One day during this excellent period when everything was good and happy in the kingdom of Bala Ganj, the King’s father, Dzalendara, and his queen, Pure Light, went out for a walk, accompanied by their two sons, Shantibhadra and King Sun Moon, the latter with his queen, Moonlight. All of a sudden, Dzalendara and his queen disappeared. Some saw them flying high in space, some saw Dzalendara holding a katanka and a skull-cup, some saw him surrounded by a multitude of dakas and dakinis, while others saw him wearing a tiger skin. Thus he was seen simultaneously in many different forms. Then he vanished completely.
On days of special religious importance, such as the tenth and the twenty-fifth days of the lunar month, the dakas and dakinis used to meet in one of the eight sacred charnel grounds of India in order to practise meditation, exchange dharma teachings and so on. Dzalendara vanished on such a day. He went with the dakas and dakinis to the Cool Grove charnel ground and, being made the leader of the gathering, he gave them many vajrayana teachings, saying:
Ah Ho! All thoughts of the five poisons
Appear as the ornaments of voidness.
Being utterly pure, the world, beings, and
The original mandala are the great identity,
Where vast offerings blessed by the pure bliss
Of meditation are offered from within the union of voidness and intelligence, free from all dualistic thoughts.
The expression of pure intelligence is samsāra and nirvana and, within the space of great bliss,
Union, liberation, purification and practice of the path
Have all been completed.
The magical display springing from pure intelligence
And the play of its dance into myriad transformations
Spread the ineffable and indestructible melody of the dharma in the ten directions.
While saying this, Dzalendara showed a multitude of extraordinary miracles to the dakas and dakinis. Meanwhile, King Sun Moon realised that his father had gone to the Cool Grove charnel ground for the occasion of a special religious day and he told this to his brother Shantibhadra, their teacher of the old days, Bodhisattva Master of Qualities and the Buddhist Minister Kham Maht. He explained that if they all went to the cemetery together and prayed very hard to meet Dzalendara, they may be able to see him on the occasion of the next gathering, a month later. Thus they left for Cool Grove and spent a long time there, praying and making offerings, until one morning a yogi appeared in the middle of the funeral ground. His skin was brown and he had long, dishevelled hair and a long, long beard. He wore bone ornaments and a tiger-skin skirt and was holding a skull-cup in the left hand and a katanka in the right hand. At first no one knew who this yogi was but Sun Moon soon recognised him as his father and requested him to give them empowerment into the vajrayana level of Buddhism and help them to become mahasiddhas in that very life. In answer to this request Dzalendara pointed his finger to the hearts of his sons and minister and gave them the deep pointing-out instructions on the view, meditation and practice of mahāmudra,
Manifestation and sound arise
From subtle mental imprints created by thoughts.
Just as a drawing in water vanishes of itself,
False appearances also disappear automatically
When their lack of reality is understood
As being nothing beyond suchness.
This is the mahamudra view.
All appearances manifest through the portal of mind.
If it is left unobstructed and unspoilt by concepts,
It is devoid of any solid reality.
It is vivid clarity and whatever appears
Is just left to happen naturally.
This is mahamudra meditation.
Illusory appearances are born of the belief in reality.
Supported by the constant understanding of their unreality,
One rests at ease within the spontaneous, original nature
And the space where nothing need be done is entered effortlessly.
This is mahamudra in practice.
These three points are my heart’s treasure.
Since yogis who go to the heart of everything
Are like my own heart,
For them I speak from the heart
These words which cannot be spoken to others.
When Dzalendara gave this deep teaching the earth shook and there was a rain of flowers. He then went on to tell his two sons that they should always practise bodhisattva deeds, until such time as all beings reach Buddhahood. And what of bodhisattva Master of Qualities? The pointing-out instruction given by the King made him recognise instantaneously the true nature of the mind. Achieving realisation and liberation at once, he went off to lead the life of a mahāsiddha, living in the twenty-four special places where mahāsiddhas used to stay. Through Dzalendara’s words, Minister Kham Maht was introduced to the true nature of his mind and, after gradual practice of all the levels of mahāmudra instruction, he also became a mahāsiddha. After bodhisattva Master of Qualities’ departure, the two princes and the minister put themselves at the feet of Dzalendara and requested him to be their guru throughout all their lives. Then the three of them returned together to the kingdom of Bala Ganj.
Dzalendara became a holder of the knowledge of immortality, remaining forever engaged in the activity of liberating beings everywhere and living in the twenty-four special mahāsiddha places and the eight great funeral grounds, teaching vajrayāna to the dākas and dākinis.
Dzalendara’s two sons and the minister returned to the kingdom of Bala Ganj. There, Shantibhadra received an invitation from the King of Bangala to come and teach dharma. He asked his brother Sun Moon whether he should go or not and Sun Moon simply replied that they should always be prepared to go wherever the task of the dharma had to be accomplished. Thus Shantibhadra went and taught the dharma extensively, making the presence of the teachings in Bangala even stronger than before. Under his influence the sangha grew considerably, to several hundred thousand monks. In Bala Ganj also, the sangha grew in similar proportion under the beneficial influence of King Sun Moon’s teachings.
This is the End of Part Three which concludes `The Lotus-Garden’, the wonderful story of the previous lives of His Holiness theXVIth Gyalwa Karmapa as Dzalendara and Sun Moon.
Dedication: This wonderful story of Dzalendara is the precious nectar flowing from the lips of His Holiness the XVIth Karmapa, who told this story of his previous lives without any distortion or falsity. When he told the story, he made the wish that it may be the cause for reaching buddhahood for all those who read it— not only for those who feel faith and devotion but also for those who feel dislike or disbelief.
In answer to His Holiness’ wish that “Dzalendara” be translated into English, Khenpo Chodrak Tenpel told the story to the western disciple Katia Holmes who, with his kind help, made this translation, hoping that it would give many beings the precious link with the one who can liberate all. May the great bodhisattvas and lamas forgive any mistake or omission.
Translated in Rumtek Monastery at the request of His Holiness the XVIth Gyalwa Karmapa, by Katia Holmes, M.A.,M.Sc., from Khenpo Chodrak Tenpel’s explanation of the Tibetan texts which record the precious words of their Holinesses the XVth and XVIth Gyalwang Karmapas. Edited by Ken Holmes (Dharmacarya Karma Shedrup) Share this Post
Featured image by Carlo Luyckx. Belgium. Dakini by Tenzin Norbu Dolpo. Nepal.
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