Only a true visionary Yogi could distil a path that fills lifetimes and books into a single song. Such a Yogi is the great Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol, an emanation of the great Milarepa. Both were famous for their songs of wisdom. After a tribute to the Guru and Buddhas, he explains well the urgency of practice:
Leisure and fortune are hard to find, and death strikes quickly,
Actions and their effects do not deceive, and there’s no happiness in saṃsāra.
In this particular song, the Song of Practice, the great Shabkar explains the entire Vajrayana path, from beginning to the end: Refuge to offerings, to praise of the lineage Guru, to keeping the Buddha always in mind, to Emptiness, to generation of the deity and the profound true nature of deity, to completion practice and meditation on the channels, to conduct in life, to dedication of merit.
Nothing, not one single element of Vajrayana practice is missed. Reading these words, is like sitting at the feet of the great master Shakbar.
A Short Song of Practice
by Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol
Namo Guru Mañjughoṣaya!
Dharmakāya Samantabhadra, sambhogakāya Vajradhara,
Supreme nirmāṇakāya, Lord of Sages, and the rest—
Along with those who turn the Dharma-wheel for all,
My teachers, direct and indirect—before you all, I prostrate.
Although I have nothing new to say, which hasn’t been said before
By the victorious buddhas and their spiritual offspring,
The learned and accomplished masters of India and Tibet,
I shall sing a little on what they have taught, so listen well!
Root Guru, who is the embodiment of all sources of refuge,
I supplicate you: bless me, I pray!
The nature of mind is like space, primordially empty;
Rest in this empty cognizance without the slightest grasping.
From time to time, be diligent in purifying the different realms,
To conclude, seal your practice with prayers of dedication and aspiration.
If you are able to give up life’s distraction and practice in isolation
The leisure and fortune you have won will be made truly meaningful.
May this merit cause all my fortunate disciples
To practise the Dharma wholeheartedly.
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Author | Buddha Weekly
Josephine Nolan is an editor and contributing feature writer for several online publications, including EDI Weekly and Buddha Weekly.