Tilopa's Mahamudra Song


This is the great Tilopa’ Mahamudra Song.

Tilopa was a great Buddhist sage, living at the beginning of 11th century (988–1069) in India and a very mythical person indeed. It is believed he has received Mahamudra teachings from primordial Buddha Vajradhara himself – the primordial essence of all things, the absolute Wisdom and Compassion.

This Mahamudra Song he later transmitted to Naropa near the Ganges river, when Naropa completed his twelve austerities given by his Guru.

Later Naropa gave it to Marpa Lotsawa, who translated these teachings and brought to Tibet. Later he taught it to yogi Milarepa and many other Buddhist masters. It is considered that Mahamudra Song Of Tilopa contains the essence of all teachings.

Mahamudra transcends all words
And symbols, but for you, Naropa,
Earnest and loyal,
I have to say this:

The Emptiness doesn’t need support,
Mahamudra rests on nothing.
Without making any effort,
One can break the yoke
Thus - reaching Liberation.

If one sees nothing when staring into space,
If with the mind one then observes the mind,
One destroys distinctions and reaches Buddhahood.

The clouds that wander through the sky
Have no roots, no home; nor do the distinctive
Thoughts, which float through the mind.
Once the nature of mind is seen,
Discrimination stops.

In space shapes and colours form,
But neither by black nor white is space tinged.
From the nature of mind all things emerge,
The mind is not tainted by virtues or vices.

The darkness of ages cannot hide the bright sun
Nor the long kalpas of samsara
can hide the splendid light mind.
Though words are spoken to explain the Emptiness,
Emptiness for itself can never be expressed.

Though we say "the mind is a bright light,"
It is beyond all words and symbols.
Although the mind’s nature is empty,
It embraces and contains all things.

Do nothing with the body but relax,
Shut firm the mouth and keep silent.
Empty your mind and focus onnothingness.
Like a hollow bamboo relax your body.
Without giving or taking, put your mind to rest.

Mahamudra is like a mind that clings to nothingness.
Thus practicing, you will reach Buddhahood.
The practice of Mantra and Paramita,
Instruction in the Sutras and Precepts,
And teaching of Schools and Scriptures will not bring
Realization of the Inner Truth.
If the mind with desire is looking to goal,
It only conceals the Light.

He who keeps Tantric Precepts,
Yet makes discriminations,
betrays the spirit of samaya.
Cease all activity,
abandon all desire,
let thoughts arise and disappear
like the waves of the ocean.

He who never harms the Non-abiding
Nor the Principle of Non-distinction,
Uphold the Tantric Precepts.
He who abandons craving
And doesn’t cling to this or that,
Realize the true meaning of Scriptures.

In Mahamudra all sins are burned;
In Mahamudra one is released
From the prison of this world.
This is the Dharma's supreme torch.
Those who doesn’t believe it
Are fools who ever wallow
In misery and sorrow.

To strive for Liberation
One should rely on a Guru.
When your mind receives his blessing
Liberation is at hand.

Thus, all things of this world are insignificant,
nothing, but seeds of sorrow.
Small teachings lead you to act small;
one should follow only the great teachings.

Transcending duality is the vision of the king.
Conquer distractions is the practice of kings.
The path of non-practice is the way of all Buddhas.
One who travels that road reaches Buddhahood.

This world is transient,
like ghosts and dreams, without any substance.
Renounce it and forsake your kin,
cut the cords of lust and hatred
and meditate in the forests and mountains.

If without effort you remain
Loosely in the "natural state,"
Soon Mahamudra you will win
And attain the Non-attainment.

Cut the root of a tree
And the leaves will wither;
Cut the root of your mind
And samsara will fall.

The light of any lamp
Dispels in a moment
The darkness of long kalpas;
The strong light of the mind
In just a flash will burn
The veil of ignorance.

Whoever clings to mind sees not
The truth of what's beyond the mind.
Whoever strives to practice Dharma,
Finds not the truth that’s beyond the practice.

To see what is Beyond both mind and practice,
One should cut cleanly through the root of mind
And observe it naked.

One should thus break away
From all distinctions and remain at ease.
One should not give or take
But remain natural,
For Mahamudra is beyond
All acceptance and rejection.

Since Alaya is unborn,
No one can obstruct or soil it;
Staying in the "Unborn" realm
All appearance will dissolve Into the Dharmata,
And the will and pride will vanish into nothingness.

The supreme Understanding transcends
All this and that.

Supreme Understanding
transcends "this" and "that".
The supreme action
handles all situations, without attachment.
The supreme realization
is to realize immanence without hope.

At first, the yogi feels his mind
falls as a waterfall;
half of its course flows slow and placid,
as the Ganges;

In the end,
It is a great vast ocean,
Where the Lights of Son and Mother
Merge into One.