Following in the footsteps of the Buddha

Rarity of Pilgrimage Places

A buddha appears but rarely in this world and after his passing away leaves behind three kinds of relics: the remains of his body, the utensils he used, such as his alms bowl, and the edifices and places commemorating events in his life.

Of the relics of Shakyamuni, the remains of his body, although widely distributed across Asia, are becoming increasingly inaccessible owing to political circumstances.

As for the second type of relic, although the various objects used by the Buddha were preserved for long and were seen by both Fa Hien and Hsuan Chwang, many have since disappeared.

Thus the fact that the eight places of pilgrimage and the four great places in particular can still be visited with moderate ease assumes a special importance.

Conclusion and books consulted from Jeremy’s notes (opens in new window).

“Bhikshus, after my passing away, if all the sons and daughters of good family and the faithful, so long as they live, go to the four holy places, they should go and remember: here at Lumbini the enlightened one was born; here at Bodhgaya he attained enlightenment; here at Sarnath he turned twelve wheels of Dharma; and here at Kushinagar he entered parinirvana.

Bhikshus, after my passing away there will be activities such as circumambulation of these places and prostration to them.

Thus it should be told, for they who have faith in my deeds and awareness of their own will travel to higher states.

After my passing away, the new bhikshus who come and ask of the doctrine should be told of these four places and advised that a pilgrimage to them will help purify their previously accumulated negative karmas, even the five heinous actions.

– From the commentary to the Vinaya Sutra by the First Dalai Lama (1392-1474)

Final Dedication Prayers

Dedicating for Enlightenment

Please bless us that the lives of the glorious gurus be long, that all beings equalling the extent of space be happy, that I and others without exception collect merits and purify obscurations, and that we quickly achieve buddhahood.

May all father and mother sentient beings have happiness, and all the lower realms be empty forever. Wherever there are bodhisattvas, may all their prayers be fulfilled.

Personal Dedications

Due to all the past, present, and future merits collected by me, the numberless buddhas, and the numberless sentient beings, may bodhicitta be generated in the hearts of all the sentient beings of the six realms, and especially in the hearts of everybody in this world, including all the students, benefactors, and volunteers in the FPMT organization. May it be generated in the hearts of all those who rely upon me, all those for whom I have promised to pray, and all those whose names have been given to me. May it be generated in my heart and in the hearts of all my family members, those who are living and those who have died. May the bodhicitta that has already been generated increase.

To Seal the Merits with Emptiness

Due to all the past, present, and future merits collected by me, the numberless buddhas, and the numberless sentient beings, which are completely empty of existing from their own side, may I, who am completely empty of existing from my own side, achieve the state of full enlightenment, which is completely empty of existing from its own side, and lead all sentient beings, who are completely empty of existing from their own side, to that state, which is completely empty of existing from its own side, by myself alone, who am completely empty of existing from my own side.

For His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The wish-granting Wish-Fulfilling Jewel,
Source of every single benefit and happiness in this world,
To the incomparably kind Tenzin Gyatso, I beseech:
May all your holy wishes be spontaneously fulfilled.

For His Holiness’ Wishes to Be Spontaneously Fulfilled

Savior of the Land of Snow’s teachings and transmigratory
beings,
Who extensively clarifies the path that unifies emptiness
and compassion,
To the Lotus Holder, Tenzin Gyatso, I beseech—
May all your holy wishes be spontaneously fulfilled.

For Lama Zopa Rinpoche

You who uphold the Subduer’s moral way, who serve as
the bountiful bearer-of-all,
Sustaining, preserving, and spreading Manjunath’s
victorious doctrine;
Who masterfully accomplish magnificent prayers honouring the Three Sublime Ones:
Saviour of myself and others, your disciples, please, please live long.