Song to Recall the Kindness of Parents

Literary Genres › Songs and Poems | Tibetan MastersKönchok Tenpe Drönme

English | བོད་ཡིག

Könchok Tenpe Drönme

Könchok Tenpe Drönme

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A Song to Aid the Recollection of Parental Kindness and Encourage the Recitation of the Maṇi Mantra

by Könchok Tenpe Drönme

I prostrate before the spiritual friends who lead all parent beings of the six realms
Across the seemingly endless ocean of saṃsāra
To the farthest shore of liberation
Upon the excellent path of the perfections and secret mantra.[1]

The perfect Buddha has entirely abandoned negativity and realized all qualities;
The sacred Dharma is a lamp that dispels the darkness of confusion;
And the Saṅgha are supreme companions on the unmistaken path –
Be a protector and refuge, I implore you, for all without exception.[2]

Throughout the infinite reaches of beginningless time
In this cycle of saṃsāra, forever turning like a water wheel,
There is not a sentient being who has not been my parent,
And when they were they held me dearer than their own life.
How could I possibly repay such boundless kindness?

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

For nigh on ten months, my mother carried me in her womb,
And once I was born, held me day and night in her warmth.
She whispered to me sweetly and smiled at me with love.
She caressed me with her fingers, nourished me with her milk,
And gave up food and sleep to guard me like a wish-fulfilling jewel.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

When I fell sick she would have gladly taken my place;
When I faced death she would have gladly died instead.
Just like the eyes in her head or the heart within her chest,
She cherished me to an unbearable, limitless degree.
How could a tiny infant comprehend ever such care?

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

My parents fostered a weak and wormlike form into that of a person.
And provided a free, advantaged body with which to practise Dharma.
They brought me before noble and authentic gurus,
And introduced me to the teachings, the source of all benefit and happiness,
Thus laying the foundation for all that is excellent in this and future lives.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

They wore themselves out and gave little thought
To their own misdeeds and suffering or others’ wicked words.
All so that they might entrust me with their wealth
And every last one of their accumulated possessions.
Then they felt joy at the fulfilment of an abiding aim.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

Although we might now possess the riches that they gathered,
Our parents must bear their accumulated misdeeds and downfalls.
And who knows what joys or sorrows they now experience
Wherever they might be throughout the six realms or the bardo.
There’s simply no way to transfer food, wealth or good fortune!

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

When they were with us, playing and delighting in amusement,
They hoped that they would always accompany and assist us.
But then suddenly Yama, Lord of Death, snatched them away,
And led them all alone through the unfamiliar straits of the bardo
With nothing to assist them but their own virtues from the past.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

Even though the ability to benefit as repayment is rare,
Habits formed while repeatedly roaming through existence
Mean that even birds, wild animals, and beasts of prey
Spontaneously feel love and affection for their young.
And in this way they have cared for us unnumbered times.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

In this cycle of birth and death without beginning or end,
Each and every being has been our very own mother.
And were we to gather the milk we suckled from their breasts
It would exceed in volume even the great ocean itself—
This the omniscient sage perceived and truthfully declared.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

They gained a free, well-favoured human form so rarely found,
But then squandered it by acting negatively for our sake.
They never knew the happiness of enjoying one’s own wealth
And had no chance to put the sacred Dharma into practice.
Now it has fallen to us to be of service to them in return.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

My creation of the supports of enlightened body, speech and mind;
The offerings I’ve made; my veneration of gurus and the saṅgha,
The rites and recitations I’ve performed; my reading of sūtras;
Prostration, circumambulation, ransomed lives and gifts to the poor—
Whatever virtue I have accomplished I dedicate for my parents’ sake.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

In the fertile field of pure ethics and extensive learning,
I sow the healthy seed that is unspoilt by negativity.
The fruits of virtue that is cleansed of the three conceptual spheres
And performed altruistically with no wish for name or recognition,
I dedicate to all parent beings throughout the six realms.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

Any form of excellence throughout saṃsāra’s three realms
Is devoid of any essence, like a lavish feast within a dream.
Let the Three Jewels, by force of compassion’s great truth,
Seal the entrance to rebirth in saṃsāra’s lower realms, I pray.
Look compassionately upon the unfortunate ones for whom we practice.

To repay such kindness, let the Wheel of Dharma turn!
Unfailing source of refuge, precious guru, pay us heed.
Yidam deities of the four classes of tantra, pay us heed.
Amitābha and lord Avalokiteśvara, pay us heed.
Guide those for whom we practice to liberation, I pray.

The faithful and diligent Rabjampa Könchok Samdrup said that he needed a method for repaying the kindness of his parents. Generally speaking, practising the Dharma purely yourself is the very best way to repay the kindness of the parents who produced your body. Nevertheless, seeing that such a means of taming the mind as this, specifically to bring one's parents' qualities to mind, encourage the recitation of the Maṇi mantra for the departed and so on, would be beneficial, the venerable Könchok Tenpe Dronme instantly spoke these words. The scribe was Ngakrampa Könchok Kunga.

| Translated by Sean Price and Adam Pearcey, 2021.


Bibliography

Tibetan Edition

dkon mchog bstan pa'i sgron me. "pha ma'i drin gzo tshul dang gshin por ma Ni bskul ba'i mgur dbyangs/." In gsung 'bum/_dkon mchog bstan pa'i sgron me. Beijing: mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2003. Vol. 4: 359–363


Version: 1.1-20211201


  1. Every line of this verse in Tibetan begins with the syllable pha, which means father.  ↩

  2. Every line of this verse in Tibetan begins with the syllable ma, which means mother.  ↩