In Praise of Kuśinagara
Courtesy of the Tertön Sogyal Trust
In Praise of Kuśinagara
by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Sacred site of the final act of the Lion of the Śākyas,
That guide and teacher to all beings,
Kuśinagara, town of finest kuśa grass, praised by the conquerors —
With utmost respect and devotion, I bow before you!
Arrayed like a lotus in every direction,
Expansive and filled with various riches —
Rocky hills, medicinal plants,
And rows of beautifully coloured flowers,
Pleasant fields, lakes and garlands.
I praise this pure realm that appears on this earth.
In this great dwelling place of devas and ṛṣis,
With its perfect array of bodhi trees,
The supreme being, kinsman of the sun,
Whose vajra body is beyond death,
Highlighted the rarity of a buddha's appearance
And countered any clinging to the everlasting
By arranging a bed between two sāla trees,
Imparting instructions to Rāhula and Ānanda,
Adopting the lion's posture with his head to the north,
And then departing the vase-like enclosure of his physical form.
To you, the one who demonstrated this, I bow down!
Then the three worlds were plunged into darkness,
All beings, the gods included, cried out in despair,
Many arhats passed into nirvāṇa all at once,
The regent Mahākāśyapa and other disciples
Gathered to purify your remains in wisdom flames,
And your four canine teeth and other major relics,
Which emerged as supports for offering and merit,
Were divided and placed in stūpas as their blazing heart:
To this unending activity, I reverently offer praise!
Thereafter, three great councils were convened
And seven great patriarchs appeared in succession.
In short, all the teachings and holders of the teachings
In India, China, Nepal, Tibet and elsewhere
Arose through your compassionate blessings, Lord of Sages,
And whatever is still to come will arise through your power.
Repeatedly remembering this, your kindness, I offer homage!
Thus, to the peerless teacher, who is the Buddha,
The great Dharma, which protects and pacifies,
And the precious Saṅgha, most excellent of guides,
I pray, with unshakeable and heartfelt devotion!
With renunciation, discipline and bodhicitta,
May I directly realize the perfect view,
Complete all ten stages and five paths,
And become one with you, King of the Śākyas!
Thus, while on pilgrimage in the noble land of India, Tsuklak Lungrik Nyima was inspired to make this simple prayer. Grant your blessings, I pray, so that it may be fulfilled!
| Translated by Adam Pearcey (with the generous support of the Khyentse Foundation), 2018.