NEW TRANSLATION: ‘Excellent Path to Awakening: Lineage Prayer to the ‘Seven Profound Cycle’ Kīla’ by Chogyur Lingpa

Chogyur Lingpa -Treasure Revealer

For this Guru Rinpoche day, and the final day of the Vajrakīlaya Drubchen at Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim, India, I offer this first translation of the Excellent Path to Awakening : Lineage Prayer to the Seven Profound Cycle Kīla (Zabdun tradition), revealed by Chogyur Lingpa. As I wrote about here, the Seven Profound Cycle Kīla is connected to the Karmapas, since the time of the 14th Karmapa onwards, and is practised annually at Rumtek, the Indian monastic seat of the Karmapas.

This Lineage Prayer is published in the Treasury of Precious Revelations (Rinchen Terdzo)[i]. I have included the Tibetan script for those who wish to chant it in the original language. The names of the lineage holders have been italicised as well for ease of reference. It was written down by Karma Ngedon Tenpa Rabgye (Karma nges don bstan pa rab rgyas) (1808-1864) who was a student of the 14th Karmapa and a teacher to Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye[ii]. Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo wrote a Long-Life Prayer to him[iii] and according to the Lineage record (brgyud yig) to the Treasury of Sacred Instructions (gdams ngag mdzod) he was a major figure in the transmission of the ri chos snying po ma drug of Yang Monastery (yang dgon pa).

As can be read, the lineage of this treasure stems from the lineage holders of Kagyé (bka’ brgyad) or Drubpa Kagyé (aṣṭamahāsādhana;  sgrub pa bka’ brgyad) ‘the Eight Teachings’. — which refers to the eight (brgyad) sets of Mahayoga teachings or transmissions (bka’) entrusted to Padmasambhava and to the eight vidyadharas of India. Among the eight principal deities of the Kagyé mandala, there are five wisdom deities who represent the enlightened body speech mind qualities and activity of all the buddhas and three semi-worldly or worldly deities. Vajrakīlaya represents the enlightened activity.

I received the empowerment of Vajrakīlaya from both HE Garchen Rinpoche and HE Schechen Rabjam Rinpoche.  It is generally forbidden to  read or practice Vajrakīlaya texts without an empowerment or suitable transmission. An excerpt from the Supplication is posted below. For the full translation, please contact here for the .pdf.

May this new translation be of benefit in preserving the Vajrakīlaya traditions and practices and may HH the 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje swiftly return to Rumtek Monastery.

Translated and edited by Adele Tomlin, August 28th 2020.  Copyright.

Excellent Path to Awakening

Lineage Supplication Prayer of Seven Profound Kīla

༄༅། །ཡང་གསང་ཐུགས་ཀྱི་ཕུར་གཅིག་གི་བརྒྱུད་འདེབས་བྱང་ཆུབ་ལམ་བཟང་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་བཞུགས་སོ། །

ན་མཿཤྲཱི་བཛྲ་ཀུ་མཱ་ར་ཡེ།

namo shri vajra kumāraye

རང་བྱུང་གདོད་མའི་མགོན་པོ་ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་། །       རིགས་དྲུག་ཁྱབ་བདག་བཅོམ་ལྡན་རྡོ་རྗེ་སེམས། །

ལྷུན་གྲུབ་སྣང་བའི་གདངས་རྩལ་དཔལ་ཆེན་པོར། །   གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་མཐུ་དབང་དངོས་གྲུབ་སྩོལ།

Naturally-arisen, primordial protector, Samantabhadra

All-pervasive master of the six families, Bhagavan Vajrasattva

Spontaneous appearance of brilliant energy, Awesome One [Heruka]

Please bestow the empowerment and siddhis!

ཁ་སྦྱོར་བདུན་ལྡན་ཟུང་འཇུག་རྡོ་རྗེ་འཆང་། །         མི་མཇེད་ཞིང་གི་སྟོན་མཆོག་ཤཱཀྱ་ཐུབ། །

རྒྱལ་བའི་གདུང་འཛིན་དགའ་རབ་རྡོ་རྗེའི་ཞབས། །   གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་མཐུ་དབང་དངོས་གྲུབ་སྩོལ། །

Endowed with the seven aspects of union, Vajradhara

Supreme teacher of this unbearable realm, Shākyamuni [Buddha]

Gyalway Dungzin, Venerable Garab Dorje[iv]

Please bestow the empowerment and siddhis!

གསང་བའི་བདག་པོ་རིག་འཛིན་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཆོས། །          མཁའ་འགྲོའི་གཙོ་མོ་ལས་ཀྱི་དབང་མོ་ཆེ། །

མཆོག་གི་བདག་ཉིད་ཨིནྡྲ་བྷཱུ་ཏི་ལ། །                    གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་མཐུ་དབང་དངོས་གྲུབ་སྩོལ། །

Lord of Secrets, Vidyadhara, Vajradharma[v]

Chief of dakinis, powerful Lekyi Wangmo[vi]

Supreme master himself, Indrabhuti[vii]

Please bestow the empowerment and siddhis!

ཤྲཱི་སིང་ཧ་རིག་འཛིན་ཡོངས་ཀྱི་རྗེ། །        བདེ་ཆེན་མཆོག་གི་གར་བསྒྱུར་གོ་མ་ས། །

རྡོ་རྗེ་འཛིན་པ་ཧཱུྃ་ཆེན་ཀཱ་ར་ལ། །            གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་མཐུ་དབང་དངོས་གྲུབ་སྩོལ། །

Shrī Singha[viii], Vidyadhara, perfect Lord

Supreme Great Bliss, dancer Gomadevi[ix]

Vajra-holder, great Hūṃkāra [x]

Please bestow the empowerment and siddhis!

མཐུ་སྟོབས་དབང་ཕྱུག་པྲ་བྷ་ཧསྟི་དང་། །               སྣང་སྲིད་ཟིལ་གནོན་གུ་རུ་པདྨ་འབྱུང་། །

དབྱངས་ཅན་སྤྲུལ་པ་ཡེ་ཤེས་མཚོ་རྒྱལ་ལ། །             གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་མཐུ་དབང་དངོས་གྲུབ་སྩོལ། །

Powerful, strong awesome Prabhahasti[xi]

Glorious subjugator of appearance and existence [Nangsi Zilnon] Padmasambhava[xii]

Sarasvati emanation, Yeshe Tshogyel[xiii]

Please bestow the empowerment and siddhis!

—Excerpt from Excellent Path to Awakening. For full translation .pdf contact here.

Endnotes

[i] To read Tibetan text: https://terdzod.tsadra.org/index.php/Terdzo-KHI-027

[ii] See TBRC profile at https://www.tbrc.org/#!rid=P1392

[iii] zla sprul rin po che’i zhabs brtan gsol ‘debs, TBRC W21807: 313-315.

[iv] Garab Dorje, (Surativajra, Prahevajra) is said to have received all the tantras, scriptures and oral instructions of Dzogchen from Vajrasattva and Vajrapani in person and became the first human vidyadhara in the Dzogchen lineage. Having reached the state of complete enlightenment through the effortless Great Perfection, Garab Dorje transmitted the teachings to his retinue of exceptional beings. Manjushrimitra is regarded as his chief disciple. Padmasambhava is also known to have received the transmission of the Dzogchen tantras directly from Garab Dorje’s wisdom form. 

[v] Vajradharma (rdo rje chos) is a peaceful form of Vajrapani. In some tantric practices Vajradharma (pa wo dor je cho) is also the primordial Buddha and the root guru, red in colour, holding a vajra and bell crossed at his heart.

[vi] Ḍākinī Karmendrāṇī (mkha’ ‘gro ma las kyi dbang mo) — the dakini to whom Vajradharma entrusted the teachings of Kagyé which had been sealed in caskets and placed within the stupa of Shankarakuta (Deché Tsekpa) in the Cool Grove charnel ground in India. In turn she transmitted the Eight Sadhana Teachings to the Eight Vidyadharas and later the Assemblage of Sugatas to Padmasambhava. Received the Vajrayana teachings from Vajrasattva and transmitted them to Hungchenkara, one of the eight Vidyadharas of India. She also entrusted to Guru Padmasambhava the transmission of the Eight Commands, the Union of the Sugatas (bka’ brgyad bde gshegs ‘dus pa).

[vii] Indrabhūti ( in+d+ra b+h ti) plays a vital role in the tantra revelation myth of both Sarma and Nyingma schools. Indrabhuti can refer to several kings from Oddiyana or Zahor who were key figures in the early transmission of the Vajrayana teachings.

[viii] Shrī Singha was the chief disciple and successor of Manjushrimitra in the lineage of the Dzogchen teachings. He was born in the city of Shokyam in Khotan and studied with the masters Hatibhala and Bhelakirti. Among his disciples were four outstanding masters: Jnanasutra, Vimalamitra, Padmasambhava and the Tibetan translator Vairochana.

[ix] Princess Gomadevi (sras mo go ma de byi) disciple of Maharaja the scholar of Uddiyana; teacher of Aloke the Atsantra (a tsan tra a lo ke). Early master in the sems sde lineage. One of the Twenty-One Indian Panditas (rgya gar gyi mkhas pa nyi shu rtsa gcig).

[x] Hūṃkāra (hUM kA ra)— one of the eight vidyadharas of India; he received the Shri Heruka (Yangdak Heruka) tantra from the Kagyé cycle. According to the Pema Kathang, Humkara’s home-country is the mythical country of Ngatubchen (rnga thub chen). There, Humkara was initiated into the Kagye.  Taranatha is said to suggest that Humkara may have been an epithet of the siddha Vaidyapāda; sman zhabs) aka Viryapada (Vīryapāda; bhi rgya pa, bir ya pa, bha wa pa). Accordingly, Vaidyapada received the epithet Humkara after he had practised and accomplished the wrathful deity named Humkara.

[xi] Prabhahasti ( ‘od kyi glang po), one of the eight vidyadharas of India; he received and practised the Vajrakilaya tantra from the Kagyé cycle.

[xii] It is said that unlike the other vidyadharas, who each received only one of the eight practices, Guru Rinpoche received a practice related to all eight Kagyé deities. In this practice Chemchok Heruka appears as the central deity surrounded by the other eight deities in the four cardinal directions and four intermediate directions. For example, Yangdak Heruka is in the east, Yamantaka in the south, Hayagriva in the west, and Vajrakilaya in the north. Lama Rigdzin, whose practice arose specifically for Guru Rinpoche, appears in the south-west, because the central place is taken by Chemchok Heruka. Not only did Guru Rinpoche receive this cycle of teachings focusing on all eight Kagyé deities, he also received empowerments, oral transmissions and instructions from each of the eight vidyadharas individually (Source Rigpa Wiki).

[xiii] Yeshe Tsogyal (ye shes mtsho rgyal) — one of the principal consorts and students of Guru Padmasambhava. She was Vajravarahi in human form and also an emanation of Tara and Buddhalochana. In the Life Story of Padmasambhava revealed by Chogyur Lingpa, it states that when Padmasambhava was revealing the mandala for the Assembly of the Sugatas to several disciples, she was present and her flower fell on Kilaya and that became her practice mandala. Later she was able to revive corpses. See English translation of the life story at: https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/chokgyur-dechen-lingpa/wishfulfilling-tree

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