Song of Nonsectarianism
Schools & Systems › Nonsectarianism | Literary Genres › Songs and Poems | Tibetan Masters › Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol
Painting by Drugu Choegyal Rinpoche
A Song of Nonsectarianism
by Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol
I supplicate all the lamas of the lineages of
Madhyamaka, Dzogchen, Mahāmudrā, Zhijé and Chö:
Grant your blessings so that we may be unbiased
Towards the tenet systems.
The level of authentic and perfect buddhahood
Is like the summit of a mountain.
Madhyamaka, Dzogchen, Mahāmudrā, Zhijé and Chö
Are like the paths of the four directions.
The people who practice them
Are like those who walk along these paths.
Slight differences between these teachings
Are like how the paths are not identical.
If the teachings contain some slight contradiction
Each tradition accuses the other
By saying: “Your teachings are heretical.”
But this is as if the paths of the four directions,
Which differ in scale, gradient, directness, and so forth,
Were somehow to accuse one another, saying:
“Your path is not a path;
It’s a false path.”
The methods of practice may differ,
Just as some might ride upon a good horse;
Some might place their burden on a pack animal;
And others might carry the load themselves.
The significant difference lies in speed:
Those on horseback will arrive first,
The pack animals will arrive next,
And those carrying loads will be the last to arrive.
Whatever teachings one practices,
One will attain the level of Buddhahood.
Just as whichever of the four paths one ascends,
One will eventually reach the peak.
Thus, since Madhyamaka, Dzogchen, Mahāmudrā, Zhijé, and Chö
All possess methods for attaining Buddhahood,
With pure perception towards them all,
Practice whichever one you wish.
“As there is no black and white when it comes to the teachings,
To argue about tenet systems and slander the Dharma
Will only sever the rope for ascending to liberation.”
This was said by the lord of siddhas, Milarepa.
“Since negative deeds towards the supports –
The Dharma and holy beings – are intolerable,
Abandon bias and hatred,
And instead envelop everything
In the jewelled light of pure perception.”
This was said by Paṇchen Chökyi Gyaltsen.
Tsokdruk Rangdrol prays that
Everyone may act accordingly.
Having prayed to all the lama forefathers,
I have sung this song.
Through the blessings of the holy forefathers,
May we have no bias against the teachings.
This was spoken by Tsokdruk Rangdrol.
| Translated by Rachel Pang, 2023.
Zhabs dkar tshogs drug rang grol. "bya btang tshogs drug rang grol gyis phyogs med ri khrod 'grims pa'i tshe rang gzhan chos la bskul phyir glu dbyangs dga' ston 'gyed pa rnams kyi stod cha." In Zhabs dkar tshogs drug rang grol kyi bka' 'bum. New Delhi: Shechen Publications, 2003. Vol. 3: 610–611
Pang, Rachel H. “The Rimé Activities of Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol (1781-1851)”, Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, no. 29, Avril 2014, pp. 5-30.
Ricard, Matthieu. The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin. Albany: State University of New Tork Press, 1994.
The original is untitled; this title has been added by the translator. ↩