Prostrations and Offerings to the Sixteen Elders


The 16 Elders:

Chanted by Karma Kagyu Sangha Community 
Melody Composed by the 17th Karmapa






Prostrations and Offerings to the Sixteen Elders

Composed by Mahapandita Shakyashri.




In the middle of a ground as even as the palm of a hand,
Decorated by jewels, trees, and lakes,
Is a precious palace with four sides and four doors.
Within it, on a lotus, sun, and moon seat,
Is the protector of beings who compassionately places disciples,
In this age of disputation, on the path to liberation.
Buddha Shakyamuni and the great elders,
I pray that you come to this place, accompanied by your entourages.
All buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions,
And all sanghas of shravakas from the ten directions,
Whose fire of wisdom dries up the ocean of kleshas,
Who are a field of liberation and merit,
I invite you so that you may receive my offerings.
I pray that you come, since my offerings are for beings’ benefit.
The Dharma of the Lion of the Shakyas,
That protector of beings, rests in your hands.
All you arhats, elders, you who open
The precious vessel of the Buddha’s words,
I invite you in order to spread the genuine Dharma.
I pray that you come, since my offerings are for beings’ benefit.
As appointed by Shakyamuni,
You hold the victory banner of Dharma.
Angaja, Ajita, Vanavasin, Kalika,
Vajriputra, Bhadra, Kanakavatsa,
Kanaka Bharadhvaja, Arya Bakula,
Rahula, Chudapanthaka, Pindola Bharadhvaja,
Mahapanthaka, Nagasena, Gopaka, and Abheda,
I pray that you come, since my offerings are for beings’ benefit.
Although your perfect relinquishment and pristine wisdom are like the Buddha’s,
You take the form of shravakas for the sake of disciples.
Your special activity is the protection of Dharma.
Sixteen elders, come here and be seated.
You protect the Dharma, particularly the sugata’s words.
Sixteen elders, you have cast aside your own welfare.
And remain in the jungle of samsara for the benefit of others.
Come here through your commitment and compassion.
Upasaka who has taken refuge and listens to words of truth,
And all those who serve the Three Jewels,
I invite you to this garden of precious merit.
I pray that you come, since my offerings are for beings’ benefit.

Peerless, the sight of you never satiates.
You are beautiful and golden in color.
You have one face, two hands, and are seated with crossed legs.
I prostrate to you who press the earth and rest in meditation.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
On great snow-covered Mount Kailash
Is the arya elder Angaja,
Surrounded by one thousand three hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you who hold an incense pot and fan.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
In the crystal forest on the rishis’ mountain
Is the arya elder Ajita,
Surrounded by a hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you whose two hands rest in meditation.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
In the mountain cave of Seven Leaves
Is the arya elder Vanavasin,
Surrounded by one thousand four hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you who point a threatening forefinger and hold a fan.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
On Copper Island in Jambudvipa
Is the arya elder Kalika,
Surrounded by one thousand one hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you who hold golden earrings.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
On the island of Singhala
Is the arya elder Vajriputra,
Surrounded by one thousand arhats.
I prostrate to you who point a threatening forefinger and hold a fan.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
On an island in the River Yamuna
Is the arya elder Bhadra,
Surrounded by one thousand two hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you who teach Dharma and rest in meditation.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
In the holy land of Kashmir
Is the arya elder Kanakavatsu,
Surrounded by five hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you who hold a jeweled lasso.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
In Godaniya in the west
Is the arya elder Kanaka Bharadhvaja,
Surrounded by seven hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you whose two hands rest in meditation.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
In Uttarakuru in the north
Is the arya elder Bakula,
Surrounded by nine hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you whose left hand holds a mongoose.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
On the island of Priyangku
Is the arya elder Rahula,
Surrounded by one thousand one hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you who hold a precious crown.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
On Vulture Peak Mountain
Is the arya elder Chudapanthaka,
Surrounded by one thousand six hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you whose two hands rest in meditation.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
In Purvavideha in the east
Is the arya elder Pindola Bharadhvaja,
Surrounded by a thousand arhats.
I prostrate to you who hold a volume and an alms bowl.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
In the abode of the thirty-three devas
Is the arya elder Mahapanthaka,
Surrounded by nine hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you who hold a volume and teach Dharma.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
On the king of mountains, Vipaliparshva,
Is the arya elder Nagasena,
Surrounded by one thousand two hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you who hold a vase and a ringing staff.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
On the king of mountains, Bihula,
Is the arya elder Gopaka,
Surrounded by one thousand four hundred arhats.
I prostrate to you whose two hands hold a volume.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
On the king of mountains, Himalaya,
Is the arya elder Abheda,
Surrounded by a thousand arhats.
I prostrate to you who hold a mahabodhi stupa.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
The arya upasaka Dharmata
Has his hair bound in a topknot and carries texts.
In front of him is Amitabha.
I prostrate to you who hold a fan and vase.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.
Armored with diligence, powerful,
You protect the Buddhadharma
In the east, south, west, and north.
I prostrate to the four great kings.
Grant your blessing so that the gurus live long
And so that Dharma flourish.

Arya arhats, emanations of the Buddha,
You protect the Dharma for beings’ benefit.
Sixteen elders, you are truly the Three Jewels.
Grant your blessing that the Dharma long remain.
Sixteen elders, you personify compassion.
Your retinues have crossed the ocean of becoming and have no kleshas.
All sixteen thousand four hundred of you:
Grant your blessing that the Dharma long remain.
May the ocean of merit become complete,
The ocean of pristine wisdom become pure,
And the ocean of qualities become perfect.
May we transcend all that is mundane.
Through the compassion of the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the three times,
You retain the appearance of shravakas and, for as long as samsara lasts,
Will protect the Dharma and benefit beings.
May there be the auspiciousness of the great elders!





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Prostrations and Offerings to the Sixteen Elders(Tibetan & English)  

十六羅漢禮供文(Tibetan & Chinese)




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