There are four supplications for the longevity of the Sakyong in the Daily Chant Book. For normal group practice, the supplication by Namkha Drimed Rinpoche is now standard, taking the place of that written by Penor Rinpoche. The additional “Supplications for the Longevity of the Sawang Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo” by Tulku Ugyen Rinpoche and Thrangu Rinpoche may also be used on occasion.
SUPPLICATION BY NAMKHA DRIMED RINPOCHE
This supplication for the Sakyong’s longevity was composed in 2007 by Namkha Drimed Rinpoche at the request of the Sakyong Wangmo. The circumstances of the request are described in the colophon (see below).
At the beginning of the first stanza, the Sanskrit OM SVASTI could be translated as “OM may all be well.” The remainder of the stanza is a single elaborate sentence. In brief, we supplicate that through the power of the beings named in lines 2–4, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche (variously described in lines 5–11) may have a very long life.
The “power of truth” is related to the power of speech of realized beings. It is traditionally said that if a realized being says something, it will definitely be accomplished. Amitayus (“Boundless Long Life”) is the sambhogakaya aspect of the buddha Amitabha and is associated with long life. The chant alludes to an episode in the life of Padmakara. When he and Mandarava, his principal Indian consort, had practiced for three months at Maratika cave, Amitayus appeared to them, blessing and empowering them. They both attained the vajra body, beyond birth and death, and the special level of accomplishment called “long-life vidyadhara,” the second of the four levels of vidyadhara, which are stages used in the Nyingma School to describe the progression to enlightenment.
“Divine assembly that has accomplished deathlessness” describes all beings who have attained the level of long-life vidyadhara. In line 3, “and so forth” refers to all those who have attained deathlessness, not just to the Padmakara’s retinue, as is sometimes the case.
In lines 5 and 8, the words “worlds” (Tib. sa), “protector” (Tib. kyong), and “Mipham” are italicized to show how “Sakyong Mipham” is poetically embedded in the Tibetan text. “Three worlds” (also translated as “three levels”) refers to the three levels where beings dwell: below the earth, upon the earth, and above the earth.” “Well-being,” a translation of the Tibetan pen de, is sometimes translated as “benefit and happiness.”
In line 6, the Sakyong is described as a “dharma king” (San. dharmaraja), the heir to the twenty-five Rigden kings of Shambhala. “Heir” means that the Sakyong is inseparable from the Rigdens, as well as being their representative on earth, just as Padmakara’s twenty-five disciples were inseparable from him and were his representative.
In lines 7-8, the Sakyong is described as the rebirth of Jamgön Mipham Gyatso (1846–1912). He is the display of Jamgön Mipham Gyatso’s “three secrets,” referring to his enlightened body, speech, and mind. Jamgön Mipham Gyatso was said to have met Mañjushri directly, and he himself was considered to be inseparable from him—“Mañjushri in person.” Of the five aspects of body, speech, mind, qualities, and activity, these lines highlight the Sakyong’s buddha activity manifesting in nirmanakaya form.
In the second stanza, “vajra” (Tib. dorje) can also be understood to be a diamond, whose basic characteristic is indestructibility. In the second line, “may your lotus feet stand firm” is a poetic way of saying “may your life be stable.” In the fourth line, “Jambudvipa” (“Rose Apple Continent”) is a Sanskrit word meaning this world.
The colophon describes how the Sakyong Wangmo (here called “Tseyang Palmo”) requested Namkha Drimed Rinpoche to write this longevity supplication for the Sakyong. “Maratika cave” is a place sacred to Padmakara, located in eastern Nepal. “Victorious Lake-Born One” is an epithet of Padmakara.
SUPPLICATION BY PENOR RINPOCHE
Pure appearance of the ground, expanse of the five lights of the great transference,
From the ground or basis, an appearance of the ground dawns. The ground is space. From that space, an appearance dawns, which is pure. The pure appearance is the great transference. For example, Vimalamitra and Padmakara rose in the body of the great transference, which is another way to refer to the rainbow body. This rainbow body has the nature of the five lights, which are the five lights of the great transference.
Unceasing display of awareness, compassionate nirmanakaya,
All the appearances of the phenomena of samsara and nirvana are the unceasing display of awareness, which is compassion. That compassion dawns as nirmanakaya. In order to accomplish benefit for beings, the compassionate nirmanakaya dawns from the unceasing display.
May you ever remain indestructible and unconquerable
As the unchanging embodiment of great bliss.
This nirmanakaya is unchanging at all times, an embodiment of great bliss. It abides as an embodiment of the wisdom of great bliss and does not move from that. It cannot disintegrate. Nothing can destroy it. It is free from destruction and decay. For that we supplicate.
SUPPLICATION BY TULKU UGYEN RINPOCHE
three jewels: The three sources of refuge for all three yanas: the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.
three roots: The three special sources of refuge in the vajrayana—guru, yidam, and dharmapala.
dharmata (San. “dharma-ness”): The essence of reality, completely pure nature; synonymous with shunyata and absolute truth.
Ösel Rangdröl (Tib. “Luminosity Self-Liberation”): The birth name of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
seven vajra qualities: The seven qualities of a vajra are that it is uncuttable, indestructible, true, solid, stable, not unobstructed by anything it goes towards, impenetrable and hence undefeatable by anything.
Jambudvipa (San.): Considered to be the southern continent in Indian cosmology, it is the world that we inhabit.