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Words of Wisdom

Selections from the text of Tibetan Buddhism: Prayers, Songs and Poetry by Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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A most respected Master of this religion is Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol, a yogi, poet, and hermit who graced our planet from 1781 to 1851. He devoted his life to the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and his many volumes of teachings are considered masterworks of Tibetan Buddhism second only to the venerated Enlightened Master Milarepa. The venerated Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol was a vegetarian who advocated that this lifestyle and developing compassion for animal-people as essential for Buddhist practitioners as compassion is the root of the mind’s awakening and a pre-requirement for spiritual enlightenment. Today, it is an honor to present a selection of songs and poetry by the venerated Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol filled with wisdom regarding love, kindness, suffering and the cycle of rebirth.

“All living beings have been your kind mothers, And if it is true, as the Buddha himself said, That there’s no difference between your present mother And those of your previous lives, Why do you persist in making distinctions Between mothers of earlier and later lives? What could be the point of such discrimination? Consider it well! To neglect all your mothers from the past, And remember only one is a form of attachment. So don’t think that you’ve truly aroused compassion! For as long as you have partiality and attachment, There will be no liberation from saṃsāra. For as long as you have attachment, Don’t claim to have renounced the affairs of this life!”

“Just as you think of your mother in this life, therefore, Contemplate the suffering and hardship Of all those poor beings who were your mothers before, And shed tears for them all, again and again. Just as you feel love for your mother in this life, Generate love for all beings, your mothers from the past, And arouse compassion and bodhicitta (enlightenment-mind) too — With this, you will enter the ranks of the Mahāyāna.”

“When I consider these sufferings which we all endure, I think to myself, ‘If only I could gain enlightenment! Let it not be tomorrow, but let it come to me today!’ Swiftly, ever so swiftly, may I gain awakening, And, having done so, dispel all beings’ pain, Leading them all to perfect bliss, I pray!”
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