The Source of Permanent Benefit and Bliss
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Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
The Source of Permanent Benefit and Bliss
from The Essential Amrita of Profound Meaning: Oral Instructions and Practical Advice Bestowed Upon Fortunate Followers, Eye-opener to What is to be Adopted and Abandoned
by Chokgyur Lingpa
Since everyone wants to be happy,
If you place your trust completely
In the guru and the Three Jewels,
Both this and future lives will be virtuous.
Unless you are called in,
Whether you are of high rank or low, monastic or lay, male or female,
It is not appropriate to enter.
If you invite yourself in without being summoned,
You will be called crazy.
If those who are meant to enter
Do so at the wrong time,
The work and virtuous deeds
Of both residents and guests will be interrupted and delayed.
Also, those seated inside
Should not chatter meaninglessly;
It fosters attachment and aversion.
If you maintain the activities that accord with the Dharma—
Writing, reading, study, reflection, and meditation—
You will accomplish great things for yourself and others.
Don’t laze around like an animal
In a state of sloth and apathy.
The time of death is uncertain.
Those who indulge excessively in sleep
Will risk incurring its nine faults.
Those who roam and hang around
Will pay the price of a bad reputation.
Those who are constantly meddling
Will pay the price of encountering misfortune.
Those who talk incessantly
Will see their virtuous deeds carried away by the wind.
Those who slander others
Will only buy their own suffering.
Those who chatter in crowds
Will pay the price of disputes.
Those who are constantly thinking
Will be afflicted by great troubles and worries.
Those who delight in killing
Will soon lose their own life.
Those who have great lust for women
Will pay the price of suffering.
Those who take joy in stealing
Will end up starving to death.
Those who take joy in lying
Will end up in quarrels and disputes.
Those who are too fond of drink
Will end up parading their hidden faults to others.
A guru who fails to act in accord with the Dharma
Will be despised by everyone.
Monastics who fail to keep their vows
Will be destroyed by the scorn of the masses.
Those who are cunning and deceitful
Will be regarded as demons by all.
Those who are devious and sly
Will be regarded as a curse by all.
Those who lack conscience about keeping their promises
Will fall to a lowly state, no matter how high their rank.
A girl without modesty
Is not attractive, even if physically beautiful.
Men and women who are promiscuous
Will earn a reputation throughout the land.
Those who are fond of mocking others
Will only reveal their own faults.
Those who are sassy and sarcastic
Will be viewed as an enemy by all.
Those who get caught up in philosophical debate
Will pay the price of abandoning the Dharma.
Those who are evil-hearted
Will be shunned like poison by their companions.
Those who have greed and lust for wealth
Will be regarded by all as dogs.
Those who are extremely selfish
Will never succeed in their plans.
If servants and aides are two-faced and unfaithful,
Though they may be entertaining,
No one will want to keep their company.
To your face they’re overly pleasant,
While always whispering behind your back.
They incite conflict and stir up rumors right and left,
Always greedy for food,
Lusting after drink, and thinking of nothing else.
Don’t stay here in this land of poverty-creating spirits.
Quickly, get rid of them, these agents of sedition!
These sorts of people, even if they were made of gold,
Would drag you down if you employed them.
So do not give work to such villains!
They will be your ruin, your own destruction.
You should follow even a beggar,
If he is someone who speaks sparingly, thinks not in excess,
Who is honest and sincere,
And who listens to everything that accords with the Dharma.
If you stay in solitude, without company,
Excellent qualities will arise.
If you have just a few wholesome friends,
You will accomplish great good.
If you don’t do anything, but just have grand plans,
It is unlikely in the end that anything will come of them.
Easy tasks, when accumulated,
Amount in the end to great things accomplished.
If there were no such thing as good and bad people,
What would be the ground for right and wrong,
Or the source of the difference between excellent and lowly?
If there were no difference between places in terms of better and worse,
Then in some places summer would also be winter,
And in others winter would also be summer.
If there is no difference between horses in terms of better and worse,
Then why is the same distance covered slowly by certain mounts
And by others in just two or three steps?
If there’s no difference between men in terms of better and worse,
Then why are some men inept,
And others so capable and accomplished?
If there’s no difference between women in terms of better and worse,
Then why are some of them oceans of great fortune,
And others always utterly lacking?
Some women are honest and wise, and others not;
You can see this from how some are magnets for a hundred men,
While others even manage to drive a wedge between siblings.
There are young men of greater and lesser courage;
Some conquer their enemies and protect their friends,
While others cannot be trusted with secrets and sell them out to strangers.
If there were no difference between fair and dark complexion,
Then a beggar’s beautiful daughter would be fit as the wife of a king.
If there were no better and worse in terms of attributes,
Then why have there been so many siddhas
Who’ve rejected queens by the thousand
To take a girl of low caste as their consort?
If there were no difference between pure and degenerate vows,
Then, though all renunciates may wear the same yellow robe,
Why is it that some will fall into the lower realms,
While others will attain the higher realms?
Though everyone wishes for the best,
Happiness and suffering come according to one’s karma.
There are only very few who are really happy and well.
If there is happiness in saṃsāra,
Why does birth end in death?
If power and wealth were of real import,
Why do those who have it end up losing their assets to foes and disputes,
Only to be reborn in their next lives in the lower realms?
If practicing the Dharma is of no import,
Why is it that practitioners receive such respect in this life,
And in their next life journey to the pure realms?
If there is no difference in the degree of people’s merit,
Why is it that, though everyone may strive equally,
Only a few become rich?
If you wonder whether the Three Jewels are compassionate or not,
Give yourself over to them fully,
And you’ll find yourself invincible to all terror and fear.
If you wonder whether confessing misdeeds makes a difference or not,
It must, since even those who’ve committed deeds of immediate retribution
Have attained arhatship by confessing.
If you wonder whether cause and effect is unfailing or not,
People who indulge in negativity are exhausting their virtue.
Though they amass power, wealth, and renown,
In the end they will be reduced to misery.
In this present degenerate age,
People who engage in negativity
Are given protection by demons of the dark side,
And so in this life they may enjoy happiness and well-being.
Yet when they die and fall down to hell,
There is no way the demons can help them there.
Those who live by the Dharma,
Since they’re burning up their misdeeds,
May experience a great deal of sickness and suffering,
Yet in the end they will move on to an excellent state.
In this present degenerate age,
People who live according to the Dharma
Are tormented by the demons of the dark side
And so encounter many difficulties.
Yet when they die and journey onward to the pure realms,
The demons have no chance of harming them there.
Since Dharma practitioners face many difficulties
And sinners experience happiness and well-being,
Some people may think that virtue and misdeeds bear no results.
Such people have severed the very root of virtue,
Something graver even than killing a hundred people.
There is no way for such people to gain rebirth in the higher realms.
If there is no difference between the Greater and Lesser Vehicles,
Why is it that the śrāvakas accomplish merely their own benefit,
While bodhisattvas are able to fulfill the benefit of others?
If skillful means don’t make a difference,
Why is it that bodhisattvas take three countless eons to reach awakening,
While through mantra the fruition can be attained in a single lifetime?
If the degree of diligence doesn’t make a difference,
Though they traverse the same path,
Why do some progress swiftly and others take a long time?
If you say there’s no need to study,
How will you reflect without studying?
And how can you meditate without reflection?
If there’s no difference between people’s intelligence,
Though many people may study and reflect in the same way,
Why is it that only a few become extremely learned?
If there’s no difference between strong and weak faith,
Though many people are bound to their gurus,
Why do only a few accomplish their vision?
If there’s no difference in people’s spiritual fortune,
Why is it that, though they may receive empowerment in the same way,
Primordial wisdom awakens in only a few?
If there’s no difference in the purity of people’s samaya,
Why is it that, though they may practice in the same way,
The result for some is excellent and for others poor?
If there’s no difference in the sharpness of people’s faculties,
Why is it that, though they may travel the path in the same way,
Only a few accomplish the rainbow body?
By comprehending all these distinctions
And then accepting and rejecting accordingly,
All those of poor and lowly status
Will be uplifted into an excellent and wholesome state.
If you entreat the wisdom hearts of the Three Jewels
There is nothing you will not accomplish.
And if you make use of the skillful means of secret mantra,
You will be all the more effective still.
In the springtime of the minds of the faithful,
The guru’s speech, like the cuckoo’s call,
Rings out in verses of Dharma.
May these be a direct cause for rebirth in the higher realms,
The summertime pleasure grove of benefit and bliss!
May there be the auspiciousness
That in the immortal vidyādharas’ gathering places,
Youthful means and insight may revel in unity!
Chokgyur Lingpa gave this oral advice, explaining the source of permanent benefit and bliss, to his retinue and followers in Dzözhol Gyurme Ling (Unchanging Sanctuary). Losal Karma Drupchok transcribed it.
| Samye Translations, 2023.
mchog gyur gling pa, “rjes 'jug skal bzang rnams la bstsal pa’i zhal gdams bslab bya nyams len gyi skor spang blang mig 'byed zab don snying gi bdud rtsi.” In mchog gling bka' 'bum skor. Vol. 36 of mChog gling bde chen zhig po gling pa yi zab gter yid bzhin nor bu'i mdzod chen po, 76-84. Kathmandu, Nepal: Ka-nying Shedrub Ling monastery, 2004.
O rgyan nor brang. chos rnam kun btus. Beijing: Krung po’i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, 2008. Vol. 2: 1970.
The original text is untitled; this title has been added by the translators. ↩
According to the chos rnam kun btus, the nine faults of sleep are, (1) sleeping on one's back; (2) sleeping face down; (3) sleeping without clothes; (4) sleeping with one's hands over one's sense faculties; (5) sleeping facing the west; (6) sleeping in the homes of worldly people; (7) sleeping among large groups of worldly people; (8) sleeping in a place of contagion; and (9) sleeping alone. O rgyan Nor brang, Chos rnam kun btus (Beijing: Krung po’i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, 2008), vol.2, 1970. ↩
Poverty-creating spirits (bse rag) are a type of malicious spirit that prevent people from attaining wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. They personify envy and miserliness and are exorcised during wealth and good luck rituals. ↩