by H.H. the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924 – 1981)

Glorious Tölung Tsurphu[1] is Akanishta,[2]
supreme region of the mind,
Is a place where oceans of dakinis gather like clouds.
The mountain behind is the richly arrayed,
pure realm of Chenrezik.
On the mountain in front is a vast and dense forest,
a swirling ocean of fierce deities.

The mountain between is Tushita, the joyful mind
and pure realm of great Maitreya.[3]
Let us go to that pure realm where lamas, yidams,
and dakinis gather like clouds.
Having planted the victory banner of the Buddha’s
teachings in the land of Dharma,[4]
Let us raise in the country of snow mountains and
Kailash, too,[5] the sun of happiness and well-being
for all people.

[Dalai Lama,] pillar of all the Buddha’s teachings,
you are a great wish-fulfilling jewel.
Pervading the world with myriad lights,
[May you be] permanent, stable, and unchanging
as a diamond
In the red palace of Lhasa on the golden throne
held high by lions.

Your melodious teachings pour forth in the
tones of Brahma.[6]
In this limitless universe, please turn the three
wheels of Dharma.
Unconditioned primordial wisdom, the expanse of your
mind, sees without hindrance into the three times.
You maintain the Buddha’s teachings without prejudice
and they do not decline, but flourish.

May you [reign] as the three Dharma kings, [7] with
Dharma and worldly power entwined in a silken knot.
How joyful, how happy are sentient beings.
The teaching of the Buddha spreads;
The sangha holds its head high; the honeyed
rain of Dharma falls,
And the world of living beings is brought into happiness.

Through they prize happiness, sentient beings in
number as vast as space gather only suffering.
With the first moment of self-awareness, comes
freedom from the net of the three realms.
Let us bring the vast universe into joy–-that is called
true peace.
From the expanse of the inexpressible nada[8]
sprang this joyous song.
Let us join in a happy dance, graced with the
melody of delight.

On the seventeenth day of the fifth Tibetan month in the year of the iron ox (1961-62), this was spoken by the XVI Gyalchok [Karmapa]. As these words are filled with blessing, Damchö Yongdü earnestly and respectfully requested permission to print them in letter press. Following the Gyalwang Karmapa’s kind granting of permission, this edition was published by the Dharmachakra Center in Rumtek, Sikkim, on the twenty-fifth day of the fifth Tibetan month in the year of the iron ox (July 7, 1961). May it be a cause for the accomplishment of what was prayed for. Under the guidance of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and Ringu Tulku, translated by Michele Martin of New York ©1992, 1994, and 2000.

Footnote annotations by Ven. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
[1]. Tsurphu is the main seat of the Karmapas in Tibet. Tölung is the name of the river valley where it is located.

[2] . Here, this refers to a sambhogakaya pure realm in general and, in particular, to the pure land of Vairocana.

[3]. Maitreya is the name of the future Buddha.

[4]. Referring to Tibet.

[5]. Kailash is a sacred mountain in Western Tibet, a place where many siddhas practiced, including Milarepa.

[6] . The speech of Brahma is said to be heard easily whether you are near or far away.

[7]. Songtsen Gampo, Trisong Deutsen, and Tri Ralpachen.

[8] . When all phenomena are dissolving into their ground, this is the last, most minute trace, so subtle it is considered a synonym for emptiness.