The Dharani of The Essence of Dependent Arising
The fourth Dodrupchen Rinpoche, who is one of the greatest living Nyingma masters, has said that if the followers of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje accumulate recitations of this dharani [long mantra], His Holiness will live long and his activities will benefit a great number of beings.
This form of mantra is used by all schools of Buddhism, and this verse in particular contains the essence of the whole teaching of the Buddha, so it is the main mantra of the Buddha’s teaching. Originally a simple stanza, it is recited as a dharani or mantra by the addition of OM at the beginning, and SVAHA at the end. Dharanis or mantras are often written down and placed inside stupas and sacred statues.
OM YE DHARMA HETU-PRABHAVA HETUM TESHAM TATHAGATO HYAVADAT TESHAM CHA YO NIRODHA EVAM VADI MAHASHRAMANAH SVAHA
ये धर्मा हेतु प्रभवा हेतुं
तेषां तथागतः ह्यवदत्
तेषां च यो निरोध
एवं वादी महाश्रमण
All dharmas originate from causes.
The Tathagata has taught these causes,
And also that which puts a stop to these causes—
This too has been taught by the Great Shramana.
Listen to the Essence of Dependent Origination dharani chanted by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche:
If you or your group wish to accumulate recitations of the dharani, please use the form below to pledge your total recitations. These will be gathered together at a later date and presented as an offering to His Holiness Karmapa.
Register of pledged recitations
Origin of the Dharani of the Essence of Dependent Arising
The verses come from the vinaya beginning “Ye dharmā hetuprabhava” and are the words spoken by the Arhat Assaji, (Sanskrit: Aśvajit) to Upatissa, who was later known as Sariputta (Sanskrit: Śariputra). Sariputta, along with his boyhood companion Kolita, known later as Moggallāna (Sanskrit: Maudgalyayana), were to become the two chief disciples of the Buddha. Upon meeting Assaji, Sariputta was impressed and asked after his teacher and the dharma that he taught. Assaji demurred, being “only a beginner”, but eventually responded with the now famous verse, and even before he had finished, Sariputta had a decisive break-through. Nyanaponika says:
Upon hearing the first two lines, there arose in the wanderer Upatissa, the dust-free, stainless vision of the Dhamma – the first glimpse of the Deathless, the path of Stream-entry – and after hearing the final two lines Upatissa [Sariputta] was already listening as a stream-enterer.
(Nyaniponika Thera, 1994; ‘The Life of Sariputta’)
According to Ringu Tulku, when we recite a mantra or dharani for ourselves, the benefit will not be as great as if we recite it for the benefit of another person. However, if our recitation is for the benefit of someone who themselves has the power to benefit many more people – someone such as His Holiness Karmapa who has been predicted to perform the activities of all the Buddhas – then the blessing or benefit for all will be even further multiplied.