Saturday, November 19, 2005

Patrul Rinpoche

Various of Tulku Urgyen's relatives had great devotion for Patrul Rinpoche and there are various tales about the great Patrul in Blazing Splendor. The following poem by him, though not in the book, is so good i can't help but put it up here.


Vajrasattva, sole deity, Master,
You sit on a full-moon lotus-cushion of white light
In the hundred-petalled full bloom of youth.

Think of me, Vajrasattva,
You who remain unmoved within the manifest display
That is Mahamudra, pure bliss-emptiness.

Listen up, old bad-karma Patrul,
You dweller-in-distraction.

For ages now you've been
Beguiled, entranced, and fooled by appearances.
Are you aware of that? Are you?
Right this very instant, when you're
Under the spell of mistaken perception
You've got to watch out.
Don't let yourself get carried away by this fake and empty life.

Your mind is spinning around
About carrying out a lot of useless projects:
It's a waste! Give it up!
Thinking about the hundred plans you want to accomplish,
With never enough time to finish them,
Just weighs down your mind.
You're completely distracted
By all these projects, which never come to an end,
But keep spreading out more, like ripples in water.
Don't be a fool: for once, just sit tight.

Listening to the teachings—you've already heard hundreds of teachings,
But when you haven't grasped the meaning of even one teaching,
What's the point of more listening?

Reflecting on the teachings—even though you've listened,
If the teachings aren't coming to mind when needed,
What's the point of more reflection? None.

Meditating according to the teachings—
If your meditation practice still isn't curing
The obscuring states of mind—forget about it!

You've added up just how many mantras you've done—
But you aren't accomplishing the kyerim visualizatiion.
You may get the forms of deities nice and clear—
But you're not putting an end to subject and object.
You may tame what appear to be evil spirits and ghosts,
But you're not training the stream of your own mind.

Your four fine sessions of sadhana practice,
So meticulously arranged—
Forget about them.

When you're in a good mood,
Your practice seems to have lots of clarity—
But you just can't relax into it.
When you're depressed,
Your practice is stable enough
But there's no brilliance to it.
As for awareness,
You try to force yourself into a rigpa-like state,
As if stabbing a stake into a target!

When those yogic positions and gazes keep your mind stable
Only by keeping mind tethered—
Forget about them!

Giving high-sounding lectures
Doesn't do your mind-stream any good.
The path of analytical reasoning is precise and acute—
But it's just more delusion, good for nothing goat-shit.
The oral instructions are very profound
But not if you don't put them into practice.

Reading over and over those dharma texts
That just occupy your mind and make your eyes sore—
Forget about it!

You beat your little damaru drum—ting, ting
And your audience thinks it's charming to hear.
You're reciting words about offering up your body,
But you still haven't stopped holding it dear.
You're making your little cymbals go cling, cling—
Without keeping the ultimate purpose in mind.

All this dharma-practice equipment
That seems so attractive—
Forget about it!

Right now, those students are all studying so very hard,
But in the end, they can't keep it up.

Today, they seem to get the idea,
But later on, there's not a trace left.
Even if one of them manages to learn a little,
He rarely applies his "learning" to his own conduct.

Those elegant dharma disciples—
Forget about them!

This year, he really cares about you,
Next year, it's not like that.
At first, he seems modest,
Then he grows exalted and pompous.
The more you nurture and cherish him,
The more distant he grows.

These dear friends
Who show such smiling faces to begin with—
Forget about them!

Her smile seems so full of joy—
But who knows if that's really the case?
One time, it's pure pleasure,
Then it's nine months of mental pain.
It might be fine for a month,
But sooner or later, there's trouble.

People teasing; your mind embroiled—
Your lady-friend—
Forget about her!

These endless rounds of conversation
Are just attachment and aversion—
It's just more goat-shit, good for nothing at all.
At the time it seems marvellously entertaining,
But really, you're just spreading around stories about other people's mistakes.
Your audience seems to be listening politely,
But then they grow embarrassed for you.

Useless talk that just make you thirsty—
Forget about it!

Giving teachings on meditation texts
Without yourself having
Gained actual experience through practice,
Is like reciting a dance-manual out loud
And thinking that's the same as actually dancing.

People may be listening to you with devotion,
But it just isn't the real thing.

Sooner or later, when your own actions
Contradict the teachings, you'll feel ashamed.

Just mouthing the words,
Giving dharma explanations that sound so eloquent—
Forget about it!

When you don't have a text, you long for it;
Then when you've finally gotten it, you hardly look at it.

The number of pages seems few enough,
But it's a bit hard to find time to copy them all.
Even if you copied down all the dharma texts on earth,
You wouldn't be satisfied.

Copying down texts is a waste of time
(Unless you get paid)—
So forget about it!

Today, they're happy as clams—
Tomorrow, they're furious.
With all their black moods and white moods,
People are never satisfied.
Or even if they're nice enough,
They may not come through when you really need them,
Disappointing you even more.

All this politeness, keeping up a
Courteous demeanor—
Forget about it!

Worldly and religious work
Is the province of gentlemen.
Patrul, old boy—that's not for you.

Haven't you noticed what always happens?
An old bull, once you've gone to the trouble of borrowing him for his services,
Seems to have absolutely no desire left in him at all—
(Except to go back to sleep).

Be like that—desireless.

Just sleep, eat, piss, shit.
There's nothing else in life that has to be done.

Don't get involved with other things:
They're not the point.

Keep a low profile,

In the triple universe
When you're lower than your company
You should take the low seat.

Should you happen to be the superior one,
Don't get arrogant.

There's no absolute need to have close friends;
You're better off just keeping to yourself.

When you're without any worldly or religious obligations,
Don't keep on longing to acquire some!

If you let go of everything—
Everything, everything
That's the real point!

This advice was written by the practitioner Trime Lodro (Patrul Rinpoche) for his intimate friend Ahu Shri (Patrul Rinpoche), in order to give advice that is tailored exactly to his capacities.

This advice should be put into practice.

Even though you don't know how to practice, just let go of everything—that's what I really want to say. Even though you aren't able to succeed in your dharma practice. don't get angry.

May it be virtuous.

Patrul Rinpoche (1808-1887) was the wandering turn-of-the-century Dzogchen master of Eastern Tibet, beloved by the people. He was renowned as the enlightened vagabond.

Translation by Constance Wilkinson


Anonymous said...

absolute sincerity is the only way,
thank you,
dharmakaya lord

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this for everyone. It's like the ultimate instruction in not clinging.

Anonymous said...

Nice poem. Thank you.

This is to Patrul --

Dear Patrul,
It will never be perfect --
Why do you write this poem?

On the other hand, why not write it?

Thank you for sharing the light of your true feelings.

Thank you for finally not hiding yourself from yourself.

Imagine if you could be naked like that in front of all people?

I manifest all that you wish for in your poem right in this life, but look at me...
Laugh, laugh! It really is not a big deal, and yet it is. So?

All that you say is true, my dear Patrul.
But do you know that you can change the entire world at the snap of a finger?
Just imagine what it would do to you if you did? Can you live like that?

Limitless action is as easy and as natural as breathing. And yet, if one has a stake in something, it's not easy to allow it to get crushed, without defending it.

Whoever has no stake in anything? Such being has no awareness. Having a stake in something is not your fault! Did you sign up, "may I please have lots of desire?"

Desire is not yours Patrul. Stop owning it and let it roam. Don't either curb or inflate it and do not try to stabilize it along some neutral line. Allow discontent and pain to unravel themselves freely. Your own body is just a juicy grape! This is attainable right now, there is no doubt. It is wonderful to have a grape, but it's no big loss if it's eaten or rotted -- new grapes grow with season.

The infomercial of spiritual life tells us to rush, rush! This life is a precious chance! The sale ends tomorrow, you must buy NOW! Do not let this disturb your spirit. Instead, you should appreciate the deliberate mediocrity of your spiritual standing and allow yourself to be perceived as a fool, but don't make it your GOAL to be a fool -- just be yourself.

What a beautiful being you are,
Although I have never met you,
I can say this (even if it's not true, I don't care).

Look at yourself right now! You are Vajrasattva! Yes, that confused and unwashed bad-karma Patrul...

When friends give you fake smiles,
It is great bliss.

When friends scorn you,
It is wonderful.

Without protecting yourself at all,
set your spirit free to roam wherever it wishes -- this dusty world is no limit to you and it never was.

Anonymous said...

Now, here's a line you don't hear much: "the deliberate mediocrity of your spiritual standing"!

Yes, I'm mediocre at my job,
I'm mediocre in my habits,
I'm mediocre in my spiritual life.

But this mediocrity crushes me...because in my heart I long for everything to be perfect...for no one to ever be hurt...for everyone to be happy...for kindness to be the only utterance from every lip. Isn;t this our aspiration, isn't this what we practice for??! This is the horrible schism in my life - the deep pain - that I cannot perfect this practice, these habits, this life...I can't do it - even when I try moment by moment I find myself despicable and I fall into self-pity and hatred. How can I be filled with such desire for purity and such negativity at the same time? This why I walk around with a face that looks like a thundercloud and an abdomen ready to spill its putrid contents. Someone needs to help me because I cannot help myself....

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

Dear anonymous poets.

Dear Paltrul does seems to have struck the living life nerve in you, doesn't he? !

You're not the first.

Anonymous said...

Erik wrote: "you're not the first"

Of course that's true but it's still good to hear.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

no thank you

Anonymous said...

The Patrul's poem is refreshing like a spring rain. Because isn't it really true that only those actions are worth getting involved in, and bring some results, which one feels so indispensable and so natural, as sleeping, eating, pissing and shiting...? Everything that needs forces or is done for pure pleasure ends up rather badly.

Erich, if you have any more songs of Patrul, please share...

Anonymous said...

Advice I'll try to recall, but she looks so fine in that space of mine, that empty feeling of lust not satisfied ... I can't just be!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Erik!
What the name of this poem in Tibetan?

@jadkr said...

Sixty years this light has been shining online, sixty years of treasure, no.

Six years this light, six years blazing, six years almost to the day-- and in all that passage of time still the host has not amended the typo at the crest of this jewel.

So, why this tiny typo uncorrected in any of these sixty- sorry, in any of these six years? Because not one of You cared, or not one of You noticed it, You bragging dried goat-shit heads.

( "This blog is intended as an exhange of views..." an exhange? a wha'? )

Now, as if to prove to You I have indeed manifested, the word puzzle asks Me to type PACHA, so close to pancha, and I do not mean Villa, shithead. Pancha, five, is key. Use it wiser than You have thus far.

Deep bow. Sharp arrow.

pensum said...

Thanks jadkr for your rather delightful criticism.

As I suspect you are aware, we tend not to read by letter but by the shape of the silhouettes of words and phrases (there have been some really fascinating studies on this) so it seems that little "c" simply disappeared into the pale shadows. nonetheless it's still embarrassing to have missed it (and what about the hundreds of visitors who have visited this page and never noticed it either?).

I must confess to my ignorance however in regard to your puzzling pacha/pancha statement, even after reading it numerous times and scratching my head i succeeded in nothing more than developing an itch, which is not at all surprising for a dolt such as myself (though i must confess to being a touch unsettled by a certain possibility... so i think it might be best for me to quit blathering on and instead dash off a query to Erik now...)