Because the path of Vajrayana Buddhism is principally based on the teacher-student bond, students, as part of their practice, traditionally read long life prayers for their teachers, and the teachers themselves practice for their teachers, and so on. When this is done with the proper mindset, the prayer is considered to be an offering to the Buddhas, a means to cultivate devotion, a qualitative reflection on the teacher’s capacity, and a reminder for one’s own ultimate goal of establishing Buddhahood, as one all the while invokes compassionate aspirations for all sentient beings. On some occasions, we may read the prayer silently, while at other times, we may read it in unison within a group of practitioners. On some occasions, we may simply read, while at other times, we may sing a tune, reciting the prayer melodiously. On that note, I would like to share with you all a musical adaptation of the long life prayer for Thaye Dorje authored by the late Shamarpa. I created this recording as an offering on the occasion of the Karmapa’s 34th birthday, which is tomorrow, on the 6th of May. Please feel free to use this recording as you wish. May this music be a support for our devotion and celebration.
A glass may break, for breaking is in its nature. Once broken, it can’t be unbroken. But if the broken shards are arranged together as a crystal mosaic, a wonderful treasure is created. With a clear, wise and compassionate mind, every challenge may work in this way.
— Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, 3 February 2017
When teachers distill their profound knowledge for us, it is indispensable for our spiritual growth, but when they do it using language that is not only poignantly simple but also completely relays multidimensional meanings, the teachings then coalesce with the core of our being like a drop of dye in a glass of water. Although our commenting on the Karmapa’s capacity may be like candles describing the illumination of the sun, his words here give rise to the simple feeling that we are so fortunate to have him with us. We truly are, and so, reciting this long life prayer, let us celebrate his birthday, wishing him health and longevity.
5 May 2017
To view the prayer, go to page 321–323 of this PDF.