Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mantra Preface.

In general, the term ‘mantra’ means protection against the conceptual grasping of true existence. ‘Man’ means mind and ‘traya’ means protection. This protection can be achieved through many high levels of meditation. However for ordinary levels of persons, such protection can also be achieved through recitation of profound mantra with proper meditative concentration.

It was said by Buddha that mantra has immeasurable abilities. Likewise, substances also have immeasurable capabilities. The right combination of materials can produce many wondrous machines such as airplanes that allow people to fly in space. Similarly, it can produce small devices that enable us to hear voices from thousands of miles away.

Mantras are speech manifestations of enlightened ones. They are words of accomplishment of enlightened ones. As such, they can fulfill the positive end results for whoever recites them. It is like a transmission of enlightened qualities from the enlightened ones to the person uttering the mantras. The word mantra is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Mantrana’, which simply means the highest level of conversation.

Most of the mantras in this collection can gradually lead one to the path of enlightenment. No matter what the circumstances are, one will avoid rebirth into the three lower realms1. The power of the recitation can eliminate accumulations of sins of many kalpas2. One can also gain immeasurable merits comparable to making abundance of offerings to countless Buddhas for kalpas. These mantras collected from the Kangyur text were carefully compiled and translated into the Tibetan language.

Thus, we recite the mantras and convert our every thought and action into accumulation of merits in order to benefit every sentient being.

This precious treasury of mantras was prepared under the guidance of the late Venerable Kalu Rinpoche. He had made the recitation of the mantras as compulsory daily prayers in retreat centers. Thereafter, he had introduced it to many centers in Europe and it also became a form of daily practice.

In these degenerated times where the environment and people are polluted by defilements, many problems such as sicknesses, tsunami, earthquakes and other outer phenomena disasters arise. I sincerely believe that if we engage our body, speech and mind towards the dharma, and conduct our behaviour in the way of the Bodhisattvas, then when we recite these profound mantras with love and compassion, together with unwavering devotion towards the Buddha, many of these disasters can be eliminated. Everyone can then live in this world comfortably without much fear.

I started this text by typing out the daily prayer text of Sherab Rinpoche. After typing it out, I compared it with the computerized version of the mantra source from France.

Subsequently, I found Master Sempa Dorje’s text as well as mantra rolls that are meant for Buddha statue consecration. All these texts are different in words and in grammar structure. It was tough deciding which is the best version to use. Eventually, I extracted the essence from all these texts but based more on Sempa Dorje’s version as he was not only a great scholar but his knowledge of the Sanskrit language was exceptional. However, Sempa Dorje’s text was too pure in Sanskrit and thus readers may have difficulty deciphering it. Most Tibetan Buddhists are comfortable with the Tibetan style of reading. So I have adopted the Tibetan style of writing instead. When editing this mantra based on these versions, I found typographical errors and minor obvious mistakes and corrected them to my best knowledge. Hopefully, I did not edit wrongly. In the event that there are mistakes, I sincerely seek forgiveness from all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and I hope that you will benefit from this project.

The wish-fulling gem symbol found in this text signifies the wish-fulfilling capability of the mantra. However, the positive impact of reading the mantra is far greater than the wish-fulfilling gem that can grant temporarily worldly needs. Not only is the mantra able to bestow the worldly needs of sentient beings, most importantly, it is able to lead sentient beings to the state of Enlightenment at the fastest pace.

Shangpa Rinpoche

May 2012

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