Wisdom's Bestowal

Mañjushri-Nama-Samgiti C19 (Himalayan Art) 512px

Wisdom’s Bestowal

by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Wisdom's Bestowal is a text by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo subtitled "A way to accumulate the recitation of the tantra Chanting the Names of Mañjushri, Mañjushri-Nama-Samgiti." It is a 'means of recitation' that explains how to practice the root text, and it also provides additional prayers and practices to be recited before and after the root text. Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo suggests four different ways to practice the Mañjushri-Nama-Samgiti:

• For beginners "who do not practice the profound yoga": Recitation as Praise to Mañjushri

• Recitation as Secret Mantra by uniting with Mañjushri’s nature

• Recitation as Secret Mantra by maintaining one's yidam Vajra Pride

• Recitation abiding by selflessness

In composing Wisdom's Bestowal, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo relied upon and adapted the writings of the great Sakya masters Jetsün Drakpa Gyaltsen and Sakya Pandita. The translation by Sean Price (Gelong Tenzin Jamchen) is below.

 


WISDOM’S BESTOWAL: A WAY TO ACCUMULATE THE RECITATION OF THE TANTRA CHANTING THE NAMES OF MAÑJUSHRI, MAÑJUSHRI-NAMA-SAMGITI.

Composed by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Namo Guru Jñanakayaya

Four instructions can be followed to accumulate recitations of the tantra Chanting the Names of Mañjushri, Mañjushri-Nama-Samgiti.

I. Recitation as a Praise to Mañjushri’s Formidable Qualities

Beginners who do not practice the profound yoga, and even practitioners of the profound yoga taking breaks between sessions, who wish to recite the tantra as a praise to Mañjushri’s formidable qualities, should begin by giving rise to a sense of faith, renunciation, and two-fold bodhicitta while reciting the following phrases three times in order to take refuge and generate bodhicitta:

Until enlightenment I take refuge
In the Lama, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.
To achieve perfect awakening for others,
I shall recite this profound tantra.

Arya Jetsün Mañjushri
Appears instantly in the sky before me,
Seated upon a lotus and moon
Set amidst cloudbanks of ravishing offerings.

He shines as brilliant as a mountain of gold
Rising above the whitest of clouds,
And with a gentle smile, he is the very epitome of youth,
A sixteen year old blazing with all the major and minor marks.

He has one face and four hands. His first pair of hands
Holds a sword of wisdom and a book,
While the remaining pair
Holds the bow of method and the arrow of wisdom.

Seated in the lotus posture, he rests his back against a moon.
He wears a skirt of various silks
Adorned with the finest jewels.
His hair, braided with utpala flowers, is tied up upon his crown,

Where the lord of the family Akshobya abides.
This empty yet apparent kaya of wisdom
Appears clear and vivid –
Like a rainbow in the sky.

O wonder! Mañjushri, you find no equivalent
In the appearance of samsara and of nirvana,
Amongst buddhas, bodhisattvas,
shravakas and pratyekabuddhas,

Nor are Brahma and Indra – the greatest of the gods – your equal!
Therefore, the names and kayas that you display
In accordance with the infinite array of knowables,
As well as your qualities, cannot be contained within the vastness of the sky;

They fill my mind with the greatest, incontrovertible devotion.
So with a voice that resounds with the gentle beauty of a tamboura,
I sing the adamantine names of the embodiment of pure wisdom.
When the liturgy of your adamantine names is set to melody,

The qualities of your knowledge, love, and power are invoked,
Causing compassion’s brilliance
To illuminate the three-fold world in all its entirety.
This recitation banishes the darkness of the two-fold obscurations

And eliminates the negativity and downfalls
Gathered by both myself and all others since time without beginning.
It causes the lotus blossom of supreme mind to bloom,
Awakening the two knowledges of nature and phenomena in their multiplicity.

With your mind single-pointed in devotion, recite this most regal of tantras as many times as you can.

To elaborate a little you can recite the following: 

OM SARVA DHARMA BHAVA SVABHĀVA BISHUDDHA VAJRA A A AM AH PRAKRITI PARISHUDDHA SARVA DHARMA YAD UTA SARVA TATHAGATA JÑANAKAYA MAÑJUSHRI PARI SHUDDHITAM UPADAYETI AM AH SARVA TATHAGATA HRIDAYA HARA HARA OM HŪM HRIH BHAGAVAN JÑANAMURTI VAGISHVARA MAHAPATSA SARVADHARMA GAGANAMALA DHARMADHATU JÑANAGARBHA AH

(or any other mantra you deem appropriate), for to do so is said to be virtuous. Whichever you choose, at its conclusion continue with:

Samantabhadra's oceanic clouds of the finest of offerings,
Both actually laid out and mentally conjured,
Are arranged to fill the whole of existence—
May they please you, ever-youthful Mañjushri!

Offer with:

OM ARYA MAÑJUSHRI ARGHAM PĀDYAM PUSHPE DHŪPE ĀLOKE GANDHE NAIVIDYĀ SHABDA PRATĪCCHA SVĀHĀ

Supplicate with:

Homage to you, Mañjushri,
Sole embodiment of the wisdom
Of all buddhas and bodhisattvas.
You bring glory and splendour to all of samsara and nirvana.

Protector, with the perfect recitation
Of your adamantine names I shall praise you fully—
From this moment onward, until my awakening,
Please hold me in your care with joy.

Mañjushri, sun of speech,
Bless me so that, in the short term,
The wisdoms of study, contemplation, and meditation will blossom fully,
And I may teach, debate, and compose without equal.

Ultimately, may I achieve the wisdom kaya
That knows all percepts and things,
To lead all beings
To the supreme state of the ever-youthful Mañjushri.

Conclude your practice with the following and other suitable prayers and dedications.

Mañjushri, you are ever free from elaboration,
But in the illusory forms of dependent arising
You burst forth as the embodiment of wisdom,
Which returns to the natural dharmadhatu.

By the power of all possible merit
I have created through this practice,
May all beings
Come to enjoy the wisdom of the Sugatas.

II. Recitation as Secret Mantra by Uniting with Mañjushri’s Nature

Another method is as follows: Begin with the preliminaries of refuge and bodhicitta, and then recite:

OM SVABHĀVA -SHUDDĀH SARWA SVABHĀVA-SHUDDHO 'HAM

Then recite the above prayer starting from, ‘From within emptiness, I instantly appear as Arya Jetsün Mañjushri seated in the sky...’ down to 'appears clear and vivid – like a rainbow in the sky'.

Upon a moon mandala at my heart
Appears the symbol of the unborn, a white A.
The vajra sound of the tantra
Arises like an echo in dependence upon this syllable

Without fixation on characteristics such as arising or ceasing, and
Mindful of the kaya of wisdom
Beyond the duality of profound purity and clear light,
I will read the tantra.

Thereafter, make your prayers and dedications, such as, ‘By the power of all possible merit...’, and engage in the post-meditative activities.

By the power of all possible merit
I have created through this practice,
May all beings
Come to enjoy the wisdom of the Sugatas.

III. Recitation as Secret Mantra by Maintaining One's Yidam Vajra Pride

You could also meditate upon the above while holding the divine pride and visualizing yourself as your yidam deity. Any deity is suitable, but if the deity is a wrathful one, change the above moon mandala to a sun mandala. Aside from this, this practice is no different from the practice described above.

IV. Recitation Abiding by Selflessness

Should you wish to practice in an unelaborate, non-conceptual way, begin with the practices of refuge and bodhicitta, then recite the tantra without any deviation from selflessness, never forgetting that all phenomena are dreamlike, and all sounds are echoes. Then dedicate the merit and so on.

To essentialize all these approaches in a brief recitation practice, begin with the preliminary practices of refuge, bodhicitta, and so forth. Instantly visualize yourself as the deity in the way it is described in the yoga of Mañjushri. Then imagine the deity Mañjushri before you, and recite the tantra as a praise to his formidable qualities.

Never forget that your form appears as if a rainbow, your speech as an echo, and that your mind is like the sky – beyond any and all elaboration.

At the conclusion of the recitation, make the offerings, praises, prayers, etc.


Colophon

The source of these practices is a text composed by Jetsün Rinpoche Drakpa Gyaltsen that he appended to the transmission of the tantra. In addition, the tantra says in the praise to the Fourth Wheel, having mentioned the significance of each name and also Mañjushri’s wisdom kaya having manifested, '...meditate with single-pointed mind' (i.e. arise as the deity), 'have great aspiration' (i.e. exceptional qualities), and 'realize suchness' (i.e. selflessness), indicating successively each of these approaches.

Those who exert themselves in this way will receive the continual blessing of the buddhas and bodhisattvas; they will become courageous and be able to influence the shravakas and pratyekabuddhas, and the gods of this world and beyond will protect them. In all future lifetimes, no unfavourable conditions will be theirs; they will know no fear, will always gather favourable conditions, and have great memory, intelligence, ethics, concentration, and so on. They will gain inconceivable qualities, which will not deteriorate but increase, and they will swiftly awaken to the state of perfect buddhahood.

As you can see, inconceivable merits are to be gained through the recitation of this tantra. Keep in mind the benefits as mentioned in the sections praising these benefits, and know that the wise will always make a single-pointed endeavour to recite this tantra.

To fulfil the needs of both myself and others, this learned hermit Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo took the writings of Jetsün Rinpoche Drakpa Gyaltsen as the basis for this composition, and added a few clarifications from the various sayings and notes of Sakya Pandita. May it prove virtuous!

OM SVASTI

Chanting the laden names of Mañjushri, the embodiment of the wisdom of the Victor and his heirs,
Is the essence of the ocean of tantras manifesting in excellent words; through the merit of printing them,
May the life of every holder of the teachings be long, the teachings spread and flourish, the benefactors of the four categories see their wealth increase,
And all wandering beings rejoice in the feast of happiness and well-being, be ever youthful and swiftly attain omniscience.

This practice was written by the practitioner of virtue Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. May it be virtuous!


Translated by Sean Price (Gelong Tenzin Jamchen) (2014).

See also: text available in English and Tibetan at ➜Lotsawa House

This work is licensed by Lotsawa House under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0 Unported License.


Artwork: Mañjushri-Nama-Samgiti, 19th century, Tibet, Collection of Rubin Museum of Art (➜Himalayan Art).

Last updated 12 June 2017