Praise of Candrakīrti
© Tertön Sogyal Trust. Painted by Salga.
The Melodious Song of Joy
In Praise of the Master Candrakīrti
by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Homage to the guru, the protector Mañjughoṣa!
Since you have eliminated the darkness of dualistic view,
And possess the perfect vision of non-dual wisdom,
You comprehend all knowable things in a single instant,
Guardian and conqueror, wisdom treasury, to you I bow.
The infinite river-like facets of the Sage's Dharma
Flow and merge as one within this great ocean,
The definitive and ultimate great Madhyamaka—
To this path that all the buddhas of the three times take, I bow.
Although the intelligent analyis of tenets
Produced a great many philosophical systems,
At their heart, towering over all the rest,
Like the king of mountains, is that of glorious Nāgārjuna.
The holders of this tradition, like the sun and moon,
Were renowned as the Prāsaṅgikas and Svātantrika—
Of which the Prāsaṅgika, like the nectar of the gods,
Is praised as magnficent and triumphant over all.
Candrakīrti, you saw that Buddhapālita had understood well,
And having reached the ārya levels, as Mañjuśrī's emanation,
With the moonlight of intelligence, caused the water lilies
Of profound meaning to blossom—to you I bow.
Without falling into either superimposition or denial,
And avoiding the extremes of eternalism and nihilism,
You taught profound emptiness extensively with unrivalled confidence,
While possessing the vast treasure of confident intellect—to you I bow.
You crushed the arrogance of the master Candragomin,
Whose own powers were spent and who was consulting
And receiving assistance from the mighty lord of compassion—
To you, who thus became the crown ornament of the learned of this world, I bow.
Demonstrating how all apparent and existent things are unreal and illusory,
You drew milk from a painted cow
And dispelled reification through symbols of emptiness and dependent origination—
Mighty lord of adepts, at your feet I bow.
When the legions of the Turuṣka army attacked,
You rode upon a mighty elephant of stone,
And turned them back without injury to either side—
To you who displayed such wondrous miracles of love, I bow.
You who are indivisible from Mañjuvajra,
And course throughout the sky of the knowable,
With the universal wisdom of an unrestricted intellect—
Candrakīrti, at your feet I bow.
From now until I finally reach the essence of awakening,
May I never be apart from the Middle Way of the supreme vehicle,
And having perfected it correctly within my stream of being,
May I destroy entirely the rocky peaks of tīrthikas' wrong views.
May the warrior-like Mañjuśrī grant the attainment of knowledge,
The masterful lord of compassion bestow the nectar of bodhicitta,
And the heroic Lord of Secrets confer the vajra empowerment,
So that we may perfect the activity of the sovereigns of the three families.
Tsuklak Lungrik Nyima Mawé Sengé, who felt a vivid appreciation for the tradition of this great master, wrote this in Darjeeling.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey with the generous support of the Khyentse Foundation and Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2020.
'Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros. "slob dpon zla ba grags pa la bstod pa kun dga'i dbyangs snyan/" in ’Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros kyi gsung ’bum. 12 vols. Bir: Khyentse Labrang, 2012. W1KG12986 Vol. 2: 537–539