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Aspiration Prayer of the Ten Grounds

Jamma, the Loving Mother

“I prostrate to the teacher Küntu Zangpo who has not gone beyond, and who is a completely compassionate guardian!

Here at the beginning, in order for suffering sentient beings to traverse the extraordinary place of the grounds,

I offer this aspiration prayer with a completely pure mind of enlightenment, through the compassion of Trül Bön Sangwa Nangring, having renounced all negative places of cyclic existence, and in order to traverse the pure paths and the grounds.

First is the ground of immense joy. Upon the ground of immense joy, having cleansed and purified the stain of greed and having perfected the great accumulation of generosity, may I see the face of Jinpa Jamma, the Loving Mother of Generosity!

Second is the ground of stainless crystal. Upon the ground of stainless crystal, having cleansed and purified the stain of immorality and having perfected the great accumulation of moral discipline, may I see the face of Tsultrim Jamma, the Loving Mother of Moral Discipline!

Third is the ground of radiance. Upon the ground of radiance, having cleansed and purified the stain of impatience and having perfected the great accumulation of patience, may I see the face of Zöpa Jamma, the Loving Mother of Patience!

Fourth is the ground of the mudra of transformation. Upon the ground of the mudra of transformation, having cleansed and purified the stain of laziness and having perfected the great accumulation of diligence, may I see the face of Tsöndru Jamma, the Loving Mother of Diligence!

Fifth is the ground of cloud banks of the Bön essence. Upon the ground of cloud banks of the Bön essence, having cleansed and purified the stain of agitation, and having perfected the great accumulation of concentration, may I see the face of Samten Jamma, the Loving Mother of Concentration!

Sixth is the ground of realizing bliss. Upon the ground of realizing bliss, having cleansed and purified the stain of being weak and with little capacity, and having perfected the great accumulation of power, may I see the face of Topkyi Jamma, the Loving Mother of Power!    

Seventh is the ground of accomplishing wishes. Upon the ground of accomplishing wishes having cleansed and purified the stain of having a cruel mind and having perfected the great accumulation of compassion, may I see the face of Nyingjé Jamma, the Loving Mother of Compassion!

Eighth is the ground of pure non-attachment. Upon the ground of pure non-attachment, having cleansed and purified the stain of each individual doubt and having perfected the great accumulation of aspirations, may I see the face of Mönlam Jamma, the Loving Mother of Aspirations!    

Ninth is the ground of the wheel of letters. Upon the ground of the wheel of letters, having cleansed and purified the stain of holding contradictory views and having perfected the great accumulation of skillful means, may I see the face of Tabkyi Jamma, the Loving Mother of skillful Means!  

Tenth is the ground of the changeless yungdrung. Upon the ground of the changeless yungdrung, having cleansed and purified the stain of delusion and dull-mindedness and having perfected the great accumulation of wisdom,  may I see the face of Sherap Jamma, the Loving Mother of Wisdom! 

May I see the face of Satrik Érsang! Having seen the face of Satrik Érsang, may I spontaneously accomplish benefit for myself!

Having spontaneously accomplished benefit for myself, may I perfect benefit for others!

Having perfected benefit for others, may the welfare of sentient beings ripen!

Having ripened the welfare of sentient beings, may I tread the ground of universal light!

Having tread the ground of universal light and also tread upon the ground of the great bliss of Bön, may I perfect the three bodies upon the ground of unmoving equanimity where everything is inexpressible!

Having perfected the three bodies upon the ground of unmoving equanimity, may I instantly be born upon a pure lotus!

Having been instantly born upon a pure lotus, may I fulfill complete benefit for sentient beings!”

—Extract from the Mönlam Namsum, the Three-fold Aspiration Prayer found within the Zhiwa A Sel

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Homage to the Buddha Satrik Érsang

Buddha Satrik Érsang

“Having the uncreated and uninterrupted nature of space,

You are the Sole Mother who has completely clear wisdom.  

From unborn space, clear light streams forth and becomes the Lord of Compassion. 

I prostrate to the enlightened state of Satrik Ersang!” 

Homage to Satrik Érsang from Sutra of the Mother’s Essence

In the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, there are Four Principal Enlightened Ones, the Dershek Tsozhi.  These are the four principal buddhas who offer skillful means in order to guide sentient beings during the time when the human life span averages one hundred years.  These Four Principal Enlightened Ones are often depicted individually as a central figure surrounded by two hundred fifty enlightened emanations.  These four buddhas are: (1) Satrik Érsang, (2) Shenlha Ökar, (3) Sangpo Bumtri, and (4) Tönpa Shenrap.

Satrik Érsang:  The name “Satrik Érsang” is from the Zhang Zhung language.  “Satrik” means “sherap, wisdom.” “Érsang” means “Jamma, loving mother.” Satrik Érsang appears as gold-colored with a single face and two hands.  In her right hand, she holds the Five Warrior Seed Syllables.  In her left hand, she holds a mirror.  She sits upon a throne held aloft by lions.  Surrounding her throughout the ten directions are: 1) the fifty peaceful, white goddesses who are emanations of her Body and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror, 2) the fifty peaceful, green goddesses who are emanations of her Speech and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror, 3) the fifty peaceful, red goddesses who are emanations of her Quality and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror, 4) the fifty peaceful, blue goddesses who are emanations of her Activity and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror. and 5) the fifty peaceful, gold colored goddesses who are emanations of her Mind and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror.  Together, these five groups of goddesses constitute her retinue of two hundred and fifty goddess emanations.

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Supplication to His Holiness the 31st Menri Trizin Nyima Wangyal Rinpoche

The Hagiographies of the Successive Abbotts of Menri is a collection of short biographical sketches of the thirty-four abbots of Tashi Menri Monastery that was published in 2021 by the Menri Monastery librarian, Menri Geshe Tri Yungdrung. Menri Monastery is the mother monastery for the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition and it is the seat of the head of the religious tradition, the holder of the golden throne, the Menri Trizin. Menri was originally established in Tsang, Tibet in 1405 by His Holiness Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen Rinpoche following the destruction by flood of his monastery, Yeru Wensaka. Later due to political events in Tibet in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Menri was destroyed and Yungdrung Bön lamas fled to India and reestablished Menri Monastery in a remote area of Northern India. Subsequently, Tashi Menri Monastery in India has developed and flourished. Its colleges for both monks and nuns is greatly respected and held in high esteem.

His Holiness the 31st Menri Trizin Khen Chen Nyima Wangyal Rinpoche (1910-1954) was born in Gyalrong, Tibet. As Menri Trizin, he sanctioned the construction of a new college and reformed the curriculum. He passed away at the age of 45 in the Western calendar year of 1958.

“I supplicate to the unrivalled Nyima Wangyal

who upheld the system of the Nine Vehicles at the practice center of Menri!

You tamed whoever needed to be tamed.

Precious establisher of the path of bliss,

grant your blessings that we may be shaken from cyclic existence!

You are an all-illuminating sun, a non-sectarian protector of migrating beings.

You are a powerful king who has the brilliant light of a wish-fulfilling jewel.

You are incomparable in having opened hundreds of doors of happiness and well-being.

You accomplished great benefit for migrating beings through the four kinds of sacred activity!”

— Excerpt from The Hagiographies of the Successive Abbotts of Menri

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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100,000 Offerings for the Queen of Existence

HH 34th Menri Trizen Rinpoche with a statue of Sipe Gyalmo who rides a black mule. Photo credit: Staff of Lhamo Handicraft in Lalitpur, Nepal.

Beginning on April 18, 2021 and continuing for one week, Tashi Menri Monastery in India will be performing the extensive ritual of One Hundred Thousand Offerings to the Queen of Existence, Sipé Gyalmo. This ritual important ritual is performed at least once each year for the purpose of requesting the enlightened protector Sipé Gyalmo to remove obstacles and support the spiritual doctrine and its practitioners. This year, emphasis will also be upon requesting her help in eradicating the global pandemic that is causing so much suffering and misery. Monks, nuns, and laypeople all participate in the ritual. Especially, 100,000 small torma are made that will be offered alongside the other offerings of food, flowers, butter lamps, pure water, and sweet smelling incense. The merit of participating in this ritual removes obstacles, increases prosperity and fortunate circumstances, and supports spiritual development.

From afar, one can participate by engaging in Sipé Gyalmo practice, reciting her mantra, engaging in virtue and avoiding acts of non-virtue during the week-long ritual, or by making a monetary donation to support the vast offerings. It is possible to sponsor breakfast, tea, offering materials, the entire day of ritual activities, or simply make a donation of any amount towards the seven-day ritual. To read the message from Menri Monastery regardig this special event and/or to make a donation of any amount, follow this link to the website of Latri Khenpo Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche’s center, Yeru Bön: https://yeruboncenter.org/sidgyal-bum-tsog-at-smenri-monastery/?fbclid=IwAR1BPztJwn5kcEBZ9Y-hI41MmzI2jtMlIWrrH4tPZdGbBpgyVPyxRYQzBdA

100,000 offering torma for the enlightened protector, Sipé Gyalmo. Photo credit: Unknown.

Sipé Gyalmo is an enlightened protector and also a yidam, or meditational deity. She is one of the principal female deities, and her invocations and offerings are performed daily in Yungdrung Bön Monasteries. She protects from enemies, danger, illness, misfortune, and confusion, and supports the success, prosperity and spiritual development of Yungdrung Bön practitioners.

Monk dancers dressed as the the Six Manifestations of Sipe Gyalmo. Photo credit: Unknown.

Sipé Gyalmo has countless manifestations and emanations. She manifests with different characteristics in order to meet the varied needs of sentient beings. She manifests riding a red mule, riding a black mule, and standing with a hundred heads and thousands of arms and legs. Her Body emanations are the Six Manifestation of Day and Night. Each of these six manifestations arise during a particular cycle of time during every twenty-four hour period. These six manifestations are White Sipé Gyalmo of Dawn, Golden Sipé Gyalmo of Sunrise, Red Sipé Gyalmo of Mid-day, Maroun Sipé Gyalmo of Sunset, Black Sipé Gyalmo of Evening, and Dark-blue Sipé Gyalmo of Midnight.

According to the Yungdrung Bön religious calendar, there are specific days set aside for the practice of Sipé Gyalmo riding a red mule. These dates are according to the lunar calendar and vary according to the month. During the 1st month of each season, which is the 12th, 3rd, 6th, and 9th lunar months, her practice day is the 8th lunar day. During the middle month of each season, which is the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th lunar months, her practice day is the 4th lunar day. During the final month of each season, which is the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th lunar months, her practice day is the 5th lunar day.

SO MA MA DZA JO

EMAHO!

You are the Mother of the vast expanse of the Bönku, which is primordially pure and free from elaboration.

In order to establish the Bön teachings in the Land of Snow, 

merely by calling out to you Single Mother Sipé Gyalmo, wherever you are, 

please come!

Great mother of space,

everywhere from this moment forward, 

with a laugh of “Ha! Ha!” and showing a radiant smiling face,

establish the victory banner of the Yungdrung Bön of the white AH!

From The Alphabetical Praise of Sipé Gyalmo. Translation by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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A Saint’s Advice Regarding Actions & Their Certain Results

The essence mantra of purification, the DU TRI SU mantra, carved on stone and blessing the environment. Photo credit: Unknown

Within the Yundrung Bön religious tradition, part of building a solid foundation for spiritual growth is to spend time intensely reflecting upon “the four thoughts that turn the mind.” One of these four thoughts is “the truth of positive and negative actions and the certainty of their result. The practitioner reflects upon the certain result of both good and bad actions.  Actions based upon self-grasping and ignorance bring suffering and misery while actions based upon compassion and loving kindness bring joy and positive results. (For more information about “the four thoughts that turn the mind,” see previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2016/01/09/the-four-realizations-that-reverse-the-mind/)

The following poetic verse was written by the modern-day saint Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche upon a request from the female practitioner Khandro Wangi Dronma. In the poem, he reminds the practitioner that our actions arise as a similar result in our future lives, and he gives a remedy for this situation as the purification of negative actions through the recitation of the mantra of purification, known as the DU TRI SU mantra. If negative karma is not purified, then it will arise as an experience of suffering and misery in the future. Additionally, seeing the emptiness of this suffering as well as the one who is suffering allows the negative result to be exhausted through the experience without creating further karma.

“A KAR A MÉ DU TRI SU NAKPO ZHI ZHI MAL MAL

May the negative karmic debts of sentient beings within the three realms of cyclic existence be purified!

Furthermore, as for a method to repay karmic debts, here is some profound insight.

Sentient beings within the three realms, wander throughout the places of cyclic existence for many lifetimes and their arrogant mind-streams are like a demon of self-grasping that perform acts of harm towards others.

The karmic repayment for that arises as various undesirable things such as illness, fevers, boils, poverty, devastation, and hunger; as well as the arising of harm from negative spirits, slander, and other misfortune.

Not understanding the karmic power of past actions, again and again having generated a mind of hate, we have been involved in the ruthless karma of shouting things from our own mouth and damaging the life force of many other sentient beings, oppressing others, driving them away, and killing them.

Because of that, engaging in harm towards others again and again, the negative karma accumulates. Later on during our future lives, we are tormented because of those actions. Always experiencing suffering and misery because of our actions towards others, there is never a time of happiness.

Thus, if you want to purify negative karma, generate a mind of limitless compassion and recite the essence mantra that shakes the depths through mantra!

Whatever unwanted thing that descends upon you, look upon everything as karma.

The Saint, Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche.

Now, if there is fever, it is because of previously buying the karma of cutting the life force. For that, protect the life force of others. Repay that karmic debt with loving kindness and compassion.

If you have been cast out or are impoverished, it is because of previously buying the karma of stealing. For that, distribute gifts of food and wealth, and generate a mind of altruism and generosity.

In general, whatever happiness or suffering is experienced, everything is according to previous actions. For example, when a plant emerges from the ground, the fruit will ripen into whatever was planted in the autumn. Whatever actions you have done previously, will ripen into the correct result. Whatever wrongdoing that has been done, will arise as a ripened future result. Suffering and misery from unpurified karma will arise even though it is unwanted.

From beginning-less lifetimes, there is the karmic debt of killing the life force, the karmic debt of stealing wealth, the karmic debt of looting and destroying, the karmic debt of beating and weakening, the karmic debt of scolding and condemning, the karmic debt of eating food and drinking because of thirst, the karmic debt of wearing clothing, the karmic debt of a pretentious mansion, the karmic debt of having male and female slaves or servants, the karmic debt of worldly friendships, the karmic debt of eating meat and drinking blood, the karmic debt of wearing skins and destroying bones, the karmic debt of milking and ploughing, the karmic debt of loading pack animals and riding horses, the karmic debt of using food and wealth donated for the deceased, the karmic debt of acting as an obstacles to virtue, and the karmic debt of taking away others’ happiness, etc.

Recite the mantra that shakes the depths of cyclic existence. Afterwards, even if you are thrust into a significant illness, even the source of suffering and misery is purified. Even if the experience arises from very strong actions, the negative karma is diffused and exhausted.

From the root tantra Subduer of Demons: “This purifies many karmic actions and exhausts wrongdoing.”

From the words of the chang chub sempa:* “Understand affliction and torment, and the exhaustion of affliction and torment.”

It is necessary to view as supreme, and master the remedy which is emptiness; and to proceed with the important practice of virtue. As for emptiness, Meditate! Accomplish the roots of virtue! if you practice those things, suffering and misery are purified and will not arise.”

— Excerpt of untitled poem composed by Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche and included in his volume of works entitled Advice and Hagiographies of the A Tri LIneage Lamas

* (Sanskrit: bodhisattvas)

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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