Monday, June 21, 2010

The Seven Line Prayer

The Seven Line Prayer is the primary invocation of Padmasambhava for Nyingma devotees, chanted thrice at the begining of any sadhana. The prayer is said to have originated in eastern India, revealed by a 'black dakini' who referred to Padmavajra as her brother. This was Kali or Smashan-Tara, suggesting inherent accord among the highest levels of tantric realizers from both Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions. [1]


Line 1: On the northwest border of Oddiyana

Oddiyana; a medieval kingdom in central Asia associated with tantric wisdom, translates as going by flying

Oddiyana, the province of Mind, the axial Sushumna, blue Uma, central channel, middle way between extremes and ancient context of spiritual freedom

Invoking Guru Padma 'On the northwest border' - at the extreme periphery of ordinary perception, where samsara meets nirvana

One ground, two paths.
~ Jigme Lingpa

One and the same primordial space allows for the adventures of samsara as well as the peace of nirvana.

The two most obvious objects in earth's sky appear to be round & about the same size but could hardly be more different.

From the heart of the Ganges basin,
  • west is the direction from which came both conquerors & civilization (reloaded)
  • north is certain death, barren wastelands, barbarism beyond the pale of society.
Border, junction, frontier, horizon, crossroad, liminality;
Tibetan bardo means between two, the twilight zone of inner/outer, solar/lunar, form/emptiness; rigpa

Line 2: On the pistil stem of a lotus

Yab-yum flowers, luminous differentiation of attraction
Union of intrinsic awareness & emptiness of objective expanse

Corolla petals as expanse of appearances
Pistil as reflective awareness; joined at stem in
Union of great bliss & true nature

Objective field and the one cognizing both empty, dependent, co-emergent
Unchanging primordial awareness ornamented with rose apples

Padma gazes void of self-nature, ever-unfolding regeneration
Time's brother, radiant wholeness bearing every apparent division

Line 3: Endowed with marvelous supreme attainments

Liberating presence and power of primordial radiance
Illumines & transforms individual beings whole environments

Emanations of Guru Rinpoche are transcendent skilful means
Arising in response to diverse needs of complex sentient beings

Supreme Siddhi is awakening to Buddhahood;
Flying, healing, alchemy, invisibility, all lesser accomplishments

Solar plexus, seat of rays of power emanating
Into the crystalline world of atomic events

Line 4: You are renowned as the Lotus Born

Ground, support and source of all has neither
Come into being nor abandoned the world.

Of supreme value to transient beings, the Great One
Is invoked through divine names & forms

If the rapture of devotion overwhelms you,
Breathe out strongly, and then leave everything as it is.
~ Padmasambhava

Padmasambhava; always present unchanging wisdom
Song of liberation seducing mind fixated
On the uncertainties of impermanent phenomena

In Vajrayana, fruition is not associated with the crown but in
Falling out of the sahasra into the heart as in OM AH HUNG

Infinite Light utters HRI &
The Lotus-Born appears [2]

Three dimensions of the heart; outer, inner and secret
  • the physical organ
  • the chakra
  • the secret or vajra heart
The dorje's central sphere, an uncarved thig-le, pre-cosmic seed, mahabindu, nying-po; akin to dharmakaya, secret essence or Vajra Heart - not the anahata chakra associated with the dorje's lotus petals (sambhogakaya) conneted to the central sphere.

Line 5: Surrounded by a mandala of many dakinis

Samsara .:. 'khor ba translates as cyclic existence
Mandala or retinue is 'circling a center'.:.'dkyil 'khor

The difference between simply wandering in circles and
Pradakshina in a mandala lies in one's relation to the center

Sangha is the third Jewel; wherever you find it,
True sangha is a refuge & treasury of friendship & wisdom.

In place of the relative abstraction of Three Jewels
  • Buddha
  • Dharma
  • Sangha
Vajra refuge invokes the immediacy of Three Roots;
  • Guru
  • Yidam
  • Dakini
Padma's mandala or retinue is the natural radiance of pristine cognitiveness

Sanskrit Dakini, Tibetan Kha-dro translate as sky-goer
Transcendent power & activity on the basis of emptiness wisdom

The Guru-kula is the sphere of mystical love, responsive action
Compassion as consort, spontaneous conductivity

Dakinis' native capacity to sublimate karmic winds, outshine mind,
Drawing demons of ordinariness into the central fire

Four Dakini Gate-Keepers surround You;
  • dark blue pacifying
  • golden enrichment
  • deep red magnetizing
  • dark green subjugating

Among the qualities of attainment are five wisdoms
Omnipresent in essence as five skandhas

Form is a five ton elephant wandering a beach, holding a vajra mirror at dawn

Feeling, a horse-mounted jewel at noon, reflecting the emptiness/equality of all things

Perception, a peacock at twilight in the spring, perfectly discerning all individual qualities

Conception, thunderbird siddhi of accomplishment soars above the northern wilderness at midnight as the world sleeps

Consciousness, a yawning lion, at ease anywhere.

Line 6: Following You I will practicethis is the first line of the actual prayer

Samaya in Sanskrit, Dam-tsig in Tibetan, translates as mind-bond.

This is the way of guru yoga, devotion to dharma
As taught by the lama, realization of supreme bodhicitta.

Of the three precepts of Garab Dorje
'Absolute conviction in the practice is the second imperative'

Having found a qualified teacher, effective vajra praxis rides on
True devotion also called faith, trust or confidence.

Confidence; a deep conviction, lucidity & longing for
Those things which are real, have value & are possible.

The root is the development of confidence.
The root of everything happy is this trusting confidence.
~ Nagarjuna

Line 7: Please come, grant your blessings!

This is the second and final line of the actual prayer

Opening As Vajrayogini we magnify /intesify
Padma's Siddhi, the force of purification & realization.
She is what Awareness Is and Does.



[1] Indian origin of The Seven Line Prayer reflected in Seven-line structure as keys to open chakras; Tibetan system only names 5, fusing 1/2 and 6/7
[2] Hridaya means heart, central to both Tibetan & Indian systems

1 comment:

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- David