Sevenfold Puja from the Bodhicharyavatara — a new metrical version for chanting

Avalokisteshvara FTM1.  Worship

I welcome the foremost of beings
With offerings of garlands of flowers,
Sprays of sky-lilies, jasmine and lotus,
The sweetest and brightest of blossoms.

In a haze of the fragrance of incense,
Sweet, all pervading, enchanting,
Here are nectars distilled by the devas,
Here are dishes sustaining and delicate.

Their lamp is a flame in a diamond
Set in a gold-petalled lotus.
At their feet on a pavement of turquoise
I scatter fresh perfumes and petals.

(Avalokiteshvara mantra and offerings)

2.  Salutation

See the Buddhas past, present and future;
See their Dharma and Sangha.  Saluting,
My prostrations will equal the atoms
In all of the worlds of the Cosmos.

And I bow to the shrines of past Masters,
To all Buddhist pilgrimage places,
To my teachers I bow, and all beings
Who aspire to practise the Dharma.

3.  Going for Refuge

In this moment I go for my Refuge
To the Buddhas, protectors of all,
Striving to care for the living,
The victors who take away fear.

In this moment I go for my Refuge
To the Dharma that they have discovered,
Which rescues from cyclic existence.

In this moment I go for my Refuge
To the Sangha of great Bodhisattvas.

(Refuges and precepts.)

4.  Confession of Faults

I’ve lived heedless and deep in delusion,
And so I’ve been piling up evils,
Unskilful breaking of precepts,
And vows and promises broken.

Full of fear of the painful results,
Confessing I bow to the Buddhas,
Please accept all this as it is,
It was wrong, I shall do it no more.

5.  Rejoicing in Merit

With great joy I extol all good actions,
Only way to relieve states of suffering.
May those suffering all dwell in bliss.
I delight in beings escaping
From the endless round and its pains.

Bodhisattvas and Buddhas awakened,
I delight in their high realisations.
I delight in their mind of awakening,
A resolve which is deep as an ocean,
Bearing a cargo of blessings
And happiness to every being.

6.  Entreaty and Supplication

O you Buddhas in every direction,
Please kindle the light of the Dharma,
For all those who fall into darkness,
Dark of suffering, dark of delusion.

O you Buddhas in every direction,
Though you long for final Nirvana,
Please stay here for infinite aeons,
Not letting this world become blind.

(Reading)

(Heart Sutra)

7.  Transference of Merit and Self Surrender

With the benefits I have acquired
By performing this Sevenfold Puja,
May I clear away the frustrations
Which burden the lives of all creatures.

Without any sense of regretting
I give up my body and pleasures,
All I own, past present and future,
To improve the lives of all beings.

Just as earth, air, fire and water,
Are useful in numerous ways;
May I sustain all throughout space,
Until they gain ultimate freedom.

(Padmasambhava mantra)

(Concluding mantras)


A rendering by Ratnaprabha of the Sevenfold Puja verses, based mainly on these prose translations of Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara:

Kate Crosby and Andrew Skilton,  The Bodhicaryavatara (Oxford World’s Classics, 1996).
Klaus Klostermaier (unpublished).
Stephen Batchelor, A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1979).

First section composed about 1985, the rest completed 2001.

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