The 2nd Khunu Lama Rinpoche’s ‘The Lamp of Advice Which Illuminates That Which Is To Be Adopted And Abandoned’

The Lamp of Advice which Illuminates That Which is to Be Adopted and Abandoned

by the 2nd Khunu Lama Rinpoche [Khunu Negi Rinpoche]


Divine navigator of wandering beings, Transcendent Conqueror,
The very identity of great compassion, like a jewel in the sky,
Absolute alleviator of living beings’ multitudes of toils:
To the Teacher of authentic reality, I prostrate.

The basic essence of the mind itself is naturally lucid,
However, due to its present conceptualization, it is fully obscured.
Opposing its primordial wisdom are disturbing emotions and habitual tendencies;
Separating from those negative obscurations, enlightenment is actualized.

The Victorious One, therefore, has a river of ambrosial nectar
Of eighty-four thousand methods to clear away stains.
Summarizing all of their vital essence,
the three pure stages of the path are taught:

Perform no actions arising from disturbing emotions whatsoever,
Perform the power of virtue in abundance,
The root of this is taming one’s mind:
Through exertion, the way close to omniscience will manifest.

Although your conduct of body and speech may be like the shravakas and pratyekabuddhas,
As your intention of mind is not completely pure,
How can you attain the supreme spiritual accomplishments?
Therefore, earnestly activate bodhichitta.

If you mix bodhichitta with your mind-stream,
By arriving at the pith of the Sacred Dharma, you will travel on the Path.
Otherwise, wrongly understanding merely the externals,
You will veer towards the body-and-speech asceticism of the non-Buddhists.

What is necessary? Profound conduct of mind
Is the foundational root of traveling to enlightenment.
Except by traversing by means of mind, the level of omniscience
Is indeed not something that can be reached via body and speech.

Therefore, you need ultimate mental analysis.
The Victorious Ones, when they were practitioners on the path,
Had the strength to culminate their diligent training in bodhichitta.
In all of the universes, attentive ones in their entirety bow down to them.

Without having discovered the level of omniscience,
It is difficult to distinguish between good and bad individuals.
The bodhisattvas, in order to gather disciples,
Have a variety of outer appearances and modes of behavior, indeed.

If it so happens that towards a person endowed with bodhichitta
You become angry with an intention to harm,
It will cause you to stay in the lower realms for long eons.
Therefore, “whatever the apparent situation is, be careful”, it is taught.

The Victorious One spoke uncountable nectars of Sacred Dharma
For disciples of different capacities.
As all of them are methods for traversing to omniscience,
By means of devotion, be clear about this.

The teachings of the Victorious One: the Ngagyur Nyingma,
The Kagyu, the Sakya, and the Riwo Ganden,
Blaze like sunlight in the land of snows.
Since all of them are true, seek to be non-sectarian.

If you degrade and hold to bias,
That is an extremely heavy destructive action. And so,
Not only towards the tenets of your own side, but towards non-Buddhists also,
Do not condemn and judge, the Victorious One has taught.

This religious tradition bound by attachment to sectarianism
Becomes a companion who does not counteract disturbing emotions.
Our view and conduct have become just rhetoric.
Such people fall into the ranks of evil.

The Dharma these days doesn’t appear to be a method for taming the mind;
It serves a helpful support for attaining prestige and resources.
The intended meaning is that it is correct to exert oneself for others —
By holding otherwise, it is the karma of the ceaseless torment of the lower realms.

Because he is Victorious, within his own-nature, by way of its singular purity,
The concepts of good and bad do not appear as different.
Out of the bondage of our mistaken consciousness,
We do not find a time of freedom from this cycle of existence.

Meditating on oneself and the outer universe and its inhabitants as being only purity,
The consummate fruit of this familiarization
Is the luminous arising of the vision of being placed within a buddha-field of supreme bliss.
Therefore, train in the way of abandoning negative mistaken perceptions.

We are bound to mistaken perceptions, like our present thoughts,
And by just this, we wander the world in darkness.
Through this, a spectrum of negative modes of appearance rises forth;
Even the Bliss-Gone Sugata is seen as a mass of faults.

Whatever temporary happiness and suffering arises,
Their momentum is not found to be without a cause, which is previous actions.
Wondering about later happiness, having hopes for different sorts of abundance —
It all boils down to perfect conduct in the present.

Seeking for nothing but the purpose of this life —
People like that toss away virtue and goodness like grass.
Their fortunate chance for the ultimate objective is destroyed.
Therefore, work hard towards long-lasting happiness.

This life, like a butter-lamp, will not last forever.
Each day, you get closer to meeting with the fear of death.
When that time comes, apart from the perfect Dharma, there is no other refuge.
Therefore, be diligent in virtue towards the great hereafter.

The mind of benefiting others leads to the level of omniscience.
Lazy ones wander on bad paths.
The origination of happiness and suffering rests in the mind.
Furthermore, train skillfully in the state of goodness.

Moreover, view your three doors as the completely pure path.
One’s Guru and the Three Jewels, in the center of one’s heart,
If you rely on them out of faith, blessings will dawn from within,
And a time will come when you will be inseparable from Kuntuzangpo.

As for not thinking of your own faults and deriding the ways of others:
As it is not the behavior of the good path, it would be better to give it up.
Whatever one brings to mind, speech and mind follow suit.
Exemplary training in excellence is the tradition of sacredness.

If you are not happy when you are spoken to in a bad way,
Then it’s the same way for the other side when they are criticized, indeed.
The view of equality of self and other is the authentic path.
Since that’s the case, in all ways, direct yourself accordingly in excellent conduct.

Most people are like “The Rabbit and the Chel” [1];
Without checking or investigating, they follow what other people say.
The state of their mental stupidity is that of a concealing darkness.
Never act like that — you need to examine.

As for the way of trying to take care of your own happiness
And without consideration harming others:
Seeing this as a mistake on the path, and a cause for the lower realms,
View like poison things that come from negativity.

Those who are older than you and of virtuous mind:
Offering them material goods, however it is appropriate,
Serve them with respect, and with altruistic motivation,
Render them services as well, for they are a field for accumulating merit.

For some people, although they act like beneficial friends,
On the path, like an enemy, they relinquish but little harm.
Through that, one’s mind is unhappy, and the collection of virtue is shattered.
Seek to always cast aside that way of going about things.

If you become satisfied by the wealth in your treasury,
Be a benefactor to the Teachings, constructing statues, holy texts, and temples,
And make offerings to the Sangha.
Extracting the essence of you illusory resources is crucial.

With an arrogant mind, behavior is disrespectful.
Making the minds of others displeased, you become an object of scorn.
At all times, it will crush your happiness and well-being,
And what need is there to speak of the next life? This very life will be meaningless.

In brief, from within the state of love, be in harmony with all the minds
Of whoever is connected with the [Guru’s] retinue and disciples.
Such a sacred spiritual tradition of happiness for both self and others
Emerges as something truly exalted, in this world.

Whatever good deeds there are in spiritual and worldly ways,
If you want them to increase, put your stream of mind in a cheerful state.
Through the excellent approach of not harming others,
Your wishes and desires will be easily accomplished.

Though you may have an auspicious abundance of knowledge,
Even the speech of children spreads the stainless Sacred Dharma.
Do not deprecate; it is worthy of being received.
Why? Through it as well, you will be guided on the path to omniscience.

From the stainless ocean of the sublime speech of the Victorious One,
I have taken just a little bit, I without strength in wisdom.
Although low-minded ones like myself are unable to realize the vastly profound Sacred Dharma,
I set this down in order to benefit myself and others.

Having made a mountain of errors,
My spreading advice to others is an object of laughter.
As this is the case, whatever collection of faulty shortcomings there may be,
I respectfully confess them before the Guru and the Three Jewels.

And thus, by the feeble roots of virtue of spreading this,
May the perfect mind [of bodhichittta] be born in the mental continuums of Dharma practitioners equal to myself in Fortune, my supreme heart-friends, and all those with whom I have connection,
And in unity, may we travel to enlightenment!

I, Jangchub Dorje [Khunu Negi Rinpoche] wrote this ‘Lamp of Advice Which Illuminates That Which is to Be Adopted and Abandoned’ out completely in the Tibetan year 2129 [2003 CE], in November, the 11th month, on the 15th day of the waxing moon, in the temple of Shechen Gompa in Nepal, when my guru, Trulshik Rinpoche, was giving teachings on ‘The Treasury of Oral Instructions’ [Dam-ngag Dzöd[2]]. May it be meaningful!

[1] This is a Tibetan folktale about a rabbit who, after hearing the splash of a stick falling into pond, began running away from what he thought was an animal, then telling all the other animals that an a beast called “Chel”(which was the sound of the stick splashing) was coming to get them. So, they all followed, running after him. The moral of the story is to always check and investigate a situation before going along with it.

[2] A famous work by Longchenpa, one of his Seven Treasuries.

Translated by Erick Tsiknopoulos (Sherab Zangpo).

Special thanks to Tenzin Tsultrim, Karma Dekyi, and Ven. Sherab Gyaltsen (Justin Kirkwood) for their assistance.

Tibetan Butter Lamp

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