Advice for the Elder Mantra Holder Wangden

from The Essential Amrita of Profound Meaning: Oral Instructions and Practical Advice Bestowed Upon Fortunate Followers, Eye-opener to What is to be Adopted and Abandoned

by Chokgyur Lingpa

May the lord guru’s blessings enter my heart.
May I practice the path unerringly.

Most practitioners these days are all talk, no substance.
If there’s no one applying the crucial points in an essential way,
what’s the use of endless empowerments, transmissions, and instructions?
Even if there is some benefit, it’s only the words that have been obtained.

People desire so deeply the reputation of being the ones to request teachings;
yet, if there is no one making sincere requests for the Dharma,
what’s the use of oral instructions and spiritual songs?
Even if there is some small benefit, it’s of little real use.

The collected works of the many scholars and siddhas
drift around the old temples, aimlessly propping the walls.
To really practice sincerely, you need to see samsara as flawed.
This defines the best practitioner.

When those who are called siddhas
are so attached to samsara,
there’s no need even to mention other practitioners.

While failing to sever your own selfish desires,
you claim to be serving the doctrine and beings,
and you boast of being someone with great, noble intentions,1
yet the words that spew from your mouth only bring shame to your nose.

A beggar doesn’t command the respect of a kingdom.2
First of all, you should attain liberation for yourself.
Only then does it make sense to work for others.
All you practitioners, keep this in your hearts.

At the request of the glorious, elderly, lay mantradhara Wangden (Powerful), at the Evam Dharma Camp in the sanctuary of Yangdzong Sky Treasury, I (Chokgyur Lingpa) sang whatever came to mind as a song.

| Lhasey Lotsawa Translations, 2021.


Source text
  • mChog gyur gling pa, “rJes ’jug skal bzang rnams la bstal pa’i zhal gdams bslab bya nyams len gyi skor spang blang mig ’byed zab don snying gi bdud rtsi.” In mChog gling bka’ ’bum skor. Vol. 36 of mChog gling bde chen zhig po gling pa yi zab gter yid bzhin nor bu’i mdzod chen po, 116-118. Kathmandu, Nepal: Ka-nying Shedrub Ling monastery, 2004.

  1. This line could also be read as, “You claim that you’ve taken rebirth for the benefit of others”; i.e., that you are a genuine, accomplished being who takes rebirth voluntarily, motivated by compassion for others. ↩︎

  2. I.e. acting in this way, just as a beggar isn’t shown respect by a kingdom, you will not gain others’ respect. ↩︎


Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa

Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources



sngags 'chang bgres pa dbang ldan la gdams pa

Advice for the Elder Mantra Holder Wangden


Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa


A piece of heart advice which Chokgyur Lingpa bestowed upon his disciple Wangden.