Origin of Refuge & Bodhicitta and Four Immeasurables prayers in Tibetan language

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Kamshan
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Origin of Refuge & Bodhicitta and Four Immeasurables prayers in Tibetan language

Post by Kamshan » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:53 am

Hello everyone,

I was looking through a daily meditation practice text and noticed that some prayers come from sutras or other texts, e.g. the Seven Limb Practice ("Chak tsal wa dang chö ching shakpa dang...") comes from the Tibetan translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra. However, I couldn't found a source sutra or text for the exact wording of the commonly recited Refuge & Bodhicitta prayer ("Sangye chö dang tsok kyi chok nam la..." - including "dag gi jin sog" or "dag gi chö nyen") or the Four Immeasurables prayer ("Sem chen tham che dewa dang dewa'i gyu dang den par gyur chig...") in Tibetan.

Can anyone trace the origin or earliest attestation of these two prayers in Tibetan? Do they come from a sutra or tantra? Are they translations from another language, perhaps Sanskrit?

Also, any insight into why all four major Tibetan Buddhist schools recite these two prayers with similar Tibetan phrasing?

Thanks!

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Origin of Refuge & Bodhicitta and Four Immeasurables prayers in Tibetan language

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:46 am

Regarding the refuge & bodhicitta prayer, Batchelor says:
Source unknown, popularly attributed to Atisha.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Josef
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Re: Origin of Refuge & Bodhicitta and Four Immeasurables prayers in Tibetan language

Post by Josef » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:02 pm

Kamshan wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:53 am
Hello everyone,

I was looking through a daily meditation practice text and noticed that some prayers come from sutras or other texts, e.g. the Seven Limb Practice ("Chak tsal wa dang chö ching shakpa dang...") comes from the Tibetan translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra. However, I couldn't found a source sutra or text for the exact wording of the commonly recited Refuge & Bodhicitta prayer ("Sangye chö dang tsok kyi chok nam la..." - including "dag gi jin sog" or "dag gi chö nyen") or the Four Immeasurables prayer ("Sem chen tham che dewa dang dewa'i gyu dang den par gyur chig...") in Tibetan.

Can anyone trace the origin or earliest attestation of these two prayers in Tibetan? Do they come from a sutra or tantra? Are they translations from another language, perhaps Sanskrit?

Also, any insight into why all four major Tibetan Buddhist schools recite these two prayers with similar Tibetan phrasing?

Thanks!
The origin of many of these prayers is covered in The Nectar of Manjushri's speech with either a reference to the Shiksasamuccaya or a specific sutra. I cant recall if there is a specific reference to that prayer in particular but the meanings behind it are referenced in detail.
The reasoning for the phrasing is to cover all the of the requirements for the attitudes of refuge and bodhicitta to be complete, which is also covered in the same text.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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