Excerpts from Illumining Our Triple Legacy: An Invocation of the Seventeen Great Minds of Nalanda
By His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Translated by Joe Loizzo
I salute [Buddha,] the Sun of Philosophers, whose compassion
Wishes happiness for all; the Lord of Sages who awakens beings
With the message of relativity; the God of gods who found
Supreme refuge in perfect renunciation and realization!
Respectfully I invoke Nagarjuna, the master whose profound logic
Of relativity clarified reality as it is, without extremes,
As intended by the victorious Mother; and cleared the Central Way
For the supreme vehicle of the tradition of Victors!
Respectfully I invoke Chandrakirti, the master whose profound
And magnificent central method of void appearance dispels
Dualistic extremes about the mere contingency of the relative,
And completely opens up the path, exoteric and esoteric!
Respectfully I invoke Kamalashila, who flawlessly clarified
The Victor’s Teaching in snowy Tibet, by elucidating the stages
Of exoteric and esoteric meditation on the Centrist view,
Without extremes, via the union of insight and quiescence!
Respectfully I invoke Asanga, the master who championed
Idealism in accord with the Victor’s tradition, and proclaimed
Its magnificent path by completing the textual canon
Of the Great Vehicle under Maitreya’s patronage!
Respectfully I invoke Vasubandhu, the consummate master
Renowned as Omniscient, who clarified the theories
Of Analysts, Traditionists and Idealists by propounding
Voidness of duality and his sevenfold Pure Science [canon]!
Respectfully I invoke Gunaprabha, who embodied perfect mastery
By impeccably maintaining [the ethos of] personal freedom
In accord with the Realist Tradition, and distilled
The real intention of the Hundred Thousand Verse Ethics!
Respectfully I invoke Master Atisha, Lord of kindness
Who spread the Sage’s teachings through snowy Tibet
By presenting all of Shakyamuni’s profound and magnificent
Precepts as a threefold path for people [at all levels]!
Through active learning, reflection and practice
May spiritual masters who fully abandon false lifestyles
Multiply exponentially from now on in all communities,
And make our whole earth exquisite forever!