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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.





我問佛:世間為何有那麼多遺憾 ?















佛曰:不要只盯著這個季節 ,錯過了今冬,明年才懂得珍惜。






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。


我信緣, 不信佛 。緣信佛, 不信我。




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