Twenty Wonderful Miracles Tell of Appearance of Reality

Over the years many people have asked Rinpoche to recount his life story. Rinpoche has composed these verses about twenty wonderful miracles to tell the story of his twenty years of teaching in the West. Each verse teaches about what he taught each year. Rinpoche says this is much more important than to know where he went each year, where he slept, what he ate, etc., all of which he doesn't remember anyway.

Namo Guru Hasa Vajra

Samsara and nirvana are undifferentiable
And even though you realized this
To purify your thoughts of their attributes
You gained Buddhahood in just one life
Mighty hero, Shepa Dorje
At your feet, I bow with great respect. (Homage)

Genuine reality transcends birth and death
False appearances, birth and death are like watermoons
Knowing this will make it easy to
Cut through clinging to birth and death as true
Such an explanation of birth and death--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (1)

Since no actor exists, neither does activity
But in terms of appearance, they arise dependently
Just like dream happiness and suffering
And in this way, good and bad deeds result in joy and pain
Such an explanation of cause, result, and karma--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (2)

Samsara's suffering has never existed
Its appearance is like agony in a dream
Of the very nature of dependent arising
You can't separate appearance from emptiness
Such an explanation of suffering--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (3)

This human body that has faith, diligence, and prajna,
Is so difficult to find, we're told in many ways
But it too is just a watermoon
Dependently arisen, this you should know
This way of thinking about something so hard to get--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (4)

All phenomena outside and inside
Decay each moment, they have no power to remain
But this source of sadness, when examined closely
Reveals that impermanence doesn't exist either!
This way of meditating on impermanence--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (5)

Your friends depend on your enemies
And your enemies depend on your friends
All friends and enemies exist dependently
Just like the ones that you meet in dreams
This way of understanding friends and enemies--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (6)

Without joy, pain is impossible
Without pain, joy is impossible
They are the very essence of dependent existence
They are without the slightest substance
This way of understanding joy and pain--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (7)

When there is clean it is because of unclean
And unclean itself depends on clean
They are of the nature of equality
As they are when they appear in dreams
This way of eliminating thoughts of clean and filth
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (8)

Gain and pleasure, praise and sweet sounds--these four
They rely on their opposites for their very existence
Watermoons and dreams, they have no substance
The eight worldly dharmas are such wonderful miracles! (9)

Being learned depends on being stupid
And being stupid depends on being learned
Both are just dreams and watermoons
Scholar and fool not different--what a wonderful miracle! (10)

From the unborn mind, beyond conceptuality
Appearances self-arise, and by themselves are free
Just like waves dissolving into the ocean vast
The basic way of being--what a wonderful miracle! (11)

No one to progress, no path to progress upon
No progressing whatsoever going on
But the way of progressing that we see
From cause and condition, arises dependently
Like the moon dancing on the waves
This way of traversing the path--what a wonderful miracle! (12)

Nothing to realize, no one to realize it
No realization can be seen, not even a little bit
But our words can describe so carefully
The way of realization that occurs dependently
It is like seeing the moon in a dream
This way of realizing the fruition--what a wonderful miracle!(13)

Since fundamentally, there are no conceptual elaborations,
The basic state transcends all reference points and assertions
Yet from this expanse that concepts cannot experience
Conceptuality arises in great abundance!
This way of explaining genuine reality--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (14)

The completely false appearances that you see
Transcend both true and false in reality
But to stop you from thinking that they are true
You are taught that they are false
To halt this clinging to falsity, it is not explained that they have any reality
Liberation from true and false--E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (15)

Genuine reality's dharmakaya
Cannot be experienced by conceptual mind
But there is the way the sambhogakaya
Appears to the noble bodhisattvas
And to the various beings, the nirmanakaya
Appears in a watermoon's style
This way of explaining the three kayas--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (16)

We have so many thoughts that we are suffering
But this suffering is just like a dream!
And if you can recognize these thoughts' true nature
Suffering will be self-liberated as soon as it appears!
The ice so easily melting into water
Transformation explained like that--what a wonderful miracle! (17)

Though the wisdoms five and the kayas three
Are all explained individually
Like a sound's impermanence and composite nature
Kayas and wisdoms are really undifferentiable
This explanation of ultimate union--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (18)

Through great compassion, the Buddha's activity
Accomplishes the benefit of sentient beings
But the benefitted ones really don't exist at all
Completely falsely, benefit performed is as in a dream
This explanation of Buddha activity--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (19)

Pure and impure are just imaginary,
They do not exist in the expanse of equality
Equality's expanse encompasses absolutely everything
And nothing can ever move from it at all
This explanation of equality--
E ma! What a wonderful miracle! (20)

Why are these all so incredibly miraculous?
Genuine reality, true being, free of conceptuality
Appearances transcending truth and falsity
E ma! All phenomena are wonderful miracles!
When you grasp all of this
You realize Mahayana's profound meaning

When you grasp all of this
You are a worthy vessel for the Great Secret
When you grasp all of this
You help everyone in a natural way
So may all you fortunate ones
Realize this meaning well!

So was the casual talk of Dechen Rangdröl in the Garden of Translation, near the Great Stupa of Boudhanath, Nepal, on December 17 and 18, 1997. Translated by Ari Goldfied. Translation revised February 25, 1998.

This section of the KTD Web site also includes a biography of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche with links to some of his teachings.

Copyright ©1998, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra. All rights reserved.