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Four Immeasurables Prayer - Translation and Explanation

Thanks to John Tasevski for this material. Sources are noted.

Tibetan Prayers

Translation and Explanation


Four Immeasurables Prayer (Tseme shi)*

Sem chen tham che dewa dang dewai gyu dang den par gyur chig

‘May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes.'


Sem chen tham che duk ngel dang duk ngel gyi gyu dang drel war gyur chig

May all sentient beings be free from suffering and its causes.'


Sem chen tham che duk ngel me pai dewa dang mi drel war gyur chig

May all sentient beings never be parted from sorrowless bliss.'


Sem chen tham che nye ring chak dang nyi dang drel wai tang nyöm la ne par gyur chig

May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from bias, attachment, and hatred.'


*Translations come directly from the Kurukulla Center’s online prayer book


Explanation of Four Immeasurables Prayer

Line 1
Sem chen tham che 'all sentient beings'
Sem = mind
Dewa = happiness
Dang = and
Dewai gyu 'cause of happiness'
Gyu = cause
Den par gyur chig 'may [sentient beings] be endowed with'
Den par = from denpa 'to be endowed with'
Gyur chig = may it be

Line 2
Duk ngel = suffering
Duk ngel gyi gyu 'cause of suffering'
Drel war gyur chig 'may [sentient beings] be free from'
Drel war = from drelwa 'to be free from'

Line 3
Duk ngel me pai dewa 'sorrowless happiness'
Duk ngel me pai 'sorrowless'
Mi drel war gyur chig 'may [sentient beings] not be parted from'
Mi drel war 'not be parted from'
Drel war = from drelwa 'to be separated from'

Line 4
Nye ring = discrimination, prejudice
Nye = near
Ring = far
Chak dang nyi 'these two, attachment and aversion'
Chak = attachment
Dang = aversion, hatred
Nyi = two
Drel wai = free from
Tang nyöm la ne par gyur chig 'may [sentient beings] abide in equanimity'
Tang nyöm la 'in equanimity
Tang nyöm = equanimity
La = in, at, on, to, for
Ne par = from nepa 'to abide, dwell in'

*Many of these words have multiple meanings and definitions. The definitions given here apply specifically to these prayers.
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