Meditation Categories 9. Generating Bodhicitta

73. The Actual Generation of Bodhicitta

Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 73

The Beginning

Take refuge and arouse bodhicitta.

The Main Part

In front of the representatives of the Three Jewels, put your palms together, and think: For the sake of all sentient beings, I give rise to the supreme bodhicitta. Until not even a single sentient being remains in samsara, I shall train myself diligently in the vast deeds of bodhisattvas.


Of course, it’s not possible to deliver each and every sentient being from samsara until it’s empty, but this is the way for us to aspire, which reflects exactly the sublime quality of bodhicitta. Some of you here may have received the bodhisattva vows; you should then follow the liturgy to renew the vows every day, ideally six times, if not, then three times, or at least once a day. There is no stipulation that you must be in the presence of a teacher to receive bodhisattva vows; the representatives of the Three Jewels will do just fine. The Three Jewels can be physical ones in your shrine room, or, if that’s unavailable, mentally create an image of the buddha, a stupa, and sacred scriptures of sutra and tantra, such as the Condensed Transcendent Wisdom, The Way of the Bodhisattvas, Tantra of the Web of Magical Illusion, Chanting the Names of Manjushri, or The Innermost Heart Drop of the Guru (Lama Yangtik). Having established your support, then you formally arouse bodhicitta, which will elevate you to the level of a bodhisattva immediately; or else you’ll remain forever an ordinary being.


Recite the following vajra words three times:

    I, name (your Dharma name or worldly name), from now until I reach the heart of enlightenment, go for refuge to the great vajradhara gurus.

    I go for refuge to the Buddha Bhagavats[1], the most exalted one among all men and women.

    I go for refuge to the authentic Dharma, the supreme teaching of peace free from attachment.

    I go for refuge to the Sangha, the supreme assembly of noble ones who dwell in the stage of non-retrogression. Please accept me as a bodhisattva.

    O master, vajra-holder gurus, Buddha Bhagavats, and supreme bodhisattvas on the high levels, heed me!

    Just as the former Buddha Bhagavats and great bodhisattvas on the high levels initially aroused the supreme bodhicitta for the benefit of all sentient beings, so I, name (your name), too, from now until I reach the heart of enlightenment, arouse the supreme bodhicitta for the benefit of all sentient beings. 

    I will take across those sentient beings who have not crossed over.

    I will liberate all living beings who are not yet liberated.

    I will relieve those sentient beings who are without relief.

    I will cause to reach nirvana those who have not reached it.


If later you commit infractions against your bodhisattva vow, you must first confess sincerely and accumulate merit in the context of seven branch offerings. Next, in front of an image of the buddha, a stupa, and sacred scriptures, you visualize receiving the vows again from them. One unique feature of the bodhisattva vow is that a person can renew it from the representatives of the Three Jewels. Otherwise, one has to look for a lama or teacher as witness for confessions, which may pose some difficulty. The essence of the bodhisattva vow is never forsaking sentient beings. Your bodhisattva vow will remain intact as long as you do not abandon sentient beings, for which you can be regarded as a bodhisattva.


Eminent masters have all agreed that absolute bodhicitta is attained by the power of meditation and does not depend on rituals. The above explanation is applicable only to the generation of relative bodhicitta, not absolute bodhicitta.


At the conclusion of reciting the vow for three times, visualize that:

You yourself become a bodhisattva, who is worthy of offering by gods and humans; who closes the entrance door of falling into miserable rebirths caused by evil karma; who moves on to higher and higher blissful realms; who accomplishes vast activities of benefiting sentient beings; who becomes a buddha’s child and heir; who will attain enlightenment swiftly.


Therefore, carry yourself with confidence and dignity (such as holding the divine pride, knowing that you are inseparable from the buddha in nature), and rejoice.


Regarding this practice, it is ideal to read the liturgy once a day, if not, once a month. Even reading it once a year is a must.

The Ending

Dedicate the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.





[1] the One Beyond Samsara and Nirvana