Deeds of the Buddha’s Life:

  1. Passing into parinirvana

Final Deed of the Buddha’s Life

Motivation & Salutations

Generate the motivation of bodhicitta. As much as possible generate a strong thought of impermanence-death, which allows your mind to become Dharma. Then generate compassion and strong bodhicitta toward sentient beings.

Then think of those you have a karmic responsibility towards, those close to you, those recently deceased, and bring them all along with you on pilgrimage!

Prostrations

OṂ NAMO MAÑJUŚHRIYE / NAMAḤ SUŚHRĪYE / NAMA UTTAMAŚHRIYE SVĀHĀ (3x)

Refuge & Bodhicitta

I go for refuge until I am enlightened
To the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Supreme Assembly.
By the merits I create through listening to the Dharma, May I become a buddha to benefit all sentient beings. (3x)

Seven Limb Prayer

Reverently I prostrate with my body, speech, and mind;
I present clouds of every type of offering, actual and imagined;
I declare all my negative actions accumulated since beginningless time, and rejoice in the merit of all holy and ordinary beings.
Please, remain until the end of cyclic existence, and turn the wheel of Dharma for living beings.
I dedicate my own and other’s merits to the great enlightenment.

Mandala Offering

This ground, anointed with perfume, strewn with flowers,
Adorned with Mount Meru, four continents, the sun and the moon:
I imagine this as a buddha-field and offer it.
May all living beings enjoy this pure land!

IDAM GURU RATNA MANDALA KAM NIRYATA YAMI

Slideshow of the Area

Location Map

Notes on Kushinagar from Jeremy Russell (opens in new window).

Random Notes

Discovery of the site – The remains of the Parinirvana Stupa and Parinirvana Temple, when rediscovered, were covered in a 40 foot high mound of bricks surrounded by a dense thorny forest. After E. Buchanan, an officer of the East India Company, arrived in Kasia in the course of his survey-work, H. H. Wilson, in 1854, made the suggestion that ancient Kushinagar and Kasia were the same.

Work resumed around 1861–1862 when Alexander Cunningham, the founder of the Archaeological Survey of India suggested the site to be that of Gautama Buddha’s decease. British officer, Mr. Carlleyle followed suit. Excavations under J. Ph. Vogel in the early 20th century, uncovered a wealth of Buddhist materials. Cunningham’s supposition that the site known at Māthā kūār kā Koṭ was Kushinārā, ws born out when a series of monastic seals with the Sanskrit legend mahāparinirvāne cāturdiśo bhikṣusaṃghaḥ were taken to show that by the late Gupta period the site was understood to be that of Buddha’s final passing.

Significance of the area – Lord Buddha’s cremation was at Mukut Bandhan (Ramabhar),  where ‘Mallas’ constructed a big stupa over the ashes. Later Ashoka also renovated it. Chinese travellers Fa Hien & Hieun Tsang mentioned Kushinara in their Travel-Memo. Situated on the bank of river Gandak and nearerto the terai of the Himalayas, this region was an ideal ‘Meditation Place’ for sages, saints hermits and Mahatamas who were attracted by its pious, tranquil and charming natural surroundings. It is also associated with Lord Mahavir, 24th tirthankar, founder of Jainism. It is believed that he passed away or attained Parinirvana at Pawa. As per Pali Tripitak, Pawa was the second capital of the Mallas, the first being Kushinara. The significance of this region is also due to being ‘Link-route’ of ancient highways. Among them were important highways Ayodhya – Janakpur (Bihar), Rajgrih – Vaishali – Shrawasti, Maharshi Valmiki’s Ashram, Ashoka, the great Mauryas, Pillars routes, passing through this district.

Sutra to Read

The Dharani Called

Possessing the Limbs of All the Buddhas

In the Indian language: Arya sarva buddhādgavati nāma dhārani
In the Tibetan language: pagpa sanggye tamche kyi yenlag dang den pa zhe ja we zung
In the English language: The Dharani Called “Possessing the Limbs of All the Buddhas”

Homage to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas!

Thus have I heard. The Bhagavan was dwelling together with the four worldly guardians on the shore of the Ganges River. At that time, the Bhagavan spoke thus to the four Great Kings, Vaishravana and the others: “Great Kings, the four great fears arise for men, women, boys, and girls. What are the four? They are aging, sickness, decline, and death. Moreover, among them, the one great fear is the great fear of the Lord of Death.

Without opposing it and lacking the antidote to it, they are always pursued by it. Great Kings, now I will tell you the antidote to that one great fear.”

Then, the four Great Kings replied thus to the Bhagavan: “Bhagavan, by fully bestowing life, you take care of all beings. Today we have excellently secured a gain.”

Then, the Bhagavan proceeded toward the eastern direction and abiding there, exhorted all the tathagatas with the sound of a fingersnap and spoke thus: “All tathagata foe-destroyer perfectly complete buddhas, out of mercy for sentient beings may the buddhas who have manifestly completed the unsurpassed perfectly complete enlightenment please assist me!

Then, having been blessed here by the blessings of all the buddhas, I will thoroughly avert untimely death for all sentient beings. I will also turn the second wheel of Dharma that I turned before.”

Likewise he exhorted all the tathagatas in the south, west, north, above, and below speaking thus: “All tathagata foe-destroyer perfectly complete buddhas, out of mercy for all sentient beings may the buddhas who have manifestly completed the unsurpassed perfectly complete enlightenment please assist me!”

Likewise he also spoke thus to those in the intermediate directions in order for life, strength, and complexion to be thoroughly accomplished and for the fear of untimely death to not arise saying: “All buddhas please assist me!”

Then, the buddha bhagavans filled, like a sesame pod, the realms of the worlds – however much earth constituent there exists in the ten directions that appears to the eyes of the buddhas.

Having accepted to assist the Tathagata, all the tathagatas spoke thus: “Tadyathā – chalā chalā chale – vinati –svastike – chakra – adgati – prasha mantu – sarva roga – ante kunate – mahā kunate – chare charere – hema gari – hema gauri – hema nishunti – hema sisi – kaurve kaurvave – he kurare – kurare – kumati – virha samane – sirhubhi – chale chale – vichale – māvi lamba – humu humu svāhā.”

Also all the Lords of the Secret, however many exist, having sat near all the tathagatas, said: “Hum hum sisi svāhā.” They spoke thus and all the tathagatas vanished.

Then, Great King Vaishravana replied thus to the Bhagavan: “Bhagavan, I too will protect them with the blessings of the tathagatas. I will avert untimely death. Tadyathā – rhvete – rhvete – rhvete – le lili.”

Also Virudhaka said: “Mātam ge mātam ge – mātam gini – shumā shumu.” Also Dpitirārhta said: “Chare charere svāhā.” Also Virupakrha said: “Balim baba.”

The Bhagavan spoke thus: “Great Kings, when someone recites this knowledge mantra, which is seen by all the buddhas, one time a day, that son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage will generate a perception of the Teacher. That son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage will not go to the three bad migrations. He or she will benefit the lives of all sentient beings. Whoever for one day recites these words for the sake of all sentient beings and whoever reads them will be free from the fear of untimely death. Bad diseases will not arise in his or her body. Water will not bring about the time of death, nor will fire, nor will weapons, nor will poison, nor will lightning. The areas in which the conquerors’ children recite this knowledge mantra will be known by the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Due to writing or dictating it, he or she will be revered by all those who serve the buddha bhagavans. Why is that? It is because the tathagatas taught ‘Those who serve sentient beings, serve the buddhas.’ Whoever, having written it out, sticks it to his or her limbs, all his or her limbs will be protected.”

The Bhagavan having spoke thus, [the four Great Kings were overjoyed and praised what the Bhagavan had said].

Instructions from Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche: When reciting this protection from the fears of aging, sickness, decline, and death, recite it in order to bring benefit to all sentient beings.

Note: In order to facilitate the pronunciation of the mantras the international transliteration of Sanskrit has been slightly modified in that c has been written as ch, r as rh, and s as sh.

Colophon: The community of Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa having been advised by Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche to recite this dharani for the long life of Geshe Jampa Gyatso, it was translated from the Tibetan by Joan Nicell at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Pomaia, Italy, May 2007. All the merit created by whoever recites this text is dedicated for the long and healthy life of Geshe Jampa Gyatso and that all his Dharma activities continue to flourish, benefiting countless numbers of sentient beings © Joan Nicell and Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, 2007

Dedication Prayers

Dedicate that you too may complete the Twelve Deeds of a buddha. Dedicate for your friends and family and those you have responsibility for, that you may lead them all to enlightenment. Make any other specific dedications for the end of war, the halt of climate change, the eradication of all pandemics and disease, and the success of all your spiritual endeavours.

Dedication

Due to the merits of these virtuous actions
May I quickly attain the state of a Guru-Buddha
And lead all living beings, without exception,
Into that enlightened state

Bodhicitta Verse

May the supreme jewel bodhicitta
Not yet born, arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more

Long Life Prayer for HH 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.

Long Life Prayer 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 Jewels:
Savior of myself and others, your disciples, please, please live long!