Vajra Songs

gyalwa gotsangpa's seven delights

Namo Ratna Guru
When thoughts that there is something perceived and a perceiver
Lure my mind away and distract,
I don't close my senses' gateways to meditate without them
But plunge straight into their essential point.
They're like clouds in the sky, there's this shimmer where they fly;
Thoughts that rise, for me sheer delight!
When kleshas get me going and their heat has got me burning,
I try no antidote to set them right;
Like an alchemistic potion turning metal into gold,
What lies in kleshas' power to bestow
Is bliss without contagion, completely undefiled;
Kleshas coming up, sheer delight!

When I'm plagued by god-like forces or demonic interference,
I do not drive them out with rites and spells;
The thing to chase away is the egoistic thinking
Built up on the idea of a self.
This will turn those ranks of maras into your own special forces;
When obstacles arise, sheer delight!

When samsara with its anguish has me writhing in its torments,
Instead of wallowing in misery,
I take the greater burden down the greater path to travel
And let compassion set me up
To take upon myself the sufferings of others;
When karmic consequences bloom, sheer delight!

When my body has succumbed to attacks of painful illness,
I do not count on medical relief
But take that very illness as a path and by its power
Remove the obscurations blocking me,
And use it to encourage the qualities worthwhile;
When illness rears its head, sheer delight!

When it's time to leave this body, this illusionary tangle,
Don't cause yourself anxiety and grief;
The thing that you should train in and clear up for yourself—
There's no such thing as dying to be done.
It's just clear light, the mother, and child clear light uniting;
When mind forsakes the body, sheer delight!

When the whole thing's just not working, everything's lined up against you,
Don't try to find some way to change it all;
Here the point to make your practice is reverse the way you see it,
Don't try to make it stop or to improve.
Adverse conditions happen, when they do it's so delightful—
They make a little song of sheer delight!

back to top

back to resources

 

yeshe tsogyal songs

Yeshe Tsogyal, consort of the renowned master Guru Rinpoche, is the most widely worshipped and well-known female saint in Tibetan history. She lived during the eighth century, and her extensive autobiography is translated into English in two versions, one issued by Dharma Publishing and another by Routledge and Kegan Paul, translated by Keith Dowman. Because her story is fully recorded elsewhere and because of its length, the reader is referred to those sources. This illustration is copied from the latter book.

Yeshe Tsogyal's Song to the Demons

Emaho!
The intention of Great Mother Dharmakaya,
The heart of the ten perfections
Is enjoyment of profound wisdom.
By genuinely ending up here,
There's no one to see appearances.
All arising is dharmakaya's play.
Illusions are the Lama's compassion.
So go ahead and stir things up!

Emaho!
The intention of Lama Kunzang,
The heart of the deity-yoga's result
Is non-fabrication in whatever arises.
By genuinely ending up here,
There's no one to be afraid of thought.
Whatever happens is mental projection.
Thoughts are the Lama's compassion.
So go ahead and stir things up!

Emaho!
The intention of Lama Pema,
The heart of all-embracing Ati
Is enjoyment of your stainless mind.
By genuinely ending up here,
There is no one to perceive impurity.
Stains are all dharmata's play.
All ways of seeing are the Lama's compassion.
So go ahead and stir things up!

Emaho!
The practice of the woman Tsogyal,
The heart of secret mantra,
Is the single taste of joy and sorrow.
Since genuinely ending up here,
No one to parse what's good and what's bad.
They both just enhance experience.
Whatever appears is the Lama's compassion.
So go ahead and stir things up!

Emaho!

Yeshe Tsogyal's Retreat Song

Tibetan

Nang si ja wa sem kyi chontrul tsam
namkay long la jik pa ngay ma tong
de na di kun sal way rang dang lay
shen min chi chir ja wa kang yang me
ja wa tam chay ko mo gyen du lag
day na nra may nyam par shak na lek

English translation

Every appearance and every event
Are the mind's miraculous display.
In the spacious expanse,
I see nothing to fear.

It is just reflexive radiance
Of mind's clear light, and nothing else.
Hence there's no reason to react.
All activity is my adornment.
Therefore, better to rest silently
In meditative absorption.

back to top

back to resources

 

paldarbum learns meditation

From among the twenty-four closest disciples of the beloved Tibetan saint Milarepa, four were women. Here is a song from one of these women, Paldarbum.

"Dear Lama, I have not made any preparations for the next life. In order that I may start to do so, please kindly teach me how to meditate." The Jetsun was extremely pleased and replied, "In my tradition, if you sincerely wish to practice Dharma, you do not have to change your name. Since you can reach Buddhahood with a full head of hair, you don't have to cut it off or change your clothes. He then sang a song for her called "The four parables and five meanings," giving the meditation instruction of mind-practice
:

Listen, lady Paldarbum,
Faithful, wealthy woman.

Take this sky as a likeness
And meditate without center or limit.

Take the sun and moon as similes
And meditate without fluctuation in clarity.

Take this mountain as a likeness
And meditate without movement or change.

Take the great ocean as a likeness
And meditate without limit in depth.

Take your mind as their meaning
And meditate without doubt.

Having said that, he taught the techniques of body and mind and sent her to meditate. Through doing so, she generated excellent experience and realization. :

Please listen, precious, noble lord,
Supreme being, nirmanakaya.

Meditation on the sky is easy.
But meditation on clouds is slighty hard.
Now teach me what to do about clouds.

Meditation on the sun and moon is easy
But meditation on stars and planets is slightly hard.
Now teach me what to do about planets and stars.

Meditation on the mountain is easy
But meditation on trees is slightly hard.
Now teach me what to do about trees.

Meditation on the ocean is easy
But meditation on waves is slightly hard.
Now teach me what to do about waves.

Meditation on my mind is easy
But meditation on thought is slightly hard.
Now teach me what to do about thought.

The noble lord, thinking "meditation has arisen within her," was extremely pleased. In answer to her request, he sang the following song to remove impediments and bring enhancement:

Listen, lady Paldarbum,
Faithful, wealthy woman.

If meditation on the sky is easy,
Since clouds are expressions of the sky,
Rest in the nature of the sky.

If meditation on the sun and moon is easy,
Since stars and planets are expressions of the sun and moon,
Rest in the nature of the sun and moon.

If meditation on the mountain is easy,
Since trees are expressions of the mountain,
Rest in the nature of the mountain.

If meditation on the ocean is easy,
Since waves are expressions of the ocean,
Rest in the nature of the ocean.

If meditation on your mind is easy,
Since thoughts are expressions of the mind,
Rest in the nature of mind itself.

Through meditating, she discovered dharmata, the nature of mind. Later, in that very body, she went to the celestial realm, accompanied by music.

back to top

back to resources

 

machik labdrön songs

Machik Labdrön (1055-1154) is recognized, along with her Indian guru Dampa Sangye, as the founder of the lineage of Chöd in Tibet. Her name, which means "One Mother," identifies her as the source of this Tibetan lineage and reflects her actual status as both a great teacher and a mother of several children. Her biography is recorded at length in the book Machig Labdrön and the Foundations of Chöd by Jerome Edou, published by Snow Lion.

Machik Labdrön's Prayer to All Lineages

Tibetan

Pa gyu tab gyi gyu pa la sol wa deb
Ma gyu sherab gyi gyu pa la sol wa deb
Nyi me don gyi gyu pa la sol wa deb
Kal den nyam gyi gyu pa la sol wa deb
Drup tob chod kyi gyu pa la sol wa deb
Tob den chod kyong gyi gyu pa la sol wa deb
Trul nang jik ten gyi ja wa la
Zhen pa lok par jin gyi lob
Jung shi du pay gyu lu la
Chay dzin dral war jin gyi lob
Gal kyen nay don bar cho la
Ro nyom nu par jin gyi lob
Nang si sem kyi chontrul la
Rang ngo shay par jin gyi lob
Rang rik ku sum lhun drup la
Rang wang tob par jin gyi lob
Chir dak tang dro druk sem chen nam
Gyu nyi dzin gyi dri ma kun pang nay
Lamay jang chub nyur tob shok

English translation

I supplicate the father lineage of method.
I supplicate the mother lineage of wisdom.
I supplicate the non-dual lineage of meaning.
I supplicate the lineage of fortunate ones with experience.
I supplicate the Chöd lineage of siddhas.
I supplicate the symbolic lineage of the dakinis.
I supplicate the lineage of powerful dharma protectors.
Bless me so that I may develop disgust
For deluded appearances and worldly activities.
Bless me so that I may stop cherishing
This illusory body of the four elements.
Bless me to develop the ability to experience the single flavor
Of discordant conditions, sickness, demons and obstacles.
Bless me to know the inherent nature
Of all that appears, the miraculous display of my mind.
Bless me to gain independence
Within self-awareness, the spontaneously present three kayas.
Generally, may I and sentient beings of the six realms,
Having abandoned the cause, the stain of dualism,
Attain unsurpassable enlightenment.

back to top

back to resources