Yeshe Gyaltsen: The Essential Advice

gelugThe Essential Advice of the Kadam Scriptures: A Fine Vase of Nectar

Chapter One
Making Requests to the Gurus and Relying on a Holy Spiritual Friend

Namo Guru Munindraya

Boundless leader, in the midst of all the constellations
Your share of marvelous courage is fully complete
And you are exceptionally beautified by the signs of compassion;
To you, unrivalled teacher possessing white [aura of] light, I bow.

Although we are followers of the supreme Teacher,
Due to our mind’s eye being closed we cannot see the exalted
body of the signs and exemplifications,
And due to the legs of our morality having degenerated

we are unable to walk;
Out of your compassion please take care of us wretched ones.

Host of gurus of the lineage of vast conduct—
The conquerors’ regent, Mipham;
The Dharma lords, Asanga and your brother;
The two Vimuktisenas, and the rest—
Please bless my mental continuum.

Host of gurus of the lineage of profound view—
Manjushri, who epitomizes the wisdom of the conquerors,
Arya Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti and the others—
Please bestow the excellent path of the middle way upon me.

Supreme gurus of the lineage of blessings—
The refuge lord Vajradhara and the Lord of Secrets,
Saraha, Tilopa, Naropa and so on—
Please bless my mental continuum.

You reached the end of the ocean-like conduct of the conquerors’ children
Through upholding well the supreme mind, the germination of the conquerors,
In the presence of the conqueror Ratnagarbha:
To you, the conqueror Vimala, I make requests.

You satisfied all the fortunate Mahayanists without exception
Of India and Tibet through adopting the Mahayana nectar—
The quintessence of the ocean of Mahayana scriptures:
To you trailblazers of the Mahayana, I bow.

Due to your deeds resembling those of a second Lord of the Munis
For the sake of spreading the doctrine of the Muni throughout India and Tibet.
You are matchless in upholding the Muni’s doctrine:
To you lamps for Munindra’s teachings, I bow.

In particular, you nurture the wretched migrating beings
Of the northern direction with the nectar of the precious mind,
You of great heroic mind prophesied by the Conqueror:
At the feet of Dipamkara, I make requests.

Out of intolerable mercy for the utterly confused migrating beings
Of this country surrounded by brilliantly white snow mountains,
All the infinite conquerors along with their spiritual children without exception
Incarnated as an infant boy of shining crystal: to you, I bow.

You are the compassionate protector with special mercy
For the migrating beings of the northern direction
Who could not be subdued even by the compassionate peerless Teacher:
To you, venerable holder of a white lotus, I make requests.

You called “the sole source of the ocean of conquerors,”
Upon whose strength all the well-being and happiness without exception
Of the migrating beings pervading space entirely depends,
Are praised by all the conquerors: to you, [Dromtönpa], I bow.

Through inviting the glorious protector Dipamkara
By emanating inconceivable skillful means,
You dispelled the darkness obscuring Tibet:
At your feet, spiritual friend and teacher, I make requests.

You accomplished the strength of an ocean of great wave-like prayers,
For upholding the oral lineage of the profound and secret biographies
Of Dipamkara and the Source of Conquerors, [Dromtönpa]:
At your feet, Legpe Sherab (Excellent Wisdom), I make requests.

You satiated all the fortunate ones with the nectar of your vast conduct
Through the thousand-petaled lotus of your precious mind having blossomed
In the manner of correctly generating completely pure definite emergence:
To you, Rinchen Sel (Luminous Jewel), I make requests.

Having set the best of wishfulfilling jewels, the Kadam oral lineage,
On the tip of the victory banner of excellent practice,
You spontaneously enacted the two purposes of self and others:
At your feet, Zhönnu Gyeltsen (Youthful Victory Banner), I make requests.

Due to having accomplished the force of familiarization in many lifetimes,
In your youth you were blessed by the special deities,
Thereby becoming a treasure of instructions:
To you, Chen-nga Tsültrim Bar (Blazing Morality), I make requests.

The brilliance of your exalted knowledge of all the scriptures shone forth,
You destroyed the view of self with the vajra of equalizing and exchanging self and others,
And trained in cherishing others more than yourselves:
To you Kadam lamas, Chekawa and the rest, I make requests.

You are renowned in the lands of the boundless ten directions
As “the courageous conquerors’ child” among all the merciful children of the conquerors;
Although you have thoroughly completed all good qualities,
Without concern you forsake your body and life

in order to seek those very qualities;
Although you have fully attained the state of a conqueror,
You show the excellent and unmistaken path to migrating beings
In this degenerate time in the manner of a youthful conquerors’ child;
To you, compassionate Jamgön, thoroughly renowned as
resembling a second Lord of the Munis in spreading the
teachings of Munindra, from my heart I bow.

You condensed without exception all the [Buddha’s] words
And the treatises that comment on their intention into stages of practice
For a single fortunate being, and then expounded them;
To you, kind lama, I make requests. Please bless my continuum.

Please bless me to be able to rely properly upon
A virtuous spiritual friend who shows the excellent and unmistaken path,
The one upon whose force all the excellent collections
Of existence and peace without exception entirely depend.

Since it is necessary to examine whether or not you are able to trust
Even your escort when going to a dangerous place for a single day,
How can anyone at all be suitable to show
The path that progresses to the essence of enlightenment?

With regard to that, the Conqueror taught the qualifications of
A guru who shows the path in many sutras and tantras.
Having examined him well with an unbiased mind,
Rely on a spiritual friend who possesses the ten good qualities.

Through excellently thinking of
A qualified virtuous spiritual friend as the nature
That encompasses all the conquerors without exception,
Develop genuine devotion for him at all times and
Strive to please him by practicing in accordance with his instructions.

Just as you would dispose of spit as soon as it is seen,
Reject the boastful charlatans who deceive those with faith
By mixing the Dharma with various types of non-Dharma,
And do not be influenced by them even in a dream.

Do not abandon, even for the sake of your life, the holy spiritual friend
Who guides you on the path that delights the conquerors.
Through pleasing him with the three ways of pleasing,
Culminate the pure complete liberation of the Kadampas.

Among the quintessential practices of the essential advice that
was expounded to the Dharma king Drom[tönpa] by the one
divine, glorious, great lord Dipamkara, after he had completely
condensed the essential meaning of the scriptures included
in the three baskets and the four tantra classes, as well as their
commentaries, this section—the definite importance of initially
making requests to the gurus who possess the three lineages
and properly relying on a holy spiritual friend, the root of all
excellent collections—is the first chapter.

This is the first chapter of Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen’s The Essential Advice of the Kadam Scriptures: A Fine Vase of Nectar, translated by Joan Nicell (Getsulma Tenzin Chöden) with the help of Geshe Jampa Gyatso at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Pomaia, Italy, August 2007. The whole text is translated in The Book of Kadam, pp. 529–558.