NEW TRANSLATION: ‘Praises to Mandāravā’ by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo


Here is the first English translation of Praises to Mandāravā composed by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. The idea to translate this text came a couple of days ago, from a female Dharma friend who felt there was not so much available in English about Mandāravā. So, having recently received the entire transmission of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s works (see here), I searched online and found two short compositions by Khyentse Wangpo offering praises to her.

On commencing this translation, I had an auspicious dream of Namkhai Norbu telling me that ‘love and compassion are essential for Dharma practice’ and without them it is empty and useless. As I have never had a dream with Namkhai Norbu in it, I took this as an extremely auspicious sign to do this translation and make available more of Mandāravā’s sadhanas in the future too.  Before discussing the textual sources (for the full translation scroll down to the end, or download the .pdf here, first a little background about Mandāravā herself.

Music? Dakini Mandarava Song by Amrit Stein and Angels by Robbie Williams.

May we all attain the accomplishments and long-life of Mandāravā!

Written and translated by Adele Tomlin, 10th July 2020.

Mandāravā – mahasiddha demon-tamer who achieved immortality and rainbow body

Mandāravā was one of the great 8th century mahasiddhas and one of the main consorts of Guru Rinpoche.  The ḍākinī  Niguma, the founder of the Shangpa Kagyu lineage and the sister of Naropa, is considered a reincarnation of Mandāravā.  Before meeting Padmasambhava, she was born into royalty and abandoned her life of privilege to become a nun and accomplished practitioner. There is a  complete biography called The Lives and Liberation of Princess Mandāravā (see Bibliography below), a translation of the biography of her life given by Padmasambhava that was hidden as a treasure and later revealed by Samten Lingpa (for more on that see below).  There is also shorter account of her life by scholar, Sarah Jacoby on the Treasury of Lives site.

In the opening chapter of the biography by Padmasmabhava (revealed by Samten Lingpa) it speaks about her names and life-stories:

One of them, the lotus family dakini Natyendri, is a longevity dakini and pure awareness consort who took the form of a female known in the human world as Mandarava. “Unsurpassed in fame, she came into this world as a princess, yet was also famous as a realized being in the realm of the gods, where she propagated the teachings of secret mantra. In the realm of dakinis she disseminated an account of the lifestory of the Wisdom Garuda. In the land of Oddiyana, where ten thousand of her lifestory were propagated, she became famous as Dungmen Tsedzin, Conchshell Mistress of Life. Nine hundred chapters spread forth in the country of Zahor. In India, she was well known as Shrimala, Rosary of Splendor, and there one hundred chapters of her lifestory were spread forth. In the country of the eight tribes, she was known as Buddhi Tsomo, and five hundred and ten chapters of her lifestory were propagated. In the cold-blooded realm of the Nagas she was known as Maitri Shridevi, Glorious Goddess of Love, and one thousand chapters of her lifestory were disseminated there. Similarly, one hundred chapters of her lifestory were propagated in other continents, such as Maru Singhala, Tsoti Bigche, Lanka, Oddiyana, Bheta Soge, Shambhala, Kashmirakarabha, and the eight great charnel grounds. Until now, her names and lifestories of the past have not been revealed here in Tibet according to the wondrous level of absolute understanding. For posterity, I shall reveal the story of her lives and liberation in brief.’

As Prof. Janet Gyatso explains in her foreword to the Samten Lingpa biography:

As already indicated, however, stories about Mandarava had long been in circulation before the revelation of this particular version. They are often recounted in the course of relating the life of Padmasambhava. One of the earliest summaries of her lifestory is given in the 12th century treasure discoverer Nyangral Nyima Ozer’s hagiography of Padmasambhava. Other material can be found in the treasures of Orgyan Lingpa and Sangye Lingpa (both fourteenth century) and Padma Lingpa (fifteenth century); several other versions are referred to in the final pages of the current work. Scholars have not recognized any independent evidence from Indian sources of a woman named Mandarava, not to mention any of the previous lives that are detailed in the current version of her story. Nonetheless the text contains allusions to a fascinating array of places and persons—some historical, some mythological— in the Indian subcontinent, and for the careful historian this work would surely provide many hints about the sacred geography and political actors of India’s tantric Buddhist period.

Not just a ‘romance’ and  pretty face

Interestingly, many of the online accounts (and general impression) of Mandāravā’s life, focus on her youth and physical beauty and being a consort of a great master, like a modern-day tale of a pretty woman who had some ‘romance’ and ‘union’ practice.  Yet this does not do justice to her incredible spiritual accomplishments, will-power and courage. This was a woman who faced the wrath of her family and community, whom people persecuted repeatedly, tried to murder for her relationship with Guru Rinpoche and whom demons attacked and so on.

As Lama Ngawang Zangpo points out in Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times,  it was not her status as consort that mattered but rather that she and Yeshe Tsogyal “were the best among Guru Rinpoche’s disciples, men or women; their inclusion in countless paintings and sculptures of the master is a tribute to their personal enlightenment during an era of social enlightenment. “[1]

Let us also not forget that Guru Rinpoche, himself was considered to be incredibly handsome physically (yet no so much is made of that in the online biographies of his life).  An exception to this, is in Crazy Wisdom , included in The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume 5, Trungpa Rinpoche describes the scene when Mandāravā met Guru Rinpoche:

One day he visited a nunnery. At this particular nunnery lived a princess called Mandāravā, who had just recently become a nun and had completely turned away from worldly pleasure. She lived in seclusion, guarded by five hundred women, whose task was to make sure that she maintained her monastic discipline. When Padmasambhava arrived at the monastery, everyone was quite impressed with him-naturally. He had the innocence of one born from a lotus and a pure and ideal physique. He was very beautiful. He converted all the women in the nunnery: they all became his students.

Both of the English-language biographies about Mandāravā were translated and composed by female scholar/translators. Reading the English language literature that is available, it is clear that there is a lot more to the life and character of Mandāravā than being a ‘pretty-faced’ consort doing union with Padmasambhava.

As Prof Janet Gyatso writes, the biography has a significantly womanist/pro-female flavour in many areas, in particular, being anti-marriage/family and portraying female power against attackers:

The text’s pro-female orientation prefigures what in modern times would be called feminist. On several occasions, wittily playing on the widely-acknowledged preference for sons over daughters in Indian society, the text portrays the birth of a child attended by all the auspicious signs that lead everyone to assume that a son has been born. But no, it turns out that the child is a girl (chapters 4, 16). In another life, the parents even perform rituals so that they will have a son, but they too end up with a daughter—albeit one who clearly is just as blessed and saintly as any boy would be (chapter 10). The text nonetheless overtly recognizes the special limits upon females in samsara (see p. 106–7). Most remarkably, this work rejoins the lifestory of Yeshe Tsogyal in courageously engaging the too-often repressed topic of rape. In the case of Yeshe Tsogyal, the heroine transforms her rape by seven brigands into an opportunity to teach them about the tantric transformation of bliss.10 Mandarava instead takes a more defiant stance by deliberately provoking the ridicule and aggression of a group of butchers, displaying herself as a beautiful but husbandless vagrant. When they taunt and then try to rape her, this becomes the excuse for her to manifest herself as a wrathful dakini in order to extract their vow to stop taking the lives of others and to enter the Buddhist path (chapter 34). In addition to showing the heroine as capable of overcoming her male tormentors, this episode subverts the stereotype of the vulnerability of any woman who lacks a husband.

In any event, a strong critique of the conventional institution of marriage pervades the entire text, particularly the section on Mandarava. This theme is, of course, directly indebted to the monastic orientation of Buddhism overall, evident with respect to women as early as the Therīgāthā.11 Like many of the women featured in that Pali account of the first Buddhist nuns, as well as many other female Buddhist heroines, Mandarava’s rejection of marriage in favor of her desire to practice Buddhism is resisted by her parents. Thus her propensity for the Dharma simultaneously becomes the occasion for her separation from her parents. It also becomes the occasion for Mandarava to lecture her maidservants on the uselessness not only of husbands, but also of class status and wealth—again very much in line with the overarching antimaterialist stance of the ascetic strand in Buddhism (chapter 20).

Mandarava eventually wins her father’s approval to be a nun (her mother supports her daughter’s wishes more readily), but only after escaping from her parents’ home and finding a master to ordain her on her own. Her father still attempts to control Mandarava and to enforce conventional morality by virtually imprisoning her in a retreat house, surrounded by nun attendants but strictly guarded against any male intrusions. The castle is nonetheless penetrated by Padmasambhava, and for the rest of her life she follows the tantric path, rather than one of strictly celibate monasticism. Messages that subordinate the importance of family continue throughout the narrative, as when Padmasambhava lectures on the superiority of the Dharma over blood relatives (chapter 28). This irreverence for conventional norms and sexuality becomes almost humorous when, criticized again in another context for not having a husband, Mandarava’s mocking response is to create a multitude of manifestations of herself, all of whom proceed to join in sexual union with all of the men in her presence.

Immortality and the Maratika Cave
Guru Padmasambhava and Mandāravā

Mandāravā is strongly associated with the Maratika cave and immortality practice. In The Lives and Liberation of Princess Mandāravā (Ch. 30), it explains how Mandāravā and Padmasambhava came to practise  in the Maratika Cave. When she first arrived at the cave alone she became scared and lonely and made prayers to Padmasambhava. When he arrives, he admonishes her for lacking courage and reminds her that difficult environments and situations are the best for practice. Then:

After practicing for three months, they received a clear vision of the Buddha of Long Life, Amitayus, and accomplished the state of an immortal pure awareness holder. The guru proclaimed that she was a fortunate upholder of pure awareness and that in order to eliminate any obstacles to their accomplishment, they both should practice the deity Hayagriva. They practiced the Hayagriva Mechar cycle from the tantra known as the Great Play of the Quintessential Lotus and the Treasury of One Thousand Essential Instructions, a tantra on the union of Hayagriva and Vajravarahi. Following this, both guru and consort had clear visions of Hayagriva, whose neighing and sounding of hum could be clearly heard around them thereafter. At this point, all possible demonic and obstructing forces had been banished. Mandāravā compiled a treasury of more than a thousand extensive and concise longevity methods, including essential pointing-out instructions. Both guru and consort became free from the process of birth, old age, sickness, and death, until the end of this age of ongoing existence. They appeared in the embodiment of rapture, from which they went on to accomplish the secret practice of union. When the vajra master manifested himself in the form of the slightly wrathful guru of the Buddha family, the princess followed accordingly. By engaging in the perfectly pure mandala of primordial wisdom, they discovered the primordial awareness of stainless miraculous display. They gained the ability to transcend the ordinary elements, with powers that included leaving impressions on solid matter, rainbow light displays, and so forth. Their enlightened union naturally caused flowers to descend from the sky and captivated and summoned those who were oath-bound guardians of the secret doctrine. These guardians were then given the task of ensuring that the lineage of accomplishing longevity was secure. Even the gods, nagas, and the gods among humans and their assemblies offered the essence of their life without hesitation. The vajra master became known as the Immortal Padmasambhava, and Mandāravā as the ḍākinī  pure awareness holder of immortality Dungmen Karmo, Maiden of the White Conch.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, Rinpoche who is one of the main contemporary Buddhist teachers and practitioners of the inner yoga (tsalung) practice of Mandāravā, gives an account of his experiences at Maratika Cave in Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light relating his dreams of Mandāravā before discovering a gongter, or earth treasure, there.

Demon-taming in the charnel grounds

Mandāravā also displayed many feats in relation to demon-taming after she had attained immortality in the Maratika Cave (see chapter 31). Practising in the charnel grounds with Padmasambhava, she was then told by him to start taming demons and so she went to the cave in the charnel ground known as Hematsal, while there, the demons:

…let loose an uproarious din, and some of the cruelest demon leaders began dragging the ḍākinī ’s body here and there. Some of them began to beat her, some to rape her, and some to stretch open her secret place. Others were busy lighting fires, carrying water, and displaying their own inconceivable powers. During this time, the ḍākinī  remained in the meditative absorption upon compassion without wavering.

Then, entering into wrathful meditative absorption, she arose as a blazing, fierce female of wrath. She transformed the demons’ rain, hail, and thunderbolts into coal and pieces of burnt wood. She cried, “Hum bhyoh! I am the consort of the buddhas of the three times! All of you and your attendants are subservient to me! I am the blazing, fierce female of wrath! I am the executioner of all elemental demons who cannot be tamed through loving-kindness! I shall make you surrender your life essence, and you will promise to take the oath!” Immediately the demons were overwhelmed. Some lost consciousness, while others, in their fear, tried to flee. Some were rendered crazy, yet all were unable to escape her command. By the light rays of the ḍākinī ’s body, each one of them swore loyalty and awoke to the path of virtue. Then the ḍākinī  bestowed secret empowerment upon them, and her secret name became Kalaraksha Marajita. She gave each of them a Dharma name and water that conferred the words of honor. She herself continued to send forth many manifestations, all of which continued to liberate the demons through secret means, thus exclusively revealing the secret mantra doctrine. They all accomplished the secret mantra, and so she further entrusted them with the essential secrets and conferred upon them the cycle of accomplishment called Wrathful Demon Tamer, including all pointing-out instructions and supplementary practices. She then commanded them to pass the entrustments on to future incarnate teachers in the land of Tibet, and further predicted that all of the elementals would eventually achieve Buddhahood.

Biography and Praises by Padmasambhava

A biographical account of Mandāravā’s life was recited by Padmasambhava, and revealed later as a treasure by Samten Lingpa.  Yeshe Tshogyel also made a request to Padamasabhava to give a more concise version of the life and deeds of Mandarava.

We express our gratitude to you for giving us the complete teaching on the Lives and Liberation of the Principal Ḍākinī  Mandarava! Please—for the benefit of those of us who are gathered here, as well as for future generations—I implore you to bestow upon us a concise version of her enlightened deeds that is simple to read and inspires faith. Please speak a few profound words for our welfare, so that we might cleanse the two obscurations and receive blessings and spiritual attainments. I implore you now to speak to us again out of your great kindness and compassion!”

Padmasmabhava sings a song of praises to Mandāravā, the last two verses of which:

“Together with nine hundred pure awareness holder disciples,

After dissolving into a rainbow body,

she manifested herself once again for the benefit of others.

Mandāravā emanated unceasingly,

manifesting herself as a ḍākinī  to tame the minds of beings in every essential way.

To the feet of Mandāravā, I supplicate!

In the Realm of Great Bliss, she is known as

the secret wisdom consort Pandaravasini;

In the realm of Khechari, as Natyendri;

And in Zahor, as Dungmen Karmo.

To the feet of Mandāravā, I supplicate!”

He then gives an explanation of the benefits of reading the longer biographical account of her life and reciting his praises to her early in the morning:

Have no doubt that the mother Mandāravā will guide one to the future place of rebirth in the Realm of Great Bliss. Accordingly, for all beings, including the fortunate disciples of Tibet, whoever writes or reads this account of Mandāravā’s lives and liberation and makes prostrations, offerings, and supplications with faith and devotion will experience the result of the spontaneous accomplishment of all wishes. Whoever simply reads this account with pure faith will be free from the threat of contagious disease, war, misfortune, and drought; black magic, curses, and detrimental threats will be pacified. The threat of untimely death and obstacles to one’s life will be reversed if one reads this account a hundred times. If one reads this text, the illnesses that four-legged beasts endure, as well as those of impoverished beggars, will be pacified, and good fortune and prosperity will abound. If one desires offspring, one’s family line will increase by reading this text. Whoever owns this text about her lives and liberation will accomplish all desires without obstacle. Wherever a copy of this account is found—within any monastery, country, city, or family home—the spirits, demonic forces, and elementals will be kept back at a distance, unable to approach any closer than a mile. If this account is recited a hundred times in order to obtain a better future rebirth, there will be liberation from the fear of the lower realms, and the consciousness will travel to the realm of Khechari. “The actual benefits of this account are so remarkable that they simply cannot be expressed. If it is worn on the body, the effects of obscuration will not occur. There will be no fear of weapons, and poison will loose its potency. Contagious diseases, open, festering sores, and leprosy will all be pacified. Illness, demonic-force possession, obstructing forces, and all such harm will be stripped of strength. If this account is read prior to embarking upon a journey, all mishaps and harm, such as ambush, robbery, and treacherous passageways, will be pacified. If one maintains this text as an object of veneration, making regular prostrations, circumambulations, and offerings, it is certain that rebirth will occur in the Realm of Great Bliss. Therefore, sentient beings of the future generations, persevere accordingly!”

Texts by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Foot and handprints of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

The first translation here is Praises to Mandāravā by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, found in his Collected Works and is the first section of a longer sadhana text [2]. I also found two short texts online to Mandāravā by another famed Nyingma master called, Kunzang Dechen Dorje[3].

The second translated text here is the first part of a sadhana from a mind treasure of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo[4] called the Profound Cycle of Teachings of Immortal Vajra Ḍākinī  Mandāravā from the Heart Essence of Lotus-Born (Tshokye Nyingthig)[5] cycle which can be found in the Rinchen Terdzo Chenmo in which there is also another Mandāravā sadhana text from that cycle.[6] I hope to make these two sadhanas available in the English language soon.

It is also reported that Khyentse Wangpo had pure visions of Mandāravā and composed a long-life sadhana treasure that was revealed later by Shakya Shri, I have been unable to find this text in either the collected works of either person though.

Other Texts

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, has realized and transmitted a terma of spiritual practices of Mandāravā along with oral instructions specifying the iconography of Mandāravā and how she is to be depicted in thangka.

Other sources for Mandāravā practices include Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s terma as offered by Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche.

The Chime Soktik, a terma received by Mandāravā and Padmasambhava directly from Buddha Amitayus, has become the central long life practice of the Dudjom Tersar lineage.


As Mandāravā attained the vajra rainbow body (jalus), she is held to be present in the world now spreading and inspiring the Dharma through various incarnations in both the east and the west

  • The female tertön Jetsunma Do Dasel Wangmo Rinpoche (1928-2019) of Kham, Tibet, is understood as an emanation of Mandāravā.
  • In the USA, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo (below) was recognised by HH Penor Rinpoche, then supreme head of Nyingma, as an emanation of Mandāravā.
Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

For the crowning ceremony of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, in the presence of HH Penor Rinpoche, see here:

Here is a teaching she gave on the mind of the dakini:

The translated text is posted below and translations can also be freely downloaded as a .pdf here . Any errors are mine! May it be of benefit and may all beings maintain the rainbow body, immortality and see Mandāravā’s shining face in this very lifetime!

Translated, edited and compiled by Adele Tomlin (July 2020)


Praises to Mandāravā

by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo


namo guru jñāna ḍākinī

ཤིན་ཏུ་རྣམ་པར་དག་པའི་ཡེ་ཤེས་ལས༎                                                                   ཟུང་འཇུག་མཚན་དཔེའི་སྣང་ཆར་ཡོངས་ཤར་བ༎

དྲན་བས་ཚེ་དང་ཡེ་ཤེས་མཆོག་སྩོལ་བའི༎                                                                      འཆི་མེད་མནྡཱ་ར་བ་ཁྱོད་ལ་བསྟོད༎་

shin tu nam par dak pai yé shé lé                               zung juk tshen péi nang char yong sharwa

dren wé tshé dang yé shé chok tsol  wé                          chi mé manda ra wa khyö la tö

From the extremely pure, primordial-awareness

Arises the appearance marked by the characteristic of union.

Bringing to mind, bestower of long-life and supreme, primordial-awareness,

Immortal Mandāravā, I praise you!


ཡིད་ཕྲོག་པདྨ་རཱ་གའི་མཚར་སྡུག་ཅན༎                                                                         སྲིད་དང་ཞི་བ་དཡེར་མེད་འཛུམ་ཞལ་ལ༎

རྣམ་ཐར་གསུམ་གྱི་སྤྱན་རས་རབ་གཡོ་བས༎                                                                   གྲོ་ཀུན་འཁོར་བ་སྒྲོལ་མཛད་ཁྱོད་ལ་བསྟོད༎་

yi throk padma ra gai tshar duk chen                           si dang zhi wa yer mé dzum zhel la

nam thar sum kyi chen ré rap yo wé                              dro kün khorwa dröl dzé khyö la tö

To the stunning red lotus, that captivates minds, and

Smiling face, inseparable from ‘peace’ and ‘becoming;

Whose passionate, penetrating ‘eyes’ of  three emancipations[7]

Liberates all wanderers in samsara, I praise you!


ཕྱག་གཡས་ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེན་པོའི་གྲི་གུག་གིས༎                                                               བདུད་བཞི་སྙིང་གི་བརྟན་པ་འཕྲོག་ནས་སླར༎

གཡོན་པས་བདུད་རྩིས་གང་བའི་ཐོད་བུམ་གྱིས༎                                                            སྒྲུབ་ལ་དངོ་སྒྲུབ་སྩོལ་མཛོད་ཁྱོད་ལ་བསྟོད༎

chak yé thuk jé chen poi dri guk gi                             dü zhi nying gi ten pa throk né lar

yön pé dü tsi gang wai tö bum gyi                             drup la ngodrup tsöl dzö khyö la tö

In the right hand, a curved knife of great compassion that

Robs the four ‘demons’ from the heart.

In the left, a skull cup vase full of nectar that

Bestows the siddhis of accomplishment, I praise you!

སྐུ་བཞི་ཡེ་ཤེས་ལྔ་ལྡན་ཧེ་རུ་ཀ༎                                                                         ཐབས་ཀྱིས་ཕྱག་རྒྱ་པདྨ་ཐོད་ཕྲེང་རྩལ༎

ཁ་ཊྭཱཾ་ཚུལ་གྱིས་གཡོན་ནས་འཁྲིལ་བ་ཡིས༎                                                            སྙོམས་འཇུག་དགྱེས་པ་སྐྱེད་མཛད་ཁྱོད་ལ་བསྟོད༎

ku zhi yé shé nga den hé ru ka                                     thap kyi chak gya pema tö treng tsel

kha tvam tshül gyi yön né thril ba yi                          nyom juk gyé pa kyé dzé khyö la tö

Heruka, endowed with the five awarenesses and four kāyas

Method, māhamudrā seal of Pema Thotreng Tsel

Embracing a Khatvanga staff on the left,

Generating delightful union equipoise, I praise you!

གནག་སྣུམ་དབུ་སྐྲ་སིལ་བུར་འཕྱང་བ་ལ༎                                                                  པུནྡ་རཱི་ཀའི་ཐོད་ཀྱིས་ལེགས་འཆིངས་ཤིང༎

དར་དང་རིན་ཆེན་རུས་པའི་ཕྱག་རྒྱ་ཡིས༎                                                                 རྟོག་པའི་འཁོར་ལོ་གཅོད་མཛད་ཁྱོད་ལ་བསྟོད༎

nak num u tra sil bur chang wa la                              punda ri kai thö kyi lek ching shing

dar dang rin chen rü pai chak gya yi                         tok pai khor lo chö dzé khyö la tö

Black shiny hair, half hanging down,

Excellently bound with pundarīka crown;

Adorned with bone, jewels and silk,

Severing the cycle of concepts, I praise you!

ཞབས་གཉིས་གཡས་བསྐུམ་སྲིད་ལ་མིག་ནས་ཤིང༎                                               གཡོན་བརྐྱང་ཞི་བའི་མཐའ་རུ་ལྷུང་མིན་པར༎

གཟུང་འཛིན་བམ་རོའི་སྙིང་གར་རོལ་པ་ཡིས༎                                                  ཟུང་འཇུག་མྱ་ངན་འདས་པ་ཁྱོད་ལ་བསྟོད༎

zhap nyi yé kum si la mik né shing           yön kyang zhi wai tha ru lhung min par

zungdzin bam roi nying gar röl pa yi       zung juk nya ngen dé pa khyö la tö

Two legs, right bent, not abiding in ‘existence’,

Left stretched, not falling into the extreme of ‘peace’,

Pressing on the heart of the dualistic clinging corpse,

A union gone beyond suffering, I praise you!

གང་སྐུ་མཐོང་བས་གྲུབ་གཉིས་ལྷུག་པར་འཇོ༎                                                       གསུང་གསང་ཐོས་པས་བདེ་ཆེན་ཡེ་ཤེས་འབར༎

དྲན་པ་ཡིས་ཀྱང་ཚེ་ཡི་བར་ཆད་ཀུན༎                                                              སེལ་མཛད་མཁའ་གྲོའི་གཙོ་མོ་ཁྱོད་ལ་བསྟོད༎

gang ku thongwé drup nyi lhuk par jo                  sung sang tö pé dé chen yé shé bar

dren pa yi kyang tsé yi bar ché kün                      sel dzé kha drö tso mo khyö la tö

By seeing your form, the two accomplishments are naturally achieved,

By hearing your secret speech, the great bliss of primordial awareness blazes,

Even remembering you, all obstacles to life are eliminated,

Chief queen of ḍākinīs, I praise you!

སྣོད་བཅུད་ཟབ་གསལ་གཉིས་མེད་དཀྱིལ་འཁོར་ཆེར༎                                                ཡོངས་ཤར་བསྒྲས་པ་སྔགས་ཀྱིས་རྒྱུད་བསྐུལ་ཞིང༎

དབྱིངས་རིག་ཟུང་འཇུག་ངང་དུ་མཉམ་བཞག་པས༎                                                   རྩེ་གཅིག་ཁྱོད་ཀྱི་ཞབས་པད་ལེགས་བསྙན་ན༎

nö chü zap sel nyi mé kyil khor cher                    yong shar dré pa ngak kyi gyü kül zhing

ying rik zung juk ngang du nyam zhak pé             tse chik khyö kyi zhap pé lek nyen na

དངོས་ཉམས་རྨི་ལམ་ཙམ་གྱི་སྣང་ཆ་རུ༎                                                               དགྱེས་པའི་ཞལ་བསྟན་གསུང་གིས་དབུགས་དབྱུང་ཞིང༎

ཚོ་བསོད་དཔལ་འབྱོར་དབང་བཅུའི་ཡེ་ཤེས་ལ༎                                                           བརྟེན་ནས་འཆི་མེད་གོ་འཕང་མྱུར་འགྲུབ་མཛོད༎

ngö nyam mi lam tsam gyi nang cha ru                gyé pé zhel ten sung gi wuk yang zhing

tsho sö peljor wang chü yé shé la                         ten né chi mé go phang nyur drup dzö

The environment and beings in the great mandala of profound, luminous, non-duality,

The perfect mantra sound invokes and invites from within

The meditative equipoise of the union of expanse and awareness,

When one-pointedly venerating at your feet

With a sigh of relief at the revelation of your delightful ‘face’

Appearing in mere dreams, visions and reality; and

By relying on the primordial-awareness of the ten powers[8] of life, death and resources,

May we quickly accomplish the state of immortality!


Exquisite Clouds of Supplication

From The Profound Cycle of Immortal Mandāravā:
in Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s Mind-Treasure Heart Essence of the Lotus-Born

འཇམ་དབྱངས་མཁྱེན་བརྩེའི་དབང་པོའི་དགོངས་གཏེར་མཚོ་སྐྱེས་སྙིང་ཐིག་གི་ཡུམ་བཀའ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་འཆི་མེད་མནྡཱ་རཿབའི་ཆོས་སྐོར་ཟབ་མོ་བཞུགས་སོ། །

From the Accomplishment of the Life-Force of the Immortal Vajra Rainbow Body is the Exquisite Clouds of Supplication

འཆི་མེད་འཇའ་ལུས་རྡོ་རྗེའི་སྲོག་སྒྲུབ་ལས། །                                     བརྒྱུད་འདེབས་འཆི་མེད་སྤྲིན་མཛེས་བཞུགས།

འཆི་མེད་ཐོག་མའི་མགོན་པོ་འོད་དཔག་མེད།།                                             འཆི་མེད་བདེ་ཆེན་སྐུར་བཞེངས་ཚེ་མཐའ་ཡས།།

འཆི་མེད་གྲུབ་པའི་རིག་འཛིན་མཚོ་སྐྱེས་རྗེར། །                                             གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་འཆི་མེད་དངོས་གྲུབ་སྩོལ།།

chi mé tok mé gön po ö pak mé                  chi mé dé chen kur zheng tsé ta yé

chi mé drup pé rindzin tso kyé jer             sölwa dep so chi mé ngö drup tsöl

Immortal, highest protector, Amitabha

Immortal, form of great bliss, Amitayus

Immortal, accomplished Vidyadhara, Lord Lotus-Born[9]

We supplicate, please bestow the immortal siddhi!


འཆི་མེད་ཡེ་ཤེས་ཌཱ་ཀི་མནྡཱ་རཿ                                               འཆི་མེད་གནས་ལུགས་མངོན་གྱུར་ཁྲི་སྲོང་ཞབས། །

འཆི་མེད་རིག་འཛིན་རྩ་བརྒྱུད་བླ་མ་ལ། །                                      གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་འཆི་མེད་དངོས་གྲུབ་སྩོལ།།

chi mé yé shé da ki mandarah           chi mé né luk ngön gyur tri song zhap

chi mé rigdzin tsa gyü la ma la           sölwa dep so chi mé ngö drup tsöl

Immortal, primordial-awareness dakini, Mandāra,

Immortal, abiding reality, Venerable Trisong,

Immortal, vidyadhara root lineage lamas,

We supplicate, please bestow the immortal siddhi!


དེ་ལྟར་སྙིང་ནས་གུས་པས་གསོལ་བཏབ་མཐུས།།                                          སྣང་སྲིད་རྩ་གསུམ་ཚེ་ལྷའི་དཀྱིལ་འཁོར་དུ། །

ཡོངས་ཤར་བཟླས་པ་སྔགས་ཀྱིས་རྒྱུད་བསྐུལ་ནས། །                                      དངོས་གྲུབ་རྣམ་གཉིས་བདེ་བླག་འགྲུབ་གྱུར་ཅིག །

dé tar nying né gü pé söl tap thü               nang si tsa sum tsé lhé kyil khor du

yong shar dé pa ngak kyi gyü kül né         ngö drup nam nyi dé lak drup gyur chik

Like that, by the power of this heart-felt, devotional supplication, and

Invoking with recitation of the perfectly arisen mantra

The three roots long-life deities mandala of appearance-existence,

May the two siddhis be easily accomplished!


ཁྱད་པར་རྩ་རླུང་ཐིག་ལེ་ཡེ་ཤེས་ཁམས།།                                           རྡོ་རྗེའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་ཟབ་མོའི་རྒྱས་བཏབ་པས།།

སྐུ་བཞི་དབྱེར་མི་ཕྱེད་པའི་ཐིག་ལེ་རུ། །                                              དོན་དམ་འཆི་མེད་ཌཱ་ཀི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཤོག །

khyé par tsa lung thik lé yé shé kham       dor jé neljor zap mö gyé tap pé

ku zhi yer mi ché pé thik lé ru                     dön dam chi mé da ki ngön gyur shok

In particular, by the profound vajra-yoga seal of the

primordial-awareness element, channels, winds and drops;

At the essence drop, indivisible from the four kāyas,

May the ultimate, immortal dakini manifest!


By Garwang Osel Lingpa

ཅེས་པའང་གར་དབང་འོད་གསལ་གླིང་པས་སོ།། །།

Translated and edited by Adele Tomlin, July 2020. Copyright.

Bibliography and Resources


[1] For more examples of biographies that speak about Mandarava see the Shambhala Publications reading guide here:

[2] “‘chi  med man+dA ra ba la bstod pa DA ki dgyes pa’i rol mo/.” In gsung ‘bum/_mkhyen brtse’i dbang po/. TBRC W21807. 1: 477 – 497. gangtok: gonpo tseten, 1977-1980.

[3] 1) d+hAki man+d+hA ra wa yi/_bstod cing phrin las bcol ba// gsung ‘bum/_kun bzang ‘gro ‘dul bde chen rdo rje/Volume 6 Pages 31 – 3; 2) “ye shes d+hAki man+d+hA ra wa’i tshe ‘gugs zab mo/.” 6: 33 – 34. [mer chen?]: [mer chen dgon pa], [2006].

[4] There are two editions of this text online: 1)  ‘jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse’i dbang po’i dgongs gter mtsho skyes snying thig gi yum bka’ mkha’ ‘gro ‘chi med man+dA raHba’i chos skor zab mo by  Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo) revealed by  (Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo) in cycle  (‘chi med ‘ja’ lus rdo rje’i srog sgrub) parent cycle  འཆི་མེད་མཚོ་སྐྱེས་སྙིང་ཏིག་ (‘chi med mtsho skyes snying tig) Volume 49,  Pages 163-166 / Folios 1a1 to 2b6.

And 2) “‘jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse’i dbang po’i dgongs gter mtsho skyes snying thig gi yum bka’ mkha’ ‘gro ‘chi med man+dA raHba’i chos skor zab mo /.” In rin chen gter mdzod chen mo/. TBRC W1KG14. 49: 183 – 204. new delhi: shechen publications, 2007-2008.

[6] There is another longer Mandarava text following that one ‘chi med ‘ja’ lus rdo rje’i srog sgrub las/_mkha’ ‘gro man+dA raHba’i byin rlabs smin grol gyi rim pa chu ‘bab tu bkod pa ‘chi med bdud rtsi’i bum bzang  /.” In rin chen gter mdzod chen mo/. TBRC W1KG14. 49: 205 – 224. new delhi: shechen publications, 2007-2008. Also a online edition at

[7] The three liberations (rnam thar gsum) are emptiness (stong pa nyid) without characteristics (mtshan ma med pa) and without hope (smon pa med pa).

[8] The ten powers (dbang bcu) are said to be power over life (tshe), deeds (las), necessities (yo byad), devotion (mos pa), aspiration (smon lam), miraculous abilities (rdzu ‘phrul), birth (skye ba), doctrine (chos), mind (sems), and primordial awareness (ye shes).

[9] This is a reference to Padmasambhava, one of his names.

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