Dalai Lama XIV ⋅ Tendsin Gyatso
Holder of the Nobel Peace Prize 1989
Namaste//Illustration ⋅ 2017
The Prayer of Kuntuzangpo
“Ho! Everything – appearance and existence, samsara and nirvana, has a single ground, yet two paths and two fruitions, and magically displays as awareness or unawareness.
Through Kuntuzangpo’s prayer, may all beings become Buddhas, completely perfected in the abode of the dharmadhatu. The ground of all is uncompounded, and the self-arising great expanse, beyond expression, has neither the name samsara nor nirvana. Realizing just this you are a Buddha; not realizing this you are a being wandering in samsara.
I pray that all you beings of the three realms may realize the true meaning of the inexpressible ground.
I, Kuntuzangpo, have realized the truth of this ground, free from cause and condition, which is just this self-arising awareness. It is unstained by outer expression and inner thought, affirmation or denial and is not defiled by the darkness of unmindfulness. Thus this self-manifesting display is free from defects.
I, Kuntuzangpo, abide as intrinsic awareness. Even though the three realms were to be destroyed, there is no fear. There is no attachment to the five desirable qualities of sense objects. In self-arising consciousness, free of thoughts, there is neither solid form nor the five poisons.
In the unceasing clarity of awareness, singular in essence, there yet arises the display of the five wisdoms. From the ripening of these five wisdoms, the five original Buddha families emerge, and through the expanse of their wisdom, the 42 peaceful Buddhas appear. Through the arising power of the five wisdoms, the 60 wrathful Herukas manifest. Thus the ground awareness is never mistaken or wrong.
I, Kuntuzangpo, am the original Buddha of all, and through this prayer of mine, may all you beings who wander in the three realms of samsara realize this self-arising awareness, and may your great wisdom spontaneously increase.
My emanations will continuously manifest in billions of unimaginable ways, appearing in forms to help you beings who can be trained. From the beginning you beings are deluded because you do not recognize the awareness of the ground.
Being thus unmindful of what occurs is delusion – the very state of unawareness and the cause of going astray. From this delusive state comes a sudden fainting away and then a subtle consciousness of wavering fear.
From that wavering there arises a separation of self and the perception of others as enemies. Gradually the tendency of separation strengthens, and from this the circle of samsara begins.
Then the emotions of the five poisons develop – the actions of these emotions are endless. You beings lack awareness because you are unmindful, and this is the basis of your going astray.
Through my prayer, may all you beings recognize your intrinsic awareness! Innate unawareness means unmindfulness and distraction. Imputing unawareness means dualistic thoughts towards self and others. Both kinds of unawareness are the basis for the delusion of all beings.
Through Kuntuzangpo’s prayer, may all you beings wandering in samsara clear away the dark fog of unmindfulness, clear away the clinging thoughts of duality!
May you recognize your own intrinsic awareness! Dualistic thoughts create doubt, from subtle attachment to this dualistic turn of mind dualistic tendencies become stronger and thicker. Food, wealth, clothes, home and friends, the five objects of the senses and your beloved family – all these things cause torment by creating longing and desire. These are all worldly delusions; the activities of grasping and clinging are endless. When the fruition of attachment ripens, you are born as a hungry ghost, tormented by coveting and desiring, miserable, starving and thirsty.
Through Kuntuzangpo’s prayer, may all you desirous and lustful beings who have attachments, neither reject longing desire, nor accept attachment to desires. Let your consciousness relax in its own natural state, then your awareness will be able to hold its own. May you achieve the wisdom of perfect discernment!
When external objects appear, the subtle consciousness of fear will arise. From this fear, the habit of anger becomes stronger and stronger. Finally, hostility comes, causing violence and murder. When the fruition of this anger ripens, you will suffer in hell by boiling and burning.
Through Kuntuzangpo’s prayer, you beings of the six realms, when strong anger arises for you, neither reject nor accept it. Instead relax in the natural state and achieve the wisdom of clarity!
When your mind becomes full of pride there will arise thoughts of competition and humiliation. As this pride becomes stronger and stronger, you will experience the suffering of quarrels and abuse. When the fruition of this karma ripens, you will be reborn in the god realms and experience the suffering of change and falling to the lower rebirths.
Through Kuntuzangpo’s prayer, may you beings who developed pride let your consciousness relax in the natural state. Then your awareness will be able to hold its own. May you achieve the wisdom of equanimity!
By increasing the habit of duality, by praising yourself and denigrating others, your competitive mind will lead you to jealousy and fighting, and you will be reborn in the jealous god realm, where there is much killing and injury. From the result of that killing, you will fall into the hell realm.
Through Kuntuzangpo’s prayer, when jealousy and competitive thoughts arise, do not grasp them as enemies. Just relax in ease, then consciousness can hold its natural state. May you achieve the wisdom of unobstructed action!
By being distracted, careless and unmindful, you beings will become dull, foggy and forgetful. By being unconscious and lazy, you will increase your ignorance and the fruition of this ignorance will be to wander helplessly in the animal realm.
Through Kuntuzangpo’s prayer, may you beings who have fallen into the dark pit of ignorance shine the light of mindfulness and thereby achieve wisdom free from thought!
All you beings of the three realms are actually identical to Buddhas, the ground of all. But your misunderstanding of the ground causes you to go astray, so you act without aim. The six karmic actions are delusion like a dream. I am the primordial Buddha here to train the six kinds of beings through all my manifestations.
Through Kuntuzangpo’s prayer may all you beings without exception attain enlightenment in the state of dharmadhatu.”
– The Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra –