Devotees of the His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, announced on 3 August the release of a new edition of his prayers—collected over several days—into an ebook featuring the original Tibetan and English translations, along with English-language introductions to each prayer. The ebook can be downloaded at no charge from Dharma Ebooks, a site launched by the 17th Karmapa in 2017.
In April, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world, the Karmapa offered prayers and words of consolation to all who were suffering. His talk, given in Tibetan, was live-streamed via Facebook and later placed on the official Kagyu YouTube channel, where it has been viewed more than 17,000 times to date.
The prayers in the volume include: The Heart Sutra with the Repulsion of Maras; The Noble Aspiration for Excellent Conduct and The Sutra in Three Sections; the dharani sutras of Akshobhya (one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas, whose name means “Immoveable One”); The Praises of the Twenty-One Taras with Benefits; Clearing the Path of Obstacles and Spontaneous Fulfillment of Wishes, both prayers to Guru Rinpoche, or Padmasambhava; Karma Chakme’s A Prayer for Rebirth in the Pure Realm of Sukhavati; and Tangtong Gyalpo’s Prayer that Saved Sakya from Disease along with the Six Syllable Mantra and Appeasing the Discord of the Mamos.
The introduction to the new edition of the prayers reads:
Beginning in the spring of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the entire world. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost, and severe lockdowns were instituted, prohibiting people from gathering or traveling. At that time, the Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje led a hundred thousand people all over the world in seven days of webcast prayers for the pandemic to subside. This book contains the selection of prayers specially compiled by the Gyalwang Karmapa for these webcasts, along with transcriptions of the talks he gave in Tibetan, English, and Chinese counseling his students on how to think and act.
Developed to compliment the Adarsha website, which offers a searchable version of the Kangyur, Tengyur, and other Buddhist scriptures in Tibetan, Dharma Ebooks features a wide range of Buddhist ebooks in a variety of languages.
At the time of writing on 4 August, there were 18,282,208 confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, with the United States, Brazil, India, and Russia reporting the greatest numbers of confirmed cases.* A total of 693,694 global deaths have been confirmed. Speaking to the media on 3 August, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that there is “no silver bullet at the moment—and there might never be.” Ghebreyesus said that while he was hopeful that one of the vaccines currently in phase three trials will be effective, “for now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control: testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts.” (BBC)
Prayers for a Time of Pandemic, download in epub or PDF (Dharma Ebooks)
Dharma Ebooks (Facebook)
Coronavirus: WHO warns of ‘no silver bullet’ amid vaccine search (BBC)