An Introduction to the Chanting Lineage of the Guru Puja

lamatsongkh-1525210087-79.jpg

An Introduction to the Chanting

In this second teaching in the Guru Puja is the Heart Practice seriesLama Zopa Rinpoche primarily focuses on the chanting aspect of the puja. First Rinpoche introduces why it is important to learn the chanting, the different lineages of chanting, the motivation for chanting, and how to set about learning the chanting. Then Rinpoche begins teaching three different speeds of chanting to be used for the Guru Puja in the FPMT lineage. Edited by Venerable Sarah Thresher with Megan Evart. This book covers the chanting and practice instructions for the sections from Taking Refuge to the Invocation of the Merit Field (LC 1-17). Rinpoche’s own chanting of the FPMT lineage for the Guru Puja is presented here using two different sources: audio from Light of the Path, USA 2009 and video from Lama Zopa Australia, Bendigo 2014.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING THE CHANTING

Listen to the original teaching on the Importance of Learning the Chanting (LOP 2009)  8 mins 17 secs.

I think it’s very important for everybody to learn the chanting for the Guru Puja, Nyung nä and a few other practices that are normally done together. Of course anybody can learn the chanting, but I think particularly the sangha should put more effort to learn it well. There is also the chanting used for the Vajrayogini practices, but more important is to learn how to lead those practices that are usually done in public and everyone can join in, like the Medicine Buddha and Cittamani Tara pujas. If you know how to chant the pujas you don’t have to read them in English all the time, just blah, blah, blah, because the English can’t be chanted. It is more pleasant to chant the pujas and can also be more effective for the mind. If the chanting is good it can move the mind.

One reason for chanting is to give time for meditation. Another reason for chanting is as an offering and to inspire the mind. The lineage lamas of the lamrim who achieved enlightenment created the chanting to be used for meditation—for the blessings of the chanting to soften the mind that is harder than a rocky mountain. If the chanting is good, it can transform the mind into Dharma, into devotion and compassion, and bring it closer to the realizations.

“If the chanting is good, it can transform the mind into Dharma, into devotion and compassion, and bring it closer to the realizations.”

Of course if the person’s chanting makes you laugh—well, that might be a good medicine for depression! If someone who is very depressed sits next to that person, it might cure their depression and bring them some mental peace. The older students will know Piero from Italy. When he sits next to me, I cannot chant. His chanting goes all over the place “ooooooooh” and I lose stability. I get controlled by his voice.

One reason why its good for the sangha to learn the chanting is because it is more likely that they will be asked to lead the practices wherever they go, especially at the centers. So if they know how to chant the prayers it is more pleasant and moving for the mind, rather than just going blah, blah, blah.

Watch Rinpoche explain the Three Speeds of Chanting Guru Puja (Bendigo, 2014) 3 mins 21 secs.

Three speeds of chanting

It’s also very important to understand that the puja can be done in an elaborate, medium or short way according to the time available. It doesn’t have to be fixed. I heard that one time somebody at one of our centers asked if there could be a Guru Puja and they were told that it wasn’t possible because there was only one and half hours available and the puja takes two hours. That’s very silly! The person who gave that answer only had one idea of how to chant the puja. They didn’t realize there are longer and shorter ways of chanting. For example, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s translator, Thubten Jinpa, does the Guru Puja in five minutes—I mean that is his daily commitment, not leading it in public. Still, maybe you can get the lineage from him and do that too! I heard that Doboom Rinpoche does it in 90 seconds.

I think what happened is that in the early days a tape from the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala went all over the FPMT centers and that is what people were using for the chanting. Everybody was chanting in a similar way, neither fast nor slow. But the Guru Puja can be chanted in an elaborate, middle, or fast way in Tibetan. Of course in English it is difficult because the English can’t be chanted, but you have so much freedom in Tibetan. In fact, most of the time the Tibetan can be chanted faster than reading the English. So it’s ridiculous to think you can’t do the puja any faster or slower. That is just funny.

It is up to the chant leader, the umdze, to determine how fast or slow the chanting is done. It depends very much on the audience. If you are doing the puja with Westerners, it doesn’t make sense to chant very quickly in Tibetan, it is better to read the English. But if you are leading the chanting with Tibetans present, it is good to chant more in Tibetan.

Sometimes you might find you are leading a puja and there are many new people present and not everybody has faith in tantra. This may not be a problem with Westerners but in other countries it may be better to chant the secret parts in Tibetan. I’m not sure if those people would read the book, but at least chanting in Tibetan rather than reading in English has the benefit that people won’t understand those secret things.

Anyway, my suggestion is that it is good to know the elaborate, middle, fast and even fastest way to chant. Otherwise you will have a very stubborn mind and stubborn idea.

Some things can be read in English

Of course some things can be done in English. For example, the lamrim section (LC 84-114) in the Guru Puja can sometimes be chanted in Tibetan but is mostly better read in English. Except for the verse on taking and giving (tonglen)

LC 95DE NA JE TSÜN LA MA THUG JE CHÄNAnd thus, perfect, pure, compassionate gurus,MA GYUR DRO WÄI DIG DRIB DUG NGÄL KÜNI seek your blessings that all negativities, obscurationsand sufferings of mother migratorsMA LÜ DA TA DAG LA MIN PA DANGMay without exception ripen upon me right now,DAG GI DE GE ZHÄN LA TANG WA YIAnd that by giving my happiness and virtue to othersDRO KÜN DE DANG DÄN PAR JIN GYI LOBAll migrators may experience happiness.

This verse can be read once in English to get an idea of the meaning. Then chanted nicely and very slowly to give everyone enough time to meditate on the practice of taking and giving described in the verse. If the chanting is done quickly, unless the person is well trained, they won’t have enough time to meditate on the meaning. Some people might be able to finish the practice of taking but not the giving—that sometimes happens to me. So the chanting should be done nicely and it must be done very slowly so that everyone can meditate on taking and giving. This verse gives us an incredible opportunity to practice. Even if you are not doing the taking and giving meditation at other times, at least you can do it here with the Guru Puja. This practice of taking and giving brings you closer to enlightenment each time you do it.

“Even if you are not doing the taking and giving meditation at other times, at least you can do it here with the Guru Puja—it brings you closer to enlightenment every time.”

Generally, if you want to help somebody who is very sick, what you can do is this practice of taking and giving. While you are walking do the practice and while you are sitting do the practice. Take all that person’s sickness on yourself along with its causes, the karma and delusions. That’s excellent. Then give all your merits along with the resultant happiness to them. It is very good to do this practice for someone you have seen or know is sick; it is more realistic than visualizing taking on other sentient beings’ obscurations and sufferings but without having much feeling in your heart.

Sometimes when you do the practice of taking and giving practice for a sick person they may get better. It can also happen that the sick person gets better but you get sick. That’s actually very good. It is not always like this but sometimes when the practice is done with a lot of compassion it can happen. Even if the sick person doesn’t get better, you purify many eons of negative karma and collect extensive merits each time you meditate on taking and giving. That brings you closer to the realization of bodhicitta and to enlightenment, which means you are closer to liberating numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bringing them to enlightenment. Since you are closer to achieving that, even if sickness, cancer and all these things happen as a side effect, there is great benefit.

“My suggestion is that it is good to know the elaborate, middle, fast and even fastest way to chant.”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Kopan monks and abbot performing Guru Puja, Kopan, 2017. (Photo Ven Losang Sherab)
Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Kopan monks and abbot performing Guru Puja, Kopan, 2017. (Photo Ven Losang Sherab)

THE LINEAGE OF THE CHANTING

Listen to the original teaching on the Lineage of the Chanting (LOP 2009) 7 mins 26 secs.

Usually each monastery has its own lineage of chanting that comes from the great lama who founded the monastery.

For example, there is a special lineage of chanting that comes from Pabongka Rinpoche, author of Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, who was not only a great bodhisattva, but also a great yogi, enlightened being and the actual living embodiment of Heruka. I have already mentioned Pabongka Rinpoche’s qualities and how he benefited the teachings of the Buddha and sentient beings like the sun shining in this world. He composed incredible teachings on sutra and tantra completely from his own experience and many of his tantric commentaries on the deity practices are still widely used to this day.

Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo source of many of these lineages. (Photo LYWA)
Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo source of many of these lineages. (Photo LYWA)

“The lineage lamas of the lamrim who achieved enlightenment created the chanting to be used for meditation—for the blessings of the chanting to soften the mind that is harder than a rocky mountain.”

I’m not sure if the usual chanting for the tsog offering verses (LC 63-67) comes from Pabongka Rinpoche, but there is a special way of chanting these verses that does come from Pabongka. There is a story that he heard the dakinis chant this while he was on the way to Lhasa, either from his own monastery or from Ganden monastery. Lama Lhundrup would sometimes use this special chanting at Kopan monastery because he learned it from Gegula in Buxa. Gegula was the attendant of the great Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo in Tibet and also the disciplinarian monk of his monastery, Tashi Choling. Many monks studied chanting with Gegula, including Geshe Jampa Tegchok, who was the abbot of Nalanda Monastery—not the Nalanda monastery that existed in India many hundreds of years ago but the Nalanda monastery we created in France.

Some of Pabongka Rinpoche’s chanting came from Pabongka himself and some he heard from the dakinis. Many lineages of chanting are like this—they come from great yogis who either created it themselves or heard it chanted by dakas and dakinis. That’s why the chanting is kept exactly according to the original—by using that chanting you receive the blessings of that lama or of the dakas and dakinis.

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Junior Tutor of His Holiness Dalai Lama, Root Guru of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and lineage holder of this chanting. (Photo LYWA)
Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Junior Tutor of His Holiness Dalai Lama, Root Guru of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and lineage holder of this chanting. (Photo LYWA)

The Lower Tantric College (Gyume) and Upper Tantric College (Gyuto) have their own founding lamas—Jetsun Sherab Senge for Gyume and Jetsun Kunga Dhondup for Gyuto—and they follow exactly the chanting of the lama who founded the monastery. Since these lamas were highly attained beings and the chanting came from their bodhicitta to benefit sentient beings there is great benefit in using it. It’s not something composed by a musician. It comes from the great qualities of compassion, loving kindness, bodhicitta, realization of emptiness and of course tantric realizations of those masters and carries great blessing.

His Holiness Zong Rinpoche at Kopan 1974. Rinpoche received many teachings, initiations, ritual instructions and chanting from this great tantric master. (Photo LYWA)
His Holiness Zong Rinpoche at Kopan 1974. Rinpoche received many teachings, initiations, ritual instructions and chanting from this great tantric master. (Photo LYWA)

It is good to know the source of the chanting. The chanting that I use mainly follows Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and my root guru Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, who both had a great lineage of the practice of chanting from Pabongka Rinpoche. Most of the Guru Puja and also the chanting for Vajrayogini and Cittamani Tara comes from them. (I’m not sure about the chanting for the offering section in the Guru Puja from the inner offering (LC 34-37). That may be my own chanting? It must be from somewhere but I don’t remember the lineage.)

Some people might think it is necessary to go to tantric college to learn the chanting for Vajrayogini, Cittamani Tara and Guru Puja, but it is not like that. The tantric colleges focus more on Guhyasamaja, Yamantaka and Chakrasamvara and have their own particular traditions. Each college has its own system. If you belong to the Lower Tantric college you do exactly according to their system and if you belong to the Upper Tantric college you do exactly according to that system. Even within the tantric colleges the rituals are taught a little bit differently depending on the teacher.

“Many of the lineages of chanting come from great yogis who either made it up or heard it chanted by dakinis.”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Boudha stupa, Nepal, 2017. (Photo Bill Kane)
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Boudha stupa, Nepal, 2017. (Photo Bill Kane)

“By using that chanting you receive the blessing of that lama or of the dakas and dakinis.”

To learn Pabongka Rinpoche’s chanting for Guru Puja and Vajrayogini, we have to go to Ganden Shartse. Even though Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche was from Sera Me, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche were from Ganden Shartse and that is where the lineage was preserved. It’s not that all the monks at Shartse know this chanting, but there are some older monks who are good at chanting and who practiced with Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in the past when they were alive and they know it.

Most of the chanting I use is from Kyabje Zong Rinpoche who followed the lineage of Pabongka Rinpoche. That is the source. It is not that everyone who is Gelukpa knows it. I started the chanting in the very old days at Kopan and from there it spread to all the FPMT centers—perhaps also to Geshe Sopa Rinpoche’s center because people from Kopan went there. But of course other centers don’t use this chanting. You must understand that different monasteries have different lamas and follow that lama’s lineage. It’s not that there is one lineage of chanting that everybody has to follow, and otherwise the chanting is wrong.

Watch Rinpoche talk about the Lineage of the Chanting (Bendigo, 2014) 4 mins 47 secs.

SETTING A GOOD MOTIVATION FOR CHANTING

Listen to the original teaching on Setting a Good Motivation for Chanting (LOP 2009) 10 mins 27 secs.

Before you start it is good to generate the motivation for your chanting to have a very deep effect on other people’s minds. Dedicate that the minute other sentient beings hear your prayers and chanting they are able to generate the realizations of renunciation, bodhicitta and right view along with the tantra realizations, and achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible.

Due to all the three times’ merits collected by all the buddhas and bodhisattvas as well as by us sentient beings, may anyone who hears my voice immediately be healed of all their physical suffering and mental suffering. May all their negative karma and defilements collected from beginningless rebirth be purified; and especially may they develop guru devotion, the root of the path to enlightenment, and immediately actualize renunciation, bodhicitta, right view and the two stages of tantra.

Or

When other sentient beings hear my chanting, may it transform their minds into renunciation, bodhicitta and right view, as well as guru devotion and all the tantric realizations. May they be able to tame their minds and pacify the self-cherishing thought, delusions and wrong concepts that create problems for themselves and others, along with all obstacles to realizations.

Generating this kind of thought before you chant is very good because it helps prevent any feeling of pride or the arisal of other negative emotional thoughts that would make your chanting become negative karma.

Advice for Singers

I advise singers, like Faye Wong who is famous in Hong Kong and China, to think like this before performing in public

Due to all the past, present and future merits, collected by me and by others: may any sentient being just by seeing me or my photos, hearing about me or hearing my voice, touching me, remembering or talking about me, immediately pacify all their physical and mental sufferings.

This includes not only the negative emotional thoughts of depression, anger and so forth, but also the sufferings of rebirth, old age, sickness and death along with their causes. Then pray

And may I become wishfulfilling for everyone to achieve all the happiness they seek and especially to actualize the realization of bodhicitta, the ultimate good heart, and quickly achieve enlightenment.

This is not only a motivation but also a dedication. If you frequently pray and dedicate like this, your singing will have a positive effect on others and be healing for them. It will be able to subdue their minds, pacify their self-cherishing thought, calm their anger and delusions, and generate virtuous thoughts in their minds, especially the good heart and bodhicitta. Your voice will have this quality due to the power of the mind, through making prayers and generating the wish for it to happen.

It is mentioned in a sutra that

All phenomena depend on the tip of the wish.

This means that our prayers and wishes are a condition for things to happen. It’s the same with enlightenment: How does enlightenment come about?—through making prayers and generating the wish to become enlightened, bodhicitta. That is why it is very good to make prayers like this in our daily life.

Pray for your voice to benefit other sentient beings whenever you chant or sing, and also when you give a public talk or teach. There is also a mantra from the Kangyur that can be recited a few times before teaching, speaking or singing that is very powerful to purify the negative karma of sentient beings who see or hear you. (See below).

MANTRA TO BLESS YOUR VOICE

It is very good to recite the Exalted Stainless Beam Totally Pure Light Mantra every morning after blessing your speech and before talking. 

NAMAH NAWA NAWA TIINÄÄN / TATHAAGATA GANG GAA NAM DIIWAA LUKAA NÄN / KOTINI YUTA SHATA SAHA SRAA NÄN / OM BOBORI / TSARI NI* TSARI / MORI GOLI TSALA WAARI SWAAHAA

This mantra is from the Kangyur, the Buddha’s teachings, and one of its benefits is that if you recite it a few times, your voice will have the power to purify the five very heavy negative karma without break of anyone who hears you, along with lighter negative karmas like the ten non-virtues, and not just people, but also animals and spirits. All they have to do is hear your voice, whether you are talking with somebody, reciting mantra, teaching, counseling, singing and so on. If you want to purify other people’s negative karma, and you don’t know what sound to make, you can even just cough and your coughing will have the power to purify those who hear it!

If you are somebody who appears on television or talks on the radio, by reciting this mantra you will be able to liberate the millions of people who see or hear you. Take the famous singer, Lady Gaga for example, who performs in front of millions of people. If Lady Gaga were to recite this mantra in the morning before singing, her voice would purify the heavy negative karma of all those people who come to hear her sing or talk. That shows how fortunate we are to know about this mantra and have the opportunity to use it to purify and help other sentient beings.

If you are a teacher or schoolteacher, you can recite this mantra before teaching. If you are a therapist or counselor, you can recite it before meeting with others. It’s the same if you spend your life working in an office, talking on the phone, at meetings or working in a hospice. If you recite this mantra every morning, you can purify the negative karma of whoever hears you, talks to you or sees you throughout the day. This is such an easy way to benefit others.

How to Learn the Chanting

LEARNING THE CHANTING

Listen to the original teaching Mark the Chanting (LOP 2009) 21 secs.

As you listen to the chanting, it is good to mark on the prayer book the places where the voice goes up or down. Try to get an idea of the design and draw the rhythm of the music. That will help make it easier for you to learn. Otherwise you will have no basis for learning.

Watch Rinpoche explain How to Draw the Chanting (Bendigo, 2014) 3 mins 20 secs.

KEYPOINTS FROM LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE FOR LEARNING THE CHANTING

1. Most of the chanting starts with ooooh (except for the Chöd chanting).  

2. As you listen to the chanting 

  • Mark on the text the places where the chanting goes up and comes down.
  • Draw the rhythm of the music.
  • Note the places where there is emphasis.
  • Pay attention to the places where the chanting goes up and down.
  • Write down the tunes between the words.
  • You must know where to stop because it is very precise.
Rinpoche’s drawing for the short mandala chant.
Rinpoche’s drawing for the short mandala chant.

EDITOR’S NOTE

The chanting in this multimedia series is taken from two separate sources. All the audio is from Light of the Path, USA, 2009. All the video is from Lama Zopa Australia Retreat, Bendigo, 2014. The earlier chanting, which exists in audio only, is a more reliable guide.

The text used here is the version in the FPMT Retreat Prayer Book (Lama Chöpa Jorchö, pp. 79-218). Verses are usually referred to by their first line, e.g. de chhen ngang lä rang nyi la ma lha, but I have replaced this with the titles and verse numbers in the FPMT prayer book, e.g. Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1).

Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhicitta (LC 2-6)

REFUGE AND BODHICITTA (LC 2-6)

Listen to the original teaching for Refuge and Bodhicitta (LC 2-6) (LOP 2009) 10 mins 10 secs.

According to Pabongka Rinpoche’s tradition, you don’t start the Guru Puja with the verse for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1) de chhen ngang lä rang nyi la ma lha, even though that is what is normally done. Instead you start from the motivation for Taking Refuge (LC 2) rab kar ge sem chhen pöi ngang nyi nä. This is the tradition according to Pabongka Rinpoche, His Holiness Zong Rinpoche and His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. However, in other traditions it is very common to start with Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1) de chhen ngang lä rang nyi la ma lha.

So I will try to chant, but my chanting is not very stable. It can change. If somebody is chanting with a very strong voice I can be influenced by that and my chanting changes.

LC 2RAB KAR GE SEM CHHEN PÖI NGANG NYI NÄFrom the state of an exalted white virtuous mind,DAG DANG KHA NYAM MA GÄN SEM CHÄN NAMI and all my mother sentient beings of old, who are equal to space,DENG NÄ JI SI JANG CHUB NYING PÖI BARFrom this moment until our supreme enlightenmentLA MA KÖN CHHOG SUM LA KYAB SU DROTake refuge in the Guru and the Three Rare Sublime Ones.

Start the chanting with ooooh

According to His Holiness Zong Rinpoche most of the chanting starts with ooooh. Not ahhhh, but ooooh. I mean there may be some times when ahhhhh is used, but the chanting starts with ooooh. Perhaps ooooh is a man’s voice and ahhhh is a nun’s or woman’s voice. A man’s voice is deeper and a woman’s voice is very fine and high. So if a nun is leading the chanting you don’t have to copy exactly the woman’s voice with a high ooooh. Just keep your normal voice—otherwise it will sound a little bit strange! I mean a woman’s voice fits women, and a man’s voice fits men.

The Elaborate Chanting for Taking Refuge (LC 2)

The Elaborate Chanting for Taking Refuge (LC 2) (Bendigo, 2014) 2 mins 16 secs.

Instructions for the Elaborate Chanting for Taking Refuge (LC 2) (LOP 2009) 2 mins 36 secs.

I’ll try that verse once more, this time beginning with the ooooh. It would be good if you can mark on the text the places where the chanting goes up and comes down.

LC 2RAB KAR GE SEM CHHEN PÖI NGANG NYI NÄFrom the state of an exalted white virtuous mind,DAG DANG KHA NYAM MA GÄN SEM CHÄN NAMI and all my mother sentient beings of old, who are equal to space,DENG NÄ JI SI JANG CHUB NYING PÖI BARFrom this moment until our supreme enlightenmentLA MA KÖN CHHOG SUM LA KYAB SU DROTake refuge in the Guru and the Three Rare Sublime Ones.

So these are the places where there is emphasis

g-e-e-e sem. chhe-e-e-e-n.ma-a-a-a-a gän.ja-a-a-a-ng chub.kön chhog su-u-u-m la.

Now I’ve drawn attention to these places I’ll chant it again. Then you will get the idea.

Rab kar g-e-e-e sem chhe-e-e-e-n pöi ngang nyi näDag dang kha nyam ma-a-a-a-a gän sem chän namDeng nä ji si ja-a-a-a-ng chub nying pöi barLa ma kön chhog su-u-u-m la kyab su dro

The Elaborate Chanting for Taking Refuge (LC 2) (LOP 2009) 47 secs.

LC 2RAB KAR GE SEM CHHEN PÖI NGANG NYI NÄFrom the state of an exalted white virtuous mind,DAG DANG KHA NYAM MA GÄN SEM CHÄN NAMI and all my mother sentient beings of old, who are equal to space,DENG NÄ JI SI JANG CHUB NYING PÖI BARFrom this moment until our supreme enlightenmentLA MA KÖN CHHOG SUM LA KYAB SU DROTake refuge in the Guru and the Three Rare Sublime Ones.

The Elaborate Chanting for Namo Gurubhya (LC 3)

The Elaborate Chanting for Namo Gurubhya (LC 3) (Bendigo, 2014) 2 mins 29 secs.

Instructions for the Elaborate Chanting for Namo Gurubhya (LC 3) (LOP 2009) 1 mins 44 secs.

You have to pay attention to the places where the chanting goes up and down. Okay?

Na-a-a-m-o-o-o

Na-a-m-o-o-o GurubhyaNa-a-m-o-o-o BuddhayaNa-a-m-o-o-o DharmayaNa-a-m-o-o-o Sanghaya

Na-a-m-o-o-o GurubhyaNa-a-m-o-o-o BuddhayaNa-a-m-o-o-o DharmayaNa-a-m-o-o-o Sanghaya

Na-a-m-o-o-o GurubhyaNa-a-m-o-o-o BuddhayaNa-a-m-o-o-o DharmayaNa-a-m-o-o-o Sanghaya

It’s Na-a-amo-o-o.  So you have to write down the between-tunes. Also pay attention to how you stop at the end of the final Namo Sanghaya.

The Elaborate Chanting for Namo Gurubhya (LOP 2009) 1 min 24 secs.

LC 3NAMO GURUBHYAI take refuge in the Guru.NAMO BUDDHAYAI take refuge in the Buddha.NAMO DHARMAYAI take refuge in the Dharma.NAMO SANGHAYAI take refuge in the Sangha.

If you have time, after reciting Namo Gurubhya, Namo Buddhaya, Namo Dharmaya, Namo Sanghaya, you can recite  

LA MA YI DAM KÖN CHHOG SUM LA KYAB SU CHHI OI take refuge in the Guru, the yidam, and the Three Rare Sublime Ones.

Normally these refuge prayers are recited three times each, but they can be recited any number of times depending on your time. If you are going to recite them four or five times each, with the first set of five recitations purify the negative karma collected with the Guru, with the Buddha, with the Dharma and with the Sangha; and with the second set receive blessings.

After this, you can recite the prayer for Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhicitta composed by Lama Atisha in Tibet

SANG GYÄ CHHÖ DANG TSHOG KYI CHHOG NAM LAI take refuge until I am enlightenedJANG CHHUB BAR DU DAG NI KYAB SU CHHIIn the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Supreme Assembly.DAG GI JIN SOG GYI PÄI TSHOG NAM KYI
By my merits of generosity and so forth,DRO LA PHÄN CHHIR SANG GYÄ DRUB PAR SHOGMay I become a buddha to benefit transmigratory beings.

Then meditate on the Four Immeasurable Thoughts and after that generate bodhicitta (LC 4) and special bodhicitta (LC 5-6).

Of course there is no need to recite these extra prayers when you don’t have time, just take refuge the very short way as it is written in the original Guru Puja text by Panchen Losang Chogyen.

GENERATING BODHICITTA (LC 4-6)

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating Bodhicitta (LC 4)

 The Elaborate Chanting for Generating Bodhicitta (LC 4) (Bendigo, 2014) 54 secs.

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating Bodhicitta (LC 4) (LOP 2009) 55 secs.

LC 4Ma sem chän-n-n kün gyi dön gyi chhirDag nyi la ma lhar gyur näSem chän tha-a-am chä la ma lhäiGo phang chhog la gö par ja

You have to get the chanting between the words when you do these verses. Write it down and then it’s easy. This verse is chanted three times. You can recite this and the following verses once in Tibetan and twice in English.

The Elaborate Chanting of Generating Bodhicitta (LC 4) (LOP 2009) 35 secs.

LC 4MA SEM CHÄN KÜN GYI DÖN GYI CHHIRFor the sake of all mother sentient beingsDAG NYI LA MA LHAR GYUR NÄI shall become the Guru-DeitySEM CHÄN THAM CHÄ LA MA LHÄII myself will cause them never to be separated from these.GO PHANG CHHOG LA GÖ PAR JAPlease, Guru-Deity, bless me to be able to do this.

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 5-6)

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 5-6) (Bendigo, 2014) 2 mins 6 secs.

Instructions for the Elaborate Chanting for Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 5-6) (LOP 2009) 1 min 42 secs.

GENERATING SPECIAL BODHICITTA

At the beginning of the Guru Puja when we generate the second bodhicitta (LC 5-6), which is the special bodhicitta motivation to practice tantra, there is the expression “quicker and quicker” or “quickly quickly” (nyur wa nyur wa). The meaning of this first quickly is that tantric practice is quicker than the Mahayana Paramitayana path. The second quickly means that highest tantra practice is quicker than the lower tantras…

Read more about the meaning of Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 5-6) in What Makes Tantra So Fast?

When you are learning the chanting you have to concentrate on the small details of where the chanting goes up and down. Normally we don’t pay much attention to these and so the chanting is rough.

Also, you must know where to stop each verse.

LC 5Ma sem chän tham chä kyi dön du.

Stop the chanting there.

Dag gi tshe di nyi la.  

Stop there.

Nyur wa nyu-u-ur war dö mäi san-n-ng gyä.La ma lhäi.Go phang ngö-ö-ö-ön du jä.

LC 6Ma sem chän tham chä.Dug ngäl lä dräl.De chhen sang gyä kyi.Sa la gö-ö-ö-ö par ja.Dei chhir du.Lam zab mo.La ma lhäi.Näl jor nyam su lang war gyi wo.

That is the chanting. You must know where to stop because it is very precise. Each of these lines is chanted with one complete breath. Normally with chanting there are fixed places to stop.

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 5-6) (LOP 2009) 34 secs.

LC 5MA SEM CHÄN THAM CHÄ KYI DÖN DU DAG GIFor the sake of all mother sentient beingsTSHE DI NYI LA NYUR WA NYUR WAR DÖ MÄI SANG GYÄI shall quickly, quickly, in this very life,LA MA LHÄI GO PHANG NGÖN DU JÄActualize the state of the primordial Buddha-Guru-Deity.

LC 6MA SEM CHÄN THAM CHÄ DUG NGÄL LÄ DRÄLI shall free all mother sentient beings from sufferingDE CHHEN SANG GYÄ KYI SA LA GÖ PAR JAAnd lead them to the great bliss of buddhahood;DEI CHHIR DU LAM ZAB MO LA MA LHÄITherefore, I shall practiceNÄL JOR NYAM SU LANG WAR GYI WOThe profound path of Guru-Deity yoga.

The Medium Chanting for Taking Refuge to Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 2-6)

The Medium Chanting for Taking Refuge and Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 2-6) (Bendigo, 2014) 1 min 21 secs.

The Short Chanting for Taking Refuge to Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 2-6)

The Short Chanting for Taking Refuge to Generating Special Bodhicitta (Bendigo, 2014)  (LC 2-6) 1 min 23 secs.

The Short Chanting for Taking Refuge to Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 2-6) (LOP 2009) 1 min 2 secs.

Then a quicker way of chanting (LC 2-6)

LC 2RAB KAR GE SEM CHHEN PÖI NGANG NYI NÄFrom the state of an exalted white virtuous mind,DAG DANG KHA NYAM MA GÄN SEM CHÄN NAMI and all my mother sentient beings of old, who are equal to space,DENG NÄ JI SI JANG CHUB NYING PÖI BARFrom this moment until our supreme enlightenmentLA MA KÖN CHHOG SUM LA KYAB SU DROTake refuge in the Guru and the Three Rare Sublime Ones.

LC 3NAMO GURUBHYAI take refuge in the Guru.NAMO BUDDHAYAI take refuge in the Buddha.NAMO DHARMAYAI take refuge in the Dharma.NAMO SANGHAYAI take refuge in the Sangha.

LC 4MA SEM CHÄN KÜN GYI DÖN GYI CHHIRFor the sake of all mother sentient beingsDAG NYI LA MA LHAR GYUR NÄI shall become the Guru-DeitySEM CHÄN THAM CHÄ LA MA LHÄII myself will cause them never to be separated from these.GO PHANG CHHOG LA GÖ PAR JAPlease, Guru-Deity, bless me to be able to do this.

LC 5MA SEM CHÄN THAM CHÄ KYI DÖN DU DAG GIFor the sake of all mother sentient beingsTSHE DI NYI LA NYUR WA NYUR WAR DÖ MÄI SANG GYÄI shall quickly, quickly, in this very life,LA MA LHÄI GO PHANG NGÖN DU JÄActualize the state of the primordial Buddha-Guru-Deity.

LC 6MA SEM CHÄN THAM CHÄ DUG NGÄL LÄ DRÄLI shall free all mother sentient beings from sufferingDE CHHEN SANG GYÄ KYI SA LA GÖ PAR JAAnd lead them to the great bliss of buddhahood;DEI CHHIR DU LAM ZAB MO LA MA LHÄITherefore, I shall practiceNÄL JOR NYAM SU LANG WAR GYI WOThe profound path of Guru-Deity yoga.

That’s the quick way of chanting these verses.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GURU PUJA AND LAMA CHÖPA JORCHÖ?

The reason why there are additional prayers in the Guru Puja texts we use (Lama Chöpa Jorchö) is because when His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a commentary to the Guru Puja at the Second Dharma Celebration, EEC 2, in Dharamsala, 1986, His Holiness explained how to do the Guru Puja in an elaborate way combining it with the six preparatory practices (jorchö). His Holiness mentioned to do it this way during that commentary.

So if you are going to do these preliminaries the elaborate way, start with the preparatory practices, visualize the refuge field, take refuge (LC 2) and recite the refuge formula (LC 3). Then recite the prayer for Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhicitta, the Four Immeasurables, generating bodhicitta (LC 4), Special Bodhicitta (LC 5-6), meditate on the three kayas, arise as the deity (LC 1) and bless the offerings (LC 7-8).

Then of course the shortest way, according to the lineage of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Song Rinpoche that comes from Pabongka Rinpoche, is to begin with Taking Refuge (LC 2), then bodhicitta (LC 4), then Special Bodhicitta (LC 5-6), then go back to Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1) and Blessing the Offerings (LC 7-8). There is nothing else added.

Meditating on the Three Kayas, Generating as the Deity and Blessing the Offerings (LC 1, 7-8)

EDITOR’S NOTE Practicing this section requires a highest yoga tantra empowerment.

The Elaborate Way of Meditating on the Three Kayas and Generating as the Deity (LC 1)

Listen to the original teaching on Meditating on the Three Kayas, Generating as the Deity, Blessing Offerings (LOP 2009) 11 mins 34 secs.

If you have received highest tantra initiation and are doing the meditation on the three kayas and generating as the deity in an elaborate way, this meditation from the Yamantaka sadhana is inserted before meditating on the dharmakaya

Rang dang tshog zhing dang de dag lä zhän päi chhö tham chä ten nä tag pa yin päi chhir / tag chhe la sog päi tha zhi dang dräl wäi dag me päi rang zhin tong pa nyi du gyur

Because I, the deities of the field of merit and all other phenomena are merely imputed on dependent arisings, everything becomes empty, having the true nature of selflessness, free from the four extremes, such as eternalism, nihilism and so forth.

Because you, the merit field, the deities and all other phenomena are merely imputed by depending on the base, they are all devoid of the four extremes: the extreme of nihilism and so forth. These four are not in the prayer book but I have them written down in my Yamantaka sadhana. The four extremes are:  (1) not inherently existent (eternalism), (2) not non-existent (nihilism), (3) not both, (4) nor neither. The last one is “nor neither” but I remember that you have to add the words “truly existent”to that, so it becomes “nor neither truly existent.” It is neither truly existent, nor non-nihilistic and non-eternalistic.

After saying this, you recite the mantra

OM SVABHAVA SHUDDHA SARVA DHARMA SVABHAVA SHUDDHO HAM

And meditate that the I becomes empty. There is no self. The nature is empty.

Solitary Hero Yamantaka.
Solitary Hero Yamantaka.

In the Yamantaka sadhana the mantra comes first, followed by the meditation “Because I, the deities…” But His Holiness advised in the commentary to do the meditation first and afterwards the mantra OM SVABHAVA SHUDDHA SARVA DHARMA SVABHAVA SHUDDHO HAM because doing it this way is more suitable for meditation. That’s the idea behind changing the order. It was His Holiness’ advice

Next, generate as the deity by meditating on the dharmakaya. Of course, what this comprises is: A replica of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha absorbs into you and you become Buddha. From the pores of your holy body beams are emitted carrying buddhas, which descend to the crown of each sentient being, purifying and enlightening them. They all become Buddha and then all the buddhas you transformed absorb back into you. Then the merit field absorbs.

There is no Lama Tsongkhapa in this first merit field so everything absorbs into Guru Shakyamuni Buddha with Vajradhara and the syllable HUNG at the heart. This absorbs to you. Then from blue light you become Yamantaka, sending out beams that transform everybody into Yamantaka. These all absorb back to you and you meditate on the twenty-five absorptions as the HUNG gradually absorbs followed by the dharmakaya meditation. After meditating on the dharmakaya, you arise in the sambhogakaya and then in the nirmanakaya as Yamantaka.

At this point if you have received the highest tantra empowerment you would normally recite the words for arising as Yamantaka with one face and two arms, but you can just say

TEN DANG TEN PÄI KYIL KHOR YONG SU DZOG PAR GYURThe supported (deity) and supporting mandalas are fully completed.

Then chant the verse for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1) de chhen ngang lä rang nyi la ma lha.

This is the elaborate way of meditating on the three kayas and generating as the deity

The Short Way of Meditating on the Three Kayas and Generating as the Deity (LC 1)

The short way of meditating on the three kayas and generating as the deity is that after you finish the second bodhicitta, which is the special bodhicitta for practicing tantra, Generating Special Bodhicitta (LC 5-6), you go straight to the verse for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1) de chhen ngang lä rang nyi la ma lha. However, you still do all the meditation contained in the elaborate way.

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1)

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1) (Bendigo, 2014) 50 secs.

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1) (LOP 2009) 47 secs.

Here is the chanting for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1)

LC 1DE CHHEN NGANG LÄ RANG NYI LA MA LHAFrom within great bliss, I arise as the Guru-Deity.GANG DER SÄL WÄI KU LÄ Ö ZER TSHOGFrom my body, masses of light rays emanate into the ten directions,CHHOG CHUR THRÖ PÄ NÖ CHÜ JIN LAB PÄBlessing the world and the beings,DAG PA RAB JAM BA ZHIG YÖN TÄN GYISo that all is perfectly placedKÖ PÄI KHYÄ PAR PHÜN SUM TSHOG PAR GYURIn the quality of utter infinite purity.

The Medium Chanting for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1)

The Medium Chanting for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1) (Bendigo, 2014) 19 secs.

LC 1DE CHHEN NGANG LÄ RANG NYI LA MA LHAFrom within great bliss, I arise as the Guru-Deity.GANG DER SÄL WÄI KU LÄ Ö ZER TSHOGFrom my body, masses of light rays emanate into the ten directions,CHHOG CHUR THRÖ PÄ NÖ CHÜ JIN LAB PÄBlessing the world and the beings,DAG PA RAB JAM BA ZHIG YÖN TÄN GYISo that all is perfectly placedKÖ PÄI KHYÄ PAR PHÜN SUM TSHOG PAR GYURIn the quality of utter infinite purity.

The Short Chanting for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1)

The Short Chanting for Generating Oneself as the Deity (LC 1) (Bendigo, 2014) 28 secs.

LC 1DE CHHEN NGANG LÄ RANG NYI LA MA LHAFrom within great bliss, I arise as the Guru-Deity.GANG DER SÄL WÄI KU LÄ Ö ZER TSHOGFrom my body, masses of light rays emanate into the ten directions,CHHOG CHUR THRÖ PÄ NÖ CHÜ JIN LAB PÄBlessing the world and the beings,DAG PA RAB JAM BA ZHIG YÖN TÄN GYISo that all is perfectly placedKÖ PÄI KHYÄ PAR PHÜN SUM TSHOG PAR GYURIn the quality of utter infinite purity.

BLESSING THE OFFERINGS (LC 7-8)

After arising as the deity, bless the offerings.

Ritual implements. (Photo Ricardo de Arantanha)
Ritual implements. (Photo Ricardo de Arantanha)

The Elaborate Way of Blessing the Offerings (LC 7-8)

For the elaborate way of blessing the offerings the long or short blessing from the Yamantaka sadhana is used. In the Sakya tradition it seems the outer offerings are often blessed first and then the inner offering, but in Lama Tsong Khapa’s tradition the inner offering is blessed first and then you sprinkle from the inner offering to chase away the interferers and bless the outer offerings.

So first bless the inner offering and then the outer offerings by (1) dispelling the interferers, (2) purifying the substances into emptiness and (3) generating them as pure offerings. The offerings are blessed with OM AH HUM, the nature of the deities’ holy body, speech and mind.

The eight outer sense offerings are

OM ARGHAM AH HUM, OM PADYAM AH HUM, OM PUSHPE AH HUM OM DHUPE AH HUM, OM ALOKE AH HUM, OM GANDHE AH HUM, OM NAIVIDYA AH HUM, OM SHAPTA AH HUM

Or the short way is

OM ARGHAM, PADYAM, PUSHPE, DHUPE, ALOKE, GANDHE, NAIVIDYA, SHAPTA AH HUM

And after that there are the five objects of desire

OM RUPA, SHAPTA, GANDHE, RASA, SPARSHA HUM

I saw one text where it mentioned only om argham, padyam,pushpe, dhupe, aloke, gandhe, naividya, shapta, om rupa, shapta and didn’t have the rest—gandhe, rasa and sparsha.

That is the basic instruction for the elaborate way of blessing the offerings. You should be aware that there are different ways of performing the mudras according to the Upper (Gyuto) and Lower (Gyume) Tantric Colleges. As I mentioned before it is considered very important to preserve these specific details of the rituals very strictly.

Then recite LC 7-8. There is no particular chanting for this but of course you play the instruments with LC 8.

LC 7OM AH HUM (3x)

LC 8NGO WO YESHE LA NAM PA NANG CHHÖ DANG CHHÖ DZÄ SO SOI NAM PA JE LÄ WANG PO DRUG GI CHÖ YUL DU DE TONG GI YE SHE KHYÄ PAR CHÄN KYE PÄ SA DANG BAR NANG NAM KHÄI KHYÖN THAM CHÄ YONG SU KHYAB PÄI CHHI NANG SANG WÄI CHHÖ TRIN DAM DZÄ CHÄN ZIG SAM GYI MI KHYAB PÄ GANG WAR GYUR

Pure clouds of outer, inner and secret offering substances pervade the reaches of space, earth and sky, spreading out inconceivably. In nature, they are transcendental wisdom; in aspet, inner offerigs and the individual offering substances. As enjoyments of the six senses, they function to generate the special transcendental wisdom of bliss and emptiness.

The Short Way of Blessing the Offerings (LC 7-8)

The short way of blessing the offerings is to simply to recite

LC 7OM AH HUM (3x)

LC 8NGO WO YESHE LA NAM PA NANG CHHÖ DANG CHHÖ DZÄ SO SOI NAM PA JE LÄ WANG PO DRUG GI CHÖ YUL DU DE TONG GI YE SHE KHYÄ PAR CHÄN KYE PÄ SA DANG BAR NANG NAM KHÄI KHYÖN THAM CHÄ YONG SU KHYAB PÄI CHHI NANG SANG WÄI CHHÖ TRIN DAM DZÄ CHÄN ZIG SAM GYI MI KHYAB PÄ GANG WAR GYUR

Pure clouds of outer, inner and secret offering substances pervade the reaches of space, earth and sky, spreading out inconceivably. In nature, they are transcendental wisdom; in aspet, inner offerigs and the individual offering substances. As enjoyments of the six senses, they function to generate the special transcendental wisdom of bliss and emptiness.

Watch Rinpoche give a detailed teaching on Meditating on the 3 Kayas, Generating as the Deity and Blessing the Offerings (LC 1, 7-8) (Bendigo, 2014) 46 mins 3 secs.

Generating the Merit Field and the Invocation (LC 9-17)

GENERATING THE MERIT FIELD (LC 9-14)

Listen to the original teaching on Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14) (LOP 2009) 8 mins 29 secs.

Now generate the second merit field (LC 9-14).

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14)

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14) (Bendigo, 2014) 1 min 54 secs.

Instructions for the Elaborate Chanting of Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14) (LOP 2009) 4 mins 32 secs.

I’m not going to chant the whole thing, just the beginning of the elaborate chanting. Lama Lhundrup used to use this chanting for the tsog at Kopan. As I mentioned before, he learnt it from Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s attendant, Gegula, in Buxa. Some monks learnt from Gegula and some learnt from Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.

LC 9DE TONG YER ME LHA LAM YANG PARIn the vast space of indivisible bliss and emptiness,KÜN ZANG CHHÖ TRIN THRIG PÄI ÜAmidst billowing clouds of Samantabhadra offerings,LO MA ME TOG DRÄ BÜ YONG DZEAt the crest of a wish-granting tree,DÖ GÜI PAG SAM JÖN PÄI TSERAdorned with leaves, flowers and fruit,DONG NGA BAR WÄI RIN CHHEN THRI TENGIs a precious lion throne ablaze with gems,CHHU KYE NYI DA GYÄ PÄI TENGOn which is a wide lotus, sun and full moon.

LC 10KA DRIN SUM DÄN TSA WÄI LA MAOn them sits my root Guru, kind in three ways,SANG GYÄ KÜN GYI NGO WO NYIIn nature all buddhas,NAM PA NGUR MIG DZIN PÄI GE LONGIn aspect a saffron-robed monk,ZHÄL CHIG CHHAG NYI DZUM KAR THROWith one face, two arms and a radiant white smile.CHHAG YÄ CHHÖ CHHÄ YÖN PA NYAM ZHAGYour right hand is in the gesture of expounding the Dharma,DÜ TSI GANG WÄI LHUNG ZE NAMYour left is in meditative pose, holding an alms bowl full of nectar.

Go slowly, like that and carry the same rhythm through the chanting.

One thing you have to pay attention to is the number of syllables before you stop. Even though I didn’t recite the whole thing but you can get the idea: detongyermelhalamyangpar. That’s eight syllables. Then künzangchhötrinthrigpäiü. Then lomametogdräyongdze and stop there.

The Elaborate Chanting for Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14) (LOP 2009) 1 min 15 secs.

LC 9DE TONG YER ME LHA LAM YANG PARIn the vast space of indivisible bliss and emptiness,KÜN ZANG CHHÖ TRIN THRIG PÄI ÜAmidst billowing clouds of Samantabhadra offerings,LO MA ME TOG DRÄ BÜ YONG DZEAt the crest of a wish-granting tree,DÖ GÜI PAG SAM JÖN PÄI TSERAdorned with leaves, flowers and fruit,DONG NGA BAR WÄI RIN CHHEN THRI TENGIs a precious lion throne ablaze with gems,CHHU KYE NYI DA GYÄ PÄI TENGOn which is a wide lotus, sun and full moon.

At Kopan they normally use this chanting but the umdze does it with a very high voice de tong yer me… I hope they are not watching!

The Medium Chanting for Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14)

The Medium Chanting for Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14) (Bendigo, 2014) 39 secs.

The Medium Chanting for Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14) (LOP 2009) 1 min 7 secs.

Now here is the middle way of chanting. His Holiness Zong Rinpoche chants it like this

LC 9DE TONG YER ME LHA LAM YANG PARIn the vast space of indivisible bliss and emptiness,KÜN ZANG CHHÖ TRIN THRIG PÄI ÜAmidst billowing clouds of Samantabhadra offerings,LO MA ME TOG DRÄ BÜ YONG DZEAt the crest of a wish-granting tree,DÖ GÜI PAG SAM JÖN PÄI TSERAdorned with leaves, flowers and fruit,DONG NGA BAR WÄI RIN CHHEN THRI TENGIs a precious lion throne ablaze with gems,CHHU KYE NYI DA GYÄ PÄI TENGOn which is a wide lotus, sun and full moon.

LC 10KA DRIN SUM DÄN TSA WÄI LA MAOn them sits my root Guru, kind in three ways,SANG GYÄ KÜN GYI NGO WO NYIIn nature all buddhas,NAM PA NGUR MIG DZIN PÄI GE LONGIn aspect a saffron-robed monk,ZHÄL CHIG CHHAG NYI DZUM KAR THROWith one face, two arms and a radiant white smile.

The Short Chanting for Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14)

The Short Chanting for Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14) (Bendigo, 2014) 48 secs.

The Short Chanting for Generating the Merit Field (LC 9-14) (LOP 2009) 33 secs.

Then here is the quick way of chanting

LC 9DE TONG YER ME LHA LAM YANG PARIn the vast space of indivisible bliss and emptiness,KÜN ZANG CHHÖ TRIN THRIG PÄI ÜAmidst billowing clouds of Samantabhadra offerings,LO MA ME TOG DRÄ BÜ YONG DZEAt the crest of a wish-granting tree,DÖ GÜI PAG SAM JÖN PÄI TSERAdorned with leaves, flowers and fruit,DONG NGA BAR WÄI RIN CHHEN THRI TENGIs a precious lion throne ablaze with gems,CHHU KYE NYI DA GYÄ PÄI TENGOn which is a wide lotus, sun and full moon.

LC 10KA DRIN SUM DÄN TSA WÄI LA MAOn them sits my root Guru, kind in three ways,SANG GYÄ KÜN GYI NGO WO NYIIn nature all buddhas,NAM PA NGUR MIG DZIN PÄI GE LONGIn aspect a saffron-robed monk,ZHÄL CHIG CHHAG NYI DZUM KAR THROWith one face, two arms and a radiant white smile.

Kopan monks at the Great Prayer Festival, Kopan, 2017. (Photo Ven Tenzin Tsultrim)
Kopan monks at the Great Prayer Festival, Kopan, 2017. (Photo Ven Tenzin Tsultrim)

INVOCATION (LC 16, 15, 17)

Listen to the original teaching on the Invocation (LC 16, 15, 17) (LOP 2009) 7 mins 59 secs.

Next comes the Invocation (LC 16-15). The elaborate chanting I do for this is based on the chanting from Ganden Shartse. Ganden Monastery has two branches Ganden Jangtse and Ganden Shartse. Ganden Shartse is Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s college. His Holiness Zong Rinpoche used this particular chanting and it is one that you don’t normally hear. I will try to chant it but of course you have to know that my chanting is not exactly right. Still I’ll try.

Again, according to Kyabje Pabongka’s instructions, the way of chanting the stanzas for the invocation is reversed. You start by chanting the last stanza (LC 16) chö nam rang zhin and then the first stanza (LC 15) phün tshog de leg is done afterwards. It fits with the meaning and that is the way His Holiness Zong Rinpoche would chant it.

The Elaborate Chanting for the Invocation (LC 16, 15)

The Elaborate Chanting for the Invocation (LC 16,15) (Bendigo, 2014) 7 mins 1 sec.

Instructions for the Elaborate Chanting for the Invocation (LC 16, 15) (LOP 2009) 5 mins 51 secs.

LC 16Chö nam rang zhin …

So you have to fill up the chant between the tunes. Okay?     

LC 16Chö nam rang zhin dro ong kün dräl yang…

Don’t stop at the end. It becomes finer.

…na tshog dül jäi sam pa ji zhin du

It’s like this

Chir yang char wäi khye-n-n-n-tsei thrin lä chänKyab gön dam pa khor chä sheg su söl.    

LC 15Phü-ü-ü-n-tshog d-e-e-e-leg ju-u-u-ung nä dü sum gyiTsa gyü la ma yi dam kön chhog sumPa wo kha dro chh-ö-ö-ö-kyong kyong sung tshog chäThug jei wang gi dir sheg tän par zhug

For this last part wang gi dir sheg go slowly. Don’t immediately go up high. Go slowly and then when you go up high there are one, two, three curves. Like this

Phün tshog de leg jung nä dü sum gyiTsa gyü la ma yi dam kön chho-o-o-o-g sumPa wo kha dro chhö kyong sung tshog chäThug jei wang gi dir sheg tän par zhug

That’s the elaborate chanting. If you can get some idea of the design it will be easier to learn, otherwise you have no basis.

The Elaborate Chanting of the Invocation (LC 16) (LOP 2009) 1 min 24 secs.  

LC 16CHÖ NAM RANG ZHIN DRO ONG KÜN DRÄL YANGThough phenomena are free of any inherent coming and going,NA TSHOG DÜL JÄI SAM PA JI ZHIN DUYou arise through your enlightened activity of wisdom and loving compassionCHIR YANG CHAR WÄI KHYEN TSEI THRIN LÄ CHÄNAccording to the dispositions of varied disciples.KYAB GÖN DAM PA KHOR CHÄ SHEG SU SÖLHoly refuge savior, please come forth with your retinue.

The Elaborate Chanting for the Invocation (LC 15) (LOP 2009) 1 min 37 secs.

LC 15PHÜN TSHOG DE LEG JUNG NÄ DÜ SUM GYISource of complete goodness and excellence throughout the three times:TSA GYÜ LA MA YI DAM KÖN CHHOG SUMRoot and lineage gurus, yidams, Three Rare Sublime Ones,PA WO KHA DRO CHHÖ KYONG SUNG TSHOG CHÄHeroes, dakinis and hosts of Dharma protectors and guardians,THUG JEI WANG GI DIR SHEG TÄN PAR ZHUGBy the power of your compassion, come forth and abide steadfast.

The Medium Chanting for the Invocation (LC 16, 15)

The Medium Chanting for the Invocation (LC 16,15) (Bendigo, 2014) 40 secs.

LC 16CHÖ NAM RANG ZHIN DRO ONG KÜN DRÄL YANGThough phenomena are free of any inherent coming and going,NA TSHOG DÜL JÄI SAM PA JI ZHIN DUYou arise through your enlightened activity of wisdom and loving compassionCHIR YANG CHAR WÄI KHYEN TSEI THRIN LÄ CHÄNAccording to the dispositions of varied disciples.KYAB GÖN DAM PA KHOR CHÄ SHEG SU SÖLHoly refuge savior, please come forth with your retinue.

LC 15PHÜN TSHOG DE LEG JUNG NÄ DÜ SUM GYISource of complete goodness and excellence throughout the three times:TSA GYÜ LA MA YI DAM KÖN CHHOG SUMRoot and lineage gurus, yidams, Three Rare Sublime Ones,PA WO KHA DRO CHHÖ KYONG SUNG TSHOG CHÄHeroes, dakinis and hosts of Dharma protectors and guardians,THUG JEI WANG GI DIR SHEG TÄN PAR ZHUGBy the power of your compassion, come forth and abide steadfast.

The Short Chanting for the Invocation (LC 16, 15)

The Short Chanting for the Invocation (LC 16, 15) (Bendigo, 2014) 44 secs.

The Short Chanting for the Invocation (LC 16, 15, 17) (LOP 2009) 31 secs.

Then of course you can do the usual chanting

LC 16CHÖ NAM RANG ZHIN DRO ONG KÜN DRÄL YANGThough phenomena are free of any inherent coming and going,NA TSHOG DÜL JÄI SAM PA JI ZHIN DUYou arise through your enlightened activity of wisdom and loving compassionCHIR YANG CHAR WÄI KHYEN TSEI THRIN LÄ CHÄNAccording to the dispositions of varied disciples.KYAB GÖN DAM PA KHOR CHÄ SHEG SU SÖLHoly refuge savior, please come forth with your retinue.

LC 15PHÜN TSHOG DE LEG JUNG NÄ DÜ SUM GYISource of complete goodness and excellence throughout the three times:TSA GYÜ LA MA YI DAM KÖN CHHOG SUMRoot and lineage gurus, yidams, Three Rare Sublime Ones,PA WO KHA DRO CHHÖ KYONG SUNG TSHOG CHÄHeroes, dakinis and hosts of Dharma protectors and guardians,THUG JEI WANG GI DIR SHEG TÄN PAR ZHUGBy the power of your compassion, come forth and abide steadfast.

Gyaling puja instruments, Mandarava, Nepal. (Photo Peter Ho)
Gyaling puja instruments, Mandarava, Nepal. (Photo Peter Ho)

Additional Resources for Study

More Video Resources: Chanting the Guru Puja

Watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche give a teaching (38 mins 16 secs) on all the chanting found in this multimedia from Taking Refuge to Prostrations (LC 1-22) given in Bendigo, Australia, 2014.

FPMT Chanting Source Materials

Access videos of Lama Zopa Rinpoche chanting during the Lama Zopa Australia Retreat, Bendigo, 2014 here.

FPMT Retreat Prayer Book

Contains the current version of the Guru Puja practice put together by Lama Zopa Rinpoche for use at retreats and for daily practice, the Lama Chöpa Jorchö, along with other prayers.

More Free Teachings by Rinpoche on Guru Puja

Three teachings on Guru Puja available for free download in pdf form.

A short commentary on Guru Puja given by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Langri Tangpa Centre, Brisbane, Australia, 1991. Edited by Ven. Ailsa Cameron.

The Heart of the Path: Seeing the Guru as Buddha

This book is essential companion reading for anyone wanting to understand and practice the Guru Puja. It contains a wealth of essential teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche covering the topic of guru devotion in extensive detail.

Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand

Classic discourses on the lamrim tradition by the great Pabongka Rinpoche, which are essential reading. Excellent for additional information on the preliminary rites of Jorchö and the meditations for guru devotion.

Liberation in Our Hands 3 Vols.

An alternative translation of the above in three volumes.

Manjushri’s Innermost Secret

Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen’s commentary on the First Panchen Lama’s Guru Puja. Many of these teachings were previously held as sealed-in-secret oral instructions that swiftly guide the spiritual practitioner to the state of complete enlightenment through the full spectrum of teachings on the lamrim and mind training (lojong) as well as the generation and completion stages of highest yoga tantra, all of which are centered around, and grounded in, deep heart-felt faith and devotion for one’s spiritual guide.

This text is restricted to those who have received a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment.

Teachings from the Medicine Buddha Retreat

Teachings from a three-week Medicine Buddha retreat led by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in California in 2001, including several sessions on Guru Puja.

Teachings from the Vajrasattva Retreat

Teachings from a three-month Vajrasattva Retreat in California led by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 1999, with several instructions on the Guru Puja practice.

Union of Bliss and Emptiness  

Teachings on the Guru Puja practice given by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama during the FPMT-sponsored Second Dharma Celebration, EEC2. Translated by Thubten Jinpa.

Miscellaneous Photo Credits

Cover photo: Lama Zopa Rinpoche performing puja with the Kopan sangha, 2017. Photo Ven Losang Sherab.

Chapter title: How to Learn the Chanting: Kopan umdze, Geshe Sherab. Photo Ven Tenzin Tsultrim.

Chapter title: Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhicitta: Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Kopan monks at Boudha stupa, Nepal, 2017. Photo Bill Kane.

Chapter title: Meditating on the Three Kayas, Generating as the Deity and Blessing the Offerings (LC 1,7-8): Lama Zopa Rinpoche meditating during the Medicine Buddha Retreat, RJL, Malaysia, 2016. Photo Bill Kane.

Chapter title: Generating the Merit Field and the Invocation (LC 9-17): Guru Puja Merit Field. Photo unknown.

About the Guru Puja is the Heart Practice Series

“All the previous holy beings of our tradition also did this Guru Puja as the heart practice. It has few words but encompasses so much. It has great blessing and the profound vital points.”

Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo quoted by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, long life puja, Kopan, Nepal, 2017. (Photo Bill Kane)
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, long life puja, Kopan, Nepal, 2017. (Photo Bill Kane)

Guru Puja is the Heart Practice contains a wealth of teachings and instructions on the Guru Puja, which Rinpoche emphasizes is to be taken as the very heart of our practice, just as it has been for generations of great masters and yogi-practitioners of the past. It also introduces chanting and the lineage of chanting to be used for the Guru Puja within the FPMT.

The multimedia series is based on six sessions taught by Lama Zopa Rinpoche at the first Light of the Path retreat in North Carolina, 2009. These are supplemented by other multimedia material taken from similar teachings given by Rinpoche at retreats around the world, along with links to related materials. Edited by Venerable Sarah Thresher.

Part One: The Importance of Practicing Guru Puja  Part Two: An Introduction to the Chanting Lineage of the Guru PujaPart Three: The Seven-Limb PracticePart Four: Making Requests to the Gurus Part Five: The Tsog Offering (restricted)Part Six: The Lamrim Prayer to the Verses of Auspiciousness

The Guru Puja is a highest yoga tantra practice.

About the Heart Advice Series

The goal of the LYWA Heart Advice Series is to preserve and make available Rinpoche’s unique style and lineage of teachings and practices. Heart Advice is a series of core teachings — the “heart advice” — taken from the experiential instructions of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. You can read more about the goals of the Heart Advice Series here.

The main resources for the Heart Advice titles are Rinpoche’s major retreats, commentaries and transmissions given since 2008, although other Archive materials supplement these.

The first title in this series was Bodhisattva Attitude: How to Dedicate Your Life to Others.

The Heart Advice Series is dedicated to the long life and perfect health of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, to his continuous teaching activity and to the fulfillment of all his holy wishes.

About LYWA Multimedia

LYWA hopes that these multimedia presentations will serve to immerse you in these precious teachings and will enhance your meditation and practice. By weaving Archive resources together in this multidimensional way we intend to offer you the means to deepen your experience of the teachings – almost as if you had attended the teachings in person.

This second chapter in Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Guru Puja is the Heart Practice, Introduction to the Chanting Lineage of the Guru Puja, joins the first chapter, The Importance of Practicing Guru Puja, and adds to our growing collection of multimedia titles including Lama Yeshe’s The Best Answers Come Through Meditation, The Nature of the Mind, and Freedom – Courage – Realization and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s The Merely Imputed I and the Bodhisattva Attitude multimedia series which includes Everything Depends on Your Attitude, Cutting the Concept of Permanence, Give Up Stretching the Legs, Four Wrong Concepts and The Bodhisattva Attitude. Explore the complete collection of LYWA multimedia titles here.

We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions!

Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive

These multimedia titles are made possible by the kind supporters of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive who, like you, appreciate how the Archive makes the teachings of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche freely available in myriad formats on the LYWA website for researching, listening, reading, downloading and ordering, shared daily with our social media communities and distributed worldwide as audio books, ebooks and many free books.

Please join us in sharing the Dharma with everyone everywhere for the happiness and benefit of all beings. Learn how by visiting us at LamaYeshe.com.

Thank you so much!

Sign up for the LYWA monthly free Dharma e-letter!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.