The Vidyadhara’s Poetry
of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
0ne never knew what might inspire a session of spontaneous poetry by the Vidyadhara, or at what time of day or night. Vajrayana transmission at the 1979 Vajradhatu Seminary was such an occasion, and a few invited guests, who joined Rinpoche in his upstairs sitting room at Chateau Lake Louise following this teaching, were in for a treat. Though it was not unusual for Rinpoche to spend time writing poetry, this had been a year of much instruction for his students in the composition of spontaneous songs expressing one’s realization, known as dohas in Sanskrit. The Vajrayogini practitioners, in particular, had been encouraged to write group dohas in the context of their feast practice.
John Rockwell, the only translator present among the guests, recalls it being quite a late night. At first Rinpoche was very quiet. Then, he began to say a word in Tibetan, like “soma,” indicating for John to offer a translation, “fresh.” After a bit more of this, the Vidyadhara began to compose a poem, which he did in Tibetan by writing this down on a sheet of notebook paper, using the most handy writing instrument nearby—a rather crude marking pen. John proceeded to translate the poem, with the Vidyadhara’s participation, and then this was shared with the assembled group. A number of dohas sprang forth that night, and their immediate vividness, mixed with the necessity for translation on the spot, continued the quality of that evening’s transmission quite wonderfully.
|Simplicity, free from conceptual mind,
Dawns as one taste, fresh relaxed.
Seeing nothing but That
Is the ordinary mind.
Spontaneously composed by the
Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Vajradhatu Seminary, Lake Louise, Alberta, 26 May 1979.
Original Tibetan reproduced in the Vidyadhara’s hand.
© 1979 by the Nālandā Translation Committee
|A cripple runs on the primordial plain.
A mute proclaims the dharma of prajna.
A deaf man listens to the command of mahayana.
At that time, mahamudra arises.
Saraha bursts out laughing.
The only father guru is very pleased.
Chögyam is drunk with the liquor of one taste.
No dharma, no source of dharma,
Because I have no father or mother,
6 May 1979
In particular, my teacher had nurtured me with maitri in accord with the dharma.
When I thought again and again of how great his kindness had been,
At first there arose a great feeling of sadness,
But then even the finest hairs of suffering dissolved into the natural state.
I rested in the wisdom mind of the guru,
Who bestowed a rain of blessings right there.
Excerpt from Light Rays of the Sun and Moon an autobiographical doha by
Trungpa Rinpoche, on the occasion of learning of the death
of one of his teachers, Rolpe Dorje.
© 2001 by the Nālandā Translation Committee