Category Archives: Translation

Anniversary of the Birth of His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché

Close-up of traditional scroll painting depicting His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché

His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché was born in Tibet on the 15th day of the 5th lunar month in the Western year 1929 in the village of Kyongtsang in the far eastern province of Amdo. In 2021, this date corresponds with June 24th on the Western calendar.

When he was eight years old, his father took him to the nearby monastery of Phuntsok Dargyé Ling where he learned to read, write and chant. At the age of fourteen, he received instructions on the preliminary practices of dzogchen and completed the nine-hundred thousand accumulations three times. In 1945 at the age of seventeen, he received novice monk vows from Kyangtsang Lama Sherap Tenpé and was given the name Sherap Namdak. He completed his Geshé Degree at the age of twenty-five under the guidance of Lopön Tenzin Lodro Gyatso Rinpoché. The following year, he traveled South to the Bön province of Gyalrong, where he printed copies of the Bön Kanjur from traditional woodblocks. After gathering a vast amount of material and using mules to carry more than 100 volumes of the sacred texts, he made an arduous six-month journey back to his monastery. In 1956 at the age of twenty-eight, he traveled to the famous Yungdrung Ling Monastery and received monk vows from the Pönlop and was given the name Sangyé Tenzin. In 1960 at the age of thirty-two, as he passed through Mustang and Dolpo on his way to India, he borrowed many rare texts in order to reprint them in India and ensure their preservation.

In 1968, many esteemed Yungdrung Bön lamas gathered together in order to coordinate the process of selecting a successor of the late 32nd Menri Trizin. After several days of extensive prayers and rituals, Sangyé Tenzin’s name emerged as the one to hold the lineage of Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen. In 1969 at the age of forty, after extensive preparatory initiations, he assumed his duties as the 33rd Abbot of Menri Monastery and began leading the effort to re-establish Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India.

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His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown

In 1970, he began construction of the main temple of Pal Shenten Menri Ling in Dolanji and lead efforts to restore Menri Monastery in Tibet. In 1972, he opened a dispensary at Pal Shenten Menri Ling that distributed medicine freely to the monks, the Tibetan settlers in the nearby village, as well as to the local Indians. In 1975, he began a school for the Bönpo children, and in 1978 he founded the dialectic school to continue the tradition of in-depth education of the traditional and philosophical sciences that results in the esteemed degree of geshe.

After many years of indescribable and tireless efforts on behalf of the Yungdrung Bön tradition as well as the worldwide Bön community and all sentient beings, he displayed the truth of impermanence and passed into nirvana on the 27th day of the 7th lunar month in the Western year 2017. The auspicious occasion of the celebration of his birth is an opportunity to generate great merit through spiritual practice and virtuous activities of body, speech and mind.

“EMAHO!

To the lama who is the embodiment of all of the victors and spiritual masters, who acts principally through the accomplishment of Bön for sentient beings who are as limitless as the sky,

I offer prostrations with my body, prostrating with my arms, legs and head!

I prostrate with my speech, chanting with a joyous and inspired melody!

I prostrate with my mind, paying homage with single-pointed motivation and devotion!

May the negative actions and defilements of my three doors become purified!

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA KO PUNG AKSHO TRI TSE GU DÜN HRUN”

— From Offerings for the Lama

All translations by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Homage to the Buddha Satrik Érsang

Buddha Satrik Érsang

“Having the uncreated and uninterrupted nature of space,

You are the Sole Mother who has completely clear wisdom.  

From unborn space, clear light streams forth and becomes the Lord of Compassion. 

I prostrate to the enlightened state of Satrik Ersang!” 

Homage to Satrik Érsang from Sutra of the Mother’s Essence

In the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, there are Four Principal Enlightened Ones, the Dershek Tsozhi.  These are the four principal buddhas who offer skillful means in order to guide sentient beings during the time when the human life span averages one hundred years.  These Four Principal Enlightened Ones are often depicted individually as a central figure surrounded by two hundred fifty enlightened emanations.  These four buddhas are: (1) Satrik Érsang, (2) Shenlha Ökar, (3) Sangpo Bumtri, and (4) Tönpa Shenrap.

Satrik Érsang:  The name “Satrik Érsang” is from the Zhang Zhung language.  “Satrik” means “sherap, wisdom.” “Érsang” means “Jamma, loving mother.” Satrik Érsang appears as gold-colored with a single face and two hands.  In her right hand, she holds the external Five Warrior Seed Syllables: YANG, RAM, KHAM, SUNG, and OM. In her left hand, she holds a mirror.  She sits upon a throne held aloft by lions.  Surrounding her throughout the ten directions are: 1) the fifty peaceful, white goddesses who are emanations of her Body and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror, 2) the fifty peaceful, green goddesses who are emanations of her Speech and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror, 3) the fifty peaceful, red goddesses who are emanations of her Quality and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror, 4) the fifty peaceful, blue goddesses who are emanations of her Activity and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror. and 5) the fifty peaceful, gold colored goddesses who are emanations of her Mind and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror.  Together, these five groups of goddesses constitute her retinue of two hundred and fifty goddess emanations.

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Greatly Kind Lama, Think of Me!

His Eminence Menri Pönlop Yangtön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche during the Tibetan New Year celebrations. Photo credit: Unknown

“The Three Jewels are the infallible, constant place of refuge.

The Mother and Son are the single refuge from the prevalence of the five degenerations.*

Sidpé Gyalmo is the supreme mother, protector of the teachings.

Greatly kind Lama, embodiment of all of the Victorious Ones, think of me!

I pray single-pointedly that my wish for all obstacles to be removed will be perfectly accomplished!”

~Composed by the 20th century saint and Yungdrung Bön lama, Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche

* The Five Degenerations: (1) Degeneration of time due to strife, (2) Degeneration of the life-span, (3) Degeneration of the body, mind and speech of sentient beings, (4) Degeneration of the afflictive emotions due to the five poisons, and (5) Degeneration of the view due to erroneous views and misconceptions.

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Anniversary of the Human Birth of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché

Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché. Photo credit: Khedup Gyatso

The 15th day of the 12th lunar month, January 28, 2021 on the Western calendar is the 18,038th birth anniversary of the founder of the Yungdrung Bön tradition, the Enlightened Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwo Künlé Nampar Gyalwa.  Already an enlightened being, Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche chose to be born into this world in order to guide beings from suffering to liberation.  He was born into the royal Mu lineage in the kingdom of Tazig Olmo Lungring.

Traditionally, the anniversary of his birth has been celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar.  However, based upon research by the renowned Yungdrung Bön scholar and supreme lama, His Eminence Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, the actual date is believed to be the Full Moon day of the last month in the Tibetan lunar calendar.  This is a powerful and auspicious day for performing virtue or spiritual practice.  The benefits of these activities are greatly multiplied.

“Namo!  You are the supreme teacher, one who has gone beyond bliss, an authentic and completely enlightened being, a manifested buddha and teacher, Tönpa Shenrap Miwo. 

You have the wisdom of omniscience and possess both great compassion and skillful means.  You are without emotional afflictions and have ceased all defilements.  You have power and clear self awareness.  A marvelous emanation, you have cleared all obstructions and destroyed the door to birth into cyclic existence.  

Your face is like the sun and moon, and you see throughout the ten directions.  100,000 light rays emanate from your divine body.  You are adorned with ornaments which are like rainbows and your divine body is so beautiful that one does not know how to look away. 

In your right hand, you hold a golden chakshing painted with a turquoise yungdrung which shows that you are lord of the 3,000-fold universe and conqueror of this world system.  Your left hand holds the mudra of equipoise which shows that you have destroyed the door to birth into the cyclic existence of lower rebirth. 

May the cycle of manifested teachings completely turn, I pray!  Please hold us within your compassion myself and all other sentient beings without exception! 

I feel remorse for everything immoral and improper that has been experienced because of the power of the afflictive emotions.  I feel regret!  

Through this open admission of wrongdoing, please agree to cleanse and purify me, I pray! 

Free me from the ocean of suffering and misery of cyclic existence, I pray! 

AH OM HUNG SÉ LA GYER RO HRUN PUNG YÉ SOHA”

— Extracted from Homage to the Enlightened State of the Omniscient Tûlku

According to the text, today is a particularly auspicious day to recite The Tséwang Mönlam, Tséwang’s Precious Mala of Beneficial Aspiration Prayers. This prayer has been translated into English by Raven Cypress Wood and made publicly available for personal use. To find the download link for the translation, go to the Publications page of this website or click https://ravencypresswood.com/publications/ and scroll down.

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Protecting the Mind with Mantra

The benefits of reciting mantra [Tibetan: nyén pa] are vast and without measure. Although there are thousands of mantra within the Yungdrung Bön tradition, there is one mantra known as The Great Mantra. It is commonly referred to as the MA TRI mantra. This mantra has eight syllables: OM MA TRI MU YÉ SA LÉ DU. In general, the power of a mantra is in the sound and vibration of each syllable. They are like a vibrational seed of energy that gives birth to a specific energy and power. For this mantra, the first two syllables are the seed syllables of a male and female buddha. The remaining six syllables are the sound of the six buddhas that guide sentient beings out of suffering and misery caused by the five poisons of anger, attachment, jealousy, pride, and ignorance.

From Thirty-three Benefits of the MA TRI Mantra:

“This is the heart mantra of all the buddhas. It is of benefit for sentient beings at the end of the eon when their lifespan has become shorter and there is less morality.”

And,

“The recitation of this mantra is enough. It is the fundamental essence of the entire collection of sacred teachings. It is the ultimate of all recitations. It is the innermost essence of all meditations. It is a sacred connection for sentient beings during a dark time.”

— Words from the mouth of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché

The great mantra has many profound benefits and meanings. However, it is not necessary to be familiar with the thousands of pages of teachings and commentary devoted to the MA TRI mantra. In order to receive benefit from the mantra, it is enough to recite it with openness and trust. A mantra can be recited anytime, anywhere, out loud or silently if necessary. Especially when the mind is disturbed by inner or outer circumstances, focusing on the recitation of mantra has the immediate effect of protecting the mind from negativity and increasing a positive and beneficial state of mind.

“OM MA TRI MU YÉ SA LÉ DU

Alas! Fortunate Ones Listen!

Right here and now, because of our ignorance and delusion we have not attained mastery of the experience of awareness, and we wander throughout cyclic existence. We take on the magical illusion of solid flesh and undergo many kinds of suffering and misery.

There is no final escape. How sad!

Noble Ones who wish to travel the path of liberation in order to escape from that suffering and misery and arrive at a place of bliss, proclaim the melody of the MA TRI MU YÉ!”

And,

“OM MA TRI MU YÉ SA LÉ DU

Alas! Fortunate Ones Listen!

The many troops of mental dullness are the first.

The mighty coat of armor of pride is the second.

The trained army of envy is the third.

The sharp weapons of anger and hatred are the fourth.

These are the four frightening enemies that come from behind.

Noble Ones who wish to be delivered from those enemies, proclaim the melody of the MA TRI MU YÉ!”

— From Inspirational Verses Regarding the MA TRI written by the tertön Tülku Loden Nyingpo

All translations and content by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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