‘Embodiment of all the Buddhas’: Twenty-three short Karmapa Guru Yoga texts by the 15th Karmapa

15th Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje

For today’s full ‘blue moon’, it is a pleasure to offer the first translation of Embodiment of all the Buddhas Guru Yoga[i] by the 15th Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje, (mkha’ khyab rdo rje, 1871/2-1921/2).  This Guru Yoga is in a Collection of Works by the Garland of Karmapas[ii], published in Lhasa, Tibet in 2013, which contains works by the 1st to 10th and 13th to 15th Karmapas. In the volumes composed by 15th Karmapa, there is a 22-folio text containing twenty-three short Guru Yogas [iii] that was written by the Karmapa in front of someone called Rigdzin Dorje.

As far as am aware, none of these have yet been translated into English. In this short post, I also give a catalogue/outline of these guru yogas by title. Several of them seem to be Guru Yogas given to various named people. The 15th Karmapa also composed a very short 2nd Karmapa, Karma Pakshi Guru Yoga which I translated and published recently here.

The Embodiment of all the Buddhas Guru Yoga by 15th Karmapa involves a very short visualization of oneself as Vajrayogini and Karmapa in the aspect of the ‘embodiment of all the Buddhas’ Akshobya, with recitation of the ‘Karmapa Khyenno’ mantra. Ideal for a short daily practice. It is freely available for download here for those with connection to the Karmapas and/or a Guru Yoga empowerment or transmission.

Akshobya Buddha, 14th Century painting
(Source: https://www.himalayanart.org/items/30908)

The Karmapas have a very strong connection to Akshobya. HH 17th Karmapa has given several Akshobya empowerments (which I have been fortunate to attend) and in addition, the famed midnight-blue black crown of the Karmapas is said to have been emanated by Buddha Akshobya, see here. Every year at the Kagyu Monlam, the Karmapa performs the Akshobya fire ritual for those who have died during the year – a practice said to be able to liberate those who have fallen to the lower realms.

“I feel very inspired personally by the motivation that Akshobhya gave rise to, and the pledge he made not to engage in any anger toward any sentient beings from now until he attained full enlightenment.”

17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje

Here is a painting of Buddha Akshobya drawn by the 17th Karmapa as well as an audio of him reciting the Akshobya mantra.

Buddha Akshobya painting by 17th Karmapa

On this ‘blue moon’ may this new translation be of benefit to the activities and teachings of the Gyalwang Karmapas and blue Buddha Akshobya!

Adele Tomlin, 31st October 2020.


[i] sangs rgyas kun ‘dus karma pa’ bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/ Volume 95 of Work TBRC W3PD1288, pp. 493-496.

[ii] karma pa sku phreng rim byon gyi gsung ‘bum phyogs bsgrigs/; TBRC W3PD1288. dpal brtsegs bod yig dpe rnying zhib ‘jug khang /, lha sa/. 2013.

[iii] bla ma’i rnal ‘byor gyi skor byin rlabs sprin gyi bla re/ Volume 95 of Work TBRC W3PD1288, pp. 456-499.

Catalogue of Guru Yogas by 15th Karmapa  in ‘Collection of Works by the Garland of Karmapa‘ (TBRC W3PD1288)      

  1. Canopy Clouds of Blessings, Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor byin rlabs sprin gyi bla re/)
  2. As requested by Guardian of the Teachings, Ogyen (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/ o rgyan bstan skyong gis bskul ngor gnang ba/ )     
  3. Jamyang Guru Yoga (‘jam dbyangs bla ma’i rnal ‘byor blo gros dpal ster/ )    
  4. Shining Brilliant Primordial Wisdom Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor ye shes gzi ‘bar/)
  5. All Pervasive Guru Yoga (khyab bdag bla ma’i rnal ‘byor)
  6. Given to Tshanang Dra (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/ tsha snang grwa la gnang ba/)
  7. Given to the Naga Snake Emanation bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/ ‘brug klu ra sprul skur gnang ba/)
  8. Given to Tulku Thunderous Sound of Dolpo Shelri (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/ ‘dol po shel ri sprul’brug sgra’i sprul skur gnang ba/)
  9. Given to Magnetising Lotus Treasure-Revealer, Pema Wangdu (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/ ‘gter ‘byin pad+ma dbang sdud la gnang ba/)
  10. Supreme Generosity Primordial-Awareness Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor ye shes mchog sbyin/)
  11. Essence of Primordial-Awareness Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor ye shes snying po/)
  12. Primordial-Awareness River Flow Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor ye shes chu rgyun/)
  13. Given to Tsondru Senge Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/ brtson ‘grus seng ger gnang ba/)
  14. Bindu of Primordial-Awareness (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor ye shes thig le/)
  15. Deep, secret essence of the supreme path Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor zab gsang snying po’i lam mchog)
  16. Garland of Clouds of Blessings Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor byin rlabs sprin phreng /)
  17. Water-holder’ Siddhi Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor dngos grub chu ‘dzin/)
  18. Omnipervasive Primordial-Awareness Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor ye shes spyi blugs/)
  19. Daily Guru Yoga of Karmapa (bla ma karma pa’i rnal ‘byor rgyun khyer/)
  20. Embodiment of all the Buddhas Karmapa Guru Yoga (sangs rgyas kun ‘dus karma pa’ bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/)  
  21. Given in front of Tenzin Trodal Rabgye (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/ bstan ‘dzin spros bral rab rgyas kyi ngor gnang ba/)
  22. Given to Rigdzin Dorje Guru Yoga  bla ma’i rnal ‘byor/ rig ‘dzin rdo rje’i gnang ba/
  23. Bindu of the Accomplishment of Great Bliss Guru Yoga (bla ma’i rnal ‘byor bde chen grub pa’i thig le/)
  24. Lamp on the Path: Notes on the Bindu of the Accomplishment of Great Bliss (bde chen grub pa’i thig le’i zin bris bde chen lam gyi sgron me/ )         
  25. Profound Path of Guru Yoga: Anointment Great Bliss Empowerment (zam lam bla ma’i rnal ‘byor gyi/ dbang bskur bde chen spyi blugs/)     

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