Seven Branches Prayer (from the King of Aspirations)

Here is the first part of the famous ‘King of Aspirations’ by Samanthabhadra,(Zangchö Mönlam) which starts with the Seven Branch Prayer.

To all you buddhas, lions of men –
with body, speech and mind I bow.
In all directions, through all times,
in homage now to you I bow.
By the power of this perfect prayer,
this aspiration to perfect deeds,
You appear so vivid in my mind,
as I conjure my body a million-fold.
To all you buddhas everywhere,
and bodhisattvas in bright array,
On every atom, through all of space,
to all of you I’m bowing down.
Saluting you in endless praise,
an endless ocean of melodies,
Your noble qualities I sing,
all you who’ve gone to perfect bliss.

To every Buddha, offerings make –
of the loveliest flowers, and garlands, and salves,
And silv’ry music and parasols,
and sweetest incense and brightest lamps.
To every Buddha, offerings make –
exquisite garments and fragrant scents,
And powdered incense, piled as high
as Meru Mountain – all arranged so perfectly.
To every Buddha, through this prayer,
this aspiration, inspired by faith
– Offerings vast and unsurpassed,
as I humbly lay my body down.

And every wrong that I have done,
with my body, speech or with my mind,
t‘was all through anger’s ugly sway,
or through desire, or ignorance.
Before you now, I confess it all,
with heartfelt sadness at the harm I’ve caused.
Please, witness now my firm resolve
that I never will do these things again.

With thankful heart and joyful mind,
in every virtue I now rejoice:
In all the merits of the buddhas,
the bodhisattvas, pratekyabuddhas,
All those in training, all the arhats beyond,
and in each and every living thing
To the farthest reach of the universe –
in all their merit I rejoice.

Request to turn the Wheel of Dharma
And all you beacons shining bright,
your wisdom flooding through all the worlds,
You passed through every single stage
in your gradual journey to awakening
Till perfect buddhahood you reached,
from all attachment free at last.
Protectors all, I ask you now:
turn the wheel of Dharma for us all.

Petition to remain
With folded palms, to you I pray,
as you turn towards nirvana’s shore,
Don’t go away, but please remain,
for as many eons as atoms are!
Don’t go away, but please remain,
as I beseech you with this prayer:
Secure the welfare of us all,
and bring us all to happiness!

What little virtue I have gained,
through making homage, and offerings,
Sincere confession, and brightest joy,
and exhortation and heartfelt prayer
I dedicate that virtue now,
to the swift enlightenment of all,
I dedicate that virtue now,
to the swift enlightenment of all.

The Seven Branches from Samantabhadra’s King of Aspiration Prayers English translation adapted and arranged for chanting by Libby Hogg, nov 2018
voice: Rodrigo Reijers