Pema Karpo (The White Lotus)

Pema Karpo (The White Lotus), A Commentary on the Seven Line Prayer by Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche

“The Seven Line Prayer forms the essence of all Nyingma practices. We all know how important the Seven Line Prayer is since all Nyingma practitioners begin any practice with its recitation.

At the dharmakaya level, Guru Rinpoche taught the Seven Line Prayer directly through great expansive non-dual wisdom. At the sambhogakaya level, he taught it to the bodhisattvas of the result stage, his retinue inseparable from himself. At the nirmanakaya level, he verbally taught the dakas and dakinis of the island in Lake Danakosha in Oddiyana.

Later at Nalanda University, Buddhism’s foremost place of higher learning in India, there was a debate between the Buddhists and non-Buddhists. The winners, it was declared, would gain control of the university. At that time, the non-Buddhist debaters were very powerful so there was great potential that the Buddhists would lose Nalanda University. All Buddhist scholars were deeply concerned about this possibility. Then the dakini Khandro Zhiwatso appeared to the scholars and declared, “You should invite my brother – otherwise, you will never win this debate from the non-Buddhists.” When they asked where her brother resided, she answered, “He is in Durtrö Mönpay Ling, the Land of Dark Charnel Grounds.” They despaired that this was too far and it would be impossible for him to arrive in time. They were in danger of losing the University at any moment. She replied, “No, my brother’s not like that. He is easy to invite. Go up onto the roof, burn incense, play musical instruments, and chant this prayer with deep devotion. Immediately my brother will come. If he can debate, he will win.” She gave them the Seven Line Prayer and they did as she instructed. Then Guru Rinpoche appeared from the sky and landed at Nalanda University. Debating decisively, he defeated the non-Buddhists, thus preserving Nalanda University as the center of the teaching of the Buddhist doctrine.

After that, when Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism to Tibet, he taught the Seven Line Prayer to all his disciples. For the students of future generations, he hid the prayer in concealed Dharma treasures. All Nyingma treasure revealers find this same prayer at the beginning of their treasures. All dakas and dakinis use this prayer to invoke Guru Rinpoche’s presence at their tsok feast gatherings. Therefore, we too are all doing this prayer – it’s so important.

 Although we are all reciting this prayer, most of us are unaware of its deeply profound levels of meaning. Therefore, I decided to teach this commentary of Mipham Rinpoche on the outer prayer and the inner hidden meanings related with each word. Mipham Rinpoche was a great Nyingma master of the twentieth century, and was Dudjom Lingpa’s contemporary. As well as being fully realized, he was considered a supreme scholar in Tibet, a living manifestation of Manjushri. This is truly an amazing commentary that will deepen your understanding of the Seven Line Prayer and be a source of inspiration along each step of the entire path of Dzogchen.”

                         – Lama Tharchin Rinpoche