Gampopa: 14 meaningless things and 11 signs of a sublime person

Gampopa, an important lineage lama in the Kagyu lineage, student of MilarepaGampopa: 14 meaningless things and 11 SIGNS OF A SUBLIME PERSON

Gampopa: 14 meaningless things

Like returning empty-handed from an island of precious gems,
it is meaningless to
ignore the sacred Dharma
after having obtained a human body.

Like a moth diving into a flame,
it is meaningless to
return to family life
after having entered the gateway to the Dharma.

Like dying of thirst at the shore of the ocean,
it is meaningless to
live near a noble Dharma master
while having no trust.

Like leaning an axe against a tree trunk, it is meaningless to
have a spiritual practice
that is not used to remedy the four roots and ego-clinging.

Like a sick person holding a bag of medicines,
it is meaningless to
have heard oral instructions
that don’t remedy disturbing emotions.

Like a parrot reciting verses,
it is meaningless to
have a tongue that expertly recites Dharma words
that are not taken to heart.

Like trying to wash a sheepskin coat in plain water,
it is meaningless to
be generous with wealth
acquired through thievery, robbery, or deception.

Like handing a mother her child’s flesh,
it is meaningless to
make offerings to the three jewels
by hurting other sentient beings.

Like a cat lying in wait for a mouse,
it is meaningless to
be stubbornly involved
in selfish aims for this life.

Like trading a wish-fulfilling jewel for a pile of ordinary gems,
a load of leftover beer-mash, or a single bag of flour,
it is meaningless to
perform ostentatious virtuous actions
out of a desire for mundane praise and fame, honor and gain.

Like a doctor striken by an incurable disease,
it is meaningless to
have studied a lot
and yet remain a shallow person.

Like a rich man without the key to his treasury,
it is meaningless to
be learned in the oral instructions
but not apply them in practice.

Like the blind leading the blind,
it is meaningless to
teach others the significance of a spiritual practice
you have not realized yourself.

Like believing brass to be gold,
it is meaningless to
regard an experience produced through a technique to be the supreme,
while neglecting the natural state.

These were the fourteen things that are meaningless.


It is a sign of a sublime person…

1. to be less envious and conceited.
2. to have less craving and be content with just the basics of living.
3. not to be pompous, haughty, or arrogant.
4. to be without hypocrisy or double-dealing.
5. to examine precisely and conscientiously any course of action
and then carry it out with mindfulness.
6. to be on guard concerning the karmic consequences of actions,
as if he would protect his own eyes.
7. to be free from duplicity in keeping vows and samaya commitments.
8. not to be prejudiced or false-hearted towards sentient beings.
9. to be forgiving and non-aggressive toward those who do evil.
10. to offer all victories to others and accept all defeats for oneself.
11. to differ from worldly-minded people in all thoughts and deeds.

These are the eleven signs of a sublime personage.
Their opposites are the signs of not being a sublime personage.

from Precious Garland