Buddhist Philosophy

Mahāyāna Teaching: The King of Aspiration Prayer: Part Three

Mahāyāna Teaching: The King of Aspiration Prayer

The King of Aspiration Prayer from the Gaṇḍavyūha

Part Three

In this final teaching, Phakchok Rinpoche reminds us that we can repeat this aspiration prayer as often as we wish. If we love ourselves and wish to accumulate merit, it is wonderful to recite this vast aspiration daily. The final verses remind us of the inconceivable number of sentient beings who exist. Thus as we recite these, we can remind ourselves to aspire and offer in such a limitless way. When we recite or hear this aspiration prayer and hold bodhicitta in our hearts that is equal to making offerings to all the buddhas in all the ten directions of the past, present, and future. Imagine this as an enormous investment. We will then naturally be so motivated to practice this aspiration! Remember, we do not have much time left in our lives.  Rinpoche reminds us that because our lives pass so quickly, we really need to be smart and learn to accumulate merit faster!

The Benefits of Recitation

And the benefits of  recitation are mentioned in the text itself on page 36:

gangyang zangpo chöpé mönlam di

changwa dang ni tön tam lok na yang

dé yi nampar minpa ang sangye khyen

changchub chok la somnyi majé chik

“The full result of keeping, teaching, or reading this Prayer of Aspiration to Good Actions

Is known to the buddhas alone: Have no doubt: supreme enlightenment will be yours! “

Here, we remember that no one except the Buddha can understand the amount of merit we accrue. Nevertheless, we should not have any doubts about this result! The text itself reminds us that we really need to have conviction in that message.

Stanza for Regular Recitation

It is incredibly beneficial to recite the entire aspiration prayer if we have the opportunity. But if we are very busy, Rinpoche asks us to simply keep one stanza in mind. This verse sums up the entire aspiration by following the great bodhisattvas. We can add this stanza to our dedication in all our sessions! We thus pledge to practice just as the Buddha’s sons Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra.

King of Aspiration Prayer
Mañjuśrī teaching Sudhana

We can reflect on our day and think that for any small virtue we accomplish, let us dedicate it in just the way that those great practitioners do. This is the shortest method and an effective way to practice the aspiration.

jampal pawö jitar khyenpa dang

kuntuzangpo deyang dé shyin té

dedak kün gyi jesu dak lob chir

King of Aspiration
Samantabhadra Bodhisattva

gewa didak tamché rabtu ngo

Just as the warrior Mañjuśrī attained omniscience, and Samantabhadra too

All these merits now I dedicate to train and follow in their footsteps.

Full recording of the King of Aspiration prayer in Tibetan

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