Bodhicaryavatara Puja

Image: Parinirvana Buddha, painted by Mahabodhi. Birmingham Buddhist Centre.
Devotional text derived from the Bodhicaryavatara by Shantideva.




In order to bring about the arising

Of that precious jewel of the mind,

The Bodhicitta,

I offer worship to the Buddhas,

And to the flawless jewel of the True Dharma,

And to the sons of the Buddha,

Who are oceans of virtue.

I offer to them now

As many flowers and fruits as there are

in the world,

As many healing herbs,

As many jewels,

And all waters, clear and refreshing.

I offer mountains made of precious stones,

And forest groves to be enjoyed in solitude,

Vines blazing with flowers,

And trees whose branches bend low

With delicious fruit.

I offer fragrances of the celestial realms,

The wishing tree with fruits of jewels,

Pools and lakes adorned with lotuses,

And the endlessly fascinating cry of wild geese.

I offer rich harvests,

Both wild and those sown by men.

I offer everything that can adorn

Those worthy of worship,

And I offer everything which no-one owns

Within the limitless spheres of space.

Conjuring all these in my imagination,

I offer them to the incomparable sages

And to their sons.

Oh Compassionate ones,

You who are worthy of the choicest gifts,

Think kindly of me

And accept these offerings of mine.

Having no merit, I am destitute,

And I have nothing else to offer.

Oh Protectors,

You who think only of helping others,

Accept these for my sake.

And I give myself to the Conquerors completely,

And to their sons.

Take possession of me, Oh Sublime Beings,

In devotion I offer myself as your slave.

Having become your possession

I have nothing more to fear in existence;

I act only for the welfare of all;

I shall completely transcend my previous evils;

And in the future shall commit no more.

As your servant I shall bathe you

In sweetly scented bathing chambers,

Delighting the eye with pillars ablaze with gems,

With brilliantly sparkling crystal floors,

And with canopies above aglow with pearls.

I myself shall prepare jeweled ewers

Filled with water scented with fragrant flowers,

And there let the Buddhas and their

sons bathe,

To the sound of singing to lovely instruments.

With the finest cloths, fragrant and spotless,

I will dry their bodies.

Then let me offer them choice robes,

Well-scented and dyed in beautiful hues.

With celestial garments,

Smooth and soft to the touch,

Of many colours and beautifully ornamented,

I adorn the Aryas Samantabhadra and Ajita,

Manjughosa, Lokesvara and all the Great Ones.

With the choicest perfumes

Whose fragrance permeates the universe,

I will anoint the great sages’ bodies,

Which blaze with light,

Like well refined gold,

Polished and purified.

With mandarava, blue lotus and jasmine,

With all flowers, pleasing and fragrant,

And with garlands skillfully woven,

I pay honor to the princes of the sages,

So worthy of veneration.

I envelop them in clouds of incense,

Sweet and penetrating;

I make them offerings of food, hard and soft,

And pleasing kinds of liquids to drink.

I offer them lamps encrusted with jewels,

Festooned with golden lotus,

On the paving, sprinkled with perfume,

I scatter handfuls of beautiful flowers.

To those compassionate beings,

I offer heavenly palaces,

Resounding with songs of joyful praise,

And wreathed around with pearls and

precious stones,

Which light up the four directions.

I present to the great sages

Jeweled parasols, beautiful to look upon,

With skillfully wrought golden handles.

These, I will hold over them,

Protecting them from the glare of the sun.

And from this time forth,

May delightful clouds of worship arise,

And clouds of music and song,

Which thrill all creatures,

Appeasing their sorrow.

May there flow from the heavens,

A continuous rain of flowers and precious gems

Upon all the jewels of the true Dharma,

Upon all shrines and all images.

And I will worship the Conquerors,

The Protectors, the Tathagatas and their sons,

Just as Manjughosa worships them,

And as do all the Great Bodhisattvas.

And I glorify the Oceans of Excellence,

With floods of melodious praise;

May clouds of gentle eulogy,

Constantly rise up to them.

As many atoms as there are,

In the thousand million worlds,

So many times I make reverent salutation

To all the Buddhas of the three eras,

To the Saddharma,

And to the excellent Community.

I pay homage to all the shrines

And places in which the Bodhisattvas have been.

I make profound obeisance to the teachers

And those to whom respectful salutation is due.

To all the Buddhas I go for refuge,

Until Enlightenment is reached.

I go for refuge to the Dharma

And to the host of Bodhisattvas.







With hands raised in supplication

I beseech the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,

The greatly compassionate ones throughout

the universe,

Please listen to me.

Whatever evil I have done

Or have caused others to do,

Throughout the beginningless cycles of rebirth,

Overwhelmed by the deceptions of ignorance,

And rejoicing in what I did,

Now, stricken with remorse,

From my heart

I confess all my evil to the Buddhas.

Whatever wrong I have done to the

Three Jewels,

To my parents,

My teachers or others worthy of respect,

Whether wrong by deed, word, or thought,

The many dark offences,

The violent evil,

I confess it all to the Leaders.

How shall I escape my dark deeds?

I am perpetually terrified, Oh Guides

of the World,

Lest I die now,

Still heaping up evil.

How shall I escape?

Protect me from my own evil

So that death does not take me

Before I have been purified.

The Lord of Death is indifferent

To what has been done or not done.

Like a thunderbolt he strikes me down,

In health as well as sickness.

For the sake of my likes and dislikes,

I have done many kinds of evil;

I did not remember

That sooner or later,

I must depart this life,

Abandoning all and alone.

What I hate will cease to be,

What I love will cease to be,

I will cease to be,

And all will cease to be.

Night and day,

My life advances to destruction,

Nothing can stop it,

I must surely die.

This very day,

I go for my refuge

To the powerful Protectors,

Whose purpose is to guard the universe,

The mighty conquerors who overcome suffering


Wholeheartedly also I take my refuge

In the Dharma they have ascertained,

Which is the abode of security against the rounds

of rebirth;

Likewise in the host of Bodhisattvas

I take my refuge.

Trembling with fear,

I give myself to Samantabhadra,

And I give to Manjughosa

A gift of my body.

To the Protector Avalokitesvara,

Who acts always with compassion,

I cry out in terror,

‘Please protect me, this evil-doer’.

To the noble Akasagarbha and Ksitigarbha,

To all the Great Compassionate ones,

From my heart I cry for protection.

And I seek refuge in Vajrapani;

At sight of him

The messengers of death and all other

harmful demons,

Flee terrified away.

Til now I have ignored your teaching,

But seeing this horror that awaits me,

I go now to you for refuge.

May you at once banish my fear.

The evil which I have heaped up

Through my ignorance and foolishness –

Evil in the world of everyday experience,

As well as evil in understanding

and intelligence –

All that I acknowledge to the Protectors.

Standing before them

With hands raised in reverence,

And terrified of suffering,

I pay salutations again and again.

May the leaders receive this kindly,

Just as it is, with its many faults!

What is not good, Oh Protectors,

I shall not do again.




Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

Buddham Saranam Gacchami

Dhammam Saranam Gacchami

Sangham Saranam Gacchami

Dutiyampi Buddham Saranam Gacchami

Dutiyampi Dhammam Saranam Gacchami

Dutiyampi Sangham Saranam Gacchami

Tatiyampi Buddham Saranam Gacchami

Tatiyampi Dhammam Saranam Gacchami

Tatiyampi Sangham Saranam Gacchami


Ten Precepts

Panatipata Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Adinnadana Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Kamesu Micchacara Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Musavada Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Pharusavaca Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Samphappalapavaca Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Pisunavaca Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Abhijjha Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Byapada Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Micchadassana Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami

Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu


With deeds of loving kindness

I purify my body

With open-handed generosity

I purify my body

With stillness, simplicity and contentment

I purify my body

With truthful communication

I purify my speech

With words kindly and gracious

I purify my speech

With utterance helpful and harmonious

I purify my speech

Abandoning covetousness for tranquility

I purify my mind

Changing hatred into compassion

I purify my mind

Transforming ignorance into wisdom

I purify my mind




I rejoice with delight

In the good done by all beings,

Through which they obtain rest

With the end of suffering.

May those who have suffered be happy!

I rejoice in the release of beings

From the sufferings of the rounds of existence;

I rejoice in the nature of the bodhisattva

And the Buddha,

Who are Protectors.

I rejoice in the arising of the

Will to Enlightenment,

And the Teaching:

Those oceans which bring happiness

to all beings,

And are the abode of welfare of all beings.

Saluting them with folded hands

I entreat the Buddhas in all the quarters:

May they make shine the lamp of the Dharma

For those wandering in the suffering of delusion!

With hands folded in reverence

I implore the conquerors desiring

to enter Nirvana:

May they remain here for endless ages,

So that life in this world does not grow dark.

May the merit gained

In my acting thus

Go to the alleviation of the suffering of all beings.

May I be medicine for the sick.

May I be their physician and their nurse

Until sickness is no more.

May I destroy the torments of hunger and thirst,

With rains of food and drink;

And in the aeons when there is no food

May I myself be food and water.

May I become an inexhaustible treasure

For those who are poor and destitute;

May I be their servant

To give them all that they need.

My personality throughout my existences,

My possessions,

And my merit in all three ways,

I give up without regard to myself

For the benefit of all beings.

Nirvana is the giving up of all

And it is Nirvana my heart yearns for;

If I am to give up everything

Then let me give it to beings!

Let me give my body to them

To do with as they wish:

To strike, to abuse, to cover with filth.

Let them play with it,

Laugh at it, frolic with it;

I have given my body to them,

Why should I care what they do with it?

Let them do what they like,

Whatever brings them pleasure;

But let them suffer no misfortune

Because of me.

Let them hate me;

Let them love me;

But whatever their feeling for me

Let it bring about all that they desire.

Let them wrong me;

Let them mock me;

Let them accuse me falsely;

But let them share in Enlightenment.

I would be a protector

For those without protection;

A guide for those who wander;

A boat, a bridge, a causeway

For those who long for the other shore.

For all beings,

I would be a lamp for those needing a lamp;

A bed for those needing a bed;

A slave for those desiring a slave.

For all beings,

I would be a wish-fulfilling gem,

An inexhaustible vase,

A magic spell,

A wishing tree,

A cow of plenty.

Just as the earth and other elements

Are serviceable in many ways

To the infinite number of beings,

Inhabiting limitless space,

So may I become

That which maintains all beings

Situated throughout space,

So long as all have not attained

To peace.

As the Buddhas of ancient times

Grasped this Bodhi-heart,

And followed resolutely

The practice of the Bodhisattva path

So shall I awaken this precious heart,

For the welfare of the world,

And I too shall follow that path

In all its fullness.

And like a wise man,

Who joyfully seizes that Bodhi-heart,

I shall rejoice

So that it will grow and thrive in me.

Today my birth has born fruit

And my humanity has been fulfilled;

Today I am reborn in the Buddha-family

And I am now a son of the Buddha.

And now I must live up to my birth

And by my actions must place no stain

Upon that spotless family.

Just as a blind man may find by chance

A priceless jewel in a heap of refuse,

So, somehow, this Bodhi-spirit is hidden

Even in me.

It is the elixir of life

Which destroys death, the destroyer of all;

A limitless treasure to destroy all poverty;

The supreme cure for the world’s sickness;

It is a tree of rest for the wearied world,

Wandering on the road of being.

It is a bridge for all travelers

Passing over the waters of suffering;

It is the heart’s waxing moon,

Cooling the heat of passion;

It is a great sun

Dispelling the darkness of the

world’s ignorance.

It is fresh butter,

Churned from the milk of the True Dharma.

For the caravan of famished beings

Blundering on the road of existence,

It is a banquet of joy,

Which refreshes completely

All who hunger for happiness.

Today, I invite the world to Buddhahood,

And to all the happiness of the Dharma.

May gods, titans and all rejoice!




(or after the Consummation, if this is to be used)

















By the merit gained from what we have done

May all beings adorn the Bodhisattva’s Path.

And may all those tortured in body or spirit,

Gain by my merits

Oceans of happiness and joy.

As long as they remain in Samsara

May they never lose their gladness.

And may they gain forever

The bliss of the Bodhisattva.

**And may all the beings in the hells

Throughout the worldly realms

Taste the joys of the paradise, Sukhavati.

**May those who suffer from cold

Find warmth;

And those tormented by heat

Be cooled by the oceans of rain

Falling from great Bodhisattva-clouds.

**May all the regions of hell become delightful,

With lakes filled with fragrant lotuses,

Resonant with the haunting cries

Of cranes, geese and swans.

**May the torturing heaps of fiery coals

Become a mound of jewels;

And the ground of molten iron

Become a crystal floor, polished and gleaming.

May the clashing mountains which crush

Become temples filled with Buddhas.

**May the rains of blazing coals and brimstone

Become, from now on, a rain of blossom.

And may the hell of warfare and strife

Become a playful battle with flowers.

**By the power of my merits,

May those caught in the fiery torrents of acid,

Flesh eaten from their yellowed bones,

Obtain celestial bodies of light,

And dwell by the divine waters, quiet and refreshing,

With the beautiful daughters of heaven.

May those suffering in the torment of hell,

Look up and see the minions of death tremble:

The dreadful buzzards and vultures of hell

Trembling as they see the gloom dispersed,

Crying out,

‘From whom does this moonlight flood,

Driving away darkness,

Bringing happiness and joy to all?

See, it is blazing Vajrapani,

Flaming through the firmament,

Conquering all evil.’

And the tortured beings, released,

Go forth joyfully to embrace him.

**And let a lotus-rain of perfumed water

Extinguish the lava-fires of hell,

So that the tormented cry out,

Their sufferings quieted,

‘Whose work is this?’

And then shall Padmapani appear.

Let them cry out with happiness;

‘Come, come quickly!

Let all fear depart!

Manjughosa is in the sky above us,

The tender Bodhisattva

Who calms calamity at a single gesture,

Who rains down bliss.

He has come to set us free!’

See him in a celestial palace

Resounding with the paeons of a thousand goddesses,

While his lotus feet are worshipped

With the crowns of a hundred gods.

A rain of flowers falls upon him

And his eyes are moist with compassion.

The beings in hell shout out with joy

At sight of this glorious vision.

May all animals be free from the fear

Of being eaten by one another;

May the hungry ghosts be as happy

As men living in prosperity and culture.

May the torment of their hunger

Be finally assuaged

By the stream of nectar

Falling from the hand of Avalokitesvara,

And bathing in it

May their passion be cooled.

May the blind behold forms

And the deaf hear,

The afflicted be consoled

And the weary made content and at peace.

May the sick be made whole again,

Those in bondage be freed,

May the weak become strong,

And all beings act lovingly to one another.

May the gods protect the helpless,

The young and the old,

The sleeping, the heedless, and the insane

From all disease and distress,

And may they send the rain in due season.

May harvests be abundant,

May kings be righteous

And medicines be potent;

May no creature ever suffer,

Be sick or wretched,

Despised or forsaken

And may none act evilly.

By my merits

May beings everywhere without exception,

Always act skillfully,

And never be separated from the Bodhicitta,

Be surrounded by Buddhas,

And free from the works of Mara.

May all have an unlimited span of life,

May their lives be eternally happy,

May even the word ‘death’ perish.

May all regions be filled with Buddhas

And with the sound of the Dharma.

May groups of Bodhisattvas,

in great assemblies,

Sit everywhere in the universe.

May they adorn the world with their splendor.

May the sound of the Dharma

Ever be heard by all beings

In the song of the birds

In the whispering of the trees,

Even in the dancing sunbeams.

By my merits,

May beings be eternally in union

With Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,

And with endless clouds of worship

May they reverence the Guru of the World.

May the spiritual communities prosper,

Be filled with recitation and worship;

May the Sangha be always in harmony

And achieve all its aims.

May Dharmacharis attain to wisdom,

Be eager for training.

May they dwell in dhyana

With minds free from distraction.

May the wise be honoured and supported,

May they preserve the lineage of teachings

And may their fame pervade the world.

Bypassing the sorrowful realms,

May living beings obtain the state of Buddhahood,

By means of a celestial body

In the pure land, free from suffering.

As long as the existence of space

And as long as the existence of the world,

That long may my life

Be devoted to the world’s sorrows.

Only medicine for this suffering world,

May the teaching of the Buddha,

With all honour and glory,

Endure ’til the end of time.


















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Author: Mahabodhi

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