White Lotus: An Explanation of the Seven-Line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava

Overview

The commentary translated in these pages is unusual and rare. But if the commentary is a rarity, its subject matter—the seven-line invocation of Padmasambhava—is one of the best-known prayers in the Tibetan Buddhist world.

The overall significance of the Seven-Line Prayer is perhaps best appreciated in relation to a practice called guru-yoga, or "union with the nature of the guru." The purpose of guru-yoga is to purify and deepen the student's relationship with his or her ...

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Overview

The commentary translated in these pages is unusual and rare. But if the commentary is a rarity, its subject matter—the seven-line invocation of Padmasambhava—is one of the best-known prayers in the Tibetan Buddhist world.

The overall significance of the Seven-Line Prayer is perhaps best appreciated in relation to a practice called guru-yoga, or "union with the nature of the guru." The purpose of guru-yoga is to purify and deepen the student's relationship with his or her teacher. It is introduced as one of the preliminary practices, and it remains crucial—in fact, its importance increases—as one progresses through the more advanced levels of the tantric path. The cultivation of devotion to the guru and the blending of one's mind with his or her enlightened mind is, in the words of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, "the most vital and necessary of all practices and is in itself the surest and fastest way to reach the goal of enlightenment."

Regarding the origin of this commentary, Mipham refers in the colophon to an event that triggered the abrupt appearance in his mind of the hidden meaning of the prayer. It is interesting to note that the language Mipham uses suggests that the commentary itself is not an ordinary composition but perhaps a treasure teaching, specifically a "mind-treasure" or gongter.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Enshrining the most sacred prayer to Guru Padmasambhava, the Vajra Seven-Line Prayer, White Lotus elucidates its five layers of meaning as revealed by the eminent scholar Mipham the Great. This commentary now makes this treasure, which has been kept secret among the great masters of Tibet for generations, available as a source of blessings and learning for all.”—Tulku Thondup, author of Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth

"The Seven-Line Prayer is the most majestic of all prayers to Guru Padmasambhava—the buddha for our time. It has been cherished over the centuries as the most powerful way to invoke his blessings. How wonderful that we have this commentary, one of Mipham Rinpoche's most inspiring works, to elucidate these sacred verses and reveal their profound meaning."—Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

"Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche's Pema Karpo is a beautiful and essential text describing the outer, inner, and secret ways that the wisdom in Vajrayana manifests as Padmasambhava. This new translation will be of great benefit to those traveling on the path of tantra."—The Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, author of Turning the Mind into an Ally and Ruling Your World

Library Journal

This text carefully and clearly translates respected 19th-century Tibetan scholar Mipham's commentary on the deceptively simple Seven-Line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava, aka Guru Rinpoche, the Precious Master. Guru Padmasambhava is particularly revered in the Nyingmapa branch of Tibetan Buddhism, and the Seven-Line Prayer is the essential text for those who devote much of their spiritual practice to him. Mipham examines this highly regarded and much used prayer from several perspectives. Drawing on the rich mythological and philosophical traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, he explains how the prayer functions as a devotional practice and how it can yield great benefit to those who engage it. This valuable historical text should prove popular among Buddhist scholars and practitioners; it is somewhat esoteric for the average reader. Recommended for large public libraries and academic collections with an interest in Asian studies or Buddhism.
—Mark Woodhouse

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590305119
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/11/2007
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 852,795
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.05 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamgön Mipham (1846–1912), one of the great luminaries of Tibetan Buddhism in modern times, has had a dominant and vitalizing influence on the Nyingma School and beyond. He was an important member of the Rimé, or nonsectarian movement, which did much to strengthen and preserve the entire tradition. A scholar of outstanding brilliance and versatility, his translated works are eagerly anticipated by English-language readers.
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Table of Contents


Foreword   Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche     xi
Translators' Introduction     1
White Lotus
Prologue     21
An explanation of the outer, literal meaning of the Seven-Line Prayer     26
An explanation of the Seven-Line Prayer according to its hidden meaning     46
An explanation of the Seven-Line Prayer according to the teachings of the path of liberation     46
An explanation of the Seven-Line Prayer according to the path of skillful means     58
An explanation of the Seven-Line Prayer according to the general perfection stage of the unsurpassable Secret Mantra     58
An explanation of the Seven-Line Prayer according to the innermost, secret Great Perfection, the Heart-Essence of Luminosity     65
An explanation of the Seven-Line Prayer according to the conclusive pith instructions related to the achievement of the practice of the paths of liberation and skillful means previously explained     74
A brief explanation of how the foregoing exposition may be implemented as a practice     86
Colophon     89
The Rain of Blessings: A Guru-Yoga Based on the Seven-Line Prayer     93
Notes     97
Glossary     107
Bibliography     121
Index     123
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