Identifying a Capable Student-Milarepa

It occurred to Japhy that he has a binder full of Vajra Dohas that a student of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso gave him.

“Rinpoche is considered to be a Milarepa, for his singing of Vajra Dohas. He is easily the most remarkable Rinpoche I have ever met.”

Here’s a song of Milarepa’s, “Identifying a Capable Student,” which Khenpo uses in his teachings.

“It isn’t widely available. I checked, and didn’t find it online. I’d like to offer it here as a Vajra offering, to remove obstructions to the Vajrayana online.”

To the guru who realized basic selflessness
I pray in awe with body, speech and mind.
Please bless us, me and all my students to come,
That we to realize basic selflessness.

“In the Vajrayana we begin our progressive stages of meditation on emptiness with the selflessness of the self.”

Please hold us in compassion’s steady grip
That keeps our skandas free of ego-idea,
Of everything that idea’s feeding on;
Now we’ve prayed, oh watchful shepherd, listen to this.

“The context of this song is of Milarepa instructing a shepherd boy that has crossed paths with the yogi in retreat.”

This consciousness conceiving I and me,
I look at it but know not how to see;
If you can meditate on Mahamudra,
Your seeing will be where nothing is seen.

“Here we have the selflessness of phenomena, which appears to exist, while not having any basis in reality.”

To do this Mahamudra meditation
The basics: faith, respect and great resolve;
While on the path, causality please know and heed;
To get the fruit directly to emerge
You need the guru’s wang and lung and guiding words;
To be a vessel for instructions like these
The student has to have the merit it takes
And must keep going right through good times and bad,
Persevering even in the face of death;
Oh young apprentice, can you practice like that?
If so, it’s through your training lives before;
If not, then there’s no point in saying more.

“Milarepa is dropping some knowledge on the shepherd boy here. There is no more concise an explanation of Mahamudra as it is practiced.”

You got the picture you said it like this,
“What I think is me I cannot find.”
You’re done with personal lack of self—
You want phenomena’s lack of it too?
Then follow me throughout the next twelve years
And then to recognize your mind itself
Oh young apprentice, work with mind itself.

“Here Milarepa reiterates the importance of the progressive stages of meditation on emptiness.”

Japhy could elaborate, but prefers to stop here. You either get this, or you don’t. Japhy has embarrassed himself enough for one day. Karmapa Chenno!


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