The Royal Song Of Saraha

Jul 14, 2013 | Views: 937
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The Royal Song Of Saraha

I bow down to noble Manjushri
I bow down to Him who has conquered the finite.

… 1
As calm water lashed by wind
Turns into waves and rollers,
So the king thinks of Saraha
In many ways, although one man.

2
To a fool who squints
One lamp is as two;
Where seen and seer are not two, ah! the mind
Works on the thingness of them both.

3
Though the house-lamps have been lit,
The blind live on in the dark.
Though spontaneity is all-encompassing and close,
To the deluded it remains always far away.

4
Though there may be many rivers, they are one in the sea,
Though there may be many lies, one truth will conquer all.
When one sun appears, the dark
However deep will vanish.

5
As a cloud that rises from the sea
Absorbing rain the earth embraces,
So, like the sky, the sea remains
Without increasing or decreasing.

6
So from spontaneity that’s unique,
Replete with the Buddha’s perfections,
Are all sentient beings born and in it come
To rest. But it is neither concrete nor abstract.

7
They walk other paths and so forsake true bliss,
Seeking the delights that stimulants produce.
The honey in their mouths and to them so near
Will vanish if at once they do not drink it.

8
Beasts do not understand the world
To be a sorry place. Not so the wise
Who the heavenly nectar drink
While beasts hunger for the sensual.

9
To a fly that likes the smell of putrid
Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul.
Beings who discard Nirvana
Covet coarse Samsara’s realm.

10
An ox’s footprints filled with water
Will soon dry up; so with a mind that’s firm
But full of qualities that are not perfect;
These imperfections will in time dry up.

11
Like salt sea water that turns
Sweet when drunk up by the clouds,
So a firm mind that works for others turns
The poison of sense-objects into nectar.

12
If ineffable, never is one unsatisfied,
If unimaginable, it must be bliss itself.
Though from a cloud one fears the thunderclap,
The crops ripen when from it pours the rain.

13
It is in the beginning, in the middle, and
The end; yet end and beginning are nowhere else.
All those with minds deluded by interpretative thoughts are in
Two minds and so discuss nothingness and compassion as two things.

14
Bees know that in flowers
Honey can be found.
That Samsara and Nirvana are not two
How will the deluded ever understand?

15
When the deluded in a mirror look
They see a face, not a reflection.
So the mind that has truth denied
Relies on that which is not true.

16
Though the fragrance of a flower cannot be touched,
‘Tis all pervasive and at once perceptible.
So by unpatterned being-in-itself
Recognize the round of mystic circles.

17
When in winter still water by the wind is stirred,
It takes as ice the shape and texture of a rock.
When the deluded are disturbed by interpretative thoughts,
That which is as yet unpatterned turns very hard and solid.

18
Mind immaculate in its very being can never be
Polluted by Samsara’s or Nirvana’s impurities.
A precious jewel deep in mud
Will not shine, though it has luster.

19
Knowledge shines not in the dark, but when the darkness
Is illumined, suffering disappears at once.
Shoots grow from the seed
And leaves from the shoots.

20
He who thinks of the mind in terms of one
Or many casts away the light and enters the world.
Into a raging fire he walks with open eyes–
Who could be more deserving of compassion?

21
For the delights of kissing the deluded crave
Declaring it to be the ultimately real–
Like a man who leaves his house and standing at the door
Asks a woman for reports of sensual delights.

22
The stirring of biotic forces in the house of nothingness
Has given artificial rise to pleasures in so many ways.
Such yogis from affliction faint for they have fallen
From celestial space, inveigled into vice.

23
As a Brahman, who with rice and butter
Makes a burnt offering in blazing fire
Creating a vessel for nectar from celestial space,
Takes this through wishful thinking as the ultimate.

24
Some people who have kindled the inner heat and raised it to the fontanelle
Stroke the uvula with the tongue in a sort of coition and confuse
That which fetters with what gives release,
In pride will call themselves yogis.

25
As higher awareness they teach what they experience
Within. What fetters them they will call liberation.
A glass trinket colored green to them is a priceless emerald;
Deluded, they know not a gem from what they think it should be.

26
They take copper to be gold. Bound by discursive thought
They think these thoughts to be ultimate reality.
They long for the pleasures experienced in dreams. They call
The perishable body-mind eternal bliss supreme.

27
By the symbol EVAM they think self-clearness is achieved,
By the different situations that demand four seals
They call what they have fancied spontaneity,
But this is looking at reflections in a mirror.

28
As under delusion’s power a herd of deer will rush
For the water in a mirage which is not recognized,
So also the deluded quench not their thirst, are bound by chains
And find pleasure in them, saying that all is ultimately real.

29
Nonmemory is convention’s truth
And mind which has become no-mind is ultimate truth.
This is fulfillment, this the highest good.
Friends, of this highest good become aware.

30
In nonmemory is mind absorbed; just this
Is emotionality perfect and pure.
It is unpolluted by the good or bad of worldliness
Like a lotus unaffected by the mud from which it grows.

31
Yet with certainty must all things be viewed as if they were a magic spell.
If without distinction you can accept or reject Samsara
Or Nirvana, steadfast is your mind, free from the shroud of darkness.
In you will be self-being, beyond thought and self-originated.

32
This world of appearance has from its radiant beginning
Never come to be; unpatterned it has discarded patterning.
As such it is continuous and unique meditation;
It is nonmentation, stainless contemplation, and nonmind.

33
Mind, intellect, and the formed contents of that mind are It,
So too are the world and all that seems from It to differ,
All things that can be sensed and the perceiver,
Also dullness, aversion, desire, and enlightenment.

34
Like a lamp that shines in the darkness of spiritual
Unknowing, It removes obscurations of a mind
As far as the fragmentations of intellect obtain.
Who can imagine the self-being of desirelessness?

35
There’s nothing to be negated, nothing to be
Affirmed or grasped; for It can never be conceived.
By the fragmentations of the intellect are the deluded
Fettered; undivided and pure remains spontaneity.

36
If you question ultimacy with the postulates of the many and the one,
Oneness is not given, for by transcending knowledge are sentient beings freed.
The radiant is potency latent in the intellect, and this
Is shown to be meditation; unswerving mind is our true essence.

38
The buds of joy and pleasure
And the leaves of glory grow.
If nothing flows out anywhere
The bliss unspeakable will fruit.

39

What has been done and where and what in itself it will become
Is nothing; yet thereby it has been useful for this and that.
Whether passionate or not
The pattern is nothingness.

40

If I am like a pig that covets worldly mire
You must tell me what fault lies in a stainless mind.
By what does not affect one
How can one now be fettered?

English translation by Herbert V. Guenther.

 

 

 

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11 Responses to The Royal Song Of Saraha

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  1. sandra on Mar 12, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    amazing

  2. albert ventura on Jul 29, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Tsemtulku, can you give me a short explanation about the stanza :
    Though there may be many rivers, they are one in the sea,
    Though there may be many lies, one truth will conquer all.
    When one sun appears, the dark
    However deep will vanish.

    your reply is much appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Albert

  3. beatrix ooi on Aug 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    The song has been very thoughtfully and beautifully written, it shows that how much love and passion the original author has towards Saraha. It’s really nice, Mr Herbert must have had a tough time translating it, but every single word he uses in the song does gel with each other.
    Thank You for sharing Rinpoche.

  4. Wan Wai Meng on Aug 21, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Songs of realisations always point to the truth and the dharma. It is inspiring to read this.

  5. Cliff on Jul 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    This song is wonderful in teaching the dharma and although I don’t really understand what this song is mostly conveying but singing it felt good haha.

  6. Julien Roth on Jul 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Such a nice and deep song. It brings out a strong message. Which many people could learn from. I wouldn’t know anything else to say about this song, but that it needs to be thought of very deeply for one to understand fully.

  7. Sofi on Jul 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Wow, a really deep and profound poem/song that needs careful reading and deep thoughts. Beautiful though as it reveals the essence of our mind/being from the beginningless time. Samsara and nirvana, just a thing line apart, depending on our mindlessness or mindfulness. Will definitely need repeated readings. Hope Rinpoche will give a commentary on this poem to help us with the real meaning meant. As Choongs mentioned, Verse 37 is missing. Thank you and with folded hands Rinpoche, may you continue turning the wheel of dharma for deluded beings as us.

    • Sofi on Jul 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Though spontaneity is all-encompassing and close,
      To the deluded it remains always far away.

      I have been thinking how spontaneity relates to this poem and this is what I think. When upon “full realizing” (as in really believing and living it) of impermanence, we will then be able to let go of our attachments, ie. ego, fear, comfort zone, etc. In doing so, we can then be spontaneous as we will not be held back by our attachments. Also in compassion for others, we too will act spontaneously to help others, ie. a mother’s love for her young will make help her young in trouble by spontaneous instincts or even a stranger who may jump to save a child from being hit by a car, etc. Spontaneity is within us but blocked by our delusions which forms our attachments, egos, etc. Nowadays, due to so many samsaric attachments, we are only able to habituate spontaneity thru daily practise/mindfulness.

      Back to more pondering.

  8. Joy on Jul 15, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    I enjoyed reading every bit of this song. Very profound and deep in wisdom. Would be excellent if Rinpoche could give us a further commentary on each verse so we do not misinterpret it to suit our egos.

    The below are my favourite verses which I think talks about samsara’s delusions, tantra, our ignorant mind seeing duality when in fact when we practice correctly the tantras with correct view and motivation, everything we do, our body speech and mind becomes a method to bring Dharma to others or others in to Dharma… “Samsara and Nirvana are not two”! So a firm mind, a stable mind, will always think of others, selflessly put others before their own needs and so they use many creative methods to help others, changing sense-objects into nectar… reminds me of how Rinpoche uses non-conventional ways to teach us all the time!

    But if we notice… how even from the very beginning of this song… homage is paid to the Guru… for without the Guru… the knowledge and realisation will be quite slow, limited or none at all!
    “I bow down to noble Manjushri
    I bow down to Him who has conquered the finite.”

    11
    Like salt sea water that turns
    Sweet when drunk up by the clouds,
    So a firm mind that works for others turns
    The poison of sense-objects into nectar.

    13
    It is in the beginning, in the middle, and
    The end; yet end and beginning are nowhere else.
    All those with minds deluded by interpretative thoughts are in
    Two minds and so discuss nothingness and compassion as two things.

    14
    Bees know that in flowers
    Honey can be found.
    That Samsara and Nirvana are not two
    How will the deluded ever understand?

    15
    When the deluded in a mirror look
    They see a face, not a reflection.
    So the mind that has truth denied
    Relies on that which is not true.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound sharing!

  9. Choongs on Jul 15, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Verse 5 – not true anymore as pole ice is melting.
    I love, love, Verse 11 – transformation. Take the salt out of your water! Older people always say I have eaten more salt than you, now you can reply: but I have learnt to take the salt out of the water. He he he.
    Verse 12 – sublime, sublime… :)
    Verse 14 – so samsara and nirvana and not two, they are one but in our mind?
    Verse 18 – we must realise that we all have the potential to shine.
    Verse 21 – A moment on the lips, a lifetime of illusion. For sweet desserts, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!
    Verse 28 – Another actor star bit the dust, this time from the cast of “Glee”. They live a life full of unreality and this often takes over their mind.
    Verse 30 – too much adolation is given to the lotus flower. Without mud the lotus will not live, without the right building blocks, perfect understanding will not be achieved. Hey it rhymes!
    Verse 31 – You will need bridges to get to pure land but burn them if you want to get there. Bye-bye gurus :) bye! :) … bye :)
    Verse 32 – If the big bang theory is correct, all matter is past tense, only our mind is present tense and therefore relevant.
    Verse 33 – shaky ground or maybe I don’t understand.
    Verse 36 – I think I’m ready for meditation. Need to move beyond all this intellectual stuff. Got insight already I think, so can meditate without non-mentation.
    Verse 37 – missing.
    Verse 38 – When the universe is in your mind, nothing will flow out.
    Your own pure land ya.
    Verse 39 – similar to Verse 31, bye, bye gurus :)
    Verse 40 – Ooooh, ends with a question mark! Drama. Who done it? I read it to ask this question – is ignorance bliss? My attempt at an answer: ignorance is briefly bliss but if you don’t plan for the future you will end up like the pig or earthworm.

    Thank you dear Riponche.
    This song is another excellent/entertaining way of imparting wisdom and I have thoroughly enjoyed the learning process.
    “I don’t know how I do it, I just do it!”, John Leguizamo on Saturday Night Live.

    • Choongs on Aug 1, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Let’s Dance!

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1 hour ago
Some of the food recipients enjoying their meal at Komtar Bus Terminal. Pastor Patsy
1 hour ago
Food distribution around Komtar. Pastor Patsy
1 hour ago
Food distribution around Mesjid area. Pastor Patsy
2 hours ago
More pictures of Lama Chopa puja at Kechara House gompa tonight to celebrate H.H.Dalai Lama Birthday. Lucy Yap
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Herbs, earth and other insertion items are dried in the sun - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Animal hair washed and dried by Sarah for each vase. This includes cow, horse, goat, sheep and yak hair - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Packing the hair and nails of old people over 80 years, symbolising longevity. Also to be inserted in each wealth vase - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Gold for each wealth vase - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Precious stones including rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds are packed in yellow paper for each wealth vase - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Completed tsakaley - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - OM AH HUM is stuck on the back of each tsakaley - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Cutting bamboo sticks to mount the tsakaleys - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Cutting small tsakaleys of Gyenze and the nine mothers - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Packing five-colour brocades and five-colour silks in yellow packets to be inserted into each wealth vase - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Packing holy pills into yellow packets to be inserted in each wealth vase - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Wealth vases drying in the sun - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Coating the inside of each vase with saffron water mixed with wangla (traditional Tibetan glue) - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Lew purifying each wealth vase with frankincense smoke - Pastor Jean Ai
3 hours ago
06.07.2015 - Vinnie, Li Kheng and Iryne sewing wealth vase cloths - Pastor Jean Ai
4 hours ago
Participants of Lama Chopa at Kechara House gompa waiting for tonight's event to begin. Lama Chopa is a special practice of L.Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelugpa School. Lucy Yap
4 hours ago
Pastor Niral shared the upcoming events which will be held at Kechara House, followed by offering of Body, Speech and Mind by Datuk May.Three prostrations to Rinpoche's throne before puha begins.Puja team was led by Pastor Chia in a beautiful, melodious puja session. Happy Birthday, H.H.Dalai Lama.We pray for your long life and good health. Lucy Yap
6 hours ago
Beautiful Torma and 108 bowls of water offering is ready for tonight Lama Chopa. By Puja House 6 July'15
6 hours ago
Puja books was arranged tidy for tonight Lama Chopa Puja. By Puja House 6 July'15
6 hours ago
Kechara Gompa is well prepared for tonight Lama Chopa Puja. By Puja House 6 July'15
6 hours ago
In Puja House, Sponsor sometimes will attend for the Puja. Before puja Sponsor will offer khata and candle to Rinpoche, seeking for Rinpoche's blessing before Puja start. By Puja House 6 July'15

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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