Kagyu Lineage Prayer

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The Mahamudra Lineage Supplication, or Dorje Chang Thungma, is used in Karma Kagyu centers at the start of a practice session.  It is usually recited in Tibetan, but here is an English version by the Nalanda Translation Committee.  [Tibetan-style chanting uses equal stress on each syllable.]

 Great Vajradhara, Tilo, Naro,
 Marpa, Mila, Lord of Dharma Gampopa,
 Knower of the Three Times, omniscient Karmapa,
 Holders of the four great and eight lesser lineages --
 Drikung, Tag-lung, Tsalpa, these three; glorious Drukpa and so on --
 Masters of the profound path of Mahamudra,
 Incomparable protectors of beings, the Takpo Kagyu,
 I supplicate you, the Kagyu gurus.
 I hold your lineage; grant your blessings so that I will follow your example.

 Revulsion is the foot of meditation, as is taught.
 To this meditator who is not attached to food and wealth,
 Who cuts the ties to this life,
 Grant your blessings so that I have no desire for honor and gain.
 
 Devotion is the head of meditation, as is taught.
 The guru opens the gate to the treasury of oral instructions.
 To this meditator who continually supplicates him
 Grant your blessings, so that genuine devotion is born in me.
 
 Awareness is the body of meditation, as is taught.
 Whatever arises is fresh--the essence of realization.
 To this meditator who rests simply without altering it
 Grant your blessings so that my meditation is free from conception.
 
 The essence of thought is dharmakaya, as is taught.
 Nothing whatever but everything arises from it.
 To this meditator who arises in unceasing play
 Grant your blessings so that I realize the inseparability of samsara and nirvana.

 Through all my births may I not be separated from the perfect guru
 And so enjoy the splendor of dharma.
 Perfecting the virtues of the paths and bhumis,
 May I speedily attain the state of Vajradhara.


May precious bodhicitta be born in those in whom it has not arisen.
Having arisen, may it not degenerate, and may it continue to develop more and more.

____________________________________________________

Dri, Tak, Sel -- these three, Shri Drugpa, etc. :  A less explicit English translation ca.1970 uses short forms of the lineage names; here they are given in full. 

This prayer is the lineage invocation for the Kagyu practice of Mahamudra.  At one time, the Kagyu did actually consist of  "four great and eight lesser" schools of  Mahamudra teaching lineages, each with a distinct way of practicing.  Along with the Karma Kagyu, the Drikung and the Drukpa are still active.  (The Shangpa Kagyu is not mentioned separately here.) 

Kagyu Lineage Invocation (Transliterated Tibetan)

OM

DOR J CHANG CHEN TLO NARO DANG 
Great Vajradhara, Tilopa, Naropa, 

MARPA MILA CH-JE GAMPOPA 
Marpa, Milarepa, and Lord of the Dharma, Gampopa, 

DSUM SH JA KN KHYEN KARMAPA 
Knower of the three times, omniscient Karmapa ,

CH ZHI CHUNG GYE GY PA DZIN NAM DANG 
Lineage holders of the four great and eight lesser schools: 

DRI TAK TSAL SUM PALDEN DRUKPA SOK 
Drikung, Taklung, Tsalpa, glorious Drukpa and others; 

ZAB LAM CHAK GYA CH LA NGA NY P 
You who have thoroughly mastered the profound path of Mahamudra, 

NYAM M DRO GN DAKPO KAGY-LA 
Unrivaled protectors of beings, the Dakpo Kagy, 

SOLWA DEB SO KAGY LAMA NAM 
I pray to you, the Kagy lamas, 

GY PA DZIN NO NAM TAR JIN GYI LOB 
Grant your blessing that we may follow your tradition and example. 

ZHEN LOK GOM GYI KANG PAR SUNG PA ZHIN 
Detachment is the foot of meditation, it is taught. 

Z NOR KN LA CHAK ZHEN M PA DANG 
Attachment to food and wealth disappears 

TSEN DIR D TAK CH PAY GOM CHEN LA 
To the meditator who gives up ties to this life; 

NYE KUR ZHEN PA ME PAR JIN GYI LOB 
Grant your blessing that attachment to owner-ship and honor cease. 

M G GOM GYI GO WOR SUNG PA ZHIN 
Devotion is the head of meditation, it is taught. 

MEN NGAK TER GO J PAY LAMA LA 
The lama opens the door to the profound oral teachings; 

GYN DU SOLWA DEB PAY GOM CHEN LA 
To the meditator who always turns to him 

CH MIN M G KY WAR JIN GYI LOB 
Grant your blessing that uncontrived devotion be born within. 

YENG M GOM GYI NG ZHIR SUNG PA ZHIN 
Unwavering attention is the body of meditation, it is taught. 

GANG SHAR TOK PAY NGO WO SO MA D 
Whatever arises, is the fresh nature of thought; 

MA CH D KAR JOK PAY GOM CHEN LA 
To the meditator who rests there in naturalness, 

GOM JA LO DANG DRAL WAR JIN GYI LOB 
Grant your blessings that meditation is free from intellectualization. 

NAM TOK NGO WO CH KUR SUNG PA ZHIN 
The essence of thought is dharmakaya, it is taught. 

CHI YANG MA YIN CHIR YANG CHAR WA LA 
They are nothing whatsoever, and yet they arise in the mind; 

MA GAK ROL PAR CHHAR WAY GOM CHHEN LA 
To the meditator who reflects upon the unobstructed play of the mind 

KHOR D JER M TOK PAR JIN GYI LOB 
Grant your blessing that the inseparability of samsara and nirvana be realized. 

KY WA KN TU YANG DAK LAMA DANG 
Through all my births, may I not be separated 

DRAL M CH KYI PAL LA LONG CH CHING 
From the perfect Lama and so enjoy the glory of the dharma. 

SA DANG LA GYI YN TEN RAP DZOK N 
May I completely accomplish the qualities of the path and stages 

DOR J CHANG GI GO P'HANG NYUR TOP SHOK 
And quickly attain the state of Vajradhara (ie. enlightenment/awake-ness). 

 

This "Short Dorje Chang" prayer, here in transliterated Tibetan, is said by all Kagyu practitioners at the beginning of the meditation session.  It is an invocation for protection and guidance from the lineage, but it also serves as motivation to remind us of the benefits and the objective of meditation.

~ text is from UKKFM site and is possibly a translation by Michele Martin.

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