The King of Prayers

The King of Prayers

O lions amongst men,

Buddhas past, present, and future,

To as many of you as exist in the ten directions

I bow down with my body, speech, and mind.


On waves of strength of this king

Of prayers for exalted sublime ways,

With bodies as numerous as atoms of the world

I bow down to the buddhas pervading space.


On every atom is found a buddha

Sitting amongst countless buddha sons,

I look with eyes of faith to the victorious ones

Thus filling the entire dharmadhatu.


Of these with endless oceans of excellence

Endowed with an ocean of wondrous speech

I sing praises of the greatness of all buddhas,

A eulogy to those gone to bliss.


Garlands of flowers I offer them,

And beautiful sounds, supreme perfumes,

Butter lamps and sacred incense,

I offer to all the victorious ones.


Excellent food, supreme fragrances,

And a mound of mystic substances high as Mount Meru

I arrange in a special formation

And offer to those who have conquered themselves.


And all peerless offerings I hold up

In admiration of those gone to bliss;

With the strength of faith in sublime ways

I prostrate and make offerings to the conquerors.


Long overpowered by attachment, aversion, and ignorance

Countless evils I have committed

With acts of body, speech, and mind.

Each and every one of these I now confess.


In the perfections of the buddhas and bodhisattvas,

The arhats, training and beyond,

And in the latent goodness of every living being,

I lift up my heart and rejoice.


O lights into the ten directions,

Buddhas who have found the passionless stage of enlightenment,

To all of you I direct this request:

Turn the incomparable wheel of Dharma.


O masters wishing to show parinirvana,

Stay with us and teach, I pray,

For as many eons as there are specks of dust,

In order to bring goodness and joy to all beings.


May any small merits that I may have amassed

By thus prostrating, making offerings, confessing, rejoicing,

And asking the buddhas to remain and teach the Dharma,

Be dedicated now to supreme and perfect enlightenment.


May my offerings be received by all past buddhas

And by all those now abiding in the ten directions,

And may all the buddhas who have not yet come

Quickly perfect their minds and reach buddhahood, the state of supreme full awakening.


May all the buddha-realms of the ten directions

Remain forever vast and completely pure,

May the world be completely filled with buddhas who have attained illumination under sacred trees,

And may they all be surrounded by bodhisattvas.


May all living beings in the ten directions

Always abide in health and joy.

May they live in accord with the way of Dharma

And may their every wish become fulfilled.


By my living in the ways of enlightenment

May I remember my past lives in all my reincarnations,

And in all cycles of death, migration, and rebirth

May a sensitivity for truth be ever strong in me.


By my following in the footsteps of the buddhas

May I utterly perfect the sublime ways of the bodhisattvas,

And may I practice the faultless, undegenerating, stainless,

And pure ways of self-control.


May I master all languages that exist, including those of

The gods, yakshas, spirits, and varieties of men,

As well as all forms of communication of living beings,

That I may be able to show the Dharma in every way.


Striving thus and in the transcending perfections

May I never forget the bodhi mind,

And may I totally cleanse from within my mindstream

All negativities and mental veils.


May I gain freedom from karma, delusion, and karmic maras

To be able to live in the world unaffected by its stains

Like an unstained lotus grows in the mud,

And like the sun and moon shine without obstruction in the sky.


For as long as there are buddha-fields and directions

May I strive to quell the misery of the lower realms,

May I place all beings only in happiness

And bring them all only happiness and joy.


May I strive to complete the ways of enlightenment

And to abide in ways harmonious with the world;

May I expose to others the ways most sublime

And myself abide in them throughout all future eons.


May my ways and the ways of a bodhisattva

Always go together hand in hand.

In body, speech, and mind

May I attune to their sublime ways.


May I never be separated from the good friends

Who reveal the path of the sublime ways

And who wish only to benefit me;

May I never disappoint them for even a moment.


May I constantly envision the perfect buddhas,

The protectors who are surrounded by bodhisattvas,

And in the future may I never weary

Of devoting myself to them with all my strength.


May I forever uphold the holy Dharma of the buddhas

And illumine the sublime way of enlightenment;

May I practice throughout all future ages

The ways of deeds of the sublime path.


Circling in the various realms of existence

May I amass inexhaustible goodness and wisdom,

And may I become an unending treasure of qualities

Such as methods, wisdom, samadhi, and the experience of a bodhisattva.


In every atom are buddha-fields numberless as atoms,

Each field is filled with buddhas beyond conception,

And each buddha is surrounded by myriad bodhisattvas:

To all these dwellers in sublime ways I turn my attention.


Thus, in all atoms within the directions

Abide within the space of a single hair

An ocean of buddhas within an ocean of buddha-fields

Performing enlightened activities for an ocean of eons.


Each buddha with his perfect speech releases

An ocean of sounds with every word he says

To satisfy the infinitely diverse tendencies of beings:

Thus does the speech of a buddha constantly flow.


All these conquerors past, present, and future

Continually turn the methods of Dharma wheels;

With all the powers of my mind I listen

For the inexhaustible sound of their words.


All future eons that could possibly be,

Manifest within me in a single instant;

And I myself in a fraction of a moment

Enter into all these eons of the three times.


All past, present, and future lions among men

I envision with the instantaneous wisdom

And by the power of the bodhisattvas’ examples

I focus upon the objects of their experience.


I manifest buddha-fields past, present, and future

Upon one single atom of existence,

And then I transform every single atom

Of existence into a buddha-field.


By this, when the future lights of the worlds

Eventually gain bodhi, turn the Dharma wheels,

And reveal the passing to nirvana’s supreme peace,

May I take rebirth in their very presence.


Then may I attain the ten powers:

The power of instant magical emanation,

The power which is a vehicle with every door,

The power of excellent activity,

The power of all-pervading love,

The power of constantly positive energy,

The power of passionless wisdom,

The powers of knowledge, method, and samadhi,

And the power of enlightenment itself.


May I purify the power of karma,

May I crush the powers of delusion,

May I render powerless the powerful maras,

And may I perfect the powers of sublime ways.


May I purify an ocean of realms,

May I liberate an ocean of sentient beings,

May I see an ocean of truths,

And may I realize an ocean of wisdom.


May I perform an ocean of perfect deeds,

May I perfect an ocean of prayers,

May I revere an ocean of buddhas,

And may I practice untiringly for an ocean of eons.


Through my practice of the sublime bodhisattva ways

May I gain the enlightenment of buddhahood

And then fulfill the enlightened and sublime aspiration

Of the buddhas past, present, and future.


In order to match the ways of the sage

Called Samantabhadra, the always-sublime one,

Chief amongst the awakened ones’ sons,

I now dedicate all virtues that I possess.


Just as the sublime sage Samantabhadra

Dedicated all pure practices of body, speech, and mind

To the attainment of a pure state and pure realms,

So do I now dedicate the fruit of all my efforts.


In order to engage in all sublime virtues

I offer the prayer of Manjushri;

In the future may I never become faint

In striving to perfect the exalted bodhisattvas’ way.


May my deeds never reach a limit,

May my qualities of excellence become boundless,

And by abiding in immeasurable activity

May I find buddhahood, the state of limitless manifestation.


Limitless is the extent of space,

Limitless is the number of sentient beings,

And limitless is the karma and delusions of beings

Such are the limits of my aspirations.


One may offer supreme ornaments of the buddha-fields

Of the ten directions to the conquerors,

And also offer the highest joys of men and gods

For eons numerous as atoms of the world.


But to read or hear the King of Prayers

With eyes looking toward supreme illumination

And faith shining in one’s heart for even an instant

Gives birth to a far more superior merit.


Should anyone recite this aspiration of sublime ways

They will pass beyond all states of sorrow,

Rise above all inferior beings, and gain

A vision of Amitabha, Buddha of Infinite Light.


Even in this very lifetime

All sublime joys will be theirs;

The experiences of the all-sublime Samantabhadra,

Without obstructions, will quickly be theirs.


Merely by giving voice to these aspirations

Of the sublime ways of a bodhisattva,

The effects can only be known by an omniscient buddha.

Therefore, doubt not that it leads to enlightenment.


In order to follow the excellent examples set

By the wisdom of the bodhisattva Manjushri

And the always-sublime Samantabhadra,

All virtues I dedicate to their peerless ideals.


All conquerors passed into the three times

Have praised as supreme this peerless dedication.

Therefore, I also surrender all roots of my activities

To the sublime goals of a bodhisattva.


When the moment of my death arrives,

May I remain free from the spiritual obscurations;

May I perceive the face of Amitabha

And transmigrate to Sukhavati, the pure land of joy.


Having arrived there, may I fulfill

All aims of this prayer of aspirations

And benefit the countless living beings

Residing throughout the ten directions.


In the joyous mandala of Amitabha Buddha

May I be reborn from a beautiful lotus,

And may I there have the pleasure of gaining

A pure prophecy from Amitabha himself.


Having won this word of prophecy,

By the power of mind may I fill all directions

With many millions of mystical emanations

And bring limitless benefits to the world.


If by reciting this prayer of the sublime ways

I have amassed a tiny fragment of goodness,

May it work immediately to fulfill

All Dharmic hopes of living beings.



Colophon: This is the complete Great King of Prayers, The Prayer of Ways Sublime.

Translated by Glenn H. Mullin with Thepo Tulku.

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