Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Atisha's Lamp to the Path of Enlightenment Part 1

Here are the first ten verses:

I bow in great reverence to all past, present and
Future Victors, to their Doctrine and Communities.
I shall light a Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment,
At the request of my good disciple Byang-chub-'od.

In that they are Inferior or Mediocre or Superior,
Persons should be understood as three:
The characteristics of each are very clear,
and I shall note how they differ from one another.

One who by every means he finds,
Seeks by the pleasure of samsara,
And cares but for himself alone, that one
Is known as the Inferior Person.

One who puts life's pleasures behind
And turns himself from deeds of sin,
Yet cares only about his own peace,
That person should be called Mediocre.
One who wholly seeks a complete end
To the entire suffering of others because
Their suffering belongs to his own [conscious] stream,
That person is a Superior.

For those pure beings whose desire
Is the highest of Enlightenments,
I shall explain the right means
Which were taught me by my Gurus.

Facing a painted image of the Perfect Buddha,
Or in front of holy reliquaries and the like,
Give worship with flowers and incense
And whatever objects may be at hand.

Then with the Sevenfold Worship expressed
In the Deeds of Samantabhadra,
And a mind that does not turn back until
The Heart of Enlightenment is reached,

With great faith in the Three Jewels,
Bending knee to the ground,
And folding the hands
First take the Three Refuges thrice.

Then, because the Thought of Love for
All creatures is the prerequisite,
One looks out on all the world,
Suffering in death, transmigration,
And rebirth in the three bad destinies: