Sun to Banish Darkness
Schools & Systems › Nonsectarianism | Literary Genres › Advice | Tibetan Masters › Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A Sun to Banish the Darkness of Wrong Views
by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
You cut apart the web of conditioned existence,
And burn away the thicket of abundant faults,
Treasury of Wisdom, Adamantine Sharpness,
At your feet I bow, and impart this message.
How pitiful it is that the clamour of hostility
Toward Dharma from someone holding wrong views,
Who is cloaked in the darkness of conditioned existence,
Should now be proliferating.
Clinging to one’s own view as paramount
Is a defilement, to be discarded through meditation;
Whereas possession of the authentic view
Naturally releases the knots of attachment and aversion
And frees from the constraining cage of conceptual elaboration.
The protector Nāgārjuna and his heirs explained
That all assertions of emptiness or non-emptiness
And the like are forms of conceptual construct.
Thus to judge Old and New teachings and adherents
As good or bad, and to praise one’s own side
While disparaging that of others
Is the tradition of ignoble people.
The gentle lord and second buddha,
Lobzang Drakpa ablaze in splendour,
Upheld the lineage tradition
Of the peerless Jowo [Atiśa] and his heirs.
He led a pure liberational life;
The Buddha’s Words arose for him as personal instructions;
And he understood how all teachings are mutually compatible.
Universal impartiality and benevolence
Is thus the tradition of this lineage.
Having entered this very tradition,
Then to act in a way that conflicts with it
Is to bring injury upon the teachings.
The fact that Padmākara of Oḍḍiyāna
And the divinely eminent Dīpaṃkāra
Belonged to one and the same wisdom-stream
Is clearly stated in the Book of Kadam.
And the great Lord Tsongkhapa’s guru
In his Great Aural Lineage Vajrapāṇi
And the Supreme Medicinal Nectar Replies,
Agrees with the intent of Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen.
Paṇchen Lobzang Chökyi Gyaltsen,
Ngawang Lobzang Gyatso and others
Have practised profound Nyingma teachings.
Other great learned and accomplished masters too
Studied the Ancient Translations’ dharma-treasury
Of kama and terma and brought benefit to beings.
The Gendenpas have made treasure teachings,
Such as the Most Secret Wrathful Hayagrīva
And the Kyergang pure vision Hayagrīva,
The core of their tradition of secret practice.
For these reasons and on account of reliable histories,
Valid textual sources and multiple logical arguments,
One should never be hostile to the supreme Ancient Translations,
Either to its profound teachings or to its followers.
Nobody should object to a statement
Promoting the greatness of one’s own system.
But to feel deep hostility yourself
Or to introduce it in others
Is to enter a wrong path and discourage faith;
It is to incur a grave burden of wrong,
And to create a cause for evil destinies and the hells.
Thus, it is only wise to be cautious.
For most noble people
It is befitting to accord with conduct of the noble,
And through the wonder of altruistic intention,
To bring benefit and happiness to the teachings and beings.
Sacred speech carved on stone,
Tsa-tsas, prayer flags and wind-powered wheels—
To be touched by the same breeze that passes them
Will plant the seed of liberation.
Such virtuous practices should not be prevented.
The seven-day ceremonies based on the forty-nine day period
Clearly explained in the Medicine Sūtra, Purification Tantra and so on, 
As well as the life-story of the Oḍḍiyāna Guru,
The Chronicles of Padma,
The Guru’s secret Siddhi mantra,
The Peaceful and Wrathful deities and so on—
To suppress such practices and teachings
Would surely have damaging repercussions.
The same logic would render it inadmissible to recite
The name mantra invoking the wisdom mind
Of one’s own root guru,
Or to perform the visualization and recitation
For all the deities that originate in the maṇḍala of Guhyasamāja.
Take heed, therefore, with body, speech and mind.
For each town, monastery and patron
To perform recitation, offering and praise,
Each according to their own very system,
For as many ancient traditions as exist,
Is extremely virtuous and auspicious.
To follow the nonsense of Phabongkha,
And cast aside tradition only to introduce
All manner of newfangled practices
Will only bring unhappiness to the world.
The teachings these days are in decline.
This is an age of strife based on degeneration.
What good, then, could there be in argument
Born of sectarian attachment and aversion? It is futile!
Remain, therefore, in the space of the middle way.
Through the virtue of this, may all living beings
Develop renunciation and bodhicitta in their minds.
May the wealth of their authentic view increase.
May they perfect the two accumulations, purify obscurations,
And swiftly attain the level of the two kāyas.
Thus, this was imparted by an inveterately idle, dharmaless wanderer who has developed faith in all the teachings of the victorious Buddha. May it be a source of immense benefit for the world. Sarva maṅgalam.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey with the kind assistance of Alak Zenkar Rinpoche and with the generous support of the Khyentse Foundation and Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2019.
’Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros. "Log lta’i smag ’byin mun sel nyi ma" in ’Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros kyi gsung ’bum. 12 vols. Bir: Khyentse Labrang, 2012. W1KG12986 Vol. 8: 389–393
rdo rje rnon po (Skt. Vajratīkṣṇa) an epithet of Mañjuśrī. ↩
i.e., Lhodrak Namkha Gyaltsen 1326–1401 ↩
i.e., Zhu lan sman mchog bdud rtsi'i phreng ba, which is contained in the writings of Tsongkhapa. ↩
rta mgrin yang gsang khros pa ↩
skyer sgang dag snang rta mgrin ↩
Read dam par as dam pa (AZR) ↩
Read bskor as brko (AZR). ↩
Read sbyang as sbyong (AZR). The Medicine Sūtra appears to be another name for the Saptatathāgatapūrvapraṇidhānaviśeṣavistara. The Purification Tantra is the Sarvadurgatipariśodhana. ↩
Read mkhas as kha’i (AZR). This is Pha-bong-kha[-pa] bDe-chen snying-po (1878–1941) who is notorious for his anti-Nyingma sentiment and opposition to non-sectarianism in general. It is to him and his supporters that this text is addressed. ↩