A poem by
Venerable J. Thupten Rinpoche
© Copyright Thupten Tulku & Dhargyey Buddhist Centre, 1997.
Venerable Thupten Rinpoche on his teaching throne at the Dhargyey Buddhist Centre, Dunedin.
Immediately behind him is the teaching throne of Gen Rinpoche, the late Geshe Ngawang
Dhargyey, on which rests a picture of Gen Rinpoche. To its left is our statue of Gen Rinpoche.
Thupten Rinpoche himself insisted that his throne be lower than Gen Rinpoche's.
By nature embodying all Conquerors my refuge,
O Venerable Jampa Gyenchok, my spiritual father
Kind in three ways, I your subject will honour
As crown ornament the dust particles on your toes.
Dharma in general is just a matter of attitude:
Joy or sadness if unrestrained in one's mind
Will bring additional self-created suffering;
Of this I have a few words of truth to share:
Through the Eight Worldly Dharmas' biased likes and dislikes
All pleasure and sorrow in one's life
Become excessive feelings of pleasure and sorrow;
To correct these one could think in this way:
When peace and joy grow in body and mind
It is the fruit of virtues in previous lives.
Think: Is there any point feeling inflated and proud?
Suffering will definitely arise at the end of joy.
When unwell in body and mind
It is the fruit of bad actions in previous lives.
Think: What good will depression and despondency be?
For suffering too is unstable and will definitely change.
When you find whatever you've wanted --
Like articles of material luxury --
Think: Excessive delight rarely helps:
All these too are ephemeral and illusory.
When you don't find what you've wanted
Think deeply: Is there any point feeling desolate and sad?
For what's gained in life must be discarded at death.
Instead remain in contentment, the supreme wealth,
Though the complimentary words of friends
Are pleasant to the ears, they are only sounds.
Think: Why feel so joyous unnecessarily?
For they are like echoes in an empty land.
When you hear what's unpleasant,
Hate and anger will only harm you.
Think: 'Pleasant and unpleasant' are just the bias of desire:
[What's heard] is like a flute in a dream.
When your fame and power and influence increase and
Others singing your greatness elevate and praise you
Realize this as the deceptive craft of sycophants --
Think: this is like a Lorelei's trap.
When you are criticized and disparaged
Think: being high and low, rich and poor are not stable;
Praise and criticism also are like this --
They are like passing showers in summertime.
Thus realize that these Eight Worldly Dharmas
Are not only contrary to spiritual life:
If joy and sadness are unrestrained
They will cause additional suffering even in everyday life.
The Four Inevitable Ends of Compounded Phenomena
Remain unalterable by any means
So what use is it to grieve and be miserable?
Instead contemplate this seriously in advance:
From the moment life, a mind-body relation is formed
In the mother's womb due to karma and delusion,
Since the inevitable end of birth is death
Think: this as like the state of a butter lamp.
Food, clothing and shelter, material riches
Though there's not one item one doesn't want,
Since the inevitable end of collection is exhaustion
Think: this as like the honey hoarded by bees.
Though through cherishing mind one wants never to be parted from
Spiritual mentors, relations, retinue and retainers,
Since the inevitable end of meeting is parting
Think: we are all like visitors to a market fair.
Although one may desire the prominence of power
From prestige and social position in this life,
Since the inevitable end of rising is falling
Think: this is like the vulture soaring high in the sky.
To not limit one's sadness about compounded phenomena's
Four ends that cannot be averted
Is to bring additional suffering created by self --
Hence observe this preview of actual events.
May this well-meant advice imbued with words of Dharma
Level attitudes distorted by the Eight Worldly Dharmas;
May this increase the power of mind that accords with Dharma
And transform the mind until it is Dharma.
From the origin of suffering that turns without end
Have arisen sufferings related with the Four Ends;
Meditating on the Noble Path that ends
Suffering, may all achieve true cessation without extreme ends.
Colophon: This piece of advice called "True Words: Nectar for the Ear" was written in order to help remove additional suffering that many people today have experienced and are experiencing due to excessive happiness and sadness whenever they experience happiness and sadness, by showing how to level the Eight Worldly Dharmas and how to deal mentally with the Four Inevitable Ends, by the lazy practitioner of Dharma, Thupten Tulku, on the thirtieth day of the fourth lunar month 1997, in my apartment, the Joyous Grove of Kechari, at Dhargyey Buddhist Centre in New Zealand.
Translated from the Tibetan by Losang Dawa with Ven. Sönam Chokyi.
May this be virtuous and beneficial to all.
Colophon: Hoping it would be of some benefit to others I, Thupten Tulku of Trehor House of
Sera Je College, have written on the spur of the moment, as these ideas sprang to my mind, "The
Coral Necklace", a piece of advice that clearly shows how to come to realize others' kindness as a
means to develop and feel affectionate love.
Translated from the Tibetan by Losang Dawa.
Translated from the Tibetan by Losang Dawa.