Prayer to the Future Buddha Maitreya
by Lama Je Tsongkhapa
\ May the fire of great loving kindness
\ Burn away the fuel of anger and hatred;
\ May the radiance of the transcendental wisdom
\ Illuminate the darkness of ignorance;
\ May the holders of the Dharma enact the deeds
\ Of protecting transmigratory sentient beings.
\ I prostrate to you who is residing
\ In the blissful realm heaven of Tushita.
\ Even though you are moistened forever
\ With the affection of loving kindness,
\ However you burn away all black relationships
\ Even though you have cut through all bondage
\ Which is so difficult to sever.
\ However you bind us tight in your compassion
\ Even though you are endowed forever
\ With an equanimity of peace, however you cherish
\ Cherishing others amid renouncing yourself.
\ I humbly bow at the Holy Feet of Manjugosha and
\ Offer admiring praise to the Invincible Protector
\ You are esteemed in the speech of the four faced Brahma
\ And gazed at by Indra’s thousand eyes of devotion
\ Lord of Love – Kama, possessor of the beautiful Rati
\ Bows to you without any pride and I humbly bow
\ In respect, at the feet of the Conqueror’s Regent.
\ Like a hundred petal lotus in a clear lake
\ Opened by the radiance of the rising sun,
\ Like a garden of kundali – lily flowers blooming
\ In the clear sky is the Lord of the constellation of stars,
\ So also is the sight of your Holy Body
\ Wreathed with signs and exemplifications
\ Capturing the hearts of all migrators, the moment it is seen.
\ May I be born at Your Lotus Feet, Oh Protector Maitreya
\ And in all my lives may you adorn the crown of my head
\ Destroyer of evil, you are free from the surroundings of all states of fear,
\ Supreme Teacher, You are an
\ incomparable Hero of the three realms
\ Please watch us continuously, for we are migrators
\ Who have fallen into the dangers.
\ I prostrate at Your Lotus Feet O Compassionate Leader.
\ You access without obstruction
\ All the limitless objects of knowledge.
\ You conquer with your powerful omniscience the evil army horror
\ Whose thunder bolt weapons fall before you like fresh flowers and
\ You defeat them with the radiant glory of your ten powers
\ You scorch the haughty brains of your opponents
\ Who have the pride of an elephant.
\ You spread the great sound of your excellent sayings
\ Amidst them and in their retinue.
\ You put an end to the foxes
\ With the speech of their false philosophy.
\ Endowed with the four states of fearlessness,
\ You are a lion amongst men
\ The supreme wheel of Dharma which cannot be expressed by anyone,
\ Unturnable even by the proud World-Creator, lord of passions,
\ And not even by priests, ascetics, those training in virtue and so forth,
\ But You as a Guardian with loving kindness,
\ Turn the wheel of Dharma for migrators.
\ Not even the name of “error” affects Your Holy Body and Speech.
\ You abide in equipoise forever, with a memory which never declines.
\ Your equanimity, without conceptual thoughts is free of discrimination.
\ Because of Your isolation Your activities are completely pure.
\ Your aspiration, perseverance and Your memory,
\ Concentration and wisdom are completely liberated.
\ You have long gone beyond all occasions for failure
\ Therefore your realizations are unsurpassable.
\ You know all three times without obstruction and attachment.
\ Your holy body, speech and mind’s activities are completely pure.
\ You fulfill benefits for migrators until the end of cyclic existence.
\ You engage with joy in the responsibilities of your deeds.
\ You have fully perfected the aggregates of extensive qualities.
\ You have destroyed any chance of incurring the slightest fault.
\ Please consider for a moment the lamentable plight of me
\ Who has become the object of you loving kindness.
\ Although I have a basis of life complete with freedom and richness,
\ Like a ship capable of liberating from the great ocean of suffering,
\ I am saturated with the faults of carelessness and laziness,
\ The stupor of frivolous gossip and the desire for gain and fame.
\ In directing this birth of great value in pursuing what is meaningless,
\ I waste away this good body which can accomplish ultimate happiness.
\ Thus I inhabit this human flesh with an attitude of a beast.
\ Please look upon me with Your great compassion.
\ Although I have found freedom and richness,
\ Which is difficult to find and great in meaning,
\ When the powerful Lord of Death sends his messenger,
\ There is no power to reverse it nor can I ever escape from it.
\ Although I can see myself caught in sickness and death,
\ I am still uncertain when I will die, even at the time of death
\ While knowing that I have to go leaving everything behind,
\ I still spend meaninglessly all the years, months and days.
\ Please bestow upon me, who is so deluded, your timely compassion.
\ What need is there to mention the state of definite liberation
\ When I do not have the confidence to attain even a high rebirth
\ Which is praised by the Capable Ones as the basis of the path?
\ Will You not bestow upon me your equanimity?
\ Although I have a body endowed in the glory of a higher rebirth
\ With the wisdom that precisely investigates the entire teachings,
\ If I am unable to find the unmistaken path of fortune
\ Once again I fall into the causal ocean of cyclic existence
\ And in that great killer darkness of ignorance
\ For a long time I am obscured from the points of practice
\ and completely confused as to how to do so.
\ Please bestow upon me your illuminating light of wisdom.
\ Faces covered with hair and with thirsty mouths
\ Running to drink wherever seeing a flow of water
\ But are stopped by beings wielding swords and spears
\ And before their eyes even the water changes to blood and puss.
\ Mouth like the eye of a needle and a goiter choking the neck,
\ Unable to partake or enjoy even when food or drink is found.
\ Whenever eating or drinking a blazing fire burns within me.
\ Thus in order to survive I even cut and eat my own flesh.
\ Enveloped by a great darkness of ignorance
\ Without the capacity to discriminate right from wrong
\ Killing each other, controlled by goals and hungry beings
\ Showered by the sufferings of being beaten and burdened.
\ All peace of mind is destroyed by a burning fire
\ Of a consuming jealousy, disturbed by the glory of the gods.
\ The body is slashed and lost from the fighting
\ Deceived by trickery, with no fortune to see the truth.
\ Not to mention the experience, merely hearing about these realms
\ Produces terror in my heart and shudders of fear
\ Of the complete fall into these great abysses
\ Of the hell, hungry ghost, animal and demi-god realms.
\ Having accumulated since beginningless time and still accumulating
\ Those unbearable evil actions condemned by the holy beings,
\ I am trembling in the face of this great abyss.
\ Please save me in time, from this fate of bad migration.
\ Even in the human realm, with the riches of power and possession,
\ There is the fear of losing these very high estates.
\ When ruined by parting from the excellent fortune of higher rebirth,
\ I am physically exhausted searching for the happiness of my desire.
\ When I do fulfill the means to the wishes for happiness,
\ Much worse than attaining the happiness, is instead
\ The physical pain and the mental anguish
\ Which is experienced in all the various aspects.
\ With beautiful bodies adorned bejeweled ornaments
\ In celestial palaces, surrounded by gardens of pleasure,
\ Enjoying for long the pleasures of the desire.
\ Even as the deva-gods, sporting the glory of higher rebirth,
\ When I am gripped by the signs of unwanted death,
\ I lose my mind and my heart just stops.
\ When I see that very soon I unwillingly will have to separate
\ From the beautiful goddesses capturing my heart
\ And the delightful gardens for pleasure
\ From food of nectar, finest clothing and ornaments of beauty
\ And from the other youthful sons of the gods
\ More than the happiness of being born in this realm
\ Is the extraordinary great suffering of the mind
\ I am burnt by the fiery tongues of the sorrow generated.
\ By exhausting the joy of fruits accumulated with much effort
\ Through my actions of goodness, undertaken over many lifetimes
\ Overpowered by carelessness, I accomplish causes for lower migration
\ And thus once again I fall into the hellish realms.
\ Without notions longing for desire and the thoughts of malice,
\ Having abandoned all deeds of sleep and mental anguish,
\ By being free of the sufferings from physical and mental harm,
\ Abiding for long in bliss, through the power of concentration,
\ Even though I attain the form and formless realms of the gods,
\ One to not being free from bondage and the compounded suffering
\ When I exhaust the benefits of my past concentration
\ Again I fall low down and continue with the circulation.
\ Thus, even the Lords of life’s migration, the gods and the humans
\ Are also caught in birth, death, sickness, aging and so forth
\ And carried by the waves of suffering in the ocean of existence.
\ What need is there to mention that it is improper
\ To be attached to the pleasures of cyclic existence?
\ But my eye of awareness is still obscured to life
\ Having the wrong wisdom, grasping at suffering as happiness.
\ I, who am so obscured by such perverse concepts,
\ Please free me from the great current of existence.
\ Sunk in the quagmire of desire,
\ I have strayed from the path of liberation.
\ Possesses by the darkness of ignorance,
\ I am separated from the eye of wisdom.
\ Caught in the trap of fabrications,
\ I am chained to the prison of samsara.
\ Tormented by my karmic actions,
\ I am the object in need of your compassion.
\ In order to stop at the fearful cliff of cyclic existence,
\ I must rely upon stainless forms of extensive listening.
\ Through the power of pure reason of correct analysis
\ Of definitive and interpretive methods of the boundless teachings,
\ By discerning rightly and by depending on no other
\ When I definitely need to find the state of impeccable learning,
\ What need is there to mention the subtle intentions of the
\ Victorious Ones?
\ When even the most gross points of involvement and cessation
\ Are not clear and open to the vision of my intellect
\ Still, the enemy of gross delusion obscures my heart.
\ And for a long while I have no chance of liberation
\ Considering this situation, please clear the darkness
\ from my heart.
\ In the presence of the sciences taught by the Conquerors and their Sons,
\ I will extend an ocean of learning over many different lifetimes
\ And then excellently awaken the imprints of practices again and again.
\ You are the sole eye revealing the fortunate path for transmigrators.
\ Abandoned by all the pure beings of the past,
\ I am at a loss of being separated from a protector
\ In becoming like a guest arriving from a distant region.
\ It is time that you cared for me with your great kindness.
\ You are the refuge I humbly turn to again and again.
\ You are Love-Maitreya, with Your great love for all transmigrators,
\ In coming quickly and more quickly, please become mine.
\ My Mahayana-virtuous friend in lifetime after lifetime.
\ Before the presence of your look without interruption
\ At all embodied going, with your great love forever;
\ Whoever recalls with a mind of faith your excellent qualities
\ Daily, you will come to them.
\ In a place far away, in order to experience all
\ The taste of solitude in the place of a fortunate field,
\ Even though I wish to engage, I am physically unable to do so;
\ Thus You are the holiest field of merit.
\ To please You with extraordinary pure thoughts,
\ With jewels, gold nuggets and celestial silks,
\ With the tree robes, monk’s staff and ascetic’s bowl,
\ Practiced by the Capable One for all those training in virtue,
\ Also emanated through prayers and concentration,
\ An excellent array of exquisite offerings pervading space
\ Thus completely filled in offered to the Chief Lord of Humans,
\ With a mind detached and free of expectations.