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Home > Daily Practice > Prayers and Tantra Practices > An Extensive Six-Session Yoga > 2001 Precise Poetic Translation with Annotation

An Extensive Six-Session Yoga

(2001 Precise Poetic Translation with Annotation)

(Thun-drug-gi rnal-'byor rgyas-pa)
The First Panchen Lama
(Pan-chen Blo-bzang chos-kyi rgyal-mtshan)
expanded by Pabongka Rinpoche
(Pha-bong -kha Byams-pa bstan-'dzin 'phrin-las rgya-mtsho)

translated by Alexander Berzin, 2001

Section A: Front-Generation 


Taking Safe Direction (Refuge) and Reaffirming Your Bodhichitta Aim

I take safe direction, till my purified state,
From the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Highest Assembly.
By the positive force of my giving and so on,
May I actualize Buddhahood to help those who wander.
[ 3x, only for the first repetition.]

[ This fulfills the practice to train in specified from putting a safe direction in your life – namely, taking safe direction three times each day and three times each night – as well as three of the practices for bonding with Vairochana – namely, taking safe direction from the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Sangha.]

The Four Immeasurable Attitudes

May all beings be parted from clinging and aversion,
feeling close to some and distant from others,
May they gain the joy that is specially sublime.
May they find release from the ocean of their
   unbearable problems.
May they never be parted from liberation’s pure bliss.

[ The first line is for generating immeasurable equanimity and the generosity of giving protection from fear; while the second line is for generating immeasurable love and the generosity of giving love. These two fulfill two of the practices for bonding with Ratnasambhava – namely, the giving of freedom from fear and the giving of love. The third line is for generating immeasurable compassion and the fourth for immeasurable joy.]

Aspiring Bodhichitta

To free from the fears of samsara and complacent nirvana
   all wandering beings,
I take hold of the mind that wishes to gain
   an enlightened state,
And from this moment on, till becoming a Buddha,
I shall never forsake it, though my life be at stake.

[ Having generated aspiring bodhichitta through an appropriate ritual, this fulfills the specified requirement to reaffirm your bodhichitta aim six times during the period of each day and night.]

Engaged Bodhichitta

[ If you wish to take the vows for engaged bodhichitta (the bodhisattva vows), imagine repeating the following verse after the objects for safe direction visualized before you, namely the Triumphant Ones and their spiritual offspring:

Gurus, the Triumphant, and your spiritual offspring,
   please pay me heed:
Just as the Blissfully Gone Buddhas of the past
   reaffirmed their bodhichitta aim
And lived by the stages of bodhisattva training,
I too reaffirm my bodhichitta aim, to help those who wander,
And shall train in the stages of bodhisattva training.
[ 3x, only for the first repetition.]

[ Having taken the vows for engaged bodhichitta, dissolve the objects for safe direction into you.]

The Benefits of Having Developed a Bodhichitta Aim

Now my life’s become fruitful,
For having wonderfully attained a human existence,
Today I’ve awakened my Buddha-nature
And now have become a Buddhas’ spiritual child.

[ Meditate on joy after having developed a bodhichitta aim.]

Now, in whatever way possible
I shall undertake actions that accord with its traits,
And never defile this impeccable nature
   that lacks any flaw. 

[ Meditate on taking care. These two verses fulfill the practice to train in specified from having developed aspiring bodhichitta, namely contemplating six times over a period of each day and night the benefits of generating a bodhichitta aim.



In the sky before me, on a breath-taking throne of jewels,
On top of a water-born lotus, and mandala-discs of a sun
   and full moon,
Sits my root guru, Vajradhara, ruler of the all-pervasive,
With a blue-colored body, one face and two arms,
Holding vajra and bell, and embracing a motherly likeness
   of himself.
Emblazoned with the signs and exemplary features
   of a Buddha,
Adorned with lavish jeweled ornaments,
Draped with fine garments of enchanting, heavenly scarves –
The mere remembrance of you dispels all my torment.
With a nature encompassing every superlative
   source of direction,
You sit in the vajra position,
Your body’s three spots marked with three syllables.

By rays of light from the HUM,
Guru Vajradhara from his natural abode –
JAH HUM BAM HOH – becomes nondual with you.

[ This is a way to uphold your relation with your tantric master, fulfilling one of the practices for bonding with Akshobhya.]

Your kindness heralds in an instant
A dawn of great bliss.
O jewel-like guru, Holder of the Vajras,
I bow at your lotus-feet.

[ This is a way of safeguarding your mind from committing the first faulty deed of a bodhisattva – namely, not making offerings, such as prostration, to the Triple Gem, incorporated here in your tantric master. It is also a way of making prostration in accord with what is specified in “ Fifty-Stanzas on the Guru” – namely that it be three times, with supreme conviction.]


Eight-Line Verses of Praise

OM – Vanquishing master surpassing all,
   with the majestic command
   of the heroic viras,
   I prostrate before you – HUM HUM PHAT.
OM – Your light equals the fire that ends a great eon
OM – You wear an Inexhaustible One as a crown
   for your dread locks – HUM HUM PHAT.
OM – Your fangs are bared and your face is fearsome
OM – You have myriad arms and blazing rays of light
OM – You wield an axe, a lasso made of a hooded snake,
   a spear, and a khatvanga staff – HUM HUM PHAT.
OM – You wear the skin of a tiger as your wrap
OM – Your magnificent smoke-colored body
   ends all obstruction; I bow down before you

OM – Vanquishing lady surpassing all, Vajra-varahi,
   I prostrate before you – HUM HUM PHAT.
OM – Noble mistress, with the majestic command
   of the ladies of awareness,
   you cannot be conquered by the three realms
OM – You destroy all fears of elemental forces
   with your mighty vajra – HUM HUM PHAT.
OM – Remaining in a vajra-seat, your eye grants
   invincible power over anything alien – HUM HUM PHAT.
OM – With the form of a furious tummo wench,
   you desiccate Brahma – HUM HUM PHAT.
OM – Terrifying and drying up demons of mara,
   you triumph over alien factions – HUM HUM PHAT.
OM – You triumph over all that can make you bewildered,
   dumbfounded, or stupefied – HUM HUM PHAT.
OM – Vajra-varahi, yogini commanding over desire,
   I bow down before you – HUM HUM PHAT.

[ This way of praising the deity and your guru in eight-line verses is for those who have received an empowerment for a deity of mother tantra (such as Chakrasamvara or Vajrayogini).]


Making Offerings

I present you with an ocean of clouds
Of assorted outer, inner, and hidden offerings:
These I possess and those that nobody owns,
Both actually arrayed and mentally created.

[ This is a way for cultivating the practice for bonding with Amoghasiddhi, making offerings.]

Mandala Offering

Anything physical, verbal, or mental that I or others enjoy,
And the network of my constructive acts throughout
   the three times,
A splendid jeweled mandala, with a host of
Samantabhadra offerings –
Taking these to mind, I present them to you,
My guru, my yidam, my Three Supreme Gems.
Accept them, please, by the power of compassion.
I humbly request you for inspiration.
Idam guru ratna mandalakam niryata-yami.

[ This is the practice to train in specified in “Fifty Stanzas on the Guru,” offering a mandala three times to your guru.]

Entrusting Yourself to Your Guru with Your Thoughts

Just as the Blissfully Gone Buddhas have tamed (others),
Throughout the three times and the ten directions,
You likewise enact, in a play of saffron,
A Triumphant One’s deeds in countless realms.
O precious guru, I make you requests.

Highly praised by Vajradhara, for us of lesser capacity,
As an exceptional field for thought more holy than
The endless circles of infinite Triumphant,
O precious guru, I make you requests.

[ These stanzas of making requests are how to entrust yourself to your guru with your thoughts. The first stanza is through developing firm conviction in your guru by remembering his or her good qualities; the second stanza is through developing appreciation of your guru by remembering his or her kindness.]

All supreme and common actual attainments,
   without exception,
Follow upon correctly relating to you, my guardian,
   in a healthy manner.
Seeing this, I fully devote my body and even my life:
Inspire me to practice what only will please you.

[ This stanza is how to entrust yourself to your guru with your actions. In short, entrusting yourself with your thoughts and actions, having become mindful of the benefits of entrusting yourself properly and the disadvantages of not entrusting yourself or entrusting yourself improperly, is the way to ­entrust yourself to your spiritual mentor. It is the heart of how to safeguard the close bonding practices in “Fifty Stanzas on the Guru.”]

Section B: Self-Generation


The Guru Comes to the Crown of Your Head

Requested like this, my supreme guru
Alights on the crown of my head.
We merge – samaja.


Voidness Meditation

Once more you gladly become
Of a singular taste with me.

[ Bring to mind whatever ascertainment of voidness you have and concentrate a while on the voidness of truly established existence. This is the guru yoga of definitive mean­ing and the way of building up your network of deep awareness, the best of protections. It is also the way to avoid the eleventh tantric root tantric downfall – not meditating on voidness repeatedly.]

Reappearance as a Vajrasattva Couple

With the pride of a Vajrasattva, holding vajra and bell,
Symbolic of the hidden factors of co-arising great bliss
And the state by nature fantasy-free,
I embrace Bhagavati.

[ This is a way to safeguard three of the practices for bonding with Akshobhya – namely, keeping a vajra, keeping a bell, and maintaining the mudra seal of visualizing yourself as an anuttarayoga deity couple in union.]

Practicing Generosity

My body and likewise my wealth,
And as massive a network of constructive acts
As I have built up throughout the three times,
I give, from now on, without sense of a loss,
To help limited beings, who have all been my mothers.

[ Strengthening your giving attitude through thinking this is the bodhisattva’s practice of generosity. It is a way to fulfill the remaining two practices for bonding with Ratnasambhava – namely, by giving your body and wealth, the generosity of giving material objects and, by giving the roots of your constructive force, the generosity of giving the Dharma.]


Upholding Your Vows (Elaborate Version)

[ At this point, as it is said that when you have time, you should fully enumerate your bonding practices and vows by going through as many vows as you have taken, one by one, then to elaborate:]

Reaffirmation of Your Lay or Monastic Pratimoksha Vows

[ First, if you have the pratimoksha vows of a full monk:]

From the five classes of downfall from the pratimoksha vows:
The four total defeats, the thirteen remaining defeats,
The thirty downfalls of relinquishment,
   the ninety downfalls alone,
The four to be openly admitted individually,
The hundred and twelve faulty actions,
And further the downfalls abbreviated by the foundation
   and so on –
I shall rid myself of all these.

Full Enumeration of the Bodhisattva Root Downfalls

Praising myself and belittling others,
Not sharing Dharma teachings or wealth,
Not listening even if others apologize (or striking them),
Rejecting Mahayana teachings
   (and propounding made-up ones),
Stealing goods belonging to the Triple Gem,
Forsaking any Dharma,
Stealing from those clad in saffron,
Committing any of the five heinous crimes,
Thinking with an antagonistic, distorted outlook,
Destroying places such as towns,
Teaching voidness to those whose minds are untrained,
Turning others away from enlightenment,
Causing others to discard their pratimoksha vows,
Belittling the shravaka teachings,
Proclaiming a false realization of what is profound,
Accepting goods stolen from the Triple Gem,
Penalizing unfairly,
Giving up bodhichitta –
These are the eighteen root downfalls
   from the bodhisattva vows;
I shall safeguard against them.

Not regarding them as detrimental,
Not forsaking the wish to repeat such acts,
Delighting and taking pleasure in them,
And having no moral self-dignity
   or care for how my actions reflect on those I respect
Are the four binding factors that must all be present
For sixteen of these to be complete.
For thinking with an antagonistic, distorted outlook
   or giving up bodhichitta,
These four are not needed.

Full Enumeration of the Tantric Root Downfalls

Scorning or deriding my guru,
Disregarding (or trivializing) any ethical training,
Faulting my vajra brothers or sisters,
Abandoning love for any being,
Giving up aspiring or engaged bodhichitta,
Deriding the teachings of sutra or tantra,
Revealing confidential teachings to those unripe,
Reviling (or abusing) my aggregates,
Rejecting voidness,
Being loving toward malevolent people,
Not maintaining (daily) mindfulness of a correct view,
Deterring (from tantric practice) anyone
   having confidence in it,
Not properly relying on closely bonding materials,
Deriding women –
These are the fourteen root tantric downfalls;
I shall safeguard against them at the cost of my life.

Full Enumeration of the Auxiliary Bonding Practices

Forsaking the four root destructive actions, likewise liquor,
   and outrageous behavior,
Relating in a healthy manner to a hallowed guide,
Helping and treating respectfully Dharma friends,
Cultivating the ten constructive acts,
Avoiding the causes for forsaking Mahayana,
Belittling it, or treading on objects worthy of respect –
I shall honor these further practices to bond me closely. 

Concise Verse Regarding the Downfalls from the Tantric Heavy Actions

Relying on an unqualified mudra partner,
Sitting in union devoid of the three recognitions,
Showing confidential objects to an unsuitable vessel,
Fighting or arguing at an offering feast of tsog,
Giving false answers to sincerely asked questions,
Staying more than a week in a shravaka’s home,
Boasting to be a yogi, without properly being one,
Teaching the hallowed Dharma to those who will disbelieve
   what is fact –
These are the secondary tantric heavy actions –
Also, improperly engaging in mandala-rites,
   such as without a retreat,
Transgressing pratimoksha or bodhisattva trainings
   when there is no need,
Acting counter to the teachings of Fifty Stanzas on the Guru
I shall safeguard against them in a proper way.

Concise Verse Regarding the Uncommon Bonding Practices for Mother Tantra

I shall not look down on left-handed behavior,
I shall offer (a bimonthly feast of tsog),
Reject sitting in union with an unqualified partner,
While in union, never be parted from a correct view,
Be immovable in my firm conviction in the path of desire,
Not forsake the two kinds of mudra partners,
Exert effort mainly on the outer and inner methods,
Never release my subtle jasmine drops,
Commit myself to chaste behavior,
And abandon nausea when imbibing bodhichitta.


Upholding Your Vows (Brief Version)

[ As for a way to come closer to being merely mindful and alert about as many of the three sets of vows as you have taken, at times when you might not be able (to enumerate them all):]

I shall not transgress, even in my dreams,
The most minor training concerning the prohibitions
That keep my pratimoksha, bodhisattva, and tantric vows pure.
I shall practice in accord with the Triumphant Ones’ words.

[ Thinking this is an abbreviated method for coming closer to being mindful and alert about your three sets of vows. With this, you fulfill one of the three practices concerning ethical self-discipline for bonding with Vairochana – namely, refraining from faulty behavior – as well as one of the practices for bonding with Amoghasiddhi, keeping all your vows.]

Upholding the Dharma

I shall fully uphold all the verbal and realized
   hallowed Dharma, without exception,
As gathered in the three sutra vehicles and four tantra sets,
In exact accord with the meanings
   that the Triumphant intended.
I shall totally liberate wandering beings by means
   that suit each. 

[ With the thoughts in the first three lines, you fulfill the three practices for bonding with the lotus family (Amitabha) – namely, on the side of tantra, upholding the teachings of the external vehicles of kriya and charya and the teachings of the secret vehicles of yogatantra and anuttarayoga, and on the side of sutra, upholding the teachings of the three vehicles (of the shravakas, pratyekabuddhas and bodhisattvas) – as well as (the ethical self-discipline of) engaging in constructive actions, another of the practices for bonding with Vairochana. The thoughts of the last line are a way to fulfill the ethical self-discipline of working to benefit others, the last of the practices for bonding with Vairochana.]

Section C: Dedication

Through the lustrous positive force deriving from this,
May I never transgress, throughout all my lives,
The bounds prescribed by Vajradhara’s authority.
May I complete the stages of the twofold path.

In short, by however much I have built up a network
Of lustrous positive force by steps such as these,
May I quickly be born in Shambhala, the storehouse of gems,
And complete there the stages of the peerless path.

May I never be parted from perfect gurus in all my lives;
May I joyfully experience the glories of Dharma;
May I gain in full the qualities of the paths and stages,
And thus attain quickly a Vajradhara state.

[ If reciting 6x each day in the manner of 3x each morning and 3x each evening, recite the following sequence:
(A) three times, omitting all (A-X) sections for the second and third repetitions,
(B) three times, omitting all (B-X) sections for the second and third repetitions,
(C) one time.