7 Limb Prayer | Śāntideva

Śāntideva | 8th century
Śāntideva | 8th century

The Seven Limb Prayer
by Śāntideva
c. 8th century

I take safe direction, till my purified state,
from the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Highest Assembly.
By the positive force of my giving and so on,
may I actualize Buddhahood to help those who wander!

May the surface of the land in every direction
be pure, without even a pebble,
as smooth as the palm of a child's hand,
naturally polished, as is a beryl gem!

May divine and human objects of offering,
actually arrayed and those envisioned
as peerless clouds of Samantabhadra offerings,
completely fill the sphere of space.


I prostrate to all you Buddhas who have graced the 3 times,
to the Dharma and to the Highest Assembly,
bowing down with bodies as numerous
as all the atoms of the world.


Just as Mañjuśrī and others
have made offerings to you, the Triumphant,
so do I, too, make offerings to you,
my Thusly Gone Guardians, and to your spiritual offspring!


Throughout my beginningless Saṁsāra
existence, in this and other lives,
I've unwittingly committed negative acts,
or caused others to commit them,
and further, oppressed by the confusion of naivety,
I've rejoiced in them – whatever I've done,
I see them as mistakes and openly declare them to you, my Guardians,
from the depths of my heart.


With pleasure, I rejoice in the ocean of positive force
from your having developed Bodhichitta aims
to bring every limited being joy
and in your deeds that have aided limited beings.


With palms pressed together, I beseech you
Buddhas of all directions:
please shine Dharma's lamp
for limited beings suffering and groping in darkness.


With palms pressed together, I beseech you
Triumphant who would pass beyond sorrow:
I beg you, remain for countless eons so
as not to leave in their blindness these wandering beings.


By whatever positive force I've built up through all of these that I've done like that,
may I remove every suffering of all limited beings.

By directing and offering to the Buddha-fields this base,
anointed with fragrant waters, strewn with flowers,
and decked with Mount Meru, four islands, a sun, and a moon,
may all those who wander be led to pure lands.

I send forth this maṇḍala to you precious Gurus.