Composed by His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje
like nectar flowing from a spring on a snowy mountain face,
from some highest of realms high above,
with effortless vigor and a deep, unprompted longing,
drop after divine drop, each pristine and pure,
you crossed the mountains and plains of hundreds of months and years,
to come cascading down, down into the land of our hopes.
coursing through deep aspirations you held, held through the stream of many lives,
from some place completely obscured to us, you gave gentle warmth and nourished us.
since then, the tender young sprouts of virtuous minds
have blossomed with leaves and fruit,
and land once scorched with drought burst into life turquoise-green.
when a snow lion roars on a white mountain peak
the sound at once sends the crisp flakes swirling in a flurry.
when you arrived in the year eleven-ten
the lion’s roar of your majestic name blazed forth,
spreading its unchanging splendor and unequalled blessings.
day and night, for nine hundred years,
it has set trembling the hearts of those with faith, scared away the sleep of our ignorance
and stilled the waves of thought that trouble the ocean of our minds.
with the fearful crash of its sound, the haughty become hushed and still.
because you are here, we dare to face the angry countenance of the samsaric sea.
because you are here, we know that there is an end to this suffering.
the world, its voice raised in cries of birth and death, falls silent.
your deeds blend completely with a sky as deep blue as your brilliant crown.
your great heart, like a splendid mandala of wind,
keeps this world ever moved.
O Karmapa, you who act,
I am all that you have. and you are all that I have.
As the Kagyu monlam begins I would like to share a feast song, a ganachakra celebration, composed by the third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje.
With the monlam and all of its blessings in mind, I offer this song. May the Kagyu monlam benefit all beings, and may the activities of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje be vast!
A Feast Song in Lhasa
I salute the guru Jewel.
In the ocean of true essence
arise multitudes of unreal concepts,
like varied patterns in the water.
Therefore I practice the following.
This heroic feast- the culmination of merit
for the profound mother tantra-
was taught to increase the merit of beings.
Thus do I understand its meaning:
Beings of the beginning stage
should visualize their body as a deity
at this stage of imaginative engagement.
Purify food and drink into nectar,
and offer the skandhas to the victorious sages.
This is called the great feast:
heros and heroines equal in number,
who have attained high realizations,
contemplate the essence of void and bliss
amid the abundance of food and drink.
Great is the assembly at the feast!
Since all heros have gathered,
it is called the joyous feast of heros.
The Master knows the way of mantra,
his mindstream is empowered,
he understands the essential precepts;
disciple-hosts of heroines and heros,
together engage in full absorption-
the stages of generation and completion-
immeasurable are the attainments of the feast.
Those who do not possess such virtues,
and wrongly take out of self-importance,
will encounter obstacles; this is foretold.
Though I have not seen the assembled heros,
I have sung the essence of the tantric scriptures;
for this is called the essential instruction.
Be inspired with wondrous admiration.
Join the celebration, partake fully in the feast!
(This poem was sung in Lhasa at the assembly gathered to celebrate a religious feast on the evening of the eighth day of the tenth month of the dragon year)[i]
[i] Taken from Songs of Spiritual Experience, trans. By Thupten Jinpa and Jas Elsner. Shambala, 2000.