Letter Sent to Lama Lhumgompa
(bla ma lhum sgom pa la bskur ba’i ‘phrin)
by Chöjé Marpa Sheyrab Yéshey (chos rje smar pa shes rab ye shes, 1135–1203)
Translated from the Tibetan by Erick Tsiknopoulos, 2016
[“May all be auspicious.”]
I bow at the feet of the Precious One.
On the marvelous lotus in the sky,
There are thirty-seven pollen beds.
On each and every one of those pollen beds,
Are inconceivably many millions of light-beams.
That is the natural condition of Nirvāṇa.
As for the sole rabbit’s horn supreme,
It beautifies well the twelve wrinkles;
Whomever it strikes is stirred with pain.
The Teachers, essential identity of the Buddhas throughout the three times,
Who are endowed with kindness,
In the fathomless mansion of original deep wisdom,
Reveal the nature of mind in the aspect of Deities of the Absolute Body (dharmakāya).
O Vajra Brother of indestructible realization,
Although the lands we live in have become different,
We meet ultimately, beyond convening or parting.
The one innermost intent to the meaning of the natural condition,
And the three of View, Meditation and Conduct,
Are not encompassed by expression with words:
In actuality, they go beyond intellect and are undefinable.
The innermost intent of the Buddhas throughout the three times,
The spoken dialogues of the Oral Transmissions [Kagyü] of yore,
And the experience of the Yogi, these three,
Can bring matters to resolution, right within one’s mind.
And so it was that the vagabond Buddhist monk, Sheyrab Yéshey, sent this to Lama Lhumgompa.
(Translated from the Tibetan by Erick Tsiknopoulos, March 2016.
Found in the collection of poems, songs and other writings by Marpa Sheyrab Yéshey, chos-rgyal smar-pa’i mgur-‘bum legs-par bzhugs so, published by the Martsang Kagyu Global Corporation, Taipei/Delhi 2015, pages 150-151)
Erick Tsiknopoulos (b. 1981) is an American translator of Tibetan, a scholar, researcher and postgraduate student in Buddhist Studies, a teacher and tutor of Tibetan language, a writer and editor, a voracious reader in various subjects, and an experienced world traveler. He is the founder and primary Tibetan translator of the Sugatagarbha Translation Group, and the creator of their main website, Tibetan-Translations.com, which currently features English translations of over 400 Tibetan texts. Many of his translations have been published in various forms, including as books.
He has been a student of Buddhism since 1999, a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 2003, and a student of Tibetan language since 2005. He has been translating Tibetan texts into English since 2007, has been based in India and Nepal studying Tibetan language and Buddhism intensively and translating Tibetan texts since 2008, and has been working professionally as a Tibetan-English translator and interpreter since 2009.
He is available for contact via email at: EmptyElephant@yahoo.com and SugatagarbhaTranslations@gmail.com