Foundation for Good Qualities | Tsongkhapa
The Foundation for Good Qualities
by Je Tsongkhapa
(1) (Healthy) reliance on a kind spiritual master, the foundation for all good qualities, is the root of the path. Seeing this well, I request inspiration to rely with great appreciation, through many endeavours.
(2) This excellent working basis with its respites, found but once, is difficult to obtain.
Having realized its great importance, I request inspiration to develop without disruption an attitude to take its essence in all ways, day and night.
(3) At death, my body and life-force will perish quickly like bubbles on a moving stream.
Remembering this and having found stable certainty that after death, the fruits of my glowing and murky actions will follow behind,
(4) Like a shadow to a body,
I request inspiration always to take care to rid myself of even the slightest, most minor action that would build up a network of faults
and to accomplish every possible deed that will build up a network of constructive force.
(5) The splendours of compulsive existence, even when indulged in, never suffice; the gateway of all problems, they are unfit to make my mind secure.
Aware of these pitfalls, I request inspiration to develop a great avid interest in liberation’s bliss.
(6) I request inspiration to take to heart, with mindfulness, alertness, and great care, induced by this pure motivating thought, the practices for individual liberation, the root of the teachings.
(7) Just as I have fallen into the ocean of compulsive existence,
so, too, have all wandering beings – they have been my mothers.
Seeing this, I request inspiration to grow to a supreme Bodhichitta aim
to take responsibility to free these wandering beings.
(8) Even if I have developed merely this resolve,
if I lack the habit of the 3 types of ethical discipline,
I will be unable to attain a (supreme) purified state.
Seeing this well, I request inspiration
to train with strong efforts in the bodhisattva vows.
(9) I request inspiration quickly to develop on my mind-stream
a path that combines the pair:
a stilled, settled mind and an exceptionally perceptive mind,
by stilling mental wandering toward objects of distortion
and properly discerning the correct meaning (of voidness).
(10) When I have trained myself through the common paths and become a vessel,
I request inspiration easily to board the Diamond-strong Vehicle, the supreme of all vehicles, the sacred fording passage for those of good fortune.
(11) Then, when I have found uncontrived certainty in what has been said,
that the foundation for realizing the 2 types of actual attainments is the closely bonding practices and vow restraints kept totally pure,
I request inspiration to uphold them even at the cost of my life.
(12) Then, understanding correctly the essential points of the 2 stages that are the essence of the tantra classes,
I request inspiration to actualize them in accord with the Holy One’s Enlightening speech, never straying from the conduct of 4 (daily) sessions of yoga.
(13) I request inspiration for the feet of the spiritual mentors who indicate the excellent path like this and of friends for proper practice to remain firm, and for the masses of outer and inner interference to be stilled.
(14) May I never be parted for all my lives from perfect gurus;
may I put to good use the all-around perfect Dharma;
and by achieving in full all good qualities of the stages and paths,
may I quickly attain a Vajradhara supreme state.