The Meaning Of The Vajra Seven Line Prayer To Guru Rinpoche

Excerpted from Enlightened Journey by Tulku Thondup, © 1995

and used by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Published by Buddhayana. First edition, I979; second edition, I989.




THIS CHAPTER is a summary of a commentary on The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer, entitled Padma Karpo (The White

Lotus), written by Mipham Namgyal (1846-1912), a celebrated scholar of the Nyingma Buddhist tradition of Tibet. The

original Tibetan text of Mipham's commentary is very profound and difficult to understand or to translate, and I have

summarized the basic points of his text in this chapter. The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer is the most sacred and important

prayer in the Nyingma tradition. This short prayer contains the outer, inner, and innermost teachings of the esoteric

trainings of Buddhism. By practicing The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer according to any one of these trainings, the result of

that particular training will be attained.

In this summary there are five levels of interpretation. They are (1) the general or common meaning; the path of the

hidden meaning (sBas Don), consisting of the next three levels; (2) the meaning according to the path of liberation (Grol

Lam); (3) the meaning according to the perfection stage (rDzog Rim); (4) meaning according to the Nyingthig of Dzogpa

Chenpo: the direct realization of the spontaneous (Lhun Grub Thod rGal); and (5) the meaning according to the

accomplishment of the result. From among these levels of meaning it is proper for a person reciting the vajra prayer to

learn and practice the particular level that is suitable to his or her capacity.

I have arranged this summary merely with the hope of being able to indicate that this brief prayer contains different

levels of meaning and training, as many followers of the Nyingma teachings who are acquainted with The Vajra Seven-Line

Prayer are often unaware of its deeper meanings, But in order to comprehend the complete meaning of the prayer, I urge the

readers to read the original text of Mipham Rinpoche.

In Tibet, the Nyingmas recite The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche three times before reciting any other prayers,

doing any meditation, or performing any ceremony. Many devotees repeat it hundreds of thousands of times, reciting it

during all their waking hours, making it as their main prayer, breathing, life, and contemplation.





Because of the complex organization of the text a number of headings, subheadings and italics, and brackets have been supplied and a note of explanation may therefore be of benefit to the reader.Mipham's commentary has divided each level of interpretation of The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer into an introduction, the utterance of the seed syllable, the object of the prayer, the prayer, the mantra for invoking blessings, and (for the first level of interpretation only) the contents of the prayer. On the basis of each level of interpretation given by Mipham's commentary I have extracted a root meaning for The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer, and the reader will find that, for each level of interpretation, the root meaning is given first, followed by Mipham's commentary (with its subdivisions).

With respect to format, there are three different uses of italics, First, throughout the body of the text, italics are sometimes used for unfamiliar Tibetan words (given in phonetic forms), followed either by an English equivalent or, occasionally a Sanskrit equivalent (indicated by the abbreviation Skt.) in parentheses, Second, English words in italics, appearing in the commentary, are used to indicate that they are the translated words of The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer itself. The reader is encouraged, when reading the commentary, to refer back to the root-meaning section to see how the italicized words comprise a coherent root meaning. Third, beginning with the hidden meaning (second) level of interpretation onward, the esoteric meanings in the root-meaning sections are followed by the corresponding phrases of The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer, which are given in parentheses in italicized Tibetan phonetic form. Throughout the text, square brackets are sometimes used to indicate words added so as to make the meaning clear. Finally, in order to keep the number of footnotes to a minimum, key Tibetan terms are put in parentheses in a transliterated form. There are differences in spelling at two places in the Tibetan of The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer. For the last syllable of line 6, I have used kyee (Kyis) according to Mipham's commentary, where some texts use kyi (Kyi). For the third syllable of the seventh line, I have used lab (brLab) as in the Longchen Nyingthig texts, as it is the version commonly recited, although Mipham and some others have used lob (rLobs). [Due to my poor html skill, I will hereforth insert footnotes in brackets in reduced font size rather than listing them at the end of the commentary as Tulku Thondup has done in the original. My pardons.]




It is said that these lines are the prayers of invitation of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) to the assembly of feast offerings [The Assembly (Tshog' Khor) comprises Rigdzins (Skt. Vidyadharas), Siddhas, Pawos, (Skt. Dakas, Heroes), and Khadromas (Skt. Dakinis)] by the Dorje Khadromas (Skt. Vajra Dakinis). Once there came to the monastery of Nalanda heretical teachers, learned in languages and logic, who reviled the Dharma.The Buddhist scholars were unable to refute them. Then most of the scholars had the same dream. In it, Dakini Zhiwa Chog (Supreme Peace) prophesied as follows:
"You will not be able to defeat the heretics. If you do not invite here my elder brother, Dorje Thöthreng Tsal (Vajra Skull-Garland Power, Guru Rinpoche), who lives at the Dark Cemetery, the Dharma will be destroyed." "How can we invite him when it is so difficult to go there?" asked the scholars. The Khadroma said: "Set up a great offering on the roof of the monastery, with music and incense, and with one voice recite the vajra prayer." And she gave them The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer. The scholars prayed accordingly, and in an instant Guru Rinpoche came miraculously from the sky. He presided over the Buddhist scholars and defeated the heretical teachers by means of textual reference and intellectual reasoning. When he was threatened by the magical powers of the heretics, he opened the casket given him by the Lion-Faced Dakini, and he found in it the mantra of "fourteen letters." [AH KA SA MA RA TSA SHA TA RA SA MA RA YA PHAT] By reciting it, he eliminated the evil ones among the heretics with a rain of lightning bolts. He caused the remaining ones to enter the Dharma. It is said that the prayer originated from that incident. Later on, when Guru Rinpoche came to Tibet in the eighth century, he gave it to the king and his subjects. Intending it for future disciples capable of training, he concealed it in many Ters. [earth or mind treasures] Later, The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer was revealed in the Ters of most of the one hundred great Tertons of the last ten centuries of the Nyingma lineage, again and again, as the heart of the prayers, teachings, and meditation.



Root Meaning

HUM -- invokes the mind of Guru Rinpoche. In the northwest of the country of Oddiyana Born on the pistil of a lotus: Endowed with the most marvelous attainment; Renowned as the Lotus-Born (Padmasambhava); Surrounded by a retinue of many Khadros [Tib. dPa' Bo, Skt. Daka (male) and Tib. mKha' 'Gro, Skt. Dakini (female) sages and deities.] Following you I practice: Please come forth to bestow blessings. Master (GURU) Padmasambhava (PEMA), please bestow (HUM) attainments (SIDDHI) [upon us].






This is the level of practicing The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer in relation to the way of Guru Rinpoche's appearance in this

earthly world as a manifested form (Skt. Nirmanakaya).

In actuality, Guru Rinpoche is not separate from Samantabhadra (Universally Excellent), who is fully liberated from the

beginning as the self-arisen Dharmakaya (the ultimate state). Without moving from the sphere of the Dharmakaya, he is

spontaneously accomplished in the Sambhogakaya (the enjoyment body in pure forms), which has five absolute qualities. [The

absolute certainties of place, teacher, disciple, teaching, and time.] He is also the self-arising manifestation in

various displays of Nirmanakaya (the manifested body in impure forms), the self-reflection of compassion. This is the

actual way in which Guru Rinpoche dwells and appears. It is the display of the Buddhas, and they alone can perceive all

aspects of his display.

Eight (or twelve) years after the mahaparinirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha, Guru Rinpoche appeared on a lotus in Dhanakosha

lake of Oddiyana for the ordinary beings of this world who have good karma. He followed different esoteric disciplines and

accomplished various attainments, such as the light body of great transformation ('Ja' Lus 'Pho Ba Ch'en Po). He served

devotees of India, Oddiyana, and Tibet through multiple manifestation, such as the eight forms of the Guru (Guru mTshan

brGyad). This level of interpretation is the way that we, the common disciples, pray to Guru Rinpoche, an extraordinary

object of devotion.




The prayer begins with the invocation of the enlightened mind of Guru Rinpoche by the utterance of the syllable HUM, the

self-arisen seed syllable of the mind of all the Buddhas.




Line 1. In the west of the Jambu continent, at the northwest of Oddiyana, the land of the Khadros (Dakas and Dakinis) in

the Dhanakosha lake, filled with water of eight pure qualities.

Line 2. On the stem ornamented by the pistil, leaves, and petals of a lotus, Guru Rinpoche was born.

All the qualities and blessings of the three secrets (body, speech, and mind) of all the Buddhas came together in the

form of the syllable HRIH, and it dissolved into the heart of Amitabha Buddha. From his heart, a light of five colors

spread out and came down on the pistil of the lotus. They transformed into the form of Guru Rinpoche, and he took birth in

the manner of the lotus-born miraculous birth].

Line 3. He spontaneously accomplished the twofold benefit (of self and others), and he exhibited marvelous forms, such

as the eight manifestations of the Guru. He achieved the extraordinary attainment of the Vajradhara state, not just

ordinary attainment.

Line 4. His name is renowned as the Lotus-Born (Padmasambhava).

Line 5. And he is surrounded by retinues of manifold Khadros (Dakas and Dakinis).




Line 6. One should pray with the three kinds of faith, [Dang Ba'i Dad Pa: faith that cleanses the mind. 'Dod Pa'i Dad Pa:

faith that inspires the devotee to accomplish the same attainment as the object of his or her faith. Yid Ch'es Kyi Dad Pa:

faith that produces full confidence in the object of the faith.] thinking, "0 Protector, I will follow after you, and I

will practice accordingly."

Line 7. "In order to protect beings like myself, who are sunk in the ocean of the three sufferings, you, the omniscient,

compassionate, and powerful one, please come to this place for the blessing of our body, speech, and mind with your body,

speech, and mind, as iron is transmuted into gold."




GURU means master or spiritual guide, one who is prosperous with excellent qualities; to whom no one is superior.

PADMA is the first part of Guru Rinpoche's name.

SIDDHI is what we want to accomplish--the common and uncommon attainments.

HUM means the supplication to bestow the siddhis (attainments).

So, 0 Guru Padma, bestow the siddhi.






Line 1. The place of birth.

Line 2. The way of taking birth.

Line 3. The greatness of his qualities.

Line 4. The name of Guru Rinpoche in particular.

Line 5. Retinues.




Line 6. Praying with the aspiration of achieving inseparability from Guru Rinpoche or developing confidence in him.

Line 7. Accomplishment of the inseparability of Guru Rinpoche from oneself.









Root Meaning

HUM--awakens the self-arisen wisdom, the ultimate nature.

The Mind [Sems Nyid: the ultimate nature and the essential nature of mind, of which Sems (mind) is the deluded mode. In

this text, Mind with a capital M denotes the Sems Nyid.] (ogyen yul) is the freedom (tsam) [from the extremes] of samsara

(nub) and nirvana (chang).

It is the realization of the union (dongpo) of the primordially pure ultimate sphere (pema) and luminous, vajra

intrinsic awareness (kesar) and (la). . .

It is the Great Perfection, the marvelous (yatsen). It is the attainment (nye) of the supreme siddhi (chogki ngödrub),

the state of Vajradhara.

This is the wisdom of the absolute nature, renowned as (zhesu trag) the ultimate basis (jungne) of the Buddhas (pema).


This wisdom is with (kor) its numerous manifestative powers (mangpo) emanating (dro) in the ultimate sphere (kha) as

attributes (khortu).

I firmly develop confidence (dag drub kyee) in the nature of the nondual primordial wisdom (khye kyi je su).

In order to (chir) purify all the attachments to appearances as the primordial wisdom (chinkyee lob), may I realize

(shegsu sol) the ultimate nature.

The primordial wisdom is emptiness in its essence (Dharmakaya) (GURU), clarity in nature (Sambhogakaya) (PADMA), and all

pervasive in compassion [power] (Nirmanakaya) (SIDDHI) with fivefold wisdom (HUM).






The prayer begins with the utterance of the seed syllable of the mind, HUM, which awakens the self-arisen primordial

wisdom, the true nature of samsara and nirvana.




Line 1. The country of Oddiyana is a special source of tantra. In terms of the actual path, one's own Mind is the

special source of tantra, so that is what Oddiyana means.

The Mind or the ultimate nature of the mind is the freedom from sinking in samsara and rising to nirvana, as it is

neither remaining in nor partial to the two extremes--samsara and nirvana.

Line 2. Pema, the lotus, signifies the ultimate sphere (Dharmadhatu), the nature that is to be realized. It does not

dwell anywhere and is pure from the beginning, just as a lotus is unstained by any impurity.

"Kesar," the pistil, signifies the luminous, vajra intrinsic awareness (Rig Pa'i rDo rJe), which is the means of

realizing the nature. The spontaneously accomplished, self-radiant intrinsic awareness, primordial wisdom, is blossoming

with clarity; so it resembles the pistil of a lotus.

As the stem (Dongpo) holds the pistil and the petals of a lotus together, the self-arisen, great blissful primordial

wisdom dwells as the union of the ultimate sphere (dByings) and primordial wisdom (Ye Shes), and it is the ultimate nature

of the mind or the innate luminosity of the mind.

Line 3. Mind is the spontaneously born, luminous Great Perfection (Dzogpa Chenpo), the primordial wisdom of the absolute

nature, the meaning of the fourth empowerment, which is marvelous. It is present spontaneously as the basis of the Mind of

all the Buddhas, the attainment of the supreme siddhi, the state of Vajradhara.

Line 4. Mind is the basis of all the Buddhas of the three times, who have blossomed forth like lotuses, the ultimate

nature; so it is renowned as the basis of Pema, the Buddhas. This is the recognition of Pema Jungne as the absolute Buddha.

Line 5. In that primordial wisdom there are inconceivable qualities of attainment which, if divided into their varieties,

include the five types of primordial wisdom (Ye Shes lNga). [Primordial wisdom of the ultimate sphere, mirrorlike

primordial wisdom, primordial wisdom of evenness, discriminating primordial wisdom, and all-accomplished primordial wisdom]

So, in the uncovered space of the ultimate sphere, numerous manifestative powers of the intrinsic-awareness primordial

wisdom are emanating as its attributes ceaselessly.




Line 6. To realize the nature of nondual primordial wisdom (Ye Shes) and to perfect it through contemplation with

unchanging confidence, which is great wisdom (Shes Rab), is expressed as "I will follow after you, and I will practice."

Line 7. If one has become experienced in and has ascertained this ultimate nature (gNas Lugs) by realizing the view (lTa

Ba) and perfecting that realization through meditation, one will transform all the attachments to impure appearance into

the pure essence [Ngo Bo is translated here as "essence" Generally, Ngo Bo, Thig Le of light, and Thig Le (semen) of

physical body all could be translated as "essence," and it is therefore confusing. So in this text I am translating the

Ngo Bo as "essence," Thig Le of physical body in the perfection stage as "essence," and the Thig Le of light of Thögal as

"thig-le."] of primordial wisdom (Ye Shes).

Or, if one could not attain primordial wisdom, then in order to receive the blessing of the path in one's own mind, one

aspires as follows: "May I realize ["May I realize" is the significance of "Please come" in the prayer. Being a quotation

from Pramanavarttika in Mipham Rinpoche's text, Shegs ("to come") has the meaning of "realization" (rTogs).] the ultimate

nature (Ch'os Nyid) by dissolving subjective-objective duality into it, as waves of water into water, through the blessing

powers of the instructions of the Lama and through study and reflection.




The primordial wisdom is the emptiness essence (Ngo Bo sTong Pa), the Dharmakaya, and since it is not inferior to any

conceivable characteristic, it is the supreme one, the GURU.

The primordial wisdom's nature is luminescence (Rang bZhin gSal Ba). It is spontaneously accomplished Sambhogakaya, with

a ceaseless display of power. Yet it is not separate from the ultimate sphere. So it is PADMA, the lotus, which means not

stained by relative characteristics.

The inseparability of that essence and nature [The inseparability of Ngo Bo and Rang bZhin, sTong Pa and gSal Ba, Ch'os

sKu and Longs sKu, Guru and Padma.] is the universal compassion, which arises in the samsaric and nirvanic display (Rol

Pa), fulfilling the wishes of all the endless beings, which is SIDDHI or attainment.

HUM signifies the self-arisen primordial wisdom, the seed syllable of mind, possessor of five primordial wisdoms.





Root Meaning


HUM--awakens the self-arisen innate wisdom.

At the center (tsam) of the roma (nub) and the kyangma (chang) channels of the vajra body (ogyen yul),

At (la) the eight-petaled chakra of the heart (pema) in the "essence" (Thig Le) (kesar), in the uma, the central channel


Dwells (nye) the marvelous (yatsen), great blissful, stainless primordial-wisdom mind the changeless luminous essence,

the attainment of supreme siddhi (chogki ngodrub).

It is renowned (zhesu trag) as the spontaneously present, absolute Padmasambhava (pema jungne).

This primordial-wisdom essence is with (kor) many (mangpo) kinds of energy (rLung) and essence (Thig Le), which are

manifestating in the empty sphere (khadro) of the channels as animations (khortu).

According to the skillful nature of the vajra body (khye-kyi jesu), I will train in the primordial wisdom (dag drub

kyee) through the stages of esoteric training.

In order to (chir) transform all existents into the sphere of great bliss (chinkyee lab), may I attain the great bliss

of the vajra body (shegsu sol).

The supreme primordial wisdom (GURU) and the unstained and self-arisen great bliss (PADMA) bring the ultimate great

primordial wisdom (SIDDHI), the holy Mind of the Buddhas (HUM).





For those who are unable to realize the absolute primordial wisdom (Don Gyi Ye Shes) through the trainings elucidated in

the path of liberation, it could be achieved through the most extraordinary trainings of the path of skillful means.




The HUM syllable signifies the awakening of the self-arisen, innate primordial wisdom.




Line 1. The country of Oddiyana signifies the vajra body, the extraordinary base of tantra.

In that vajra body, on the right side is the red roma (Skt. rasana) channel in which the sun energy (Nyi Ma'i rLung)

moves about, decreasing the essence (Tib. Thig Le, Skt. bindu). On the left side is the white Kyangma (Skt. lalana)

channel in which the moon energy (Zla Ba'i rLung) moves about, increasing, cleansing, cooling, and pacifying the essence.

Between these channels, at the center [where the primordial wisdom energy flows]:

Line 2. The lotus (pema) signifies the eight-petaled Dharmachakra of the heart (sNying Ka Ch'os Kyi 'Khor Lo), The pistil

(kesar) signifies the essence (or semen), the vital essence of the five elements. The stem (dongpo) signifies the uma

(Skt. avadhuti) or central channel in which the primordial wisdom energy (Ye Shes Kyi rLung) flows about.

Line 3. Within that cycle of channel, energy, and essence the extraordinary vital essence (Dvangs Ma) of the vajra body--

and originating simultaneously with them from the beginning, like camphor and the smell of camphor, dwells the luminous

essence ('od gSal Ba'i Thig Le), which is unstained great bliss, the self-arisen primordial wisdom.

So it is very marvelous. This luminous essence is the inseparable union of bliss and emptiness that transcends thoughts

and description, and it is the spontaneous accomplishment of the supreme siddhi, Vajradhara.

Line 4. The primordial wisdom of realizing that luminous essence is renowned as the absolute, self-arisen Pema Jungne


Line 5. That primordial-wisdom luminous essence, Padmasambhava, is with many essences and energies (rLung) as its

manifesting power (rTsal) of the great essence of primordial wisdom itself. These are manifesting in the space of the

empty hollows of the central channel and smaller channels as their animations. If one applies the training on skillful

means, the cycle of vajra body arises as the great blissful primordial wisdom of luminous essence.




Line 6. "I will follow after you, and I will practice" signifies, first, that it is the training on understanding and

accomplishing the nature of the vajra body; and second, the primordial wisdom of great bliss through the profound

trainings with characteristics (mTshan bChas Kyi rNal 'Byor) of the perfection stage (rDzogs Rim), which include practice

on the heat yoga (gTum Mo), the trainings through the supports of inner or outer vajra consorts. These trainings will

bring the result of admitting the karmic energies and mind into the central channel, and realizing the state of illusory

body, luminous absorption, and dream yoga, because of the force of physical exercises, discipline of energies, and mental

concentration on the subtle essences (Phra Mo'i Thig Le).

Line 7. Through the training of skillful means, one transforms all the existents into the attainment of the nature of

the immaculate great bliss of the vajra body, and transforms them into the mandalas of the body, speech, and mind of the


To attain the great bliss of the vajra body, all the habitual inclinations of the changing karmic energy--the cause of

samsaric appearances, due to the mind defiled by thoughts with characteristics--dissolve into the central channel of

changeless primordial wisdom, and are bound to the changeless great essence, the very ultimate sphere of the basis. So,

Come (attain) to the Dharmakaya, the ultimate sphere of the basis.




The primordial wisdom of the path, which is achieved through the extraordinary path of training, is supreme; hence GURU


All the impurities, such as the five emotional afflictions, arise as supports of immaculate great bliss and self-

liberation; hence PADMA (lotus).

As the final result, the great primordial wisdom will be achieved swiftly; hence SIDDHI (attainment).

In wonderment at the arising of primordial wisdom through trainings of the path of skillful means comes the seed letter

of the Minds of the Buddhas--HUM.





Root Meaning

HUM--invokes the self-arisen wisdom that brings the realization of the face of the ultimate primordial wisdom.

The light of the heart (ogyen yul) and its (kyi) inner ultimate sphere (nub), outer ultimate sphere (chang), and the

water light of the eyes (tsam), and

The light of the pure ultimate sphere and the light of emptiness thig-le (pema) with the vajra chains--the power of the

intrinsic awareness--(kesar) are present for us. Upon (la) firmly stabilizing intrinsic awareness on them through

contemplation (dongpo),

One achieves (nye) the marvelous (yatsen) first three visions (sNang Ba) and attains the supreme siddhi (chogki'

ngödrub), the fourth vision.

This attainment is renowned (zhesu trag) as the attainment of the primordial Buddhahood (pema jungne).

Then the light of self-arisen wisdom emanates (kor) many (mangpo) rays and thig-les as its manifesting power (rTsal)

(khortu) moving about in space (khadro).

I contemplate (dag drub kyee) on the natural vision of original purity (khye kyi jesu).

In order to (chir) attain the rainbow vajra body of great transformation (shegsu sol), may I purify all phenomena into

the expanse of primordial wisdom (chinkyee lab).

This supreme (GURU), unstained (PADMA), and ultimate attainment (SIDDHI) is amazing (HUM).





Natural, self-arisen primordial wisdom dwells primordially as the ultimate nature (Ch'os Nyid) of the mind. However,

because of the impactedness of karma and emotional afflictions, the ultimate nature has been covered and its face (Rang

Zhal) could not be observed.




HUM signifies the essence of spontaneously accomplished thögal, the self-arisen primordial wisdom. Thögal brings about

the vision of the true face of self-arisen primordial wisdom from the state of spontaneously accomplished luminous

absorption, even for us ordinary people, if we follow the instructions of this supreme yana.

Line l. Orgyen yul signifies the light of the heart (Tsita Sha Yi sGron Ma). The youthful body in a vase (gZhon Nu Bum

sKu), the radiant thig-le of primordial wisdom, dwells invisibly (Nub) in the space of the vajra body, the inner ultimate

sphere (Nang Gi dByings).

Chang is the outer ultimate sphere, the clearly appearing space, the cloudless sky. Tsham, the channel of the two outer

and inner spheres, is the water light of the eyes (rGyang Zhag Ch'u Yi sGron Ma).

Line 2. Through the water light of the eyes, in the outer ultimate sphere, appears the pure sky--blue, clean, with nets

of rainbow rays beautified by circular thig-le, like mirrors. All these are the light of the pure ultimate sphere (dByings

rNam Dag Gi sGron Ma).

Then, by gaining experience at that, the light of emptiness thig-le (Thig Le sTong Pa'i sGron Ma) in red--clear, round,

and clean--will arise like designs on water made by throwing a stone in a pond. These two lights (sGron Ma) function as

the ground, a container, or a house. They are both signified by the pema (lotus).

Kesar (pistil) signifies the vajra chain (rDo rJe Lu Gu rGyud), which is the power of intrinsic awareness (Rig gDangs).

It is the essence of the light of self-arisen wisdom (Shes Rab Rang Byung Gi sGron Ma) and the self-radiance of the actual

intrinsic awareness, primordial wisdom.

Dongpo (stem) signifies stabilization of the ultimate sphere (dByings) and the intrinsic awareness (Rig Pa) by confining

the power of intrinsic awareness (Rig gDangs) in the realm of the ultimate sphere and pressing the point (gNad gZhi Ba)

through the thought-free natural mode of intrinsic awareness (Rig Pa Rang Bab rTog Med). By getting experience in (la)

those skillful means,

Line 3. One will achieve the four confidences gradually and will accomplish the marvelous visions of the direct

realization of the ultimate nature (Ch'os Nyid mNgon gSum), the development of experiences (Nyams Gong 'Phel), and the

perfection of the intrinsic awareness (Rig Pa Tshad Phebs). After that, one will achieve the state of dissolution of (all

dharmas into) the ultimate nature (Ch'os Nyid Zad Pa)--the supreme attainment, the state of Vajradhara--in this very life.

Line 4. Then one will be inseparable from the Mind of Pema Jungne, who is the primordial Buddha (Samantabhadra). So, "He

is renowned as Pema Jungne."

Line 5. Though not moving from the state of evenness of the light of self-arisen wisdom, there will be spontaneous

emanation of manifesting power (rTsal) of that self-arisen wisdom, in the form of many clear and moving rainbow rays, thig-

les, and small thig-les in the space.

Line 6. At that time all these developments are the mere power of intrinsic awareness. So, one contemplates on the

luminous absorption of the four natural contemplations (Chog bZhag bZhi) in the unmodified natural vision of original

purity (Ka Dag).

Line 7. By practicing like that, may I purify all the phenomena produced by the impure karmic energy into the expanse of

indestructible primordial wisdom to attain the rainbow vajra body of great transformation ('Ja' Lus 'Pho Ba Ch'en Po).




The path of innermost essence of the luminous absorption is the extraordinary training, as it meditates on the result,

the Buddhahood itself, as the path of training. So, it is supreme (GURU), and immaculate (PADMA), and the ultimate

attainment in this very lifetime (SIDDHI). Amazing (HUM)!




Root Meaning

HUM--invokes the primordial wisdom.


The esoteric training awakens one's tantric lineage (ogyen yul) of the Mind that (kyi) transcends the juncture (tsam)

of sinking (nub) in the samsara and liberating (chang) from it through

The attainment of the speech (pema), mind (kesar), and body (dongpo) of the Buddhas, and (la)

[The primordial wisdom of the attainment] is marvelous (yatsen). This is the attainment (nye) of the supreme

accomplishment (chogki nögdrub), the state of Vajradhara,

Which is renowned (zhesu trag) as the self-arisen absolute Padmasambhava (pema jungne).

This wisdom is with (kor) infinite (mangpo) manifestation, boundless as space (kha), functioning (dro) as its power


I remain (dagdrub kyee) in the realized state (jesu) of effortless nature, primordial purity (khyekyi).

In order for (chir) phenomenal existents to arise as the mandala of the four vajras (chinkyee lab), may I attain

(shegsu sol) the mandala of the primordial basis.

This is the realization (HUM) of the path and wisdom, which is supreme (GURU), unstained (PADMA) ultimate attainment






HUM--the sacred primordial wisdom.




Line 1. The country of Oddiyana (ogyen yul) is a source of tantras, and the definition of the word Oddiyana is "going by

flying." In tantra, the awakening of one's tantric lineage (sNgags Kyi Rigs Sad Pa) of one's own mind and attaining

liberation from the swamp of dualistic (gNyis sNang) appearances of samsara is very swift, like flying.

By awakening the mind, one transcends the juncture (Tsam) of samsara and nirvana by liberating (chang) it from sinking

(nub) in the mud of samsara, purifying it from all the defilements, and dissolving illusory appearances into the ultimate


Line 2. The attainment of the purity of all sound as the mandala of speech (Pema), the perfection of all thoughts as the

mandala of mind (kesar), and the maturation of all appearances as the mandala of body (dongpo)--the three secret aspects

(gSang Ba gSum) of Buddhahood--and (La)

Line 3. The primordial wisdom of the attainment, which is oneness and evenness, is marvelous (yatsen).

When one realizes this, it is the attainment of the indivisibility of the basis and result, the supreme attainment (chogki

ngödrub), the state of Vajradhara.

Line 4. This [attainment] is renowned (zhesu trag) as the absolute Padmasambhava (pema jungne),

Line 5. And its nature is that it does not stray from the primordial ground. Yet from the primordial wisdom, there arise

(kor) infinite (mangpo) functions (dro) of manifestations of samsara and nirvana, as boundless as the sky (kha), appearing

as its power (khor).




Line 6. If, having realized the meaning of the nature and reality of this attainment, one then remains in it without

being diverted, then just as no stone can be found on an island made all of gold, so all the impure appearances will come

to an end, and only primordially pure appearances will arise. One will attain liberation from all the bonds of karma and

from the emotional afflictions. All good qualities will be accomplished spontaneously and effortlessly, and one will

attain the Dharmakaya stage permanently. So it is the remaining (dagdrub kyee) in the realized state (jesu) of the

primordial purity (khyekyi).

Line 7. All phenomenal existents arise in the form of the mandala of the four vajras [Vajra body, vajra speech, vajra mind,

and vajra primordial wisdom of the Buddhas.] (chinkyee lab chir), the blessings of the primordial wisdom of one s own

mind. This attainment arises as the result of attaining (shegsu sol) the primordial basis, the ultimate truth.




This is the realization (HUM) of the path and wisdom, which is supreme (GURU), unstained (PADMA) ultimate attainment





First, the practice of The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer as Guru Yoga, according to the common meaning, will cause the arising

of the profound primordial wisdom. By learning the crucial points of the paths of liberation, skillful means, or great

perfection from a qualified Lama and practicing them diligently, one will achieve confidence in the realization, the

result itself as expounded in the teachings, and will reach the state of Vidyadhara (knowledge holder).

With unshakable faith, visualize Guru Rinpoche, the embodiment of all refuges, on the crown of one's head. Pray to him

strongly with The Vajra Seven-Line Prayer. By the nectar pouring down from the body of the Guru, all the illness, bad

karma, and sufferings of one's body, speech, and mind are washed away in the form of pus, blood, insects, soot, and offal.

At the end, one's own body dissolves, like salt into water, and then the liquid goes down into the mouth of Yamaraja, the

Lord of Death, and other creditors of karma beneath the ground. Believe that it has satisfied all of them and that all the

debts are cleared. At the end, one should regard them all as having vanished into emptiness.

Again, visualize your own body in the form of the radiant body of a divinity whichever form you like. In the heart of

the divinity, at the center of an eight-petaled lotus, the Lama comes down from the crown of your head and becomes one

with the indestructible essence (bindu), the primordial wisdom. Then one should remain in the blissful primordial wisdom.

The postmeditative period should be treated as follows: all appearances viewed as a pure land and as divinities, food

and drink as offerings, and the activities of sitting and walking as prostration and circumnambulation. When you sleep,

you should visualize the Guru in your heart. In all daily activities you should try to transform everything into virtuous

practices without interval. It is important to visualize the Lama in the sky before you and to present offerings, offer

praise, invoke his mind, and receive the blessings of his body, speech, and mind. This is because generally the good

qualities of the higher realms of liberation, and especially the development of realization of the profound path, depend

only on the entry of the blessings of the Guru into one's own mind.

In order to attain the absolute primordial wisdom in one's own mind, one must become familiar with the teachings given

in the sutras and tantras in general and, in particular, with the instruction on the direct introduction (Ngo 'Phrod) to

the absolute primordial wisdom (Don Gyi Ye Shes). And, according to one's experience, realization, and ability, one should

meditate on any of the paths of liberation or skillful means that is appropriate for oneself. By doing this, one will

achieve the fulfillment of both the temporary and the ultimate result.



Many thanks to Harold Talbott for connecting me to Tulku Thondup; to Tulku Thondup for his clarity and kindness in

allowing this extraordinary commentary to be placed on Quiet Mountain; and to Jonathan Green at Shambhala Publications for

permission to excerpt this commentary from Enlightened Journey, by Tulku Thondup.

This page is dedicated for the benefit of all sentient beings and to the long, long lives of our kind root gurus. May

the Glorious Protectors continuously accompany us in the realization of Guru Rinpoche! - dongag tenzin



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