Tilopa: Song of the Mahamudra



Song of the Mahamudra composed by Tilopa to Naropa.
Mahamudra, the royal way, is free
from every word and sacred symbol.
For you alone, beloved Naropa,
this wonderful song springs forth from Tilopa
as spontaneous friendship that never ends.
The completely open nature
of all dimensions and events
is a rainbow always occurring
yet never grasped.
The way of Mahamudra
creates no closure.
No strenuous mental effort
can encounter this wide open way.
The effortless freedom of awareness
moves naturally along it.
As space is always freshly appearing
and never filled, Continue reading »

Tilopa’s Mahamudra Instruction



Tilopa’s Mahamudra Instruction to Naropa in Twenty Eight Verses

Homage to the Eighty Four Mahasiddhas!
Homage to Mahamudra!
Homage to the Vajra Dakini!

Mahamudra cannot be taught. But most intelligent Naropa,
Since you have undergone rigorous austerity,
With forbearance in suffering and with devotion to your Guru,
Blessed One, take this secret instruction to heart.

Is space anywhere supported? Upon what does it rest?
Like space, Mahamudra is dependant upon nothing;
Relax and settle in the continuum of unalloyed purity,
And, your bonds loosening, release is certain.

Gazing intently into the empty sky, vision ceases;
Likewise, when mind gazes into mind itself,
The train of discursive and conceptual thought ends
And supreme enlightenment is gained.

Like the morning mist that dissolves into thin air,
Going nowhere but ceasing to be,
Waves of conceptualization, all the mind’s creation, dissolve,
When you behold your mind’s true nature. Continue reading »

Ganga-Mahamudra-Upadesa of Sri Tilopa



Homage to the Vajra Dakini!

Mahamudra is beyond all words and concepts.
But for your sake, O Naropa, my most devoted disciple,
who is diligent in ascetic practice and exertion,
this shall be said:

Space lacks any locality at all.
Likewise, Mahamudra rests on naught.
Thus, without making effort, abide in the pure primordial state,
and the fetters that bind you will simply drop away.

Just as when looking into the open sky,
fixed concepts of centre and circumference dissolve,
So, if with mind one perceives the mind, mental activity ceases; then is it, that Enlightened-mind is realized.

Clouds that arise and take form in the sky,
pass away quite automatically according to natural law.
Likewise, the flow of concepts arising in the mind,
naturally pass away when mind perceives mind.

Space has neither shape nor colour;
it is changeless, and not tinged by either white or black. Continue reading »

Longchenpa: A Precious Garland for the Four Themes

Longchenpa: A Precious Garland for the Four Themes by Gampopa (Klong-chen Rab-‘byams-pa Dri-med ‘od-zer) translated by Alexander Berzin and Matthew Kapstein, 1974, revised by Alexander Berzin, February 2007.


In Sanskrit, (this text) is called Dharma-chatur-ratna-mala. In Tibetan, it is called Chos-bzhi rin-po-che’i ‘phreng-ba. [In English, it is called A Precious Garland for the Four Themes (of Gampopa).]

I prostrate to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.

(1) With a crown of a hundred-fold belief in what’s fact, I make offerings to you, O sun (like Buddhas) Gone to Bliss. Continue reading »

Tilopa: Pith Instructions on Mahamudra

The great Mahasiddha Tilopa

Pith Instructions on Mahamudra from Mahasiddha Tilopa: The Ganges Mahamudra Upadesha 

I bow to Vajra Dakini.
1 Mahamudra cannot be taught, Naropa,

But your devotion to your teacher and the hardships you’ve met

Have made you patient in suffering and also wise:

Take this to heart, my worthy student.

2 For instance, consider space: what depends on what?

Likewise, mahamudra: it doesn’t depend on anything.

Don’t control. Let go and rest naturally.

Let what binds you let go and freedom is not in doubt.

3 When you look into space, seeing stops. Continue reading »

Homage to Milarepa by Nāropa


Homage to Milarepa by Nāropa


jangchok münpé makrum na

In the darkness of the lands to the North


gang la nyima shar drawé

Is one just like a snow-capped peak in the rising sun,


töpa ga shyé jawa yi

He who is known as Töpa Ga, ‘Joyous to Hear,’


kyebu dé la chaktsal lo

To that great being, I pay homage!

Nāropa spontaneously sang this praise to Milarepa. Continue reading »