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Longchen Rabjampa: An Adamantine Song on the Ever-Present

Longchen Rabjampa: An Adamantine Song on the Ever-Present
Photo: A man from Tibet, 1903.


To experience the ocean of essence,
resembling the sphere of unchanging space:
free of center and perimeter,
pervading the expanse.
Enlightened mind transcends cognitions!

Rootless and baseless are appearance
and void, in the self-arisen rikpa
of every perception.
Vivid is the sense of noncessation:
luminous, the absence of object perception.

Within the voidness free of class distinction
all appearances dissolve, for their ground is lost;
The rikpa of liberation is spread evenly.
Subject and object are both void,
for their roots are lost.

The essence of self-arisen wisdom
and all duality are cleansed like the sky;
subjects and objects arise as free from bounds,
as naked dharmakaya!
This is the Great Perfection, free of cognition!

The self-arisen ground primordially pure,
the ultraversed path supremely swift,
the unsought fruit spontaneously savored,
such is the Great Perfection,
in the radiant dharmakaya.

This primordial sphere of pervasive essence
is the Great Perfection of samsara
and nirvana; this song of transcending --
beyond cause and effect, beyond all endeaver,
was sung by Longchen Rabjam Zangpo.

(Longchen Rabjampa)


Source and Recommended Reading:

'Songs of Spiritual Experience: Tibetan Buddhist Poems of Insight and Awakening'
By Thupten Jinpa (Author), Jas' Elsner (Author)

Purchase Book:



This is the first major anthology of Tibetan poetry to become available in the West. Translators Thupten Jinpa—one of the Dalai Lama's principal interpreters—and Jas' Elsner have created an accessible collection geared toward a general audience. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, poetry has long been one of the primary means of expressing spiritual experience. The splendid poems in this collection communicate spiritual insight with astonishing grace and precision. Songs of Spiritual Experience includes original translations of fifty-two poems, a lengthy introduction about the role of poetry in Tibetan Buddhism, and a helpful glossary that includes commentary on the poems. The book serves both as an introduction to Tibetan poetry and to Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.
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