A Song on the Alaya by the Third Karmapa








Namo Guru

I supplicate the supreme guru,
Who shows me that my own mind is dharmakaya.

Please take a seat here and listen to these words.
Realize their significance and make them your living experience.

The alaya is the basis of all of samsara and nirvana.
When not realized, it is samsara,
And when realized, it is the Tathagata mind.
This describes the essence of the alaya.

For example, in a mirror pure of tarnish,
Reflections may appear. Likewise,
In the open expanse of your own stainless mind,
Various consciousnesses rise and perish.

Since this clinging to the duality of subject and object
Rises and appears within this open expanse all by itself, The single essence of samsara and
nirvana being nondual
Not realized is delusion and, if realized, is liberation.

Though the thinker and what it thinks of are not two,
Taking them to be two is the ground of samsara.
Once you see the nondual essence,
The Heart of the victors is revealed.

This song on determining the alaya Arose in a solitary place.
Through dispelling all that obscures the alaya,
May you realize your own stainless mind.

This song was sung in the lower [valley of Tsurpu] Dolung Gyal
During the waxing ninth moon in the year of the sheep
By the dharma lord Rangjung Dorje
To the great meditator, master Ngarma, and his servant.


Translated by Karl Brunnholzl


From the book "Heart Advice of Karmapa "

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