The Dedication “Protecting All Beings”

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This text, The Dedication “Protecting All Beings” (Tib. འགྲོ་བ་ཡོངས་སུ་སྐྱོབ་པར་བྱེད་པའི་ཡོངས་སུ་བསྔོ་བ།, Wyl. ‘gro ba yongs su skyob par byed pa’i yongs su bsngo ba) is a prayer of dedication that strongly resonates with the later Tibetan literature of Lojong, mind training. In addition to the classic element of dedication of merit to all beings, a substantial part of the text comprises a passage that enumerates the many faults, shortcomings, and afflictions that burden sentient beings, as well as the many possible attainments that they consequently may not have realized, and culminates in the wish that everything negative that would otherwise ripen for sentient beings may ripen instead for the reciter, so that all sentient beings may thus be liberated and purified.

This short text and ‘The Dedication “Fulfilling All Aspirations”’ (Toh 285) seem to constitute a pair, and both are lacking a Sanskrit title. Furthermore, the fact that the two are consistently placed together in most Kangyurs suggests at least the possibility that the colophon to this text (Toh 286) refers also to 'The Dedication “Fulfilling All Aspirations”' (Toh 285) , which otherwise lacks a colophon of its own. Since the two texts are dedications, it is perhaps not surprising that they are neither called sutras, nor show features typical of sutras, such as the opening “Thus did I hear” or an introductory passage describing the setting and audience of the discourse. What is somewhat surprising is that both are nonetheless included in the sutra section of the Kangyur, indicating that they are to be considered discourses of the Buddha.[1]

Text

The Tibetan translation of this text can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 286

References

  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.