Rite of Self-Ordination (Vajrayana)

– I would like to dedicate this English language recension of the Vajrayana rite of self-ordination, or self-initiation, to the Memory of Mr. Gerald Yorke, the Personal Representative to the West of the Dalai Lama the XIIIth (1901-1983) –

Bhikkus, if anyone from a clan of nobles goes forth from the home life into homelessness, and by realizing for himself with direct knowledge here and now enters upon and abides in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints, then he is already a recluse because of the destruction of the taints. (Cula-Assapura Sutta, MN 40)

the Dharmakāya of the Buddha has the perfection of permanence, the perfection of pleasure, the perfection of Self, the perfection of purity. Whatever sentient beings see the Dharmakāya of the Tathagāta that way, see correctly. Whoever see correctly are called the sons of the Lord born from his heart, born from his mouth, born from the Dharma, who behave as manifestations of Dharma and as heirs of Dharma. (Shrimaladevi Sutra)

[To be performed at 5 a.m., with solemn intention and awareness, after bathing. Approach the shrine. Standing before the Buddha, say:]

Taking Refuge

The Enlightened One is the teacher;
The teacher is the source of all good;
I go to the teacher for refuge.

The teaching of the Enlightened One is the teacher;
The teacher is the source of all good;
I go to the teacher for refuge.

The community of awakened ones too is the teacher.
The teacher is the source of all good;
I go to the teachers for refuge.

Formulating the Will to Attain

I promise to seek awakening
Both for myself and for all conscious beings.

[repeat three times]

Purifying the Place

May the universal ground be pure,
Free of all flaws,
As smooth as the palm of the hand,
Like lapis lazuli.

Prayer to Magnify the Offerings

[ring the bell, passim]

May these gifts, both human and spiritual,
Including those both physically and mentally presented,
Become voluminous clouds of offerings to the Universal Sage [Samantabhadra],
Permeating all space.

Cloud Offering Mantra

Om namo Bhagavate Vajra Sara
Pramardane
Tathagataya
Arhate Samyak Sambuddhaya
Tadyatha
Om Vajre Vajre
Maha Vajre
Maha Teja Vajre
Maha Vidja Vajre
Maha Bodhicitta Vajre
Maha Bodhi Mando Pasamkramana Vajre
Sarva Karmavarana Vishodana Vajre
Svaha

[repeat three times]

The Power of Truth

I call on the Teacher, the Teaching, and the Taught;
I call on all enlightened beings and awakened ones;
I call on the two canons;
I call on the perfect, unutterable realization
To infuse these gifts with the Power of Truth.

Invocation

[light incense]

O Sustainer of all living beings
Who dispels the obstacles with love that hath no limit,
All-knowing.
Oh most holy ones, I beseech your presence.

[strike the bell]

Prostration Mantra

[prostrate three times, repeating the following three times]

Om Namo Manjushiye
Namah Su Shriye
Nama Uttama Shriye Svaha!

[sit]

Homage to the Enlightened One

I prostrate to the Teacher and the Founder; the Powerful Transcendent Destroyer; the Utterly Transcendent One; the Destroyer of the Enemy; the Completely Perfected, Fully Enlightened One; the Illustrious Conqueror, the Subduer from the Shakya Family. Please inspire me!

I go for refuge to the Teacher and the Founder; the Powerful Transcendent Destroyer; the Utterly Transcendent One; the Destroyer of the Enemy; the Completely Perfected, Fully Enlightened One; the Illustrious Conqueror; the Subduer from the Shakya Family. Please inspire me!

I offer myself to the Teacher and the Founder; the Powerful Transcendent Destroyer; the Utterly Transcendent One; the Destroyer of the Enemy; the Completely Perfected, Fully Enlightened One; the Illustrious Conqueror, the Subduer from the Shakya Family. Please inspire me!

Seven-Limb Prayer

[strike the bell]

Worshipfully I prostrate my body!
Worshipfully I prostrate my tongue!
Worshipfully I prostrate my mind,
Presenting voluminous clouds of every kind of gift, both physical and mental gifts.
I take responsibility for all my errors since beginningless time
And celebrate the essential goodness of the awakened ones and all beings.
I implore ye to remain until the end of time,
Turning the wheel of truth for all that live!
To thee I dedicate the goodness of myself and all beings
That all may achieve awakening!

Short Mandala Offering

I dedicate this place to the Enlightened One,
Glorious with flowers, incense, and perfume.
Mount Meru is the centre of the universe,
Four continents, sun and moon.
May all living beings rejoice in this world.

Inner Mandala Offering

I offer the objects of my clinging, the objects of my malice, the objects of my ignorance,
As friends, enemies, and strangers respectively,
Including my body, my wealth, and all my pleasures.
Without attachment I offer them all!
Please accept these offerings and free me
From the three poisons.

Idam Guru Ratna Mandalakam Niryatayami

[repeat three times]

Prostration Mantra

[kneel on the right knee]
[place the right palm on top of the left palm]

Om Namo Manjughriye Namah Sushriye Nama
Uttama Shriye Svaha

I ask the Enlightened Ones and the awakened ones wheresoever situate to come here!

Just as those who having gone before, the awakened ones, the complete and perfect Awakened Ones, destroyers of the enemy, who, like the wise horse and the great elephant, have done what was necessary; have completed the tasks; have laid down the burden; have achieved their own good; have severed their bondage to becoming; possessed of perfect speech, well-liberated minds and well-liberated wisdom, have sworn the vow for the sake of all conscious entities, for the good of all beings, in order to liberate them, in order to eliminate hunger, in order to eliminate sickness and disease, so that the 37 aids to awakening may be perfected, and in order that the highest, most complete, and perfect awakening shall be truly realized; so do I this day, I who am called from this moment hence for the salvation of all conscious entities, in order to benefit them, in order to liberate them, in order to eliminate hunger, in order to eliminate sickness, so that the 37 aids to enlightenment may be perfected, and in order that the highest, most complete, and most perfect awakening may be truly realized, do swear.

Just as those who having gone before have destroyed the enemy in the past; abandoned all physical, verbal, and mental defects, so do I, for the sake of all beings, renounce all physical, verbal, and mental defects, devoting myself wholly to the pure practice of the work of  awakening.

[repeat three times]

Committing to Keep the Precepts

I promise to observe the precepts,
Attaining awakening soon,
That the beings of the world, afflicted by pain, may be freed from the bondage of becoming.

[sit]

Mantra of Righteousness

Om Amogha Shila Sambhara
Bhara Bhara
Maha Shuddha Sattva Padma Vibhushite Bhuja
Dhara Dhara
Samanta
Avalokite
Hum Phat Svaha

[repeat 21 times]

May my actions be without fault
And perfect,
Pure and without pride.

[prostrate three times]

Dedication

May the sublime seed,
The unrealized intention to awake,
Now manifest and grow,
Not decreasing
But ever-increasing.
As a result of these right actions
May all beings gain good and wisdom
Attaining the body of righteousness
And the body of wisdom.
Just as the courageous Gentle Glory [Manjushri] and the Universal Sage [Samantabhadra]
Realized reality,
I too commit whatever good I may produce
In the tradition of their perfect example.
I commit these righteous roots
With the best commitment
According to the victorious ones of past, present, and future,
That I too may do righteousness.

[finish with three prostrations]

June 26, 999 K.E.

Further Reading:

The Direct and Unmistaken Method
The Eight Mahayana Precepts
The Eight Mahayana Precepts Ceremony
The Ritual of the Bodhisattva Vow

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