Bardo Song

Bardo Song of Reminding Oneself

from the Secret Dakini Training Mother Tantra
of the Great Perfection

Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang, music composed by Tara Trinley Wangmo

Kyema.

Sentient beings like ourselves with heavy dreadful karma

Drift since time without beginning through samsara’s realms.

While we still will have to go through torment that is endless,

Not a moment’s real remorse has ever filled our hearts.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to let the wish for freedom grow within.

This precious life is found, but our time completely wasted,

Meaningless pursuits always diverting our lives.

Laziness abducting the most meaningful, our freedom,

We leave empty-handed this land of precious gems.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to make this life be truly meaningful.

Everyone upon this earth will die, without exception.

People pass away right now, like standing in a line.

Since we also have to die, and this can happen shortly,

It is surely foolish to make plans for many years.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to not waste time but keep to shorter plans.

Loving spouse and friends continue, each their separate journeys.

Others will enjoy the wealth we piled up stingily.

Also left behind will be this fondly treasured body,

While our mind will roam the bardo with no place or aim.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us so we can see: for these we have no need.

Confronted with frightening darkness before us,

Confronted with a terrifying darkness right before us,

Chased at our rear by karma’s cruel, ferocious storm,

Lord of Death’s repulsive thugs will batter us and force us

To endure the painful rebirths in the wretched states.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to flee the abyss of the lower realms.

Though our faults are mountains we maintain them veiled from others.

Though another’s fault is slight we tell it far and wide.

Without the least of virtues we pretend to be outstanding.

While using dharma names we act exactly contrary.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to pacify conceited selfishness.

The self-belief, our nemesis, we keep concealed within us.

All our thoughts cause nothing but emotions to increase.

All our deeds will only bear a fruit that is unwholesome,

Not a single step onward on liberation’s path.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to cut self-clinging from its very root.

The slightest praise or blame can cause us so much joy or sorrow.

A single hurtful word destroys our shield of tolerance.

When we see a destitute we feel no wish to help him,

Every chance for charity held back by stinginess.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to bring the truest Dharma to our hearts.

Samsara is just pointless but we think that it has some purpose.

Just for food and clothing we discard the lasting good.

Having all we need we are consumed by further craving,

Letting magical illusions mislead our minds.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to shed the interest living on like this.

Bearing not the slightest pain, not physical or mental,

While our stone-hearts feel no fear of taking dreadful births.

Though we see directly: what you sow is what you’re reaping.

Rather than wholesome it is harm we carry on.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to feel conviction in causation’s law.

Hating enemies we love our family and friendships.

Delusion’s gloomy clouds obscure what’s right and what is wrong.

Training in the Dharma’s ways we’re drowsy, dim or sleepy,

But during mundane deeds our senses are both sharp and clear.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us: slay selfish feelings, the true enemy.

Looking from outside we seem the truest Dharma people,

While inside the Dharma has not even touched our hearts.

Just like lethal snakes, emotions are concealed within us,

The practitioner’s faults are all laid bare when put to test.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to try to soften up our rigid hearts.

While we fail to notice even our greatest defects,

We play the Dharma person, doing every type of wrong.

Selfish deeds and feelings have become our ingrown habits.

Every time a good thought moves, each time it comes to naught.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to acknowledge all the faults that are our own.

Every day that passes brings our passing that much closer.

Every day that passes our hearts have grown more cold.

Trust in our teachers have now steadily diminished.

Love and true respect for Dharma friends have dropped away.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to tame this savageness within our hearts.

While we chanting the refuge, prayers, and form the bodhichitta,

Devotion and compassion are not felt in our hearts.

These activities of Dharma are no more than chanting.

We go through the motions while our hearts remain untouched.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us so Dharma penetrates our every deed.

Misery, it’s said, is caused by wanting selfish pleasure.

Buddhahood is found from wanting every others’ well.

Forming bodhichitta but in secret we stay selfish.

While not helping others, we will bring them only harm.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us that we can put ourselves in others’ place.

Though a buddha in the flesh, we think he’s just a person.

The guru’s gift of kind advice we often don’t recall.

When not getting our way we lose every conviction.

His noble thoughts and deeds get veiled by doubting and distrust.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us so that true devotion may not fade but grow.

Our minds are buddhas, but we do not recognize this.

Though our thoughts are dharmakaya, we don’t realize.

Uncontrived the natural way, but we fail to maintain it.

Naturalness the basic state, but we lack certainty.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to free our natural knowing in itself.

Though our death will clearly come, we lack the guts to face it.

Though the Dharma surely helps, we lack sincerity.

Though the law of karma works, we fail to choose in earnest.

Heedfulness is needed, but forgotten every time.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to keep an undistracted mindfulness.

Born of nasty karma here in Kaliyuga’s ending,

All we’ve done till now results in further painful states.

Veiled by negative companionship like blurring cloudbanks,

Spiritual activities are robbed by pointless talk.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to practice Dharma with more fortitude.

First we thought of nothing but a life with dharmic meaning,

But results are rebirths in samsara’s painful realms.

Fruits of freedom are now wrecked by frost of harmful actions,

The goal of lasting value has been savagely destroyed.

Guru, would you hear us, help us right now with your kindness.

Inspire us to practice Dharma until it’s complete.

Inspire us to disenchantment from our deepest being.

Inspire us to not waste time but keep to shorter plans.

Inspire us to think sincerely we are merely mortals.

Inspire us to feel deep trust in actions’ consequence.

Inspire us so our path is never blocked by hindrance.

Inspire us to practice with a joyous constancy.

Inspire us to see misfortune as part of our journey.

Inspire us to use the remedies with steadfastness.

Inspire us to feel devotion that is true, authentic.

Inspire us to recognize our being’s natural state.

Inspire us so natural knowing wakens deep within us.

Inspire us to cut confusion at its very root.

Inspire us so in this life we reach enlightenment.

We call on you, precious guru.

With longing we cry, gracious Dharma Lord.

Have pity for us, we have no hope but you.

Bless us to see our minds were never two.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s