Gem of Wisdom for Daily Reflection: 

Advice on How To Pray, Circumambulate And Make Offering In Honouring A Stupa

Monks and lay people circumambulate the stupa of the terton Mingyur Dorje at the Namdroling Minastery in India Nuns making light offerings at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India Monks circumambulate around the sixteen stupas at the Namdroling Monastery in India

Incalculable amount of merits can be accumulated from the extraordinary virtues of building a stupa and from the activities of circumambulating, prostrating, praying and making offering in the honouring of a stupa.

To be successful in such a noble endeavour requires the arising of the right motivation (kung long). The Tibetan word ‘kung’ means thoroughly from the depth, and ‘long’ signifies the act of causing something to arise.

Patrul Rinpoche has stated that faith must precede refuge in the preliminary practice (ngöndro) of Longchen Nyingtik - The Heart Essence of Longchenpa.  He described faith as the first step on the path to enter the gate of taking refuge in the Three Jewels. Faith is the precious jewel which causes the blossoming of virtues in one’s mind, for it is the essence of the Three Roots (lama, yidam, khandroma) and the source of buddhadharma.

Whoever harbours doubts of the guru and disparages the compassionate acts of the guru through mundane perspective, is the cause for incalculable dismerit, leading to no possibility of attaining  ultimate happiness in this life, and the cause of repeated rebirths for aeons in the lower realms. Likewise, those who compare the noble acts of building and honouring stupas with worldly pursuits will obstruct any possibility of them attaining liberation from the suffering of samsara.

In the Dasadharmaka Sutra, it states:

“Whoever has no faith
 Is like a burnt seed
Which will never sprout.
Their positive qualities
Will never manifest.”

In the Aryadhyasayasamcodana Sutra, there is an account of sixty bodhisattvas who had lost their faith in the practice of Dharma. They were led by bodhisattva mahasattva Maitreya to request counsel from the Buddha, who revealed to them the causes they have created in their former lives which led to their current state of affairs. The opening passage of the Aryadhyasayasamcodana Sutra is as follows:

Thus have I heard:

At one time, the Blessed One was residing at Varanasi, in the Deer Park, accompanied by an assembly of one thousand monks and five hundred bodhisattvas, of whom most had ripened the roots of virtue and eliminated their obscurations of karma.

During that time, some of the bodhisattvas continued to delight themselves with the distraction of sleep, work and talk. They were lazy, indolent, improper and indulged in acts of deceit. They had stopped applying themselves. Their behaviour caught the attention of the bodhisattva mahasattva Maitreya who approached them one day and asked them:

“Children of the noble family, are you applying yourselves through the practice of virtue, or have you been negligent?”

They replied:

“Venerable Maitreya, we have been heedless and neglect our practice of virtue. Our minds are full of doubts whether we can attain enlightenment, and our dread of future rebirths in the lower realms have robbed us any enthusiasm for dharma practice.”

The bodhisattva mahasattva Maitreya then said to them:

Children of the noble family, I will take you to request counsel from the Blessed One who will teach you in a way that will suit the level of your faculties.”

Together they went to where the Blessed One was residing and offered homage with their head at the feet of the Buddha. Overcome by their own hapless state of sorrow, they sobbed uncontrollably with their heads down while offering homage over and over again with their four limbs. The bodhisattva mahasattva Maitreya also prostrated at the feet of the Buddha, then circumambulated the Blessed One three times before seated to one side.

Buddha then said to the bodhisattvas before him:

Children of the noble family, stop your sobbing and moaning. Get up on your feet! Without being heedful for the ripening of karma, you cheerfully caused harm and abused others. Through not being mindful of karma in the manner that you did, you are now shrouded by obscurations and hindered by the predicament you have created. Being overwhelmed and entrapped, you are unable to apply yourselves.”

With their robes hung over one shoulders, all sixty bodhisattvas knelt with their right knees on the ground, joined their palms together and supplicated to the Buddha:

“Please reveal to us our obscurations of karma, so that we can avoid committing the same errors in the future.”

In response to their plea, the Blessed One made the following revelations to the sixty bodhisattvas:

“Children of the noble family, in the distant past during the time of Buddha Krakucchanda, all of you took ordination and became obsessed with pride about monkhood, intoxicated with conceit about your learning, fixated to the self-induced lofty image of ascetic practice and lack of possession. Subsequently, you all became jealous, indignant and resentful of two monks who were widely respected and received offerings from their patrons for their propagation of Dharma. Together as a group, you spread disinformation about them everywhere and accused these two monks of non-virtuous conducts. This created a schism between these two monks and those who followed their teaching, causing many to lose their faith. By continuing to direct your resentment and attack to these two monks, and spreading fabricated falsehood about them, you created obscuration of karma and severed the root of virtues of those who fell for your lies.”

“Due to these non-virtuous acts, you were all reborn in the Avici Hell for sixty thousands years, followed by forty thousand years in the Reviving Hell, twenty thousand years in the Black Line Hell, eight thousand years in the Hell of Heat. Thereafter, you managed to obtain human rebirths, but for five hundred lifetimes, you were born blinded and feeble-minded. Since your obscurations rooted in non-virtues, you were often maltreated, insulted, cursed and ridiculed by others. All your human births were in the lands of uncivilised savages; into poverty-stricken low-casted households and were treated as outcast by everyone.”

“When you finally departed from this current life, throughout the span of the final five hundred years in the period of decrease during an intermediate aeon, in which the five degenerations are at their peak and the Buddhas teachings have nearly disappeared, you will reborn repeatedly in the lands of uncivilised savages; into poverty-stricken low-casted households. You will be criticised for being dim-witted, and you will abandon all connection to virtues. Even when you attempt to exert yourself, you will come upon obstacles; and although moments of insight may appear, this clarity will not last.”

“During the final five hundred years in the period of decrease during an intermediate aeon, all your obscurations of karma will finally be exhausted. You will then be reborn in Sukhavati, the Pure Land of the Tathagata Amitabha who will grant you the prophecy of  your unsurpassed perfect awakening.”

This concluded the opening section of the Aryadhyasayasamcodana Sutra.

The teachings of Aryadhyasayasamcodana Sutra confirms the indisputable law of cause and effect that we reap what we sowed. Whatever actions we have involved will ripen in no one else but in ourselves. This process of cause and effect is not reversible nor can we transfer our karma to others. But we can exhaust our negative karma by engaging in acts of virtues such as the building and honouring of stupas. While it is not everyday we have the opportunity to sponsor the construction of a stupa, we can certainly attain great store of merits equal to that of honouring a stupa by honouring one’s guru in one’s application of virtue, for just like a stupa, the guru is the representation of the body, speech and mind of the Buddhas.

For those who have access to circumambulate or to pay homage to a stupa, here are some advice and explanation on how to perform such acts of virtue.

Circumambulation (korra) is a most effective means to attain realisation as explained by Atisha:

“If you practise sitting meditation,
Only the mind is involved
Without any virtuous actions of the body or speech.
There is no greater merits than
The practice of circumambulation.”

Circumambulation should be performed with the body, speech and mind unified as one action.

  • You should be mindful of every step you place on the ground when you circumambulate the stupa in a clockwise direction. Consider this as a practice of walking meditation to develop the application of mindfulness of the body (lü trenpa nyewar zhak) - the first of the thirty-seven factors leading to enlightenment (changchub kyichok kyichö sumchu tsadün).
  • You should recite prayers, mantra, dharma texts you have memorised as you circumambulate the stupa. Consider this as a practice of the application of mindfulness of phenomena (chö trenpa nyewar zhak).
  • You should maintain a consistent mental state of devotion and suffuse your entire body with the compassionate energy of bodhicitta. Consider this as a practice of the application of mindfulness of the mind (sem trenpa nyewar zhak).

 

Here are some essential procedures you should adopt in the practice of circumambulation that should be good in the beginning, middle and end as emphasised by Patrul Rinpoche in his teaching Thog Tha Bar Sum Du Ge Wai Tam :

  1. Start with the right motivation of bodhicitta (chang chub kyi sem).
  • Remember the kindness of the infinite number of beings in each realm, how they have been our mothers, lovingly caring for us, since time immemorial.
  • Remember the suffering of all the beings in the six realms and that you are committed as the son and daughter of the Blessed One to liberate them from the suffering of samsara.
  • Remember you must first liberate yourself by actualising the path, purifying all the defilements and negative karma you have accumulated since time without beginning, before you can liberate others.
  • Remember the reason to perform circumambulation is to accumulate a great store of merits as provision to support your onward journey to attain the ultimate unsurpassed perfect state of enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.
  1. Remind yourself you have manifested infinite times as different beings of the six realms and that your bodies have provided the habitat for countless sentient beings in the form of tiny mites that live on your hair, your face, your skin; and in the form of microscopic bacteria cells inside your body that are more numerous than your own living cells. Consider all these beings are with you when you circumambulate a stupa so that all these beings attain the same amount of virtue as you.
  1. Pay homage to all the Tathagatas of the three times in the ten directions. Put your Palms together in front of your chest and recite the following verses one time:

DE SHYIN SHI YEK PA TAMCHÉ LA CHAK TSAL LO
Prostrations to all Tathagatas!

THAM CHED KHEN PA NAM LA TSHAK TSHEL LÖ
Homage to all the omniscient one!

CHÖ DO KYAB SU CHI-O
I bow to you, I offer to you, I take refuge in you.

  1. Purify the environ and the karma of your body, speech and mind that are conducive for the activities of virtue:
  • MANTRA TO PURIFY THE ENVIRON:
    OM.LAN.SOHA (7 TIMES)
  • MANTRA OF KUNTUZANGPO:
    OM.AH.HUM (7 TIMES)
  • MANTRA TO PURIFY THE BODY:
    OM.SUTARI.SUTARI.SUMARI.SUMARI.SOHA (3 TIMES)
  • MANTRA TO PURIFY THE SPEECH:
    OM.SURI.SURI.MAHASURI.SUSURI.SOHA (3 TIMES)
  • MANTRA TO PURIFY THE MIND:
    OM.VAJRA.DAHAHA.HUM (3 TIMES)
  • MANTRA TO PURIFY THE KARMA OF BODY, SPEECH AND MIND:
    OM.SUO WA.PO WA SHU TUO.SUO WA DA MO SUO WA PO WA SHU DUO.HAN (3 TIMES)
  1. When making incense offering to a stupa, recite the following verses one time:

TSULTRIM DRI DEN PHÖ CHOG DAM PA DI
This pure supreme  incense, which bears the scent of pure discipline,

TINGZIN NGAG DANG CHAGYE CHIN LAB KYI
By the blessing of Samadhi, mantra and mudra,

SANGYE SHING DU PHÖ TRI NGED DANG WA
Is offered to the Realm of the Buddhas.

GYALWA GYATSO TSOG NAM NYE GYUR CHIG
May this aromatic incense, Completely please and satisfy the assembly of ocean-like Buddhas!

NAMA  SARWA  DATA  GATA  BENZAR  DUPE  PRATITSA  PUDZA  MEGHA  SAMUDRA  SAPHARANA  SAMAYE  AH  HUNG.  OM BENZA DUPE AH HUNG. HUNG.HUNG.HUNG.  PHAT.PHAT.PHAT. SOHA

  1. When making water offering to a stupa, recite the following verses one time:

HUNG  YAN LAG GYED DAN DUD TSI DZING BU DI.
HUNG   Offering a lake of nectar possessing the 8 qualities of pure water,

CHOM DAN KHOR DANG CHE LA BUL WAR GYI.
to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,

ZHE NE DAG DANG SEM CHAN THAM CHAD KYI.
by acceptance of the offering may I and all sentient beings,

TSOG DZOG DRIB TAG KHOR WA TONG TRUK SHOG.
accumulate merit and wisdom, purify obscurations and liberate all beings.

OM SARWA TATHAGATA SAPARIWARA ARGHAM PRATITSA PUDTSA MEGHA SAMUDRA SAPARANA SAMAYA AH HUNG.   BENZA  ARGHAM  AH HUNG.  HUNG.HUNG.HUNG.   PHAT.PHAT.PHAT. SOHA

  1. When making light offering to a stupa, recite the following verses one time:

RIGPA KADAK NANGSAL MARMÉ DI
This brightly shining lamp of primordial pure awareness,

RIGDZIN KYILKHOR PEJUNG LHA LA BUL
We offer to Padmākara and the deities of the maṇḍala of vidyādharas

RIGPÉ GAR KHYAB MAGYUR DROWA NAN
Wherever awareness pervades, may all mother-like sentient beings,

RIKTONG CHÖKÜ GOPANG TOBPAR SHOK
Realize the dharmakāya – unity of awareness and emptiness.

OM SARWA TATHAGATA SAPARIWARA BENZA ALOKE PRATITSA PUDTSA SAPARANA SAMAYA AH HUNG.  OM BENZA ALOKE AH HUNG. HUNG.HUNG.HUNG.   PHAT.PHAT.PHAT. SOHA

  1. Decorum on circumambulating a stupa of Shakyamuni Buddha:
  • Pay homage to Shakyamuni Buddha by reciting the following verse:

LA MA TÖN PA CHOM DEN DAY DE ZHIN SHEK PA.  DRA CHOM PA YANG DAK PAR DZOK PAI.  SANGYÉ PAL GYAL WA SHAKYA THUB PA LA CHAK TSHAL LO.  CHÖ DO KYAB SU CHI-O.

  • Recite the following mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha as many times as you can when you circumambulate the stupa in a clockwise direction:

TAYATHA   OM MUNI MUNI MAHA MUNAYE SOHA

  • At the end of your circumambulation, recite the following verses seven times to multiply your merits by ten million times:

OM NAMO  BHAGAVATE  RATNA-KETU-RADZAYA  TATHAGATAYA  ARHATE  SAMYAKSAM-BUDDHAYA  TADYATHA  OM  RATNE  RATNE   MAHA   RATNE  RATNE  BHIDZAYA  SOHA

  • To conclude your activity of virtue, dedicate your merits with the following verses:

GE WA DI YI NYUR DU DAG 
By this merit may I swiftly

CHANGCHUB NYINGPO DRUB GYUR NEI
Accomplish the heart of Enlightenment,

DRO WA CHIG KYANG MA LU PA
And may all being without exception,

DI YI SA LA GOD PAR SHOG
Achieve that very state.

  1. Decorum on circumambulating a stupa of Mingyur Dorje - the treasure revealer of the Namchö cycle of transmissions:
  • Pay homage to terton Mingyur Dorje by reciting the following verse:

DU SUM SANG GYE KUN GYI TRUL PAI KU
The embodiment of all Buddhas of the three times, 

MINGYUR DORJE ZHAB LA SOL WA DEB
Mingyur Dorje to your lotus feet I pray.

NED DON BAR CHED ZHI WAR JIN GYI LOB
Grant blessings to quell illness, negative influences and obstacles.

TSE SOD PALJOR GYE PAR JIN GYE LOB
Grant blessing to increase long life, merit and prosperity.

KYE WA DI NE TSE RAB THAM CHED DU
Throughout the entire succession of our lives,

TER CHEN LAMA CHOG GI JE ZUNG NE
Great masters and treasure revealer, kindly hold us through your supreme compassion.

JANGCHUB SEM NYI GYUD LA JONG WA DANG
Grant blessings to develop two-fold bodhicitta in our mind streams,

DECHEN ZHING DU KYE WAR JIN GYI LOB
And to be reborn in the realm of great bliss.

  • Pay homage to the deity in accordance to the transmission you are practicing. What following is a sample practice of Guru Padmasambhava:
  1. Make supplication to the presence of Guru Padmasambhava with the following verses:

HRIH    KU SUM GYALWA YONG KYI TUKJÉ SHUK
Hrih      Compassionate power of the buddhas of the three kāyas. 

CHIKDÜ RIGDZIN GYALPÖ TSUL CHANGWA
Manifesting in a single form as the Vidyādhara King,

DECHEN KHANDRÖ WANGCHUK DORJÉ KU
 In your vajra body, lord of the ḍākinīs of great bliss. 

PEMA TÖTRENG TSAL LA CHAKTSAL TÖ
Mighty Lotus Skull-Garland, to you I offer homage and praise!

LAMA CHO KYI KU LA SOL WA DEB 
Dharmakaya Lama, to you I pray.

LAMA LONG CHOD DZOG KU LA SOL WA DEB 
Sambhogakaya Lama, to you I pray.

LAMA TRUL PAI KU LA SOL WA DEB
Nirmanakaya Lama, to you I pray.

O GYEN PEMA JUNG NE LA SOL WA DEB
Lotus-born of Odiyan, to you I pray

YI DAM DRUB CHEN KA GYED LA SOL WA DEB
To the tutelary deities of the ultimate Eight Great Sadhana Teachings I make supplications!

MA MO KHAN DRO LHA TSHOG LA SOL WA DEB
To the divine assemblies of the mother dakinis I make supplications!

CHÖ KYONG MA GÖN CHAM DREL LA SOL WA DEB
To the Dharmapalas, Mahakali and Mahakala, as well as to their retinue I make supplications!

DRIN CHEN TSA WAI LAMA LA SOL WA DEB
Supremely kind Root Guru, to you I pray.

KU SUM GYUD PAI LA MA LA SOL WA DEB
Lineage Gurus of the Three Bodies, to you I pray.

LA MA KU KHAM DZANG WAR SOL WA DEB
For the excellent health of the Guru, I pray.

CHOG TU KU TSE RING WAR SOL WA DEB
I pray for his supreme long life as well.

THRIN LE DAR ZHING GYE PAR SOL WA DEB
I pray for the ever increasing expansion of miraculous activity.

LA MA DANG DU DRAL MED PAR GYIN GYI LOB
Grant blessings that I may never be separate from the Lama.

  1. Visualise the presence of Guru Padmasambhava above one’s head with the following verses:

PALDEN TSAWAI LAMA RINPOCHÉ
Sublime and precious root master, 

DAKGI CHIWOR PEMAI DEN LA SHUK
reside on the lotus seat above my head.

KADRIN CHENPOI GONÉ JE SUNG TÉ
Embrace me with your immense kindness, 

KU SUNG THUK KYI NGÖDRUP TSAL DU SÖL
and grant me the accomplishments of Body, Speech and Mind.

  1. Recite the Seven- Line Prayer three times:

HUNG   ORGYEN YUL GYI NUP CHANG TSAM
Hung  In the North-West country of Uddiyana .

PEMA KESAR DONGPO LA
Born in the heart of a lotus

YATSEN CHOG GI NGO DRUP NYE
Endowed with the most marvelous spiritual attainments.

PEMA JUNGNE SHYE SU DRAK
You are renowned as the “Lotus Born.”

KHOR DU KHANDRO MANGPO KOR
Surrounded by a retinue of Dakinis.

KHYE KYI JE SU DAK DRUP KYI
Following in your footsteps, 

CHIN GYI LAP CHIR SHEK SU SOL
I pray to you:

GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG
Please come forth and grant your blessings!

  1. Recite the following mantras in accordance to your practice as many times as you can when you circumambulate the stupa in a clockwise direction:

Vajra Guru Mantra:

OM AH HUNG BENZA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG

Orgyen Menla Mantra:

OM AH HUNG BENZA GURU PEMA TÖ TRENG TSAL
BHEKANZE RADZA SARWA SIDDHI PALA HUNG AH

Guru Dragpo:

OM PED MA SHA WA RI PHAT  NAN PAR SHIG   NA GA NAN
TE YA THA   SAR WA WI RI TA  HA NA HA NA  BEN ZER NA 
RAK CHA RAK CHA   SWA HA

  1. At the end of your circumambulation, supplicate the blessings of Guru Padmasambhava with the following verses:

ORGYEN RINPOCHE LA SOL WA DEB
To you, precious Guru Padmasambhava, I supplicate! 

GAL-KYEN BAR-CHED MI-JUNG ZHING
Without the arising of any adverse conditions and obstacles,

THUN-KYEN SAM-PA DUB-PA DANG
Grant me favourable conditions, the fulfillment of my aspirations and,

CHOG-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DUB TSOL.
The supreme and common attainments!

THUG JEI DAG LA CHIN GYI LOB
Through your kindness, bestow your blessing upon me.

TSE WEI DAG SOG LAM NA DRONG
Through your affection, guide myself and others on the path

GONG PEI DAG LA NGO DRUB TSÖL
Through your realisation, grant me the siddhis.

NU PEI DAG SOG BAR CHED SÖL
Through your powers, dispel the obstacles of myself and others

CHI YI BAR CHED CHI RU SÖL
Clear the outer obstacles externally.

NANG GI BAR CHED NANG DU SÖL
Clear the inner obstacles internally.

SANG WAI BAR CHED YING SU SÖL
Clear the secret obstacles spontaneously.

GÜ PEI CHAG TSAL KYAB SU CHI 
Respectfully I bow down and take refuge in you.

OM AH HUNG BENZAR GURU PEDMA SIDDHI HUNG 
OM AH HUNG BENZA GURU PEDMA THÖD TRENG TSAL
BENZAR SAMAYA DZA SIDDHI PHA LA HUNG AH

 

E MA HO  KHA YING NAM DAG PEMAY ZHING KHAM SU
Emaho!   In the absolutely pure space of the Lotus Pureland, 

DE CHEN GYAL PO DUE MA JE PAY KU
The uncontrived body of the King of Great Bliss,

DREN GYI DA MED PEMA JUNG NE LA
Padmasambhava who has no rivals, 

DED GUE MOE PE SOL WA NYING NE DEB
With faithful respect and devotion, I supplicate with all my heart!

NGOE DRUB JIN LAB THUG JEY LONG NE SOL
Grant the blessings of attainment from the expanse of your compassion!  

CHOE MED DAG LA KYAB NE KHYED WE MED
There is no Dharma and I have none other than you from whom I can seek refuge!

THUG JE ZUNG SHIK ORGYEN TRUL PAY KU
Hold me with your compassion, oh Nirmanakaya Padmasambhava,

JIN GYI LOB SHIK GURU RINPOCHE
Bless me, oh Precious Guru!

DI NE ZUNG TE NAM YANG MI DREL ZHING
From here onward, forever being inseparable from you,

THRIN LE DRO WA DREN PAY JED POR SHO
May I become the liberator of the beings with noble activities!

HRIH  DUE SUM GYI LA MA YID DAM KHANDRO.   SANG GYE DANG JANG CHUB SEM PA.   THAM CHED KYI KU SUNG  THUG YOEN TEN THRIN LE.  THAM CHED KYI NGO WOR GYUR PA  DZED PAY THRIN LE LA.  THA DED MI NGA WA GYUR PA.
Hrih! The Guru, Yidam, Dakinis, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the three times, all of them who possess enlightened body, speech, mind, qualities and activities which are inseparable from the noble deeds they perform,

ORGYEN CHEN PO GURU PEMA JUNG NE LA SOL WA DEB SO  
I supplicate to the Great Orgyen Padmasambhava! 

DAG CHAG GI LUE NGAG YID SUM MIN CHING DROL WAR  DZED DU SOL
Please ripen our body, speech and mind and lead us to liberation!

E MA HO    SANG GYE KUN GYI YESHE KU
Emaho!       Primordial wisdom body of all the Buddhas,

GURU KU LA SOL WA DEB
I supplicate to the enlightened body of the Guru! 

SANG GYE KUN GYI YESHE SUNG
Primordial wisdom speech of all the Buddhas, 

GURU SUNG LA SOL WA DEB
I supplicate to the enlightened speech of all the Buddhas,

DE SHEG KUN DANG YER MED PE
Being inseparable from all the Sugatas,

GURU THUG JE DAG ZUNG TSAL
Please hold me with your compassion!

OM AH HUNG MAHA GURU PEMA SIDDHI OM
OM AH HUNG MAHA GURU PEMA SIDDHI AH
OM AH HUNG MAHA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG

MAHA GURU KHYED KU CHI DRA DANG
Maha Guru, just like your enlightened body,

KHOR DANG KU TSE TSED DANG ZHING KHAM DANG
Retinues, life-span and Pureland

KHYED KYI TSEN CHOG ZANG PO CHI DA WA
And like whatever supreme marks of beauty, you have,

DEDRA KHO NAR DAG SOG GYUR WAR SHO.
May myself and others become like that also!

OM AH HUNG BENZA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG.
OM AH HUNG BENZA GURU PEDMA THÖD TRENG TSAL
BENZAR SAMAYA DZA SIDDHI PHA LA HUNG AH

  1. Recite the following mantra seven times to multiply your merits by ten million times:

OM NAMO  BHAGAVATE  RATNA-KETU-RADZAYA  TATHAGATAYA  ARHATE  SAMYAKSAM-BUDDHAYA  TADYATHA  OM  RATNE  RATNE   MAHA   RATNE  RATNE  BHIDZAYA  SOHA

  1. To conclude your activity of virtue, dedicate your merits with the following verses from the Namchö cycle of transmissions. Buddha Amitabha spoke these words to terton Mingyur Dorje when he was in his thirteenth year on the first day of the eighth month of the bird year (1657):

GURU DEVA DAKINI HUNG
guru-deva-ḍakini hum

CHOK DÜ GYALWA SÉ CHÉ GONG
Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout space and time, turn your attention towards us!

TSOK NYI DZOK LA JÉYI RANG
I rejoice at the perfection of the two accumulations.

DAK GI DÜ SUM GÉ SAKPA
All the merit I ever accumulate in the three times

KÖNCHOK SUM LA CHÖPA BUL
I offer to the Three Jewels;

GYALWÉ TENPA PELGYUR CHIK
May the teachings of the Victorious One spread far and wide!

GEWA SEMCHEN KÜN LA NGO
I dedicate all merit to all sentient beings;

DRO KÜN SANGYE TOBGYUR CHIK
May all wandering beings attain buddhahood!

GETSA TAMCHÉ CHIKDÜ TÉ
May all roots of virtue gather together

DAK GI GYÜ LA MINGYUR CHIK
And ripen my stream of being!

DRIB NYI DAK NÉ TSOK DZOK TÉ
May I purify the two obscurations to perfect the two accumulations

TSERING NEMÉ NYAMTOK PEL
And have a long life, free of illness; may practice experiences and realization grow!

TSÉ DIR SA CHU NÖNGYUR CHIK
May I reach the tenth bhūmi in this very life!

NAMSHYIK TSÉ PÖ GYURMA TAK
When I exit from this life,

DEWACHEN DU KYÉ GYUR CHIK
May I instantly be born in Sukhavatī,

KYÉ NÉ PEMO KHACHÉ TÉ
And when my lotus opens after birth,

LÜ TEN DÉ LA SANGYE SHOK
May I reach buddhahood in that very body!

CHANGCHUB TOB NÉ JISI DU
Having reached awakening, may I always be present,

TRULPÉ DROWA DRENPAR SHOK
Manifesting to guide wandering beings!          

SAMAYA GYA GYA GYA
Samaya seal seal seal

You may apply yourself in any one of the 600 plus deity devotion practices from the Namchö cycle in accordance to the transmission you have received.

  1. During circumambulating, visualise the environ around you, the sky, the field, is filled with the presence of infinite number of buddhas of the three times from the ten directions. You may visualise the stupa taking the form of any deities. It is most important to generate strong devotion in your mind by seeing the stupa you are circumambulating as the manifestation of your root guru inseparable from the dharmakaya of the buddhas. By doing so, you will transform your circumambulation into a powerful purification of defilements and negative karma. You should approach activities of virtue in this way whether you are circumambulating around a stupa, in the dharma centre or at home.
  2. As you recite mantra or prayer while you are circumambulating, visualise pure light of luminosity emits from the stupa and suffuse your every living cell to purify all the defilements and negative karma of all the countless beings that reside in your body and transform into the deities of whichever initiation you have received. Repeat the same visualisation and meditation with beings of other realms such as animals, pretas, asuras, and hell beings. For your practice at home, you may visualise the representations of your guru or the deities you have in front of you transform into a stupa with pure light of luminosity emitted from the stupa and suffuse your every living cell to purify all the defilements and negative karma of all the countless beings that reside in your body to become the deities of whichever initiation you have received. Then repeat the same visualisation and meditation with beings of other realms such as animals, pretas, asuras, and hell beings.
  3. Dedicate all your merits to promote the arising auspicious conditions for all the lineage gurus in their propagation of buddhadharma. The more merits you give away, the more virtues you will generate to purify the defilements and negative karma you have been gathering since time without beginning.

Now that you have received this teaching, you should rejoice in having the incredible opportunity to perform these virtuous activities of building and honouring a stupa. You may visualise any objects around you as the manifestation of stupas and circumambulate around them.  It can be a temple, the ground of a retreat centre, at the park, on the street, or at the mall of the airport while you are waiting to board a plane. By performing these activities of virtues, you will gain the following benefits:

  • You received the blessings of the Three Jewels of the three times in ten directions.
  • The defilement’s and negative karma you have been gathering since time immemorial will have the chance to be cleansed and purified.
  • All your virtuous aspirations will become reality.
  • You are respected and protected against harm or disease by the devas and the eight types of non-beings, such as the nagas and the garudas.
  • You will have auspicious rebirths in future lives with all the signs of magnificent blessings until you attain the ultimate unsurpassed perfect enlightenment.

With such marvellous possibility that can be realised through the virtuous activities of building and honouring a stupa wherever you are, these are practices you should embrace with total devotion. May whoever adopt these precious activities of virtue be blessed by the support of auspicious conditions.

This teaching entitled ‘Advice on How To Pray, Circumambulate And Make Offering In Honouring A Stupa’ is presented here by Tenzin Gyalpo Drakpa Gyaltsen Dondrup Dorje as his homage to all the Buddhas of the three times in ten directions. May all beings have the karmic condition to put these advice into practice. 

- This is the concluding part of a four-part teachings on the origin, construction, benefits and practises related to stupas by Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche.