Song 6: The Flight of the Garuda by  Shabkar Tsokdrug Rangdrol 


Listen again, fortunate heart-children!  
That which is widely renowned as mind, does anyone have it?     

No one has it!

What is it the source of?  It is the source of samsara and nirvana and their myriad joys and sorrows.

What is it believed to be?  There are many beliefs according to the various vehicles.

What is it called? It is named in countless different ways.

All ordinary people call it “I.”
Some non-Buddhists call it “self.”
Shravakas call it “individual egolessness.”
The Mind Only School label it “mind.”
Some call it “Prajnaparamita,” “transcendent knowledge.”

Some label it “sugatagarbha,” “Buddha-nature.”
Some name it “Mahamudra.”
Some give it the name “Madhyamika.”
Some say “the single sphere.”
Some name it “dharmadhatu,” “realm of phenomena.”
Some call it the name “alaya,” “ground of all.”
Some call it “ordinary mind.”

Despite the innumerable names that are tagged onto it,
Know that the real meaning is as follows:
Let your mind spontaneously relax and rest.
When left to itself, ordinary mind is fresh and naked.
If observed, it is a vivid clarity without anything to see,
A direct awareness, sharp and awake.
Possessing no existence, it is empty and pure,
A clear openness of non-dual luminosity and emptiness.

It is not permanent, since it does not exist at all.
It is not nothingness, since it is vividly clear and awake.
It is not oneness, since many things are cognised and known.
It is not plurality, since the many things known are inseparable in one taste.
It is not somewhere else; it is your own awareness itself.
The face of this Primordial Protector, dwelling in your heart,
Can be directly perceived in this very instant.
Never be separated from it, children of my heart!

If you want to find something greater than this in another place,
It’s like going off searching for footprints although the elephant is right there.
You may scan the entire three-thousand-fold universe,
But it is impossible that you will find more than the mere name of Buddha.

This is the song which indicates the natural state of the main practice.

About the title of this song:

This hymn or doha may be called Flight of the Garuda because it concerns Mind 

1. something that has no existence and 

2. yet has the ability to range far and wide all over the universe and  

3.  on/in/with it go notions of the Divine or of metaphysical Existence.

4.   the symbolic meaning of the Garuda in the image will reveal other reasons.  

Visit The Mysterious Garuda.


*The Shabkar link at top will take you to Ricard's Life of Shabkar.  

~Thanks to D. Kelly for posting the poem on the kagyu elist.