Mother

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Buddha Shakyamuni in the arms of his mother, Mayadevi, and attended by his aunt, his future stepmother, Prajapati.

 

 

 

REPAYING THE KINDNESS OF MY MOTHER  

 by the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje 

OM MANI PADME HUM
I prostrate to the Noble Master Chenrezig!

OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH*

There is nothing to be said more profound than this:

Dear mother, you protected me lovingly when I was small
You taught me with love and told me sweet words
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

You fed me from your mouth and wiped my feces away with your hand
You picked me up on your lap again and again -
My kind mother wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

The end of birth is surely death
Even powerful humans don't have the slightest power to remain [forever]
When departing alone, [only] the sacred dharma will [be of] benefit -
[My kind mothers] wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

The end of collecting is surely loss
Even the greediest person will be unable to take anything along
When departing alone, only the sacred dharma will [be of] benefit -
[My kind mothers] wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

Mother, when you are going to depart alone from here
I pray that you, I, and Chenrezig will meet!
My kind mother wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

I pay homage to lama and protector Manjushri!
Wherever in the three realms the six kinds of beings are born,
their birth is of four kinds:
Except for miraculous birth, a body is formed in dependence on 
a father and a mother.
Due to karmic forces, you conceived and carried me for nine months
and ten days -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When the life force impelled my embryo to come out
You suffered the bone-wracking pain of contractions -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When I was born your body became covered with blood, lymph, pus, 
and milk -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When my skin and bones were feeble and not fully formed
You picked me up with gentle hands -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When I had pus in my eyes or other organs
You licked it off with your soft tongue -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

Even when my specks of feces came into your mouth
You were not disgusted -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

You always held me tight, like in the gentle warmth of your belly -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When sleep rendered us unconscious at night
I would interrupt your sleep many times -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

You took me on your lap and cuddled me -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

You cheered me up and made me so happy -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

Whenever I was wriggling and crying, you tirelessly gave me your 
breast to suck -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When my eyes were tightly closed by sleep
You swiftly protected me from heat and cold -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When I crawled on all fours like an animal
You taught me how to walk on my feet -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When I was three years old
You kept an eye on me wherever I went -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When I was five years old
You showed me how to dress myself properly -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

When I was ten years old
You taught me how to understand and decide things -
My kind mothers wandering in the three samsaric realms, oh no!
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

Your mind was one-pointedly focused [on my welfare] -
My kind mothers wandering in the three pitiful samsaric realms
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

[Throughout,] you were always calm and fair -
My kind mothers wandering in the three pitiful samsaric realms
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

You gave your permission when it was time for me to leave -
My kind mothers wandering in the three pitiful samsaric realms
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

[Because of your love] I became independent after I had left you -
My kind mothers wandering in the three pitiful samsaric realms
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

If sudden disasters were to carry you off -
My kind mothers wandering in the three pitiful samsaric realms
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

And you would end up in some unknown place -
My kind mothers wandering in the three pitiful samsaric realms
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

May our minds become ultimately inseparable -
My kind mothers wandering in the three pitiful samsaric realms
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

Dear mother, do not be angry when I say this:
My thoughts go to you again and again
And your kind acts make me weep -
My kind mothers wandering in the three pitiful samsaric realms
May I guide you on Chenrezig's path. OM MANI PADME HUM HRIH

Mother, when it is time for your mind to leave this body
May you be born in a supremely blissful state and
Having been born there, may you attain the heart of enlightenment
Having attained that, may you act for the benefit of all beings

Words of vast and deep meaning break my heart.
Vajradhara in the pure realm of Akanishta,
And Pema Jungne in Ngayab Ling,
Please let the ability to repay the kindness of my mothers
Awaken in me, Palden Karmapa of the Snowy Regions.

___________________________________________________________

Distinguished Karma Kagyu Lama, Ato Rinpoche, distributed this text.

Thanks to P. Hayward who typed this version and made it available electronically. 

 

*HRIH is the heart's seed syllable encapsulating the compassionate activity of the bodhisattva.

mother: This very moving prayer of thanks is not only addressed to the woman who gave birth to us in this lifetime, nor is it addressed to the woman or women who, though they did not bear us, may have parented us.  Also, it is not exclusively about human mothers, for in the context of samsara we have had many former existences and so, many different kinds of mothers.  Without all of these mothers, we would not now have the opportunity of practicing Buddha-dharma.

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