Praise of the Lord of Sages
Literary Genres › Praise | Tibetan Masters › Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
Cymbals of the Devas
In Praise of the Lord of Sages, Peerless Teacher to All, Including the Gods
by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
You are unrivalled throughout the realms of existence and peace.
All worlds, including those of the devas,
Devotedly pay homage before the red dust at your toes.
Sun-like lord of sages, at your lotus feet I bow.
You are extolled above all the victorious ones.
Through five hundred aspirations for this turbulent age
You became just like a white lotus—
Lord of Sages, god of gods, may you reign victorious.
Resplendent in body, you resemble a mountain of gold,
Bright with the flowers of the splendid signs and marks.
To this beautiful maṇḍala, a form of accumulated merit,
At which no one would ever tire of looking, I prostrate.
The scale of your body defies measuring.
Your uṣṇīṣa and the light from your ūrṇā
Extend through realms beyond count, infinite in number.
Even those with miraculous powers cannot comprehend this.
Your speech is endowed with sixty melodious tones,
One voice that is heard individually in various ways
And is without faults limiting its range or volume.
To your inconceivable secret speech, I pay homage.
Teaching according to disciples’ characters and capacities,
The Buddha’s melodious voice is entirely inexhaustible.
It resounds perfectly throughout each and every realm,
And is as one with the speech of all the other tathāgatas.
Profound, serene, wholly unelaborate, dharmadhātu,
An ocean of pristine wisdom, difficult to fathom,
All-pervasive and uncompounded luminosity—
To your inconceivable secret mind, I pay homage.
The vast, expansive, space-like dharma-sphere,
Natural, spontaneous wisdom like the risen sun,
Its great compassionate rays pervading the three realms—
Omniscience entirely devoid of conceptual imputation.
The fruition’s oceanic qualities of freedom and maturation
Could not be counted with the sands of the River Ganges.
Nor would they fit into a container as vast as space itself.
They are utterly beyond the realm of the expressible.
The three kāyas that arise from the completion
Of the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment
Are known only by the Supreme Sage himself—
To these inconceivable secret qualities, I pay homage.
Just as the magic gem, excellent vase and wish-granting tree
Have no notions of their own but eliminate beings’ poverty,
The Sage’s actions are beyond any effort or exertion,
A sky-treasury of spontaneously performed activity.
Such is the power of the victorious one’s activity,
It extends to all, both animate and inanimate,
Wherever there is a basis for sustaining life—
Even bodhisattvas at the end of their training cannot gauge it.
In various forms and through varied activity,
You teach varied Dharmas to various beings.
With diverse skill, you bring about liberation—
To your inconceivable varied activity, I pay homage.
In short, the dharmakāya is beyond the imagination,
And sambhoga enjoyments are complete in realms and forms.
With bodies pervading all the realms of the ten directions,
You display your wondrous nirmāṇakāya forms.
Unrestricted to a single role, you perform a varied dance,
The embodiment of innate wisdom, supreme and unchanging.
With non-referential compassion, beyond self, unelaborate,
You savour the nectarous taste of great blissful union.
For as long as conditioned existence endures
Your five wheels of adornment will not falter,
For their nature is such that they never cease.
Praise to the original buddha, glorious and omnipresent.
Even the slightest contact with your body’s radiance,
The briefest exposure to your mellifluous speech,
Or the merest spark of your knowledge and love
Tears conditioned exist apart, such is your power.
Brahma, thousand-eyed Indra, Nārāyaṇa,
Viṣṇu, Īśvara and the other haughty ones,
Śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas
And all in existence and peace, you surpass.
Amidst all beyond and within the world,
You are resplendent, beyond compare.
Best of bipeds, lord of sages, Siddhārtha,
Knower of non-duality, at your feet I offer praise.
Through such praises, until I reach the essence of awakening,
May I never part from the supreme guru, the Lord of Sages,
May I master renunciation, discipline and supreme bodhicitta,
And may I be blessed so that I might realize the genuine view.
May I gradually traverse the five paths of accumulation, joining, seeing, meditation and no-more-learning,
Bring perfecting, maturing and purifying to completion,
Remove the two obscurations and complete the two accumulations,
And thereby reach the bhūmi of Universal Radiance!
Having entered the profound mantra vehicle in particular,
May I receive empowerment from an authentic vajra master,
Mature my mindstream, maintain pure samaya commitments,
And, traversing the two stages, reach the very end of the path.
By means of the profound essence of the path,
The guru yoga of the great Vajradhara Lord of Sages,
May the supreme path of devotion through which
All appearances arise as the guru dawn within my mind.
Through the swift approach of profound secret mantra,
May the three forms of obscuration be purified into basic space,
And having dissolved the fourfold motion, may I actualize
Original buddhahood as a thirteenth-bhūmi Vajradhara.
Having perfected abandonment and realization to attain the level
Of the sovereign form of fruition, may I manifest in infinite realms
As a supreme nirmāṇakāya and in more ordinary guises
To liberate beings who are as infinite in number as space is vast.
May the non-sectarian teachings of the omniscient conqueror spread far and wide,
May the lives of the holders of the teachings remain secure long into the future,
May the saṅgha communities live in harmony, maintain pure discipline and prosper,
And may the whole world enjoy happiness and ever-increasing fortune and excellence!
Jamyang Chökyi Lodrö wrote this on the fifteenth day of the ninth month of the Fire Monkey year in the presence of the Mahābodhi temple at the Vajra Seat in Magadha. May it be accomplished just as I have prayed!
| Translated by Adam Pearcey 2022, with the generous support of the Khyentse Foundation and Terton Sogyal Trust.
'Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros. "lha dang bcas pa'i ston pa mnyam med thub pa'i dbang po la bstod pa lha'i sil snyan/" in 'Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros kyi gsung 'bum. 12 vols. Bir, H.P.: Khyentse Labrang, 2012. (BDRC W1KG12986). Vol. 2: 323–327