The Great Chariot

by Longchenpa | 268,580 words

A Commentary on Great Perfection: The Nature of Mind, Easer of Weariness In Sanskrit the title is ‘Mahāsandhi-cittā-visranta-vṛtti-mahāratha-nāma’. In Tibetan ‘rDzogs pa chen po sems nyid ngal gso’i shing rta chen po shes bya ba ’...

3a.1) Collection of the concordant conditions,

1.a) The Object from whom it is received

Therefore, since arousing bodhicitta is within our power, in the space front visualize an assembly of buddhas and bodhisattvas. Do as is explained in The Sutra Describing the Virtues of the Field of Mañjushri (‘jam dpal zhing gi yon tan bkod pa’i mdo), and perform the liturgy below. Moreover, the Lamp of the Path to Enlightenment (Bodhipathapradipa, byang chub lam sgron) says:

If we do not find a guru,
but receive the vow from another,
The rite is said to be valid.
So in former lives Mañjushri
By becoming Amwaraaja
Aroused the bodhicittas.

The buddha field of Mañjushri
As explained in the Ornament Sutra[1]
Is also clarified here.
The five eyes of the protectors
Bring perfect bodhicitta,
Providing a lamp for all beings,
To free them from samsara.

Do not produce angry[2] attitudes
Of avarice and jealousy.
From now to supreme enlightenment.
Pure conduct should be performed,
Evil deeds and desire abandoned.
Rejoicing in vows and disciplines,
We will train in buddhahood.

We ourselves will not quickly
Proceed into buddhahood.
While even one sentient being
Remains outside in extremes.
May the measureless inconceivable
Buddha fields be abandoned.

Grasped from labeling names
Within the ten directions274
My karma of body and speech
Let me purify it all.
Let mental karma be purified
And unvirtuous actions not done.

Bodhicitta should be aroused in that way.

If we do not have the power to do this ourselves, or we want to receive it from a guru, as for this precious attitude:

This may also rise from a spiritual friend,
As a rain of all desires falls from wish-fulfilling things.

From a wishing jewel falls a rain of all that is needed or wished-for. So too spiritual friends support the arising of all good dharmas and the birth of bodhicitta. How? By possessing bodhicitta and being competent in training in it, they are able to accept students. The Twenty Vows (sdom pa nyi shu) says:

Gurus abiding in the vow and capable,
Since they have the power, therefore they should accept them.

The Bodhicharyavatara says:

Competent in the meaning of the great vehicle,
Excellent in the discipline of bodhicitta,
Never is the spiritual friend to be let go,
Even for the purpose of preserving one’s life.

The Lamp of the Path (lam sgron) says:

We should receive the vow from an excellent guru,
Competent in the liturgy of the vow,
Who is a master abiding in the vow.

Possessing compassion, as well as consenting to give it,
Such a one should be known as an excellent guru.

1.b) Creating pure vessels

As for such a one:

By a guru free from faults, complete in all the virtues,
Who for the fortunate student is a producer of joy,
Who sees the faults of samsara and freedom’s benefits,
The excellent dharmas of ultimate and provisional vehicles,
Along with the limitless praises of bodhicitta are told.

As previously taught, telling about the faults of samsara and the virtues of liberation and praising bodhicitta, the guru transforms the mind.

1.c) Arranging objects of worship and offerings

Then for arousing bodhicitta:

In a clean and pleasant place that is beautified by offerings,
First set out a statue of Buddha and other things.

Adorn the shrine room. Scatter flower petals. Set out statues representing the three jewels, along with offerings of incense, lamps and so on. Gather implements pleasing to gods and human beings.

1.d) The host of buddhas and their emanations

Then as symbolized by the representations in front:

Visualize space as being filled with an ocean of buddhas
Together with their children, like heaped up banks of clouds.

Visualize, as is taught in the Moon Lamp Sutra that they are welcomed by a feast of incense and music, and joining the palms to invite them, say the following three times:

We fully arouse the vast and excellent bodhicitta.
May all these beings without remainder be enlightened.
May there be no sentient beings who are not vessels.

Approach! Approach! Divine ones who possess the ten powers.
By the power of your kindness that is never past its time
May you who are the three jewels, care for the welfare of beings.
With mental offerings, and those that are set out here,
We supplicate the victorious ones and their retinues.

By that, from the buddha fields of the ten directions, the three jewels approach. Visualize that they fill the whole of space.

1.e) Establishing the suitability of this 

As to how suitability is established for what is visualized really approaching:

It is taught that this really happens, just as we visualize,
Occurring by the immaculate power of our minds,
And also by the compassion of wise and considerate masters.

The Jewel Heap Sutra says:

Whatever victorious ones we visualize
They will come before us and remain.
Because they always bestow on us their blessings.
They completely liberate from faults.

By possessing the wisdom that knows the buddhas, we supplicate and intend to invite them. Possessing kind compassion, they see us. Because of their buddha activity of accomplishing, they really approach miraculously in an instant. Why? From the viewpoint of the buddhas, sentient beings have no benefits, and they do this to produce benefit for us. When they come such a long way merely for the food offerings, it must be the merit of bodhicitta that makes it suitable for the guests really to approach.

1.f) Inviting, and offering baths, and adornment

Visualize that they listen eagerly and closely and approach in the space of the sky:

Then, with joined hands that are filled with a double handful of flowers,
Invite them to be seated, and, after that, offer to bathe them,
Also offering garments, ornaments, and the rest.

Visualize that all the three jewels are in the sky, in the divine palaces that are their own places, more abundant than the worlds of the third-fold thousand world realm. Invite them to be seated on brilliant lotus, jewel, sun, and moon seats.

The Supreme Insight (rig pa mchog) says:

Without exception, you who are lords of sentient beings,
Divine ones who irresistibly conquer the host of maras,
Knowing all things without exception just as they are,
Bhagavans with your retinues, we ask you to come to this place.

When this is said, they approach. In a bath-house many divine youths and maidens wash their bodies with precious jewel-ornamented vases and immeasurable bath-offerings. After these offerings, they dry them with towels.

Visualizing that, then offer them clothing, saying these words:

In very fragrant excellent bathing-houses
With brilliant floors that shine like spotless crystal,
Whose pleasant pillars blaze with precious jewels,
Adorned by canopies that shine with pearls,

Are the tathagatas and the buddha sons.
With many precious vases of perfumed water
And an abundance of good and pleasant songs,
Along with music, we ask to wash their bodies.

We dry their bodies with the best of cloths,
Clean and perfumed with the finest scents.
Then to them, with colors that are well-dyed,
We offer fine garments that have a matchless fragrance.

With excellent[3] garments, fine and soft to touch
And many hundreds of excellent ornaments,
We may adorn the noble ones Samantabhadra,
Mañjushri and Avalokiteshvara.

With the very best of fragrances,
Spreading throughout the third-fold thousand world realm,
We anoint the bodies of the lords of Sages,
That blaze with light like refined and polished gold

When this has been said, in their dwellings they take their individual seats.

Footnotes and references:


rgyan gyi mdo.


hostile and...


A variety of excellent... Omitted for metrical reasons.

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