In Praise of the Incomparable Tsongkhapa



by Gyalwa Mikyo Dorje, The Eighth Karmapa


At a time when nearly all in this Northern Land
Were living in utter contradiction to Dharma,
Without illusion, O Tsong Khapa, you polished the teachings.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

When the teachings of Sakya, Kagyu, Kadam
And Nyingma sects in Tibet were declining,
You, O Tsong Khapa, revived Buddha’s Doctrine,
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, gave to you
Special instructions on the thought of Nagarjuna.
O Tsong Khapa, upholder of the Middle Way,
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

“Mind and form are not empty of their own natures
But are empty of truly existent mind and form”,
You, O Tsong Khapa, are Tibet’s chief exponent of voidness,
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

In merely a few years you filled
The land from China to India
With peerless holders of the saffron robes.
Hence I sing this praise to you Ganden Mountain.

Those who become your followers
And look to you and your teachings
Are never again disappointed or forsaken.
Hence I sing in praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

The trainees who walk in your footsteps
Breath the fresh air of the Great Way.
They would die for the good of the world.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Anyone who disparages your doctrine must face
The terrible wrath of the Dharma protectors.
O Tsong Khapa, who abides in truth’s power,
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

In person and in dreams you come to those
Who but once recollect your image.
O Tsong Khapa, who watches with compassionate eyes,
I sing the praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

In order to civilize men and spirits you spread
Your teaching through Kham, Mongolia and Turkestan.
O Tsong Khapa, subduer of savages,
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

For men coarse and far from the Way, you dispel
Mental clouds, evils and bad karma.
O Tsong Khapa, who bestows quick progress,
I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Those who take heartfelt Refuge in you,
Even those with no hope for now or hereafter,
O Tsong Khapa, have their every wish fulfilled.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Having exposed false teachings transgression
The excellent ways well shown by Buddha,
You firmly established your Bold doctrine.
Hence I sing this praise to you of Ganden Mountain.

Manifesting sublime austerity and discipline,
The form and fragrance of your life was incomparable.
O Tsong Khapa, controlled one pleasing to the Buddhas,
I sing this praise to you to Ganden Mountain.

By the strength of the sons of your lineage
And by me having faithfully offered this praise,
May the enlightened activity of Buddha Shakyamuni
Pervade the earth for ages to come.
 

Once when Gyalwa Mikye Dorje was traveling through the Charida Pass, thoughts of the incomparable Tsong Khapa welled up within Him. Overcome by profound faith, He was moved to compose the above poem.


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