Buddhist Philosophy

Supplication: What and Why?

Defining Supplication

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche often teaches us to supplicate the guru and the lineage masters repeatedly.

Sometimes modern students have difficulties with this term “supplication” (tib. gsol ba ‘debs) or “petition”. The English translation may confuse us a bit.  But we should take the time to investigate what we are requesting when we make a supplication. If we are correctly supplicating, we are asking to come to see and realize the nature of our own minds.

We supplicate our root guru, who is the person who introduces us to this precious gem. Thus, we are not requesting a gift  from outside ourselves. Instead, we are asking the kind guru to bring us to understand our own nature. Similarly, when we supplicate all the buddhas and bodhisattvas, we are making the firm wish that we gain and then stabilize this awareness of the natural state.

Request for Blessing

In this beautiful verse of supplication composed by the late Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Phakchok Rinpoche’s meditation teacher, we can clearly understand the request that we should make. We are asking for the blessing, through remembering the kindness of the teacher and his instruction of realizing the natural state.

The team at Lhasey Lotsawa  recently translated this verse for the benefit of Rinpoche’s English-speaking students. You can include it in your practice, either on a daily basis, when you have extra time, or on a special occasion, as you wish.

Related Teachings

4 responses on "Supplication: What and Why?"

  1. Thank You Rinpoche all the wonderful teaching.

Leave a Message

Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.