This is the final week of our current blog series with Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Practising Buddhism in a Pandemic. It began, just as the Coronavirus first swept the world, with Geshe Tashi recording a series of very short and (as we received them) jumbled WhatsApp messages in high winds from his rooftop. The tone seemed somewhere between the Blair Witch Project and The Walking Dead. We both froze as the first apocalyptic message cut off mid-sentence. It was hard to hear the next two clips in the high wind, and to piece together what was going on. For a good few minutes we feared the worst. As relief slowly accompanied understanding, so too the realisation – they need to hear this, and – we can’t post these.
As the reality of lockdown settled in, the three of us decided to set up regular updates on Zoom. Geshe Tashi had two aims: to keep his community of friends and students updated with the situation at Sera, and to respond to the many emails he was getting requesting help and practice advice in those difficult times. Geshe la’s astonishing and irrepressible enthusiasm for the dharma came to the fore, and these short updates soon became full length classes packed with common sense, scripture, wit and wisdom, which we recorded and posted every other day.
In the last couple of months, we have happily settled into a regular weekly teaching routine. It will be a bit of a wrench for us, and no doubt for many of you, not to have our weekly sessions with Geshe la over the coming weeks. He will, however, be back with a one-off event in early October, followed by regular classes through to December, and then again from January 2021.
In today’s episode, Geshe la gives us a word by word translation and commentary on the mantra at the end of this work, Maitreya’s Prayer of Love. As usual, he carefully consults Chone Jetsun Drakpa Shedrup’s commentary to give us the fullest possible picture.
He then translates and comments on the three dedication verses. The English translation we are using only gives one verse, so Trisangma has edited Geshe la’s translation, and we are printing this for you below. As Geshe Tashi explains, these are prayers for each of us: to be born alongside Maitreya in Ganden paradise; to be the first to receive teachings from him when he comes to this world as our 5th Buddha; to complete the bodhisattva deeds in his presence; to experience the essence of his dharma teachings; and to receive in a prophecy the time and place of our own enlightenment. May we all receive these teachings together!
When we have some free time, Geshe la advises us to read Maitreya’s Prayer of Love line by line, verse by verse, allowing time for the meanings to sink in as we go along. This is the prayer used daily in the monastery’s annual Maitreya practice around November and December. It is recited slowly to allow reflection, and is set, Geshe la adds, to a nice tune.
We’d like to join Geshe Tashi in thanking you for being a part of this, for all your comments, messages of support, and genuine enthusiasm. We hope you will join us in our new programme of events in October.
With best wishes,
Your Admin Team
Maitreya’s Prayer of Love (Mantra & Verses 25, 26, 27)
The Mantra of Maitreya’s promise:
Namo ratna trayaya, namo bhagavate shakyamuniye, tathagataya, arhate samyak sambuddhaya, tadyatha, om ajite ajite aparajite, ajitanchaya hara hara maitri avalokite kara kara maha samaya siddhi bhara bhara maha bodhi manda vija smara smara asmakam samaya bodhi bodhi maha bodhi svaha.
By these wholesome acts may I and all living beings
be born in Ganden Paradise soon after passing from here,
(Which for the Teachings is the loftiest of palaces.)
There may I become son or daughter and
The Dharma Lord Mipham’s principal disciple.
When you, Regent and master of the ten levels
Come to this world and realise the state of ten powers,
May I be among the very first to experience the essence of your teachings,
And may I complete all the activities of a Buddha
Immediately after passing from this place,
May I be born in Ganden, place of the joyful mind.
There may I please you Maitreya, Protector,
And receive your prophecy of my enlightenment.
Translated by Geshe Tashi Tsering & Trisangma Watson
All these verses and the whole series of teachings by Geshe Tashi are available on our blog hosted on both websites below:
Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering taught in London for over 25 years and is currently Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery in Karnataka State, India.