of karma and its results,
May all these dedications and prayers be fulfilled.


ColophonS

Original Colophon:

Once, an epidemic was spreading from one person to another at the great seat of the Glorious Sakya Monastery. Whatever the mantric masters tried—thread crosses,6 tormas, medicines, mantras, protection-amulets, and so forth—had no effect and the monastery was in danger of annihilation. At that time, the Great Lord Mahasiddha [Thangtong Gyalpo] performed the “space refuge,”7 recited a number of mani mantras, and proclaimed this prayer, after which the entire epidemic immediately ceased in dependence upon its performance. Thereby, it became renowned as the Vajra Speech Radiating Masses of Clouds of Blessing Entitled “The Prayer Liberating Sakya from Disease.”

SARVAMANGGALAM.

Publisher’s Colophon:

Translated by Gelong Thubten Tsultrim (George Churinoff) from Thangtong Gyalpo (thang stong rgyal po), grub thob thang stong rgyal po'i rdo rje'i gsung sa skya nas grol mar grags pa'i smon lam byin rlabs can, s.l.: s.n., s.d. Translation reviewed and edited by Joona Repo and Ven. Tenzin Tsomo, February 2020.


Notes

1 Tib: dka lga pa refers to a person who has mastered the five (lnga) difficult (dka) teachings: the perfection of wisdom (prajnaparamita), the middle way philosophy (madhyamaka), higher knowledge (abhidharma), epistemology (pramana), and discipline (vinaya). [Return to text]

2 Tib: gdon. [Return to text]

3 Tib: 'byung po. [Return to text]

4 Evil spirits (Tib: ye 'drog) are nonhumans who interrupt virtuous practice and bring about undesired events. The term is synonymous with Tib: gdon; Skt: graha. [Return to text]

5 The Tibetan number bzhi brgya rtsa bzhi is variously interpreted to be 400, 404, and 424. [Return to text]

6 Tib: mdos. [Return to text]

7 Tib: ma nam mkha' ma'i skyab 'dro, so-called because the verse has the words “equal to space.” [Return to text]