In Praise of Tso Pema
The White Lotus Garland of Immortality: In Praise of the Supreme Vajra Place, Tso Pema (Lotus Lake)
by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
May Pema Tötreng, king of awareness-holders,
Who embodies the wisdom, strength and love
Of the victorious ones and their heroic heirs,
Grant auspiciousness everywhere and for evermore!
Were a heavenly realm to be transposed to earth,
It still could not compare to this unrivalled site,
This great wisdom lake adorned with lotus flowers —
To this supremely sacred place, I offer praise!
Here the crystal-white peaks of the Himālayas
Are beautifully arrayed like threaded pearls,
And some, like fragments of white cloud,
Shimmer as if dancing to and fro in the sky.
It is surrounded on all sides by golden hills,
And forests thick with white sandalwood,
And there are rocks of precious substance,
Bearing signs of enlightened body, speech and mind.
There are groves of plants, flowers, and trees of delicious fruit,
As if arisen from requests to alleviate hunger and thirst;
Yet this was not designed or delivered to fulfil such needs;
It naturally provides and fulfils all wishes — and for this, I offer praise!
These divine streams came not from heaven,
Nor were they created by the nāga king;
It was Padmākara, achiever of the vajra body,
Who miraculously turned heat into water.
The flames of the sandalwood pyre, which flickered and raged as if in anger,
Fled as if in shame when he appeared in his deathless body,
And this clear, cooling lake, immaculate and purifying, rare in the three worlds,
Appeared as the self-arisen, lotus-filled splendour of the Lotus Born: emaho!
Single embodiment of all the buddhas' compassion,
Lotus King, chief of all sky-faring ḍākas and ḍākinīs,
Miraculously born nirmāṇakāya, untainted by a womb —
To this great eternal bearer of the lotus, I bow down!
With the wisdom consort, deathless Mandāravā,
You displayed a hundred modes of illusory passion,
And your fame extended throughout the three planes —
To the Immortal Lake-Born Vajra, I offer reverent praise!
You transformed the kingdom of Zahor to make it pure,
And with your unimaginable activity of taming the unruly,
You made it the source of oceans of vidyādhara masters —
To the support and the supported, I offer reverent praise!
May all living beings be cared for by this second Buddha,
Be encouraged by the prophecy of a great secret treasury of uncommon instructions,
Become a receptacle of Dharma,
And bring infinite disciples to maturity and liberation!
From Cāmaradvīpa, consider us with compassion:
Inspire us, your fortunate followers, with blessings,
Cause the teachings to spread throughout India and Tibet,
And pacify the dark forces that plague us in this troubled age!
On the shores of Tso Pema, I, Chökyi Lodrö, the lowliest of Padma's followers, made this prayer. Siddhirbhavantu!
Translated by Adam Pearcey (with the generous support of the Khyentse Foundation and the kind assistance of Alak Zenkar Rinpoche), 2018.
i.e., Rewalsar, Himachal Pradesh, India ↩