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A lamentation requesting blessings from the Great Compassionate One

A lamentation requesting blessings from the Great Compassionate One

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Translated by the Venerable Yangsi Rinpoche with Tenzin Namdrol at Deer Park Buddhist Center, Madison, Wisconsin, August 2001.

Herein lies a request for blessings through lamentation to the Lord of the World, Avalokiteshvara, composed by the Master Chandrakirti.

I prostrate to the all-mighty Bodhisattva Chenrezig

Arya Chenrezig, the great compassionate one,
Your perfect body the color of a stainless conch
Beautified by a pure, luminous moon disk
Like a thousand rays of sun shining in the sky
Overshadowing the brilliant light of the dakas
Renowned as the teacher and guide of the beings of the three realms of existence
You are the single friend of all migratory
Loving compassion protector deity, please consider me

1,000 arm Chenrezig

Chenrezig, the great compassionate one

I, from beginningless time
Have wandered in cyclic existence, on mistaken and abandoned paths
Erring due to mistakes and non-virtues of the past
I deeply regret and feel sorrow for all of my misdeeds

By the force of my egotistical actions
I am sinking within the ocean of cyclic suffering,
The blazing fire of anger burning my mind
The accumulated darkness of ignorance obscuring my wisdom.

My consciousness is submerged within the ocean of attachment
The mountain of great pride forces me down to the lower realms
The swirling winds of jealousy distract me in samsara
I am bound by the tight knots of egotistical view

Fallen into this pit of desire, like a well of burning coals
The mire of violent suffering falls like rain
The fire element, the scorching sun, burns from above
The water element, the moisture of the earth, brings cold from below
Outside the bitter cold burns
Raging winds terrorize me to the depths of my heart

This suffering is intensely difficult to bear—
How can you restrain yourself?
All of this suffering I have confronted
Never abandoning aspiring faith for you, Supreme Arya
Noble protector, how could you think not to benefit beings?

Loving protector, why won’t you show me compassion?
Miserable by reason of birth, I am weary of karma
Though despondent from fatigue, the force of karma cannot be changed
Its impetus is like a stream of water
And, like a hurricane, the power of karma is extremely difficult to reverse
These hardships are difficult to express

My body, speech, and mind come under the command of non-virtue
By the force of the fierce burning fire of negative karma
The miserable result of consciousness arises
If the aggregate—this body of illusion—cannot bear this
Loving protector Chenrezig, can you bear it?

When I seek to see the Compassionate One’s face
Luminous like the sun, lustrous like the moon
I cannot see with eyes afflicted
By the eye-disease of beginningless ignorance
Protector of the world, where are you now?
Unable to tolerate this terrible suffering
Reeling from the panic of extreme terror and fear
I utter this longing lamentation
A miserable, desperate plea for help
Loving protector Chenrezig, how can you bear it?
When, at the time of death, I change my body
I will be separated from friends and relatives, taken by the Lord of Death
My worldly relatives will not want to let me go
But due to the power of karma, I will be taken alone
If, at that time, no refuge exists for me
Will you, loving protector, dismiss me into samsara?

A being like me, oppressed by karma
Due to wrong prayers from beginningless time
Has not yet been released from the three realms, the place of samsara
As many times as I have taken rebirth over countless eons
Taking countless bodies which fell apart
If I collected the flesh and bones they would fill the world
If I collected the pus and blood it would equal the great ocean—
But if I consider what remains of my karma, it is beyond thought, inexpressible

Although I have passed through the three realms countless times
All of my actions have been a meaningless waste
Among all of my possibly existent countless rebirths
If there had been only one in which
I had completed a single action towards the unsurpassable purpose of enlightenment
From doing only that, there would have been some meaning

Karma is powerful, and due to the great force of the afflictions
Beings take bodies of flesh and blood and wander in samsara
Caught in the wretched misery of the prison of existence
Due to my wrongdoings all of this fierce, inexhaustible suffering
Arises from my own actions—
I request you, with your great compassion, to cut this continuum
And destroy the winds of affliction and karma

As I wander perpetually in the darkness of ignorance
By the power of the winds of affliction and karma
Can’t you see with the rays of your lamp of wisdom?
Since I cannot endure the results of my wrong actions
Won’t you carry out your compassionate enlightened activity?
Since I suffer the sickness of the three poisons, so difficult to bear
Won’t you heal me with the skillful medicine of compassion?
Since I plummet from the cliff of wrong views
Won’t you catch me with your compassionate hand?
Since I burn in the great suffering fire of karma
Won’t you allow the cooling continuum of the water of your compassion to fall upon me?

Once I have purified my karma in the three realms of cyclic existence
And obtained my goal
At that time your great compassion will be of no benefit to me
If you disregard the karmic propensities of sentient beings
For whom will your great compassion act?
To you, supreme tamer of beings, endowed with the power of compassion
Please don’t be careless, indifferent or lazy—
Compassionate victor, from your heart, look upon me!

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.