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Twenty-Verse Prayer from Nagarjuna’s “Precious Garland”

Twenty-Verse Prayer from Nagarjuna’s “Precious Garland”

Thangka image of the Buddha.

Honoring in all ways the Buddhas, the Dharma, the Sangha, and also the bodhisattvas, in them I take refuge and pay homage to those worthy of homage.

I turn away from all negativity and embrace all [kinds of] merit. I rejoice in all the merit [amassed by] all sentient beings.

With bowed head and palms together I beseech all perfect Buddhas to turn the wheel of Dharma, and remain as long as beings remain.

Through the merit of doing this and the merit I have done and will do, may all sentient beings be endowed with unsurpassed bodhicitta.

May all sentient beings have immaculate faculties and transcend the unfree [states]; may they control their own actions and live by right livelihood.

May all embodied beings have jewels in their hands, and may a limitless [amount] of all kinds of necessities remain inexhaustible for as long as cyclic existence endures.

At all times may all women become supreme persons. May all beings be endowed with intelligence and legs.1

May all beings have a good complexion and also a good physique. May they be radiant and pleasant to behold. Free of illness, may they be strong and live long.

May they all gain expertise in skillful means, and become free of all duhkha. May they become devoted to the Three Jewels and have the great treasure of the Dharma.

May they be adorned with love, compassion, joy, equanimity in the face of hardship, generosity, ethical conduct, fortitude, joyous effort, meditative stability, and wisdom.

Thus adorned, may they complete all collections, and [obtain] brilliant signs and marks. May they traverse without hindrance the ten grounds [to] the inconceivable.

May I also become adorned with these good qualities and all others as well; may I become free from all faults, and may I attain supreme love of all beings.

May I perfect the virtues to which all beings aspire, and may I always dispel the duhkha of all embodied beings.

In all worlds may all beings who are feeling anxious due to danger become completely fearless merely by hearing my name.

From seeing and thinking of me, and from merely hearing my name, may beings become clear-minded, undisturbed and at ease.

May it be definite that they will awaken, and in all their future lives, may they attain the five superknowledges. In all ways may I always do what brings benefit and happiness to all beings.

May I always dissuade all at once all those beings of any world who intend to engage in negativity without doing them any harm.

Like the earth, water, wind, and fire, medicinal herbs, and the trees in the wilderness, may I always freely be an object of enjoyment by all beings as they wish.

May I be beloved of beings and may they be more beloved to me than myself. May I bear the results of their negativity, and may they have the results of all my virtue.

As long as there is even one sentient being somewhere who is not yet free, may I remain [in the world] for that being’s sake, even if I have attained peerless awakening.

If the merit of making such statements were to be material, it would not fit into worlds as numerous as the grains of sand of the Ganga.2

This is what the Blessed One said, and the reason is here to be seen–the worlds of beings are immeasurable, and the intention to aid them is likewise.

Translated by John Dunne and Sara McClintock. Featured image © 2017 Himalayan Art Resources Inc.

  1. One interpretation of “intelligence and legs” is the higher trainings in wisdom and ethical conduct. Another is “intelligence” indicates right view and “legs” is the remaining aspects of the path. 

  2. This refers to the Ganges. 

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.

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