by Kyabje Khyentse Dorje Chang Of Za Paltrul Rinpoche
If but a single drop of the nectar of your name were to fall upon my ears,
They would be filled with the sound of Dharma for countless lives.
Wondrous Three Jewels, may the brilliance of your renown
Bring perfect happiness everywhere!
Like some persimmons in the autumn
Which, though inside still unripe, look ripe outside,
I myself am just the semblance of a Dharma practitioner,
And since my mind and the Dharma haven’t mixed, my Dharma teaching won’t be up to much.
But since you, worthy friend, entreat me insistently,
I cannot refuse—I will speak out frankly.
Unusual though it is in this decadent age,
I offer you these words without treachery, so listen well.
The True Ṛiṣhi, the Munīndra, god of gods,
Attained the true level through the true path,
And truly showed this true and excellent path to others.
Isn’t that why he’s known as the True Ṛiṣhi?
Alas! For people in this age of residues!
The mind’s wholesome core of truth has withered, and people live deceitfully,
So their thoughts are warped, their speech is twisted,
They cunningly mislead others—who can trust them?
Alas! How depressing to see the beings of this degenerate age!
Alas! Can anyone trust what anyone says?
It’s like living in a land of vicious man-eating demons—
Think about it, and do yourself a big favor.
Not long ago, your consciousness was wandering alone.
Swept along by karma, it took this present birth.
Soon, like a hair pulled out of butter,
Leaving everything behind, you’ll go on again alone.
Of course what we want is our own good,
So we have to be honest with our own selves:
If we don’t accomplish the essence of the Dharma for our own sake,
Won’t we be ruining our own life?
In this dark age, what people think and do is vile.
None of them will help you, they’ll deceive and trick you;
And for you to be of any help to them will be hard;
Wouldn’t it be best to quit the whole rat race?
Though you serve your superiors, they will never be pleased;
Though you look after your inferiors, they will never be satisfied;
Though you care about others, they won’t care about you.
Think about it, and make a firm decision.
Being learned these days doesn’t help the teachings—it just leads to more debate;
Being realized these days doesn’t help others—it just leads to more criticism;
Being in a responsible position these days doesn’t help govern the country well—it only spreads revolt.
Think about these times with sorrow and disgust.
Though you explain, people miss the point or don’t believe you;
Though your motivation is truly altruistic, people think it’s not.
These days, when the crooked see the straight as crooked,
You can’t help anyone—give up any hope of that.
“All phenomena are like magical illusions,” said the Buddhas;
But these days the illusions are more illusory than ever,
Trickeries conjured up by devious illusionists—
Beware of the illusions of this degenerate age’s ways.
“All talk is like an echo,” said the Buddhas,
But these days it’s more like the re-echo of an echo.
What the echoes say and what they mean are not the same,
So don’t take any notice of these insidious echo-words.
Whoever you see isn’t human, but a fraud;
Whatever people say isn’t right, but just lies.
So since these days there’s no one you can trust,
You’d better live alone and stay free.
If your actions conform with Dharma, you’ll antagonize everyone;
If your words are truthful, most people will get angry;
If your mind is truly good and pure, they will judge it a defect.
Now is the time to keep your own way hidden.
Hide your body by staying alone in a mountain wilderness;
Hide your speech by cutting off contact and saying very little;
Hide your mind by being continuously aware of your own faults alone.
This is what it means to be a hidden yogī.
Disgust, because there’s no one to be trusted,
Sadness, because there’s no meaning in anything,
Determination, because there’ll never be time to get everything you want;
If you always keep these three things in mind, some good will come of it.
There’s no time to be happy; happiness is over just like that;
You don’t want to suffer, so eradicate suffering with Dharma.
Whatever happiness or suffering comes, recognize it as the power of your past actions,
And from now on have no hopes or doubts regarding anyone at all.
Expecting a lot from people, you do a lot of smiling;
Needing many things for yourself, you have many needs to meet;
Making plans to do first this, then that, your mind’s full of hopes and fears—
From now on, come what may, don’t be like that.
Even if you die today, why be sad? It’s the way of saṃsāra.
Even if you live to be a hundred, why be glad? Youth will have long since gone.
Whether you live or die right now, what does this life matter?
Just practice Dharma for the next life—that’s the point.
Ah! Fount of compassion, my root teacher, Lord Chenrezi,
You are my only protector!
The six-syllable mantra, essence of your speech, is the sublime Dharma;
From now on I have no hope but you!
Whatever I know I’ve left it as theory; it’s no use to me now.
Whatever I’ve done I’ve spent on this life; it’s no use to me now.
Whatever I’ve thought was all just delusion; it’s no use to me now.
Now the time has come to do what’s truly useful—recite the six-syllable mantra.
The only never-failing, constant refuge is the Three Jewels;
The Three Jewels’ single essence is Chenrezi.
With total, unshakable trust in his wisdom,
Convinced and decisive, recite the six-syllable mantra.
The basis of the Mahāyāna path is the thought of enlightenment;
This sublime thought is the one path trodden by all the Buddhas.
Never leaving this noble path of the thought of enlightenment,
With compassion for all beings, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Wandering in saṃsāra from beginningless time until now,
Whatever you’ve done was wrong and will lead to further wandering.
From your heart acknowledge all wrongdoing and downfalls, and, confessing them,
With the four powers complete, recite the six-syllable mantra.
The mind, holding on to an “I,” clings to everything—this is the cause of saṃsāra;
So, as offerings to the exalted in nirvāṇa and charity to the lowly in saṃsāra,
Give everything—body, possessions, and virtue—and dedicate the merit to all;
Casting all attachments far away, recite the six-syllable mantra.
The noble teacher has the nature of all Buddhas,
And of all Buddhas, it is he who is the kindest.
Seeing the teacher as inseparable from Chenrezi,
With fervent devotion, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Purifying the obscurations, initiating the practice of the path and actualizing the four kāyas,
The essence of the four empowerments is the teacher Chenrezi;
If you recognize your own mind as the teacher, all four empowerments are complete;
Receiving innate empowerment by yourself, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Saṃsāra is nothing other than how things appear to you;
If you recognize everything as the deity, the good of others is consummated.
Seeing the purity of everything confers the four empowerments on all beings at once;
Dredging the depths of saṃsāra, recite the six-syllable mantra.
The mind cannot cope with all the many visualization practices;
To meditate on one Sugata is to meditate on them all.
Whatever appears, appearances are the form of the Great Compassionate One;
In the realm of the deity’s body, apparent yet void, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Recitations, sādhanas, and powerful spells are just complications;
The all-inclusive six-syllable mantra is the very sound of the Dharma.
All sounds have never been other than the speech of Sublime Chenrezi;
Recognizing them as mantra, resounding yet void, recite the six-syllable mantra.
As thoughts and the two obscurations are pacified, experience and realization increase;
As your perceptions come under control, enemies and obstructing influences are subjugated.
It is Chenrezi who bestows in this very life the supreme and common siddhis;
As the four activities are accomplished by themselves, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Offer the torma of whatever arises to the guests of immediate liberation;
Mold the clay of whatever appears into the tsa-tsa of void appearance;
Offer the prostration of nonduality to the Lord of Mind Nature.
Consummating these Dharma activities, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Overcome your enemy, hatred, with the weapon of love;
Protect your family, the beings of the six realms, with the skillful means of compassion;
Harvest from the field of devotion the crop of experience and realization.
Consummating your life’s work, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Cremate that old corpse of clinging to things as real in the fire of nonattachment;
Conduct the weekly funeral ceremonies of ordinary life by practicing the essence of Dharma;
As the smoke-offering to provide for the departed, dedicate your accumulated merit for all their future lives.
Consummating all positive actions done for the sake of the dead, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Put your child, devotion, at the doorway of your practice;
Give your son, renunciation, mastery over the household of ordinary life;
Wed your daughter, compassion, to the bridegroom of the three worlds.
Consummating your duty to the living, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Whatever appears is delusion and has no true existence;
Saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are just thoughts and nothing more.
If you can liberate thoughts as they arise, that includes all stages of the path;
Applying the essential instruction for liberating thoughts, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Your own mind, aware and void inseparably, is Dharmakāya.
Leave everything as it is in fundamental simplicity, and clarity will arise by itself.
Only by doing nothing will you do all there is to be done;
Leaving everything in naked void-awareness, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Let stillness cut the momentum of moving thoughts;
Within movement see the very nature of stillness.
Where stillness and movement are one, maintain the natural mind;
In the experience of one-pointedness, recite the six-syllable mantra.
By examining relative truth, establish absolute truth;
Within absolute truth, see how relative truth arises.
Where the two truths are inseparable, beyond intellect, is the state of simplicity;
In the view free of all elaboration, recite the six-syllable mantra.
From appearances, cut away the clinging of mind;
From mind, demolish the lair of fictitious appearances;
Where mind and appearances are one is infinite openness;
In the realization of one taste, recite the six-syllable mantra.
In the nature of mind, the simplicity of void awareness, everything is freed;
Thoughts, the spontaneous creativity of awareness, are purified in their own sphere.
Mind and awareness are one in the single essence.
In the nonmeditation of Dharmakāya, recite the six-syllable mantra.
To recognize as the deity whatever forms appear is the crucial point of the development stage;
Clinging to appearance as beautiful or ugly is liberated into its own nature.
Free of clinging, mind as it appears is the body of Supreme Chenrezi.
In the self-liberation of visual experiences, recite the six-syllable mantra.
To recognize sounds as mantra is the crucial point of recitation practice;
Clinging to sound as pleasant or unpleasant is liberated into its own nature.
Free of grasping, the spontaneous sound of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa is the voice of the six syllables.
In the self-liberation of hearing, recite the six-syllable mantra.
To recognize smells as unborn is the crucial point of the completion stage;
Clinging to odor as fragrant or foul is liberated into its own nature.
Free of grasping, all smells are the fragrant discipline of Supreme Chenrezi;
In the self-liberation of smelling, recite the six-syllable mantra.
To recognize flavors as a sacramental feast is the crucial point of offering.
Attachment to taste as delicious or disgusting is liberated into its own nature;
Free of grasping, food and drink are substances to delight Supreme Chenrezi;
In the self-liberation of taste, recite the six-syllable mantra.
To recognize sensations as essential sameness is the crucial point of equal taste;
Feelings of repletion and hunger, hot and cold, are liberated into their own nature.
Free of grasping, all sensations and feelings are the deity’s activity;
In the self-liberation of sensation, recite the six-syllable mantra.
To recognize all phenomena as void is the crucial point of the view;
Belief in true and false is liberated into its own nature.
Free of grasping, everything there is, all of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa, is the continuum of the Dharmakāya;
In the self-liberation of thoughts, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Don’t follow after the object of hatred; look at the angry mind.
Anger, liberated by itself as it arises, is the clear void;
The clear void is none other than mirrorlike wisdom.
In the self-liberation of hatred, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Don’t chase after the object of pride; look at the grasping mind.
Self-importance, liberated by itself as it arises, is primordial voidness;
This primordial voidness is none other than the wisdom of essential sameness.
In the self-liberation of pride, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Don’t hanker after the object of desire; look at the craving mind.
Desire, liberated by itself as it arises, is bliss-void;
This bliss-void is none other than all-discriminating wisdom.
In the self-liberation of desire, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Don’t follow after the object of jealousy; look at the critical mind.
Jealousy, liberated by itself as it arises, is void intellect;
This void intellect is none other than all-accomplishing wisdom.
In the self-liberation of jealousy, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Don’t just take for granted ideas forged by ignorance; look at the nature of ignorance itself.
The hosts of thoughts, liberated by themselves as they arise, are awareness-void;
This awareness-void is none other than the wisdom of the absolute expanse.
In the self-liberation of ignorance, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Form is unborn, primordially void, like the sky;
The quintessence of this awareness-void is Chenrezi—
It is none other than the Sublime King of the Sky.
In the view of voidness, recite the six-syllable mantra.
56. Feeling is the lasso that binds mind and object together;
When you know it as nondual sameness, it is Chenrezi—
It is none other than the Sublime Bountiful Lasso.
In the realization of same taste, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Appraisal, if you keep taking it as valid, is delusion;
When you turn to all beings with compassion, it is Chenrezi—
It is none other than the Sublime One Who Dredges the Depths of Saṃsāra.
In compassion without bias, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Impulse, as saṃsāric actions, keeps you circling in the six realms;
If you realize saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are the very same, it is Chenrezi—
It is none other than the Greatly Compassionate Transformer of Beings.
Acting for others in one single taste, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Consciousness, the expression of ordinary mind, has eight functions;
If you realize ultimate mind to be Dharmakāya, it is Chenrezi—
It is none other than the Sublime Ocean of Conquerors.
Knowing that your own mind is the Buddha, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Believing the body to be solid is what causes servitude;
If you recognize it as the deity, appearing yet void, it is Chenrezi—
It is none other than the Sublime Khasarpani.
In the recognition of the deity’s body, appearing yet void, recite the six-syllable mantra.
61. Conceptualizing speech and sound is what causes delusion;
If you recognize it as mantra, resounding yet void, it is Chenrezi—
It is none other than the Sublime Lion’s Roar.
In the recognition of sound as mantra, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Clinging to mind’s perceptions as true is the delusion that causes saṃsāra;
If you leave mind in its natural state, free from thoughts, it is Chenrezi—
It is none other than the Sublime Unwinding in Ultimate Mind.
In ultimate mind, the Dharmakāya, recite the six-syllable mantra.
Everything that exists is the primordially pure continuum of the Dharmakāya;
If you meet the Dharmakāya face to face, it is Chenrezi—
It is none other than the Sublime Sovereign of the Universe.
In the continuum of all-pervading purity, recite the six-syllable mantra.
One deity, Chenrezi, embodies all Buddhas;
One mantra, the six syllables, embodies all mantras;
One Dharma, bodhichitta, embodies all practices of the development and completion stages.
Knowing the one which liberates all, recite the six-syllable mantra.
What use is all you’ve done? Being so busy just causes saṃsāra—
Look how meaningless all you’ve done has been.
Now you’d better just stop trying to do anything;
Dropping all activities, recite the six-syllable mantra.
What use is all you’ve said? It was all just pointless prattle—
Look how much irrelevant distraction it has brought.
Now you’d better just keep silent;
Ceasing completely to speak, recite the six-syllable mantra.
What use is rushing around? Coming and going just tires you out—
Look how far your wandering has taken you from the Dharma.
Now you’d better just settle down and relax your mind;
Staying put, carefree and at ease, recite the six-syllable mantra.
What use is all you’ve eaten? It all just turned into excrement—
Look how insatiable your appetite has been.
Now you’d better nourish yourself with the food of samādhi;
Quit all that eating and drinking, and recite the six-syllable mantra.
What use are all your thoughts? They’ve just brought more delusion—
Look how few of all your aims you’ve managed to achieve.
Now for this life’s concerns you’d better not think too far ahead;
Dropping all your plans, recite the six-syllable mantra.
What use is all you own? Property is just clinging—
Look how soon you’ll leave whatever you’ve got behind.
Now you’d better put an end to your possessive grasping;
Ceasing to acquire and hoard things, recite the six-syllable mantra.
What use is all the time you’ve slept? It was all just spent in a stupor—
Look how easily your life is running out in indolence.
Now you’d better start to exert yourself wholeheartedly;
Day and night, spurning all distraction, recite the six-syllable mantra.
There’s no time, no time! There’s no time to rest!
When suddenly death is upon you, what will you do?
Now you’d better start practicing the sublime Dharma right away;
Now, quick, hurry—recite the six-syllable mantra.
What can you say about years, months, or days—
Look how things change every moment, right now!
Each moment that passes brings you closer to death;
Now, this very moment, recite the six-syllable mantra.
As your life runs out like the setting sun sinking away,
Death closes in like the lengthening shadows of evening.
Now what’s left of your life will vanish as fast as the last fading shadows;
There’s no time to waste—recite the six-syllable mantra.
The six-syllable mantra, although perfect as Dharma,
Is fruitless recited while chatting and looking around;
And to cling to the number recited is to miss the point outright.
Undistractedly watching the mind, recite the six-syllable mantra.
If you check your mind over and over again,
Whatever you do becomes the perfect path.
Of all the hundreds of vital instructions, this is the very quintessence;
Fuse everything into this one single point, and recite the six-syllable mantra.
The first part, my sorrowful tirade at this decadent age’s ways,
Was a reproof I had intended for myself.
This sad lament has affected me deeply;
Now I offer it to you, thinking you might feel the same.
If that is not the case, and you have total confidence in the loftiness of your view and meditation,
Wise ideas about how to combine the worldly and the spiritual,
And the diplomatic skill to settle problems to the satisfaction of all—
If you have all that, then I offer you my apologies.
The second part, my dissertation establishing view and meditation—
Since of course I have no experience of realization at all—
Just sets out what I’ve understood by the grace of the teachings
From the precious lineage of the all-knowing father and son.
The third part, my exhortation to relinquish everything and practice,
Though you may well miss the point, just slipped out by itself.
Yet, since it in no way contradicts the words of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
It would be truly kind of you to put it into practice.
This discourse, virtuous in the beginning, middle, and end,
Was written in the siddha’s cave of White Rock Victory Peak,
For an old friend whose pleas could no longer be resisted,
By that ragged old fellow Apu Hralpo, ablaze with the five poisons.
I have just been prattling on and on, but so what?
My theme is of great worth and its meaning unerring; so the merit it brings
I offer to you, and to all of us throughout the three worlds—
May all the wishes we make, inspired by the teachings, come true!