In Praise of Lumbinī
Courtesy of the Tertön Sogyal Trust
The White Lotus: In Praise of Lumbinī
by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
The great flag of your universal renown
Flies high throughout the three worlds,
You of supreme marks and moon-like face —
Lord of sages, to you I pay homage!
Following five wondrous considerations,
You, the divine Prince Śvetaketu,
Took birth in this world of ours in Kapilavastu,
As the son of Śuddhodana.
You blessed the golden womb of Mahāmāyā,
As a jewelled palace,
Where you taught the Dharma.
And when months equal in number to the ten bhūmis
Had passed, you emerged painlessly
As a newborn from her right side,
To be wrapped in white cotton
By the gods Brahmā and Indra.
When you then took seven steps
Pure fresh lotuses sprang up
And blossomed beneath your feet,
And a great radiance filled the air.
You were bathed in divine nectar,
A prognosticator examined you well
And prophesied that you would become
Either a universal monarch or a buddha.
At this, the gods raised their eyebrows
And laughed together in merriment,
While Māra’s hosts despondently cried out
And wailed in anguish.
At once, countless signs of merit and fortune
Appeared throughout the world,
As your five hundred positive aspirations
For this age of strife took effect.
Thereafter, as a great leader of beings,
You excelled in the sports and games of youth,
Reached the essence of enlightenment,
And perfectly sounded the great Dharma drum.
As I behold this renowned and sacred site,
Venerated by so many noble arhats,
A place that truly liberates upon seeing,
I bow down in faith and devotion.
Through the virtue of offering praise in this way,
May there be boundless perfecting, maturing and purifying
Throughout infinite, ocean-like realms, so that beings are freed
And attain the supreme status, equal to this Great Sage!
When encountering this very place, I, Jampal Gawé Gocha, felt inspired to arrange these flower-like words.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey with the generous support of the Khyentse Foundation and with gratitude to Hubert Decleer, 2018.
Cf. The Rāṣṭrapāla Sūtra: "To you who are endowed the supreme marks and an immaculate moon-like face and are the colour of gold, I pay homage!" (mtshan mchog ldan pa dri med zla ba'i zhal/ gser mdog 'dra ba khyod la phyag 'tshal lo/ ) ↩
Buddha Śākyamuni's mother is also known simply as Māyā or as Māyādevī. ↩