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A poem for Sunday

Translated by Psyche Chong

A love poem written by a legend, the sixth Dalai Lama. English translation by Psyche Chong, dedicated to her beloved.

Tsangyang Gyatso (Tibetan: ཚངས་དབྱངས་རྒྱ་མཚོ, Wylie: tshangs-dbyangs rgya-mtsho, ZYPY: Cangyang Gyamco) (1 March 1683 – 15 November 1706) was the sixth Dalai Lama. He grew up a youth of high intelligence, liberal to a fault, fond of pleasure.

As a Dalai Lama, Tsangyang often went against the principles of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. His chief legacy was his poems, said to be among the loveliest in Tibetan literature. Many are about love, longing, and heartbreak. And some reveal a bit of his feelings about his position and his life.

He died in November 1706 as the travelling party approached China’s central plain. He was 24 years old.

The following poem is extracted from his “Love Poetry Collection”


I ask Buddha

I ask Buddha:
Why don’t you give every girl a face
as beautiful as Mimosa Pudica
hiding behind the moon?

Buddha replied:
It is just like a flash in the pan,
to cover up peoples’ eyes.
Nothing can beat a pure kind heart,
the true beauty within which I have given to every girl’
who however, has smeared it with dirt.

I ask Buddha:
Why there are so many regrets in this world?

Buddha replied:
This is a saha world.
Saha means regret.
Without regret,
you will never know what’s happiness.

I ask Buddha:
How to let people not feeling lonely?

Buddha replied:
Every single heart was born alone and incomplete.
Most of them live with such incompleteness, because
when they encounter their half,
either they have missed it out negligently
or they have already lost their ability
to love.

I ask Buddha:
When I have encountered the one I love,
what shall I do if I failed to hold it up?

Buddha replied:
How much love remains in this world?
The world is changing, variably, perpetually.
With your beloved,
do all happy things without asking
whether it’s bliss or hell.

I ask Buddha:
How can I be a sage like you?

Buddha replied:
Buddha is people from the past,
people are the future Buddha.
All lives in the six great divisions in the wheel of karma
will have an everlasting life like a phoenix,
when they thoroughly understand the truth of life
after having experienced the bitterness from reincarnate past.

Buddha replied:
There is bitterness in life:
birth, old age, sickness, and death,
love goes or being away,
long lasting hate,
unachievable hopes,
and not letting go.

Buddha replied:
A million methodologies
originated from a system of affinity.
The random encounter,
the sudden look back;
you will find the life of each other,
solely for this eye catching face.

I ask Buddha:
Why does it snow whenever I am sad?

Buddha replied:
Winter is going,
snatch something to memorise.

I ask Buddha:
Why it snows every time during my unawareness at night?

Buddha replied:
Because people usually miss out on a lot of beautiful things
while they are unaware of them.

I ask Buddha:
Will it snow again a few days after?

Buddha replied:
Don’t behold this season.
While you miss out this winter,
you will know how to treasure things next year.

I ask Buddha:
What does “life is full of uncertainty” mean?

Buddha replied:
Uncertainty is certain in life.
Ignorance is the cause of dauntless where it lies.

I ask Buddha:
Why my love has ups and downs?

Buddha replied:
Your soul knows,
your heart knows;
there is wax and wane,
tidewater has high and low.
So ups and downs are to repose.

Buddha replied:
When your life ends in front of your beloved,
the moment of pain
the forever happiness
are the irresistible lure.

Stubbornness is like a well,
the edge of death when you fail.
Stubbornness is like dust,
every effort flies in vain.

Stubbornness is like tears,
flow through to a scatter of your deepest parts,
to spread and disperse.

The feeling of affinity is like ice.
When I embrace it, it melts,
and when I discover, it’s gone.

I believe cause, I don’t believe Buddha.
Cause believes Buddha, doesn’t believe me.

Buddha replied:
The feeling of affinity is destined;
it goes while people are sick of it.
You get what you have planted.
All’s caused by your heart.
Smile and face, don’t mourn.
Calm and relax, follow your heart, follow your soul, and follow the feeling of affinity.

The determination of your life changing,
will only happen a century after,
when the flower blooms.

倉央嘉措(1683-1706)

<我問佛>

我問佛:為何不給所有女子閉月羞花的容顏?

佛曰:那只是曇花的一現,用來蒙蔽世俗的眼,沒有什麼美可以敵得過一顆純淨仁愛的心。我把它賜給每一個女子,可有人讓它蒙上了灰。

我問佛:世間為何有那麼多遺憾 ?

佛曰:這是一個婆娑的世界,婆娑即遺憾,沒有遺憾,給你再多的幸福也不會體會快樂。

我問佛:如何讓人們的心不再感到孤單?

佛曰:每一顆心生來就是孤單而殘缺的,多數帶著這種殘缺度過一生。只因與能使他圓滿的另一半相遇時,不是疏忽錯過,就是已失去了擁有它的資格。

我問佛:如果遇到了可以愛的人,卻又怕不能把握該怎麼辦?

佛曰:留世間多少愛,迎浮世千重變。和有情人,做快樂事,別問是劫是緣。

我問佛:如何才能如你般睿智?

佛曰:佛是過來人,人是未來佛。六道眾生,要經過因果輪迴,從中體驗痛苦,在體驗痛苦的過程中,只有參透生命的真諦,才能得到永生,鳳凰涅槃。

佛曰:人生有八苦:生、老、病、死、愛別離、怨長久、求不得、放不下

佛曰:萬法皆生,皆系緣分,偶然的相遇,驀然的回首,註定彼此的一生,只為眼神交匯的剎那。

我問佛:為什麼總是在我悲傷的時候下雪?

佛曰:冬天就要過去,留點記憶

我問佛:為什麼每次下雪都是我不在意的夜晚?

佛曰:因為不經意的時候,人們總是會錯過很多真正的美麗。

我問佛:那過幾天還下不下雪?

佛曰:不要只盯著這個季節 ,錯過了今冬,明年才懂得珍惜。

我問佛:世事本無常是什麼意思?

佛曰:無常便是有常,無知所以無畏

我問佛:為什麼我的感情總是起起落落?

佛曰:一切自知,一切心知,月有盈缺,潮有漲落,浮浮沉沉方為太平

佛曰:將生命結束在愛人面前,瞬間的痛苦,永恆的幸福,無法抵擋的誘惑。

執著如淵,是漸入死亡的沿線。 執著如塵,是徒勞的無功而返。 執著如淚,是滴入心中的破碎,破碎而飛散。

緣為冰,我將冰擁在懷中,冰化了,我才發現緣沒了

我信緣, 不信佛 。緣信佛, 不信我。

佛曰:緣來天註定,緣去人自奪。種如是因,收如是果,一切唯心造。笑著面對,不去埋怨。悠然,隨心,隨性,隨緣。

註定讓一生改變的,只在百年後,那一朵花開的時間。

 

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