(being a sadhana called . . . )




by the Yogi, T'ang-tong gyalpo


(with selected notes from the textual  commentary of H.H.Karmapa XV.)


How to take up the practices of meditation and  recitation of the SADHANA "Limitlessly Benefiting Beings”, which was written by the Lord of Siddhas, T'ang-tong Gyalpo, is taught under six headings: -


1.         The preliminaries of taking refuge and developing Bodhicitta.


2.         The actual practice, i.e. meditation upon the deity.


3.              Recitation of the mantra.


4.         Taking the post-meditational period as the path.


5.            Dedicating the root of merits.


6.         The benefits and excellences (of the practice).




a) Taking Refuge:       (notes) -


In the space before one, amidst rainbows, flowers, and vast clouds, sits one's most kind root Guru, who is inseparably one with Arya Chenrezi and who is the foundation of the Lama, the Yidam and the Buddhas. In nature, he is the synthesis of all Enlightened. Beings.


One is sitting in his immediate presence,, as are one's friends, enemies and all other living beings of the Six Realms. One should consider that because Lama Chenrezi has the power to protect from Samsara, the Ocean of Misery, one can have complete confidence in him.


Having contemplated, the above, one should recite the following refuge verse three or more times:


“In the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Supreme Community,

he refuge until Buddhahood is attained."

b)     Taking the vow to generate the Bodhicitta:


All of the living beings visualized before one have been one's kind mothers and fathers. Although they wish both happiness and separation from suffering, they create only causes of suffering, and so have no possibilities for liberation but merely for lower rebirth and more suffering.


One should show them the Supreme Bliss, i.e. the Peerless State of Perfect Buddhahood. As one at present has no ability to do so, one should take up the meditation and recitation upon Lama Chenrezi and thus attain Enlightenment. Whatever Chenrezi does for the sake of all creatures existing  in Samsara, this one should do also.   Having deeply and intensely developed this contemplation, take the vow to generate the Bodhicitta by reciting the following verse several times, while clearly focussing upon its meaning:


"By the merit of my meditation, and recitation. May Buddhahood be attained, for the sake of all sentient beings."


- Then, lights shine forth from the body of the Lams Chenrezi and, strike all beings, purifying all of their defilements, obscurations and sufferings, and bestowing happiness upon them. Chenrezi then dissolves into light, which is absorbed into one. By this, one receives his blessings.




"Above the head of myself and of the space-pervading beings is the letter HRI, seated upon a white lotus and moon. From (this appears) the Supreme Arya Chenrezi,

Radiantly white and shining with five lights, Smiling and gazing with eyes of compassion.

The first two of his four hands are folded. The second two hold a crystal rosary and a white lotus;

Silks and jewels adorn him.

And an antelope skin drapes over his upper trunk; His head ornament is Amitabha;

He sits in the vajra-posture   And his back rests against a stainless moon,

In nature he is the embodiment, Of all of the objects of refuge.


(slowly recite this description of his body, etc., while meditating clearly upon it).


(notes on the above) - One should visualize, just as was done in the Refuge Meditation, that one is surrounded by all the beings of the six realms. On the head of oneself and each of the other beings sits an unfolded white lotus, having eight petals. At it's centre is a stainless full moon, on which stands the letter HRI, as white as a pearl, emanating lights. Meditate on this letter as being the embodiment of the power of all Awakened Ones. From it shines countless rays of light, like moon-beams, which present delightful offerings to all the Buddhas of the Ten Directions.


These strike oneself as well as all other beings, cleansing away all diseases, evil spirits, defilements, and obscurations. By these lights spreading throughout the six realms, all misery is dispelled and peace is established. The rays of light then collect together and absorb into the letter HRI which is on the head of each being. Instantly Chenrezi appears, with a body as radiantly white as glistening snow, shining with the five kinds of light ( blue, yellow, white, red and green). These lights pervade the Buddhafields supplicating the Noble Ones to fulfil the desires of all beings. The lights then emanate downwards and spread through the six realms, dispelling all misery and bestowing bliss.


Brilliantly shining with delight upon oneself and all beings, a smile which is constantly pervaded by a love and compassion for all beings which is as great as that which a mother holds for her only child, Chenrezi gazes upon all within the three times (past, present, future).


The first two of his four hands are joined, together at the heart. The outer, right hand holds a crystal rosary, the outer left hand holds a white, eight-petaled lotus on a stem.


On his upper trunk he wears white silks with gold embroidery; on his lower, beautifully hanging silks and a red silk robe. He is adorned with various divine ornaments that are made of gold coming from Jambu waters (i.e. like Manasarover), ornaments such as crown-jewels, ear-rings, necklaces, shoulder embellishments, bracelets and anklets.


A belt of bells on his waist resounds. By these and other ornaments his body is beautifully adorned. The golden skin of the antelope is draped over his left breast and his hair is bundled on the top of his head. The Lord of his family, Buddha Amitabha, a supreme Nirmanakaya emanation, sits on the crown of his head. He is sitting in the Vajra-posture (cross-legged) and is leaning upon a stainless full-moon.


He is the embodiment of all objects of Refuge of the past, present, and future that exist within the Ten Directions.   Contemplating in this manner, one should read the verses (previously stated), slowly and with clear visualization of the bodily aspects mentioned therein.




a)   Requesting the holy continuum by means of invocation.


b)   Practicing the Deity-yoga in body, speech, and mind by means of (visualizing) the generation and the absorption.




a)     "To the Master whose white body, symbolizes faultlessness, Whose bead. is adorned with a Perfect Buddha, And who gazes upon "beings with eyes of compassion - To Chenrezi - I "bow  down.”


(Recite this request one hundred, twenty-one, seven, or as many times as is necessary to revolve the mind, while pursuing the following contemplation):


With total conviction, oneself and all beings, in one voice and with single-pointedness, should request Lama Chenrezi to help all beings become separated from the Six Realms of Samsara and to lead everyone to the state of Omniscience.


b)   Secondly:


“Having been single-pointedly requested in this manner, Lights emanate from the Noble Body. Impure Karmic appearances and deluded conceptions are purified. The outer world becomes the Pure Land of Bliss. The body, speech and mind of all beings become the Body, Speech and Mind of Chenrezi; The visual, the audial and the mental

Are inseparably one with the void-ness."


(notes on the above)   - Having been requested in this manner, countless rays of light in five colours, mostly white, shine forth from Lama Chenrezi's Body onto the beads of oneself and all other beings.


Just as turning on a light dispels darkness, the mere contact of these rays instantly dispels the karmic stains accumulated, since beginingless time by enacting the following:


1)   The Five Inexpiable Karmas - killing mother, killing father, killing an Arhant, causing disunion in the Sangha, and drawing blood from a Buddha.


2)   Ten Non-virtuous Actions - three of body, i.e. killing; stealing and sexual misconduct. Four of Speech, i.e. lying; slandering; speaking harshly, or meaningless chatter. Three of Mind. i.e. covetousness; holding ill-will, and holding wrong conceptions.


3)   Breaches, due to desire, anger, ignorance, pride, or envy, of any of the vows of Individual Liberation, such as doubting the truth of the faults of evil (Praktimosha), Bodhicitta, or Tantra, as well as;


4)   the instincts of mistakenly perceiving objects and consciousness, and;


5)   the obstructions to omniscience. From the blessings of identifying with the Body, Speech and Mind of Chenrezi, everyone becomes one with the Noble Body, Speech and Mind: The Noble Body,  which like a rainbow is manifest and yet void. By this (body) spreading throughout the Six Realms, the Phenomenal Worlds transform into the Pure Land of Bliss, Amitabha's Sukavati, which is without dirt, mountains, stones, or boulders, and is made of precious jewels and rainbows; the animated worlds of the Six Realms are purified of their particular sufferings and their beings' bodies transform into Chenrezi’s body.


All sounds become purified, and transform into the mystic mantra of six syllables.

Their imperfect minds are purified and transformed into the awareness of the voidness of Lama Chenrezi.


One should meditate in this manner on all physical bodies and physical environments as being the perfect manifestations, on speech as being the sound of mantra, and on consciousness as being the Awareness of voidness, all of which are inseparably one with the Body, Speech and Mind of all beings.

     Thus, one should in this state of transformed reality, begin reciting -the Six Syllable  Mantra




(Gyalwa Karmapa's commentary here gives first an extensive and then a brief explanation, on how to meditate while reciting the mantra. What follows is the brief explanation):


OM   -   is the syllable which embodies the spiritual wisdoms, of the Five Buddha-Bodies (Kayas):

Mabasukhakaya, Svabhavikkaya, Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya.


MANI   -   means jewel, the wish-fulfilling jewel of the Bodhicitta.


PADME   -   means Lotus-holder.


"Jewel Lotus-holder is one of the names of Noble Chenrezi.


HUNG   -   is the mantra of the enlightened activity which protects from the sufferings of the Six Realms.


One should, recite this mantra as many times as possible, while contemplating that one is requesting  the “Jewel Lotus Holder" who has the Five Wisdoms and Five Buddha-Bodies, to bestow protection from the sufferings of the Six Realms.


     After this, the Lama (Chenrezi) on one's head emits lights, dissolving all the worlds and their beings into radiance. This is all reabsorbed into the Gracious Lama Chenrezi.  He blissfully dissolves into light, which is absorbed into oneself. Unwaveringly think that the wisdom of the  Noble One enters one's mental continuum. One then dissolves into voidness, the unapprehendable Clear Light, abandoned of the objectifications of the signs of the entanglements of void and not-void,, has nots and is nots.  For as long as possible enter into the contemplation of the vast Dharmadhatu, the Reality Sphere, the Mind of the Noble One, which is without subject and object, appearance or sound or mind, all inseparably one with voidness.




“The visible bodies of myself and others are the Noble One's Body:

All sounds are the chanting of the Six Syllables;   

All thoughts are the Great Spiritual Wisdom.”


(notes) - Having arisen from meditation, always keep in mind that all manifestations of the five great elements (earth, air, fire, water and space), such as rocks and mountains,  comprise the Body of the All-Compassionate One; that all sounds, whether the animate sounds of the beings of the Six Realms or the inanimate sounds of their environments, are the melodious chantings of the Six Syllables, the Voice of the Noble One; and that all imperfect thoughts are in nature the inexpressible Dharmaya, the void-awareness of the mind of the Noble One.


Having thus abandoned ordinary appearance and, belief in it, practice the Samadhi of Body, Speech and Mind in all activities such as walking, standing, sleeping, sitting and speaking.




“May I, by the merit of this practice,   Quickly attain the stage of the All-Powerful Chenrezi,

And thus lead every being without exception   Into the very same state."


(notes) - By the peerless merit, equalling the limitless beings that exist, accumulated by practicing this meditation and recitation of Mantra as well as by any other merits which I possess, may I, having quickly attained a state of realization equal to that of Chenrezi, acquire the power to deliver all the boundless living beings into the Perfect Buddhahood, which is, inseparably one with the state of the All-Compassionate One.




The benefits of this practice of meditation upon Chenrezi and recitation of his Mantra are beyond explanation, Here are but a few.


The benefits of visualizing the Noble Body’ these are explained in the Root Tantra called  “Jewel Net", as follows:


"By meditation upon this Body-Mandala

One meditates upon all the Buddha,

For the Protector Chenrezi is their synthesis. Meditation upon or merely recollection

of him Purities countless negativities and evil karma."


The benefits of reciting the Six Syllables Mantra, "The King of Mantras", were said by the Buddha to be as follows:


“O Son of Noble Family. It is possible to measure the weight of the largest mountains, but it is not possible to measure the merit of reciting the Six Syllable Mantra even once. If one stroked a diamond with a piece of Benares silk once each century, that diamond would wear down, but it is not possible to wear down the merit of reciting the Six Syllable mantra even once. And if one took drop after drop out of the ocean it would be possible to empty the ocean, but it is not possible to empty the merit of reciting the Six Syllable Mantra even once. And one could count every snow-flake on a snowy mountain and every leaf in a forest, but the merit of reciting the Six-Syllable Mantra even once is uncountable. And if from a house five hundred, miles square filled with sesame seeds one removes one seed per day it is possible to deplete that house, but the merit of reciting the Six Syllable Mantra even once is never depleted .........


This mantra cuts off the door to birth in the Six Realms. It equals practising the Six Perfections.


It purifies all karma, delusions and their instincts. It is the root of all Siddhis.

It is the ladder leading to happiness. It is a raft with which to cross Samsara.

It is light dispelling darkness, a hero destroying the mental poisons, a flame consuming

the negative tendencies and mental obscurations, and a hammer smashing all suffering."



From " A Garland of Morning Prayers" -


“ In his form of the Compassionate One, the Buddha manifests himself to alleviate sufferings of the six worlds . . . those of the Gods and the Asuras; the human world; the world of animals; the ghosts or unsatisfied spirits; and the worlds of unremitting suffering that we call the hells. Avokiteshwara, who is called in Tibetan, CHENREZI, or "Glancing Eye” manifests in his earthly form as H.H. the Dalai Lama and H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa. Chenrezi has many forms, but he is usually shown as a figure of great beauty, white in colour, with four arms, one of which holds the lotus, and the other a crystal mala on which he says his famous mantra:




Two arms hold a jewel - the mani ratna - to his heart.