3.12.07


The Essentialised Teachings of the Holy Ones of the Past

by Dudjom Rinpoche



Sole certain and constant refuge, Lord of the Mandala,
Kindly and most precious Root Lama,
Hold me with your compassion — I who, heedless of death,
Have squandered this precious body of freedoms and endowments on the concerns of just this life.

This dream–like human life devoid of certainty,
If it's happy, fine; if it's sad fine.
Unconcerned with the objects of happiness and sorrow,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This human life like a butter–lamp in the wind,
If its long, fine; if it's short, fine.
Not seeking to tighten the grip of ego,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These discriminations and decisions like a bewildering apparition,
If they're suitable and correspond, fine; if not, fine.
The eight worldly dharmas cast off like so much chaff,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These friends and acquaintances like a flock of birds in a tree,
If they stay around, fine; if we're separated, fine.
Tying my nose–rope round my own head,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This illusory body like a tumbledown hundred–year–old ruin,
If it holds up, fine; if it crumbles, fine.
Not tying myself up with the effort of obtaining food, clothing and medicines,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This forms of Dharma like a child's game,
If you have them, fine; if you lose them, fine.
Not deceiving myself with the unimportant,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These gods and demons like reflections in a mirror,
If they bring benefit, fine; if they bring harm, fine.
Not taking my own deluded appearances as enemies,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This confused chatter like a discontinuous echo,
If it's pleasant and agreeable, fine; if not, fine.
With the Three Rare and precious Jewels and my own mind as witness,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.
Things that — like a deer's antlers — are useless in times of need,
If you know them, fine; if you don't, fine.
Not placing my faith in various arts and sciences,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These riches and possessions like a virulent poison,
If they come, fine; if they don't, fine.
Not wasting this human life in dishonest acquisition,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This appearance of grandeur like a dog–turd wrapped in brocade,
If I have it, fine; if not, fine.
Who wants to experience the stink his own rottenness face–to–face?
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These relatives by marriage like chance meetings at a market fair,
If they're sociable, fine; if they're mean and unpleasant, fine.
Cutting the hawser of attachment from the heart,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

All these material goods like treasures found in a dream,
If I have them, fine; if I don't, fine.
Not turning others' heads with false–seeming and flattery,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This rank like a tiny bird perched on a tree,
If it's high, fine; if it's low, fine.
Not creating the causes of my own suffering,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These evil mantras and their associated activities like a sharp weapon,
If they work, fine; if not, fine.
Not buying a razor to cut off my own life,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These recitations like a parrot mouthing the Mani,
If they're done, fine; if not, fine.
Not counting up the endless accumulations,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This long-winded mouthing of Dharma explanations like a mountain waterfall,
If it's knowledgeable, fine; if not, fine.
Not mistaking this scholarly blather for actual Dharma,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This intellect so swift to jump to conclusions like a pigs snout,
If it's sharp, fine; if it's dull, fine.
Not stirring up the pointless whirlpool of hatred and desire,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These yogic experiences like a summer stream,
If they grow, fine; if they fade, fine.
Not chasing after rainbows like a child,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These pure visions like a mountain storm,
If they arise, fine; if not, fine.
Not hanging on to these delusive experiences as real,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These freedoms and endowments like a wish–granting jewel,
Without them there's no way to accomplish the Holy Dharma.
Not letting them go to waste now I have them in my hand,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This glorious Lama like a lamp on the path,
If you don't meet him there's no way to understand the real nature of all that exists.
Not jumping off the cliff now that I know the way,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This Holy Dharma like a medicine to cure all disease,
If you don't listen to it there's no way of knowing what should and shouldn't be done.
Not swallowing strong poison now I know what brings benefit and harm,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This alternation of happiness and sorrow like the changing of the seasons,
If you don't look into it there's no way to achieve renunciation.
Since it's certain that times of sorrow will befall me by the very nature of cyclic existence,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This cyclic existence like a pebble fallen into the depths of the water,
If I don't escape it now there'll be no chance of doing so later on.
Taking hold of the proffered cord of compassion of the Three Rare and Precious Jewels,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These enlightened qualities of final liberation like an island of jewels,
If they're not known there's no way to set about developing perseverance.
Having recognised the subtle benefit in abiding victory,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These life stories of the perfectly enlightened like a quintessential nectar,
If they're not understood there's no way belief can arise.
Not buying my own suffering now I know the difference between victory and defeat,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This attitude of the Enlightenment Mind like a fertile field,
If I don't give rise to it there's no way Buddhahood can be attained.
Not sinking into idleness when there is great benefit to be gained,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This mind of mine like a chattering monkey,
If I don't watch over it carefully there's no way I can rid myself of conflicting emotions.
Not just doing as I please like some fool,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This attachment to self like a shadow one is born with,
If I don't get rid of it there's no way I can reach a sure place of happiness.
Now I've laid hands on the enemy, not befriending him,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These five poisons like embers a–glow beneath ashes,
If they're not uprooted you can't dwell in the primordial state of mind itself.
Not harbouring poisonous serpents in my breast,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This mindstream of mine like the hardened skin of a butter–bag,
If it's not softened and tamed the Dharma won't merge with my mind.
Not letting my own child indulge its whims,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These karmic traces and ingrained bad habits like the current of a river,
If they're not cut off there's no way to separate oneself from worldly activity.
Not selling a weapon and placing it in the very hands of the enemy,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These distractions like the never–ending ripples on water,
If they're not given up there's no way one can become stable.
Not choosing to practice samsara now that I can do as I please,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

These blessings of the lama like the heat warming earth and water in the springtime,
If they don't enter into you there's no way you can be introduced to the nature of mind.
Not making a great detour now I'm actually on the short–cut,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This isolated retreat–place like a summer field of medicinal plants,
If you don't actually settle there there's no way enlightened qualities can evolve.
Not wandering back to the black towns and villages now I'm actually here in the mountains,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This desire for comfort and pleasure like a demon of misfortune entering one's dwelling,
Without separating yourself from it there's no way to stop striving after worldly gratification.
Not making offerings to the very demon that seeks to undermine me as though he were a god,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This mindful awareness like the lock on a castle gate,
If you don't maintain it there's no way to stop the movements of delusion and error.
Not unbarring the door now that the thief is on his way,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This real nature like the unchanging sky,
If you don't understand it there's no way you can establish the basis for the right view.
Not fastening myself in my own fetters and chains,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

This pure awareness like an immaculate crystal,
If you don't see it there's no way you can dissolve grasping at contrived meditations.
Not looking for another when I have this inseparable companion,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

The face of ordinary awareness like an old friend long known,
If it's not recognised everything you do is just a beguiling snare.
Not trying to measure things with my eyes shut tight,
Let me earnestly and wholeheartedly put the supreme teachings into practice.

In short, if you don't give up the doings of this life,
There will be no opportunity to practice the Holy Dharma at some later stage.
Having resolved to show myself kindness,
Let everything I do become Holy Dharma.

Let me not have wrong views as regards the Lama who advises me in accordance with Dharma,
Lose faith in the deity when evil karma ripens,
Or give up practice when conditions are difficult.
May obstacles to accomplishment such as these never arise.

All these activities, whatever they may be, are as senseless as touring a wilderness.
All this effort just makes the mindstream more rigid.
All this thinking just feeds confusion.
Everything that passes for Dharma in the mind of the ordinary man just binds one further.

All this activity but nothing comes of it;
All this thinking but it has no point;
Need follows need but there's never time to satisfy them.
Setting aside 'doing', let me have the strength to put the oral teachings into practice.

If I must do something, let me start by taking the words of the Victorious Ones as witness.
If something must be done, let me mix my mindstream with Dharma.
If something must be accomplished, let me take my example from the stories of the lives and liberation of the saints of the past.
Steeped in habit, how can I do otherwise?

Keep to lowliness and humility with contentment as your treasure,
Free yourself from the bonds of the eight worldly Dharmas and strive with all your heart for accomplishment.
When the lama's blessing enters one's understanding becomes vast as the sky.
Grant your blessings that I attain the kingdom of Samantabhadra, the All–Good Buddha.

This was composed by Jigdräl Yeshe Dorje for his own recitation and practice and essentialises the meaning of the imperishable advice of the Holy Ones of the past.

Translation by Mike Dickman (Tersar.org)

. H O M E . P A G E .

Padmasambhava-Book Of The Great Liberation