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Wheel of Sharp Weapons | 81-119

Wheel of Sharp Weapons
by Dharmarakṣita
part III

(81)

We don’t pay attention to what others tell us;
we’re a trial to be with; we strain others’ nerves.
Our feelings are hurt at the slightest remark,
and we hold grudges strongly – we never forgive.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(82)

We always are jealous of those of great status;
we feel holy gurus are threats to avoid.
Overwhelmed by attachment and ruled by our passions,
we spend all our time lusting after young loves.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(83)

We don’t think of friendships as long-term commitments,
we treat old companions with thoughtless neglect.
And when we are making new friends with a stranger,
we try to impress him in grandiose ways.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(84)

We lack clairvoyance, yet lie, feigning powers,
and then when proved wrong, we must bear all complaints.
We have little compassion for those who are near us;
whenever they blunder, we are quick to lash out.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(85)

We have poor education and limited knowledge;
whenever we speak we’re unsure of ourselves.
Our learning in scriptural texts is so meagre,
when hearing new teachings we doubt they are true.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(86)

By making a habit of anger and passion,
we come to despise everyone that we meet;
and by making a habit of jealous resentment,
we ascribe fruits to others, disclaiming their worth.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(87)

We don’t follow proper procedures of study;
we say it is needless to read the vast texts.
We feel there’s no value in learning from gurus;
we slight oral teachings and think we know best.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(88)

We fail to explain what the Three Baskets teach,
but instead dwell on theories we’ve made up ourselves.
We lack deep conviction and faith in the teachings,
whatever we say leaves disciples confused.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(89)

We do not despise actions unwise and immoral,
instead we dispute and attempt to pick flaws
in the excellent teachings and great masters’ works.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(90)

We are never embarrassed when acting disgracefully,
only respectable deeds cause us shame.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(91)

All the things we should do, we don’t do even once,
for improper behaviour takes up all our time.

Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centred butcher
who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(92)

O mighty destroyer of selfishness-demons.
With body of wisdom unchained from all bonds,
Yamāntaka, come brandish your skull-headed bludgeon
of egoless wisdom of voidness and bliss.
Without any misgivings, now wield your fierce weapon
and wrathfully swing it 3 times round your head.

(93)

With all of your fierceness, come smash this foul enemy!
Burst ego-concepts with your wisdom’s great might!
With your boundless compassion, protect us from suffering
the miseries caused by our self-centred actions;
destroy our self-cherishing once and for all!

(94)

With all of the sufferings that others experience,
smother completely our selfish concern.
The sufferings of others arise from 5 poisons;
thus whichever delusion afflicts other beings
take it to smother delusions of self.

(95)

Though we have not a doubt, for we recognize fully
the cause and the root of mistakes we all make,
if there is still left a part of our minds
that would tend to support this delusion of self that we have,
then destroy the firm hold of this part of our minds
that, against our true wishes, makes fools of us still.

(96)

As all that is wrong can be traced to one source
our concern for ourselves whom we cherish the most,
we must meditate now on the kindness of others.
Accepting the suffering that they never wished for,
we must dedicate fully our virtues to all.

(97)

Thus accepting ourselves
all deluded non-virtuous actions that others have done
in the past, in the present and future
with mind, speech and body,
may delusions of others as well as our own
be the favoured conditions to gain our Enlightenment,
just as the peacocks eat poison and thrive.

(98)

As crows may be cured after swallowing poison
by a powerful antidote given in time,
let’s direct to all others our virtuous merit,
that this may replenish their chances for freedom.
May all sentient beings reach Buddhahood soon!

(99)

Till the time when all motherly beings and I
gain the perfect conditions for us to be Buddhas,
though the force of our actions may cause us to wander
through various realms in the 6 rebirth states,
may we always be able to help one another
to keep our aim fixed on Enlightenment’s shore.

(100)

Then for even the sake of but one sentient being
may we gladly take birth in the 3 lower states.
With Enlightening conduct that never grows weak
may we lead all the beings in miserable rebirths
out of their sufferings and causes for pain.

(101)

As soon as we’ve placed ourselves into their realm
may the guards of the hells come to see us as gurus.
May the weapons of torture they hold turn to flowers;
may all harm be stilled, peace and happiness grow.

(102)

Then may even hell beings develop clairvoyance
and take higher rebirths as men or as gods.
By developing strongly the wish to be Buddhas,
may they pay back our kindness through heeding the teachings
and regard us as gurus with confident trust.

(103)

Then may all sentient beings of the 3 higher rebirths
perfect meditation on ego-lessness.
In this way, may they realize the non-self-existence
of worldly involvement and freedom as well.
May they place concentration on both of these equally,
seeing their natures as equally void.

(104)

If we practice these methods, we shall soon overcome
our true enemies: selfish concern and self-love.
If we practice these methods, we shall overcome
also false concepts of ego we hold to be real.
Thus by joint meditation on ego-lessness
and on non-dual wisdom of voidness and bliss,
how can anyone not gain the causes to win
a Buddha’s physical body and its fruit, Buddhahood?

(105)

O mind, understand that the topics discussed here
are interdependent phenomena all;
for things must rely on dependent arising to have an existence:
they cannot stand alone.
The process of change is alluring like magic,
for physical form is but mental appearance,
as a torch whirling round seems a circle of flame.

(106)

There is nothing substantial to anyone’s life-force:
it crumbles apart like a water-soaked log;
and there is nothing substantial to anyone’s life span:
it bursts in an instant like bubbles of foam.
All the things of this world are but fog-like appearance:
when closely examined, they fade out of sight.
Like mirages these things at a distance seem lovely,
but when we come closer, they are not to be found.

(107)

All things are like images found in a mirror,
and yet we imagine they are real, very real;
all things are like mist or like clouds on a mountain,
and yet we imagine they are stable and firm.
Our foe: our insistence on ego-identities
truly our own, which we wish were secure,
and our butcher: the selfish concern for ourselves
– like all things these appear to be truly existent,
though they never have been truly existent at all.

(108)

Although they appear to be concrete and real,
they have never been real, anytime, anywhere.
They’re not things we should burden with ultimate value,
nor should we deny them their relative truth.
As our grasping for egos and love for ourselves
lack substantial foundations with true independence,
how can they yield acts that exist by themselves?
And then how can this cruel vicious circle of suffering,
the fruit of these actions, be real from its core?

(109)

Although all things thus lack inherent existence,
yet just as the face of the moon can be seen
in a cup of clear water reflecting its image,
the various aspects of cause and effect
appear in this relative world as reflections.
So please, in this world of appearances only,
let’s always be sure what we do is of virtue
and shun all those acts that would cause us great pain.

(110)

When our bodies are charred in a horrible nightmare
by the world-ending flames of a stellar explosion,
although this ordeal is not actually happening,
we nevertheless feel great terror and scream.
In similar fashion, unfortunate rebirths in hells or as ghosts
are not actually real, and yet we can fully experience their pain.
Thus fearing such suffering as burning alive,
we must cease all these actions that yield this result.

(111)

When our minds are delirious,
burning with fever, although there’s no darkness,
we feel we are plummeting further and further into a black pit
with the walls pressing closer the deeper we fall.
In similar fashion, although our dark ignorance lacks self-existence,
we nevertheless must by all means break out
of its strangling constriction by putting the 3 kinds of wisdom to use.

(112)

When musicians are playing a beautiful melody,
should we examine the sound they are making
we would see that it does not exist by itself.
But when we’re not making our formal analysis,
still there’s a beautiful tune to be heard,
which is merely a label on notes and on players,
that’s why lovely music can lighten sad hearts.

(113)

When we closely examine effects and their causes,
we see that they both lack inherent existence:
they can’t stand alone, either whole or apart,
yet there seem to exist independently rising and falling events,
which, in fact, are conditioned by various forces, components and parts.
It is this very level on which we experience
birth and our death and whatever life brings.
So please, in this world of appearances only,
let’s always be sure what we do is of virtue
and shun all those acts that would cause us great pain.

(114)

When a vase has been filled by the dripping of water,
the first drops themselves did not fill it alone;
nor was it made full by the last several drops.
It was filled by an interdependent collection
of causes and forces that came all together
– the water, the pourer, the vase and such things.

(115)

It’s precisely the same when we come to experience
pleasure and pain: the results of our past.
Effects never come from the first causal actions,
nor do they arise from the last several acts.
Both pleasure and pain come from interdependent collections
of forces and causes combined.
So please, in this world of appearances only,
let’s always be sure what we do is of virtue
and shun all those acts that would cause us great pain.

(116)

When not making formal dissections with logic,
merely letting life’s happenings flow freely on,
although we experience feelings of pleasure,
in ultimate truth, this appearance of happiness
lacks self-existence inherently real.
And yet on the everyday operative level
this seeming appearance has relative truth.
To understand fully this deep profound meaning
for slow-minded persons, alas, will be hard.

(117)

And now, when we try to do close contemplation on voidness,
how can we have even a feeling
of conventional truth at the very same time?
Yet what can there be that has true self-existence?
And what can there be that lacks relative truth?
How can anyone anywhere believe in such things?

(118)

Just as objects of voidness are non-self-existent,
the voidness of objects itself is the same.
The shunning of vice and the practice of virtue
are likewise devoid of all mental constructions
that they’re independent, self-contained acts.
In fact, on the whole, they are lacking completely
all mental projections and all preconceptions.
Thus, if we can focus our clear concentration on voidness
without our mind wandering astray,
then truly we’ll come to be wondrous beings
with a deep understanding of the most profound void.

(119)

By practicing this way the 2 Bodhichittas
of the ultimate and the conventional truth,
and thus by completing without interference
collections of insight and merit as well,
may all of us quickly attain full Enlightenment
granting what we and all others have wished.