A Song by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa
FEELING GREAT SORROW over the monstrous views and actions of the people of this dark age, and a link with the mind of my only father guru having arisen, I wrote this song calling on him to dispel the torment of my thoughts.
AH HO! Embodiment of all refuges, dharmakaya Vajradhara,
Glorious body of the guru, inseparable from truth,
To you, with overpowering yearning, I sing this song.
Awesome devotion pervades my mind
And the natural state is brilliantly clear
But unable to remain in this penetrating state,
How confused I am in discursive and analytical thoughts!
Contemplating this, I am mindful of the Karma Kagyu
And focus on the self-existing ground of knowledge and emptiness.
This ordinary mind of nowness
Is untouched by fixations on birth and liberation,
Its unceasing manifestation unshaken by projections.
The realms of samsara and nirvana appear simultaneously
This effortless path is the marvelous mahamudra.
Seeing the self-existing ground of insight,
The gaits of samsara and nirvana fall into step
And the apparent confusion of the three worlds collapse into space.
The trikaya is arrived at while in the natural state,
So why look forward to future results?
This is the special teaching of the Kagyupas.
Thinking on that, I emulate my forefathers.
My followers who depend on me,
Without desire for this life, think on the hereafter.
Though outwardly adorned with monks' robes, saffron, like the
clouds of evening,
Men's inward discipline of the three yanas is like horns on a hare;
I am sad that the two stages of the path are not meditated upon.
Tomorrow at the time of death,
The regretful mind may be overcome by darkness;
Because of that, vigorously study, contemplate, meditate.
May I raise the victory banner of the practicing lineage to the
summit of the world!
May I attain well-being for myself and others on this very seat!
Gurus, mamos and gonpos with their brothers and sisters,
So that fortunate circumstances may bring this about
May my wishes forthwith be fulfilled!
In general, real conviction in the view and meditation of the Kagyupas is scarcely to be found. Those who show the outward form of Dharma but do not practice the actions of Dharma cause me to feel sad.
For a long time my secretary and my retreat master Dechen had been requesting me to write a song such as this. Though they asked me repeatedly, it did not come about. But this time, on the appropriate occasion of the preparation of a new edition of the woodblock of The Oceans of Songs of the Kagyu Fathers, as I was again pressed by my head of Discipline, Drupgyu Tendar, in order not to reject his request, I, the glorious Sixteenth Karmapa spoke this spontaneously from whatever arose in my mind.