RECOGNITION OF THE MOTHER
A Philosophical Song, by Lcan sKya Rol Pai Rdo Rje, translated from the Tibetan, together with The Lamp of Words, a commentary by Dkon Mchog 'Jigs Med Dban Po, transcribed at Wu Tai Shan, in northern China, by the Bhikshu Blo Bzan Dban Rgyal; translated into English by Paul Nietupski and Upasaka Robert Thurman
the Lord of Speech develop us--
to Rol Pai Rdo Rje, actuality of all Buddhas!
tale that shatters samsaric existence
My precious preceptor, whose name I now purposely invoke,4 the all-knowing Ye Ses Bstan Pai Sgron Me Dpal Bzan Po, as the supreme regent of the peerless lineage of Sakyamuni, crossed over the ocean of the philosophical views of both Buddhists and non-Buddhists, and planted his lotus feet on the crown-diadems of all the illustrious sages. Unrivalled, he bore single-handedly the responsibility for the precious Doctrine, and was the best friend and most reliable guardian of all living beings in our Dark Age.5 He clearly beheld all internal and external relative things to be just like the (reflection of) the moon in water, or like an hallucination, and, to produce in others the very realization he himself had found, he formulated this extraordinary identification of the authentic view (of ultimate reality) into a song.
I will explain this subject in three parts (dividing the root verses accordingly); the preface, the body of the work, and the conclusion.
WONDROUS! THE PROFOUND,
Here, "profound" means "hard to understand," which is equated to the "actuality of relativity," which is voidness with respect to intrinsic reality.6 It is also "wondrous," because, while manifest, it is void, and yet while void, it is apparently manifest. Thus, the author salutes that principal Lama,7 whose "kindness is unrepayable," as he taught "nakedly," i.e., clearly, that "actuality" which is just such inseparability of appearance and voidness, "as it is," i.e., without any confusion, by saying "May he sit in the center" of the eight-petalled lotus "of my heart!"
2. The Author's Resolve'
LET ME SAY THREE WORDS SPONTANEOUSLY ABOUT WHATEVER COMES TO MY MIND!
His resolve in composing (the song) is expressed as "let me say three words, in spontaneous" fashion, about "whatever comes to mind," or whatever arises in his mind about voidness being equivalent to relativity. "Three words" means "several words," and should not be counted exactly, just as the sun is called "Thousand-rayed," and the lotus is called "Hundred-petalled," with no claim to numerical precision.
II. BODY OF THE WORK
JUST A CRAZY CHILD
Here, the "old mother" is the ultimate nature of the mind. She was "long forsaken" in that (the author) was unable to realize that ultimate nature from beginningless samsaric time up until the present. The "crazy child" is the mind of the seeker of the (authentic) view. That mind, "somehow," i.e., by some artifice, could not recognize that ultimate reality had been close together with it from the beginningless up until the present moment. But now it seems that it is on the point of waking up to that fact.
is ascertained by depending on what reasoning? Depending on the
"revelation," i.e., elucidation, "by implication,"
i.e., by means of generalizations8 of the inference generated by the reason
of "relativity, the elder brother," (the author) thought (at
first) "That's it! That's it!" when he had not yet examined
analytically (the ramifications of this reason); (then), having sought the
import through analytic examination, finding nothing to hang on to, he
thought "That's not it! That's not it!" (concluding with the
thought) "That non-existence in terms of intrinsic reality, "it
couldn't really be" the case! Here, calling voidness, "the
mother" is extremely appropriate, since (the Buddha) also proclaimed
voidness with the name "mother" in the Prajnaparamita Sutras.9
SUTRAS EXPLAINED DAILY
Major Mahayana scriptures are explained every day at Gold Mountain Monastery. At the present tine an AVATAMSAKA assembly, rare because of the vast scope of this Sutra, is in progress. This king of Sutras, containing the complete expression of the ultimate enlightenment of Buddhahood, is being explained at eight weekly lectures. Night at 7:00: weekends at 12:30 and 7:00 PM. There I no charge for lectures on the Dharma, and the public is welcome.