The one thus gone (Tathagata in Pali and Sanskrit) – that’s how Buddha called himself instead of "I". The name refers to liberation from samsara, a cycle of death and rebirth. Not only the Buddha, who lived 2,500 years ago, but any person can become "thus gone". Those who have "thus gone" explain to the rest of us how everything works, and what kind of problems and obstacles keep us in samsara.
My composition is based on three ancient texts.
"The Last Words of Senge Wangchuk", a great yogin and meditation master who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries. This text is constituted of the words he pronounced at the moment of his death as his body was dissolving into a cloud of rainbow light.
"The Prayer of Samantabhadra". This text was hidden in the 9th century by the great master Padmasambhava, and revealed in the 14th century by another great master Rigzin Godem (1337-1408). The authorship of this text is attributed to primordial Buddha Samantabhadra. Samantabhadra embodies enlightened mind which is present in everyone’s mindstream. After having heard our true voice we start to wake up from ignorance. In the conclusion of this text it is said that all beings who hear this prayer will attain enlightenment within three lifetimes.
"Prostration to the 35 Buddhas". In Buddhist tradition there is a practice of confession of sins: pronouncing the 35 names of "The One Thus Gone" while doing prostrations (full bows).
It is not at all necessary to be a Buddhist to set off on this journey. These words are universal. Like the laws of physics, they do not belong to any religion. Neither does music.
The text of the 4th (final) movement contains just one letter: A. It is said that the most profound wisdom that needs hundreds of volumes for its detailed explanation can be transmitted through one single letter A. When we sing the sound Ah for a long time and listen to it we become that sound. We become who we really are, and all the knowledge of the universe and that of ourselves enters our mind without any words and philosophy.
released March 31, 2017
Alexander Manotskov: lead vocals, guitar, dryna
Asya Sorshneva: electric violin, electronics
Sergey Kalachev “Grebstel”: bass guitar, electronics
Vladimir Zharko: drums
Anton Batagov: piano
Composed by: Anton Batagov
Texts: Buddhist prayers
1st century BCE - 12th century CE
Live recording by: Anastasia Lukina (Rybakova),
Svetlanov Hall, Moscow International House of Music, June 9, 2016
Mixed by: Anastasia Lukina (Rybakova)
The Grand Hall Studios, Moscow State
Mastered by: Eric Xu
Central Sound at Arizona PBS
Cover photo by: Alisa Naremontti
Booklet cover photo by: Liana Darenskaya
Liner photos by: Liana Darenskaya,
Sergey Tischenko (p. 29)
Design: Sergey Krasin
Produced by: Anton Batagov
Executive producer: Sergey Krasin
Special thanks to: Veronika Kamaeva, Vladimir Gubatov, Tatiana Zadorozhnaya, Mikhail Spassky, Anton Bushinsky, Diana Gorovaya, Alexey Lukin, Yekaterina Jorniak, Olesya Karpacheva, and a very special thanks to Lama Sonam Dorje (Lama Oleg)
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To the One Thus Gone, to the Fully Awakened One, to my guru, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Great Destroyer who destroys with his vajra, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Gem Radiating Light, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Lord of the Spirits, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Leader of the Warriors, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Joyful Hero, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Jewel Fire, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Jewel Moonlight, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One You Must See, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Precious Moon, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Stainless One, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Bestower of Courage, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Pure One, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Bestower of Purity, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One Who Dwells in the Celestial Waters, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Deity of the Celestial Waters, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Glorious Good, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Magnificent Sandalwood, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One of Infinite Splendor, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Blazing Light, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One Who Transcended All Sorrows, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Son of the Desireless One, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Glorious Flower, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One Who Attained Omniscience by Enjoying the Play of Light, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One Who Attained Omniscience by Enjoying the Lotus, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Glaring Gem, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One Who is Always Mindful, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One Whose Name is Widely Renowned, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the King Who Holds the Victory Banner, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One Who Subdues All, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Utterly Victorious One, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One Who Knows the Truth, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the One Who is Always Present, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the All-Subduing Precious Lotus, I bow down.
To the One Thus Gone, to the Fully Awakened One, to the Lord Who Sits on a Lotus, I bow down.
Track Name: The Last Words of Senge Wangchuk
I, the madman Senge Wangchuk,
Have exhausted karmaprana and expanded wisdom.
Freed from the sphere of the five gates of ignorance,
I have entered the sphere of luminous self-awareness.
When the illusion of the three doors has collapsed,
How pitiful is the whole basis of delusion.
When the knots of confused experience are cut,
How tiring is so-called concentration.
When confusion arises as wisdom,
All pure appearances are deceptive phenomena.
When everything dissolves into space,
Nothing whatsoever, yet everything manifests.
Amazing, amazing is the kindness of the sacred one.
These words pronounced at the moment of passing reveal the essential meaning,
They are the heart placed fresh in the palm, nothing else.
May these words appear at the end of this age.
Defilements selfexhausted, the elements naturally dissolved,
Thinking selfliberated. Only the transparent body of light has remained.
Through being equal to Senge Wangchuk,
May the depths of samsara be overturned by liberation.
Track Name: The Prayer of Samantabhadra
Everything – appearance and existence, samsara and nirvana –
Has a single Ground, yet two paths and two fruitions,
And magically displays as awareness or unawareness.
Through this prayer, may all beings become completely perfected Buddhas.
The Ground of all is uncompounded,
And the self-arising Great Expanse, beyond expression, has neither the name ‘samsara’ nor ‘nirvana’.
Realizing just this you are a Buddha;
Not realizing this, you are a being wandering in samsara.
I pray that all you beings of the three realms
May realise the true meaning of the inexpressible Ground.
I, Samantabhadra, have realized the truth of this Ground, free from cause and condition,
Which is just this self-arising Awareness.
It is unstained by outer expression and inner thought, affirmation or denial,
And is not defiled by the darkness of unmindfulness.
I, Samantabhadra, abide as Intrinsic Awareness.
Even though the three realms were to be destroyed, there is no fear.
There is no attachment to the desirable qualities of sense objects.
In self-arising consciousness, free of thoughts, there is neither solid form nor the five poisons.
In the unceasing clarity of Awareness,
Singular in essence, there yet arises the display of the five wisdoms.
From the ripening of these five wisdoms, the five original Buddha families emerge,
And through the expanse of their wisdom the forty-two peaceful Buddhas appear.
Through the arising power of the five wisdoms the sixty wrathful Herukas manifest.
Thus the Ground Awareness is never mistaken or wrong
I, Samantabhadra, am the primordial Buddha of all,
And through this prayer of mine
May all you beings who wander in the three realms of samsara realize this self-arising Awareness,
And may your great wisdom spontaneously increase!
My emanations will continuously manifest in billions of unimaginable ways,
Appearing in forms to help you beings who can be trained.
Through my compassionate prayer
May all you beings who wander in samsara escape from all life forms!
From the beginning you beings are deluded
Because you do not recognise the Awareness of the Ground.
Being thus unmindful that what appears is delusion.
The very state of unawareness is the cause of going astray.
From this delusive state comes a sudden fainting away
And then a subtle consciousness of wavering fear.
From that wavering fear there arises a separation of self
And the perception of others as enemies.
Gradually the tendency of separation strengthens,
And from this the circle of samsara begins.
Then the emotions of the five poisons develop –
The actions of these emotions are endless.
You beings lack awareness because you are unmindful,
And this is the basis of your going astray.
Through my prayer, may all you beings recognize your Intrinsic Awareness!
Innate unawareness means unmindfulness and distraction.
Imputing unawareness means dualistic thoughts towards self and others.
Both kinds of unawareness are the basis for the delusion of all beings.
Dualistic thoughts create doubt, from subtle attachment to this dualistic turn of mind.
Dualistic tendencies become stronger and thicker.
Through Samantabhadra’s prayer
May all you beings wandering in samsara
Clear away the dark fog of unmindfulness,
Clear away the clinging thoughts of duality!
May you recognize your own Intrinsic Awareness!
Food, wealth, clothes, home, and friends,
The five objects of the senses, and your beloved family –
All these things cause torment by creating longing and desire.
These are all worldly delusions; the activities of grasping and clinging are endless.
When the fruition of attachment ripens, you are born as a hungry ghost,
Tormented by coveting and desiring, miserable, starving and thirsty.
Through Samantabhadra’s prayer may all you desirous and lustful beings
Who have attachments, neither reject longing desires,
Nor accept attachment to desires.
Let your consciousness relax in its own natural state,
Then your Awareness will be able to hold its own.
May you achieve the wisdom of perfect discernment!
When external objects appear, the subtle consciousness of fear will arise,
From this fear, the habit of anger becomes stronger and stronger.
Finally, hostility comes causing violence and murder.
When the fruition of this anger ripens, you will suffer in hell by boiling and burning.
Through Samantabhadra’s prayer, you beings of the six realms,
When strong anger arises for you, neither reject nor accept it.
Instead relax in the natural state and achieve the wisdom of clarity!
When your mind becomes full of pride
There will arise thoughts of competition and humiliation.
As this pride becomes stronger and stronger,
You will experience the suffering of quarrels and abuse.
When the fruition of this karma ripens, you will be born in the God Realms
And experience the suffering of change and falling to lower rebirths.
Through Samantabhadra’s prayer, may you beings who develop pride,
Let your consciousness relax in the natural state.
Then your Awareness will be able to hold its own.
May you achieve the wisdom of equanimity!
By praising yourself and denigrating others,
Your competitive mind will lead you to jealousy and fighting,
And you will be born in the Jealous God Realm,
where there is much killing and injury.
From the result of that killing, you will fall into the Hell Realm.
Through Samantabhadra’s prayer, when jealousy and competitive thoughts arise,
Do not grasp them as enemies.
Just relax in ease, then consciousness can hold its own natural state.
May you achieve the wisdom of unobstructed action!
By being distracted, careless and unmindful,
You beings will become dull, foggy and forgetful.
By being unconscious and lazy, you will increase your ignorance
And the fruition of this ignorance will be to wander helplessly in the Animal Realm.
Through Samantabhadra’s prayer,
May you beings who have fallen into the dark pit of ignorance
See the light of mindfulness and thereby achieve wisdom free from thought.
All you beings of the three realms are actually identical to Buddhas, the Ground of all.
But your misunderstanding of the Ground causes you to go astray.
So you act without aim.
The six karmic actions are a delusion, like a dream.
I, the Primordial Buddha, am here to train the six kinds of beings
Through all my manifestations.
Through Samantabhadra’s prayer
May all you beings without exception attain enlightenment.
Hereafter, whenever a powerful yogin
With his or her Awareness radiant and free from delusion
Recites this prayer, then all who hear it
Will achieve enlightenment within three lifetimes.
During a solar or lunar eclipse, during an earthquake, or when the earth rumbles,
At the solstices or the new year you should visualize yourself as Samantabhadra.
And if you pray loudly so that all can hear,
Then beings of the three realms will be gradually liberated from suffering through your prayer,
And will finally achieve enlightenment.
Track Name: Prajnaparamita (Sutra of Transcendental Wisdom in a Single Letter)