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The Seven Aspects of Devotion for Accumulation of Merits

Seven Limb Prayer Instruction


"Long-chen Nying-thig Ngon-dro"

In order to develop within oneself the extraordinary realisations of the spiritual stages and paths it is necessary to dispel unfavourable conditions and to activate those which are favourable. This leads to the attainment of the common and uncommon extraordinary powers. With this aim in view one should purify mental defilements within the context of aid from the assembly of refuge objects of the most excellent path of Tantra. Imagining the assembly in oneís mindís eye one should engage in methods for purification and accumulation by seven aspects of devotional practice.

With prostration visualise oneís own body multiplied by the number of atoms in the world together with all sentient beings, and without any pride one should perform full prostrations devoting body speech and mind to the objects of Refuge.

The practice of offering involves actual offerings of those which are pleasingly and cleanly arranged, and visualised offering, which are all the wealth of the gods and materials which are pleasing to the senses throughout the world, filling the sky, together with numerous offering goddesses, who hold aloft exquisite arrays of offerings. These should then be visualised as being offered to the assembly without any trace of attachment and avarice or hypocrisy. One should consider that the recipients are pleased with the quality of this offering.

With confession we should lay bare all wrongdoings that we and all other beings have accumulated throughout the three times in actions of body, speech and mind. This should be done with a strong feeling of repentance and remorse, and an intention to turn away from committing such actions again. We should visualise that by confessing, rays of light shine forth from the objects of refuge, touch the bodies of all sentient beings, and purify us from all defilements as if washed away by water. In accordance with a special form of confession , all defilements are purified by relaxing in the state of realisation of luminescence or radiant clarity, free from conceptualisation

When we rejoice we should rejoice in the accumulation of virtues on both the relative and ultimate level of oneself and others, without any trace of jealousy.

To all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and spiritual teachers dwelling in the ten directions, one should request that they set in motion the wheel of dharma of the great, medium and lower vehicles, in accordance with the various capacities and intellects of the disciples. We should wish that these teachings are given ceaselessly, without any interruption.

We should request that the Fully Awakened beings, their spiritual sons and all realised teachers do not leave this world, for the state of Nirvana, and that they remain within the world for the sake of beings until all sentient beings have attained Buddhahood and cyclic existence has been emptied.

In the last of these seven practices we should dedicate the merit of ourselves and others which has been accumulated throughout time, in order that all sentient beings may enjoy happiness and virtue, finally attaining the state of All-Knowing Primordial Protector. This we should do without hoping for recompense or personal gain from such action, in accordance with the way in which Manjushri and other Bodhisattvas distribute their merit.

After all defilements and unfavourable conditions have been purified, and spiritual merit and favourable conditions for achieving Liberation have been accumulated, the rain of blessing of the Refuge Lama is required so that the crops of the achievement of Liberation and the state of Omniscience may grow.