Homage to the living embodiment of Compassion and loving kindness
 to all beings.
 	You who have worked three incalculable aeons of time to establish
 the two merits of accumulation and wisdom.
 	To you who become the source of all purelands.
 	To the Buddha Shakyamuni, I prostrate.
 	My faith is a fresh-blooming lotus, reflecting the splendor of the
 moon's shining rays.
 	The lotus' ten petals close in a heart-felt prostration to you, oh
 Great Lord of Compassion,
 	As I hold the spontaneous reflection of your wondrous image in the
 mirror of my mind.
 	I offer you boundless praise and adoration.
 	Even though this effort is less than a single hair on your body, by
 the offering of these small  unceasing  praises of your life, I ask that
 you grant  your ceaseless blessings.
 	In the Kingdom  of the Shakyas lived King Zay-tsang and his wife
 Gyutrulma, daughter of Bishukarma. In a previous life Gyutrulma had prayed
 to be born as the mother to a Buddha.
 	In the deva realm , the bodhisattva Dampatogkarpo gave his crown to
 the bodhisattva Maitreya, in preparation to his descending to earth. He
 then emanated himself as a white elephant. As his mother, Gyutrulma lay
 sleeping she had a dream that a white elephant, shining with a glorious
 light, was within her womb and she flew through the sky and climbed
 mountains. Many kings and minister bowed and prostrated to her, It was at
 that time that the Buddha entered her womb.
 	Ten months later, at Lumbini, the Buddha was born  in a miraculous
 manner. Without womb obscuration he appeared from the right side of his
 mother's ribs. Instantly Indra, King of the Gods, appeared and offered the
 infant Buddha clothes to wear.
 	The Buddha then took seven steps in each of the four directions and
 each footprint became a lotus. Then He looked East and said, "From this
 point on I am the arising of enlightenment." Looking South he exclaimed,
 "From this point I will achieve complete  knowledge, both ordinary and
 extraordinary." Then he looked to the West, saying, "From this point I am
 born to  be the cure of suffering and completing this, my last lifetime, I
 will dissolve." Finally, he looked North and said, "From this point, in my
 Life I will completely purify all of my karmic obscurations." Then the deva
 realm beings appeared and offered him all auspicious substances.
 	 At this time, throughout the entire area of his birth, everyone
 was witness to the phenomena of clear light free from darkness and shadow.
 All of the people talked of this phenomena and called on a great Brahmin to
 give an explanation. He cast an astrology chart and said that in the
 country of the Shakyas a great bodhisattva had been born that day.
 	The infant Buddha was named Prince Ton-kun-drup. His father, King
 of the region, was told that according to his son's astrology chart, the
 prince was destined to become the greatest of Kings if he stayed home, or
 upon leaving his home, would become a monk and thus become enlightened. At
 this point, it was observed that the palm of the child-prince possessed all
 the minor marks of perfection.
 	Seven days after the Buddha's birth, his mother passed away and
 entered the god-realms. Everyone thought that the prince would have
 problems without a mother, but he proved to be a very calm and peaceful
 baby. The people of his kingdom called him Shakya-Tug-pa, or Great Courage
 of the Shakyas.
 	During his youth, the gods and goddesses from the deva realms would
 often visit him and his father called him the God's god. He was given
 extensive training by great teachers at a very early age. As the years
 passed, all of his studies and physical trainings were learned to
 	When he had grown to a young man, the prince married a young Serkya
 princess named Sa-Tso. Up to then, the King had protected his son from
 observing the suffering of everyday life out of love for him. After his
 son's marriage an astrology chart showed that the prince would either stay
 and rule as a great King or leave and become a monk.
 	The King decided to create a diversion for his son by planning an
 outing for him and his new wife.  The Prince and his new wife then left the
 palace with their servants for a day's excursion. it was then that the
 prince first saw a very old man and then looked at his own body groaned.
 	"This youthful body is pleasing and ripe, but it will change into
 an aged and decrepit body. The hair will all turn gray and fall out. The
 skin will hang loose until only the veins remain between skin and bone. The
 body will become bent and wrinkled and will need sticks to help it walk.
 The teeth will rot and fall out and the mouth will drool. Soon it will not
 be able to hear or see and the mind will become vague and the memory will
 be gone. This is the impermanence of our body and why it is unreliable. I
 would rather be a monk in the forest and rely on meditation."
 	Later, while on the outing, the Prince sees a sick person and
 further illustrates the nature of the body. "My body is flesh and the
 nature of flesh is to spontaneously  gather sickness. This is why my body
 is not so precious, because it harbors sickness. Why should I trust this
 body and support it?" Then the prince saw a corpse and the relatives were
 surrounding it and grieving. The prince thinks that the relatives  who are
 grieving are suffering with a deluded mind. "Nothing is useful or
 meaningful in Samsara because we are all trapped by Karma. After death the
 mind is wandering in the bardo. The body becomes inanimate like a log or a
 stone, a mere piece of earth. Samsara's suffering is like a river. All
 karma is like a wind blowing the trees and so my life's nature is illusory.
 Why rely on the illusion of my life? Better I avoid this worldly idea and
 become a yogi. I will seek the truth."
 	At this, the prince sees a monk wearing robes, carrying a begging
 bowl, and walking along smoothly. This  attracts the prince and he has
 great joy in seeing this. Upon passing some farmers during this outing the
 prince is filled with extreme compassion at the burden of work both man and
 animals have to endure. He gives alms to them.
 	On that day it was very hot as the prince and family made their way
 back to the palace. They stopped to take a break and rested under the
 forest trees. When the prince sat down under these trees he entered a
 meditative state. His father joined him and noticed that his son's shadow
 and the tree he is under doesn't move as the day wears on. The king was
 amazed and prostrated to his son. After this they passed a cemetery with a
 corpse laying out and the prince thought, "All have to die." Vultures and
 crows were tearing at the corpses eyes. The prince then thought, "All that
 is born is bound to die, why should I be attached to my body, it is already
 a corpse and belongs to the animals."
  	When they passed by a beautiful women who was up on the roof of a
 building the king noticed his son admiring her great beauty and sent for
 her to come to be the prince's second wife. On the last night of the
 crucial week after the wedding, the princess Sa-Tso has a terrible dream.
 All her ornaments were torn away, her glory decreased, the sun and moon set
 and the world was in darkness. At this, she became very upset and woke to
 tell her husband. He replied to her, "In Samsara, all dreams are unreliable.
 I had a dream that a great tree grew from my navel and extended throughout
 the sky. My pillow was Mt. Meru."
 	That night the prince decided to leave the palace. He left his
 sleeping wife and woke his servant Dunpa to bring him his horse. The
 servant then brought him his horse Ngagdan  which they mounted and flew in
 a circle around the palace. The prince exclaimed sorrow over those to be
 left behind. The king placed guardians around the palace to prevent his son
 from leaving. As the king looked out into the night he thought he was
 seeing the moon but then realized it was his son escaping and cried out,
 "How can you leave your kingdom?"
 	The prince gave a teaching to the guardian he encountered upon his
 departure: "All of ones relatives and friends  are like links of a chain.
 If I don't cut these links, when will  I be released from Samsara? My youth
 will soon age, my wonderful body will be dead. Then having had attachment
 to these objects, this kingdom, it will have been like drinking poison.
 Samsara is an unconscious, undisciplined  realm. My wealth is like a
 poisonous snake rapping on my head, it will destroy my virtue. Non-virtue
 is like a poison, it will bear fruit and send you to a lower realm. It is
 like jumping into a bonfire. And so, I will choose the great path of
 Bodhicitta and live in a house of nectar." The prince and his servant then
 flew away on the horse. All of the palace awoke and plunged into a
 sorrowful grief.
 	Near Bodha was the Forest of Chod-tan-nam-dak. It was here that the
 prince landed. He gave his servant his precious ornaments and the horse and
 sent them back to the palace. He then spoke, "I won't be caught up in the
 lasso of illusion. I remain alone in the forest with a satisfied mind.
 Everyone is born alone and will die alone. I renounce this world of form,
 and so, there is no source to fill this lake of defilement, and it will be
 dry. I suppress samsara and show the path to Liberation." Then he cut his
 hair in front of the Chod-tan-nam-dak stupa.
 	Near the Narrajana River he entered into a state meditation. For
 two years he ate only seven grains of rice a day and one drop of water. The
 next two years only one grain of rice and one drop of water. Then for two
 years he took no food or drink. His mother had been reborn into the deva
 realm and through clairvoyance she saw the suffering of her son and his
 sorrows. Through her compassion, she appeared before her son. The prince
 told her not to be depressed because soon he was to be enlightened at which
 she became very joyous.
 	To develop his view, the prince gave up his self mortification. Two
 worthy girls, in fulfillment of a prediction, gave the prince the boiled
 milk of 500 cows. When he drank this all signs of his mortification
 disappeared and his body became shiny and golden-yellow.
 	He then went to the mountain to meditate but the mountain bowed low.
 He felt bad when a voice from the sky said, "You are not bad, you have more
 merit than anyone and the mountain is too small to hold it. It cannot be
 contained. You must go to Bodgaya to gain your enlightenment."
 	On the way to Bodgaya, a woman offered the prince kusha grass,
 which he used as his cushion at the base of the Bodhi tree. He then
 meditated there. When the evening came he defeated the four maras who came
 to distract him from his purpose. At first they frightened him with a
 vision of destruction but he didn't move. Then they enticed him with
 extremely beautiful women but he was not distracted. Finally they shot
 arrows at him but instead of touching him they turned into flowers.
 	On this same night the princess Sa-tso gave birth to Prince Ton-
 kun-drup's son, Dra-chand-zin. The baby had been in her womb for six years
 and the princess was so upset that she swaddled him and threw him into the
 river. The child did not sink but sat smiling in the seven point posture.
 After witnessing this the princess happily took him back.
 	At midnight on the same day  her husband the prince entered into
 Samadi. In the early morning he took  the great light initiation by self-
 empowerment and with this clarity and radiant luminosity of light he then
 attained perfect enlightenment.
 	May the beings of this smallest of praise raise the foundation of
 enlightenment for all beings and in reading this may you gain the
 confidence and wisdom, courage and strength to pursue your perfect dharma