Deeds of the Buddha’s Life:

  1. Turning the Wheel of Dharma

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 Rajgir from Jeremy Russell (opens in new window).

Random Notes

Vulture Peak Mountain is, by tradition, one of several sites frequented by the Buddha and his community of disciples for both training and retreat. Its location is frequently mentioned in the Buddhist sutras both in the Theravada Pali Canon [2]and in the Mahayana sutras, as where the Buddha gave a particular sermon. Among the latter are the Heart Sutra, the Lotus Sutra and the Suramgamasamadhi sutra, as well as many other Prajnaparamita Sutras.

The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, Fa-hien, probably visited a different Buddhist holy place with the same name (possibly Vulture Peak in Rajgir). He notes visiting Gridhra-kuta Hill in Chapter XXIX of his travelogue, A Record of Buddhist Kingdoms:

“Entering the valley, and keeping along the mountains on the south-east, after ascending fifteen le, (the travellers) came to mount Gridhra-kuta.(1) Three le before you reach the top, there is a cavern in the rocks, facing the south, in which Buddha sat in meditation. Thirty paces to the north-west there is another, where Ananda was sitting in meditation, when the deva Mara Pisuna,(2) having assumed the form of a large vulture, took his place in front of the cavern, and frightened the disciple. Then Buddha, by his mysterious, supernatural power, made a cleft in the rock, introduced his hand, and stroked Ananda’s shoulder, so that his fear immediately died. The footprints of the bird and the cleft for (Buddha’s) hand are still there, and hence comes the name of “The Hill of the Vulture Cavern.”

Sutra to Read

The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra

I prostrate to the Arya Triple Gem.

Thus did I hear at one time. The Bhagavan was dwelling on Mass of Vultures Mountain in Rajagriha together with a great community of monks and a great community of bodhisattvas. At that time, the Bhagavan was absorbed in the concentration on the categories of phenomena called “Profound Perception.” Also, at that time, the bodhisattva mahasattva arya Avalokiteshvara looked upon the very practice of the profound perfection of wisdom and beheld those five aggregates also as empty of inherent nature.

Then, through the power of Buddha, the venerable Shariputra said this to the bodhisattva mahasattva arya Avalokiteshvara: “How should any son of the lineage train who wishes to practice the activity of the profound perfection of wisdom?” He said that, and the bodhisattva mahasattva arya Avalokiteshvara said this to the venerable Sharadvatiputra.

“Shariputra, any son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage who wishes to practice the activity of the profound perfection of wisdom should look upon it like this, correctly and repeatedly beholding those five aggregates also as empty of inherent nature.

Form is empty. Emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form; form is also not other than emptiness. In the same way, feeling, discrimination, compositional factors, and consciousness are empty.

“Shariputra, likewise, all phenomena are emptiness; without characteristic; unproduced, unceased; stainless, not without stain; not deficient, not fulfilled.

“Shariputra, therefore, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no discrimination, no compositional factors, no
consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no visual form, no sound, no odour, no taste, no object of touch, and no phenomenon.

There is no eye element and so on up to and including no mind element and no mental consciousness element. There is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, and so on up to and including no aging and death and no extinction of
aging and death.

Similarly, there is no suffering, origination, cessation, and path; there is no exalted wisdom, no attainment, and also no nonattainment.

“Shariputra, therefore, because there is no attainment, bodhisattvas rely on and dwell in the perfection of wisdom, the
mind without obscuration and without fear. Having completely passed beyond error, they reach the endpoint of nirvana. All the buddhas who dwell in the three times also manifestly, completely awaken to unsurpassable, perfect, complete enlightenment in reliance on the perfection of wisdom.

Therefore, the mantra of the perfection of wisdom, the mantra of great knowledge, the unsurpassed mantra, the mantra equal to the unequaled, the mantra that thoroughly pacifies all suffering, should be known as truth since it is not false. The mantra of the perfection of wisdom is declared:

TADYATHA [OM] GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

“Shariputra, the bodhisattva mahasattva should train in the profound perfection of wisdom like that.”

Then the Bhagavan arose from that concentration and commended the bodhisattva mahasattva arya Avalokiteshvara
saying: “Well said, well said, son of the lineage, it is like that. It is like that; one should practice the profound perfection of wisdom just as you have indicated; even the tathagatas rejoice.”

The Bhagavan having thus spoken, the venerable Sharadvatiputra, the bodhisattva mahasattva arya Avalokiteshvara, and those surrounding in their entirety along with the world of gods, humans, asuras, and gandharvas were overjoyed and highly praised that spoken by the Bhagavan.

(This completes the Ärya-bhagavatï-prajñäpäramitä-höidaya-sütra.)

Colophon: Translated from the Tibetan, consulting the Indian and Tibetan commentaries and previous good translations, by Gelong Thubten Tsultrim (George Churinoff ), the first day of Saka Dawa, 1999, at Tushita Meditation Centre, Dharamsala, India. Amended March 8, 2001, in the New Mexico desert.

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!