January 23, 2021
“We pray to the masters of the past, present, and future who teach the direct, simple teaching of cause, condition, and result as truth. And, as all these masters have come together in a single state as Guru Padmasambhava, we pray to Guru Padmasambhava.Buddha Shakyamuni is a totally enlightened being—no one has higher realization. But from the moment he came into this world, he behaved like a common person. He carried his alms bowl, walked into town on bare feet just as his students did, and received his food. He always said, “Thank you” and dedicated the merit. Then he returned, washed his feet, and did afternoon meditation. He followed the customs of the everyday world; he didn’t use his realization power to go against it. His wisdom was unlimited, yet he remained humble, simple, and low-key. To the Buddha, the entire universe was the pure land Akanishtha— totally beyond duality—but to deal with and help other beings he was always respectful and acted in accordance with their thoughts and feelings. He showed beings how to achieve happiness and avoid suffering not only for the short-term, but forever. He was the teacher of truth, the one who speaks of things entirely as they are and leads others to increasingly positive situations and states of mind.”Venerable Khenpo RinpochesVajra Sound of Peace: Practicing the Seven Chapter Prayer of Guru Padmasambhava (pgs 121-122)Photo of Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche leading the Annual PBC New Years Vajrasattva/Vajrakilaya Retreat in the Bunker in 2016.
Guru Padmasambhava did not attain enlightenment in stages— he didn’t gradually become a buddha. Guru Padmasambhava is the direct emanation of Buddha Amitabha and the reincarnation of Buddha Shakyamuni. Guru Padmasambhava himself said this. Buddha Shakyamuni also gave many predictions throughout his teachings that he would reincarnate as Guru Padmasambhava. Guru Padmasambhava is the precious buddha who has come into this world to glorify the teachings of the Buddha—especially the Vajrayana—and lead all sentient beings to enlightenment.
If we have devotion to Guru Padmasambhava, we will always experience the sure and swift power of his blessings. This is his promise and commitment. It was true in the past, is true in the present, and will be true in the future. This is why Guru Padmasambhava is known as the “Buddha of the Three Times.” All of us have a connection to Guru Padmasambhava. We aren’t here by accident or coincidence. That connection is ripening and developing. We should support this process by practicing on Guru Padmasambhava with devotion. In particular, we should recite the Seven Chapter Prayer that we just learned.
There are many life stories of Guru Padmasambhava. Likewise, there are many teachings and practices on him and prayers to him. Among these, Leu Dunma is considered one of the most blessed. Many great masters have called Leu Dunma the “king of all prayers to Guru Padmasambhava.” For centuries it has been highly renowned and widely practiced. It’s extremely special. Guru Padmasambhava wrote it himself—it is his direct voice, and then it was hidden. Since the time when it was revealed by Tulku Zangpo Dragpa and Rigdzin Godemchen in the 14th century, these wisdom words of Guru Padmasambhava have been recited by many enlightened beings— some of whom you have read about and some of whom you know. The prayers of Leu Dunma reverberate with great blessings in the space of dharmadhatu. When you chant these words, you join in and contribute to its power. The Seven Chapter Prayer is truly one of the most powerful of all Vajrayana teachings.”
Vajra Sound of Peace: Practicing the Seven Chapter Prayer of Guru Padmasambhava (pgs 283-284)