The Wheel of Sharp Weapons (1973 Loose Poetic Translation) (A Mahayana Mind-Training) (Theg-pa chen-po'i blo-sbyong

mtshon-cha 'khor-lo) by Dharmarakshita translated by Alexander Berzin and Sharpa Tulku, together with Jonathan Landaw and Khamlung Tulku, based on an oral explanation by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, 1973 Reprint edition, with commentary by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, published as: Dharmarakshita. The Wheel of Sharp Weapons. Dharamsala, India: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, 1981. Order this text directly from Paljor Publications. The name of this work is The Wheel of Sharp Weapons Effectively Striking the Heart of the Foe. I pay heartfelt homage to you, Yamantaka; Your wrath is opposed to the Great Lord of Death. [1] (1) In jungles of poisonous plants strut the peacocks, Though medicine gardens of beauty lie near. The masses of peacocks don’t find gardens pleasant, But thrive on the essence of poisonous plants. (2) In similar fashion, [2] the brave bodhisattvas Remain in the jungle of worldly concern. No matter how joyful this world’s pleasure gardens, These brave ones are never attracted to pleasures, But thrive in the jungle of suffering and pain. (3) We spend our whole lives in the search for enjoyment, Yet tremble with fear at the mere thought of pain; Thus since we are cowards, we are miserable still. But the brave bodhisattvas accept suffering gladly And gain from their courage a true lasting joy. (4) Now, [3] desire is the jungle of poisonous plants here. [4] Only brave ones, like peacocks, can thrive on such fare. If cowardly beings, like crows, were to try it, Because they are greedy, they might lose their lives. [5] (5) How can someone who cherishes self more than others Take lust and such dangerous poisons for food? If he tried like a crow to use other delusions, [6] He would probably forfeit his chance for release. (6) And thus bodhisattvas are likened to peacocks: They live on delusions - those poisonous plants. Transforming them into the essence of practice, They thrive in the jungle of everyday life. Whatever is presented, they always accept, While destroying the poison of clinging desire. (7) Uncontrollable wandering through rounds of existence Is caused by our grasping at egos as real. This ignorant attitude heralds the demon Of selfish concern for our welfare alone: We seek some security for our own egos; We want only pleasure and shun any pain.   1  

But now, we must banish all selfish compulsion And gladly take hardship for all others’ sake. (8) All of our sufferings derive from our habits Of selfish delusions we heed and act out. As all of us share in this tragic misfortune, Which stems from our narrow and self-centered ways, We must take all our sufferings and the miseries of others And smother our wishes of selfish concern. (9) Should the impulse arise now to seek our own pleasure, We must turn it aside to please others instead; For even if loved ones should rise up against us, We must blame our self-interest and feel it’s our due. (10) When our bodies are aching and racked with great torment Of dreadful diseases we cannot endure, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have injured the bodies of others; Hereafter let’s take on what sickness is theirs. (11) Depressed and forlorn, when we feel mental anguish, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have deeply disturbed minds of others; Hereafter let’s take on this suffering ourselves. (12) When hunger or violent thirst overwhelms us, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have kept what we had without sharing; We have plundered and stolen and lured people on. Hereafter let’s take from them hunger and thirst. (13) When we lack any freedom, but must obey others, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have looked down on those who were lowly And used them as servants for our own selfish needs; Hereafter let’s offer our service to others With humble devotion of body and life. (14) When we hear only language that is foul and abusive, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have said many things without thinking; We have slandered and caused many friendships to end. Hereafter let’s censure all thoughtless remarks. (15) When we are born in oppressive and wretched conditions, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have always had negative outlooks; We have criticized others, seeing only their flaws. Hereafter let’s cultivate positive feelings And view our surroundings as stainless and pure. (16) When we are parted from friends and from those who can help us, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have taken the friends and good servants   2  

Of others away, wanting them for ourselves; Hereafter let’s never cause close friends to part. (17) When supreme holy gurus find us displeasing, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have turned from the gurus and teachings, Preferring the counsel of misleading friends; Hereafter let’s end our dependent relations With those who would turn us away from the path. (18) When unjustly we are blamed for the misdeeds of others, And are falsely accused of flaws that we lack, And are always the object of verbal abuse, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we’ve despised and belittled our gurus; Hereafter let’s never accuse others falsely, But give them full credit for virtues they have. (19) When the things we require for daily consumption And use, fall apart or are wasted or spoilt, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we’ve been careless with others’ possessions; Hereafter let’s give them whatever they need. (20) When our minds are unclear and our hearts are unhappy, We are bored doing virtue but excited by vice, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we’ve led others to acts of nonvirtue; Hereafter let’s never provide the conditions That rouse them to follow their negative traits. (21) When our minds are disturbed and we feel great frustration That things never happen the way that we wish, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have caused interfering disturbance When others were focused on virtuous acts; Hereafter let’s stop causing such interruption. (22) When nothing we do ever pleases our gurus, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now with our gurus we have feigned pious manners, But out of their presence have reverted to sin. Hereafter let’s try to be less hypocritical And take all the teachings sincerely to heart. (23) When others find fault with whatever we’re doing And people seem eager to blame only us, This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we’ve been shameless, not caring about others, We have thought that our deeds didn’t matter at all, Hereafter let’s stop our offensive behavior. (24) When our servants and friends are annoyed by our habits, And after a while cannot stay in our homes,   3  

Till now we have gathered the causes for obstacles Hindering our practice of virtuous acts. We have sat on our books and left texts on the ground. Till now we have broken our vowed words of honor. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Hereafter let’s work to renounce this existence (And see the impermanent nature of things). Especially when gout has swollen our legs. Till now we’ve held grudges inside us with anger With thoughts of sly methods to cause others pain.   4   . Nor pretend to be kind while we harbor base aims. Hereafter let’s change and show only kind ways. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.) Hereafter for the sake of our practice of Dharma Let’s gladly endure all the hardships we meet. (We have lacked all respect for the scriptural teachings. (27) When strokes and diseases strike without warning. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Hereafter let’s never take anything offered To the Three Jewels of Refuge [7] as if it were ours. We have also looked down upon those with deep insight. Till now we’ve imposed our bad habits on others. Run into trouble and fall into ruin. (31) When all our affairs. let’s shun such nonvirtuous deeds. Till now we have thought that the study of Dharma Lacked prime importance and could be ignored. Hereafter let’s try to have less affectation. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now without shame and with no self-control We have stolen or misused what others have given. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. (26) When we suffer from sickness and such interference.This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. (29) When sleep overwhelms us while practicing virtue. Till now we have neglected to meditate fully On defects pervading this transient world. [8] Hereafter. Hereafter let’s build up the habits of wisdom To listen and think about what Buddha taught. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. (25) When all who are close turn against us as enemies. (28) When our mind becomes clouded whenever we study. both religious and worldly. (30) When our mind wanders greatly and runs towards delusion.

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. insects and frost. By venting our anger. Till now we’ve been misers. never showing respect. (33) When none of the wishes we make reach fulfillment. Till now we have relied on the gods of this world Or on unskillful actions to bring us relief. reluctant to share. (34) When prejudice. Although we’ve made prayers to the Three Precious Gems. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Hereafter let’s practice with patience and strength. Hereafter let’s never cause others disturbance By evicting them cruelly from where they reside. (32) When rites we perform never seem to be fruitful. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we have had an imperfect commitment To Buddha whose teachings deserve complete trust. Till now we’ve disturbed holy gurus and others And forced them to move from their homes or their seats. Hereafter let’s give with a generous heart. yet are filled with much greed and desire. Hereafter let’s keep all our moral vows pure. And not be short-tempered. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. (37) When we’re poor. Till now we’ve made images [11] lacking in beauty. his teachings and those in his fold. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. polio or strokes have us crippled And external forces or harm rise against us. (38) When our bodies are ugly and others torment us By mocking our flaws.Till now we have felt cause and effect [9] could be slighted. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Hereafter let’s print books and make pleasing statues. The offerings we’ve made to the Three Jewels were meager. (35) When we lack all control over where we must travel And always must wander like waifs with no home. Hereafter let’s place our exclusive reliance On Buddha. Hereafter let’s turn in another direction And leave our nonvirtuous actions behind. we’ve made ugly scenes. Till now we have collected vast stores of nonvirtue By breaking our vows and offending protectors In our practice from guru-devotion to tantra. floods and hailstones.   5   . but be of good cheer. (36) When the crops in our fields are continually plagued By drought. Till now we have failed to honor our pledges. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. [10] Hereafter let’s banish all prejudiced views.

so that others may thrive. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we’ve held on to the improper outlook.(39) When attachment and anger disturb and upset us No matter how much we may try to suppress them. This is the same as the smith who had taken   6   . (40) When success in our practices always eludes us. Hereafter let’s act with complete self-awareness. we have clung to our ego. Hereafter let’s dedicate all of the virtuous Actions we do. stirred by base motives. Exerting great care in the way we make friends. Hereafter let’s always accept others’ favors Both graciously and with most humble respect. (44) When the force of attraction or that of repulsion Colors whatever we hear or we say. (43) When those with ambition repay trusting friendship By luring us on with their devious schemes. Till now. (45) When no matter how well-meant our actions toward others. Till now we have engaged in those worldly ambitions That aim at success for ourselves in this life. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Have courted just those who have power or wealth. Stubbornly cherishing only ourselves. Till now we’ve ignored what has caused all our troubles: The mass of delusion that dwells in our heart. Hereafter let’s uproot self-interest completely. Till now we’ve been fickle and. whenever unfortunate sufferings We haven’t desired crash upon us like thunder. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. They always elicit a hostile response. examine them well. Hereafter let’s dampen our self-centered pride. deep within. (46) In short then. (42) When after we do any virtuous action We feel deep regret or we doubt its effect. Hereafter let’s try to abandon all hindrances: Note their arising. (41) When our mind is untamed though we act with great virtue. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now from ambition we have acted with arrogance. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Till now we’ve repaid loving-kindness with malice. Hereafter let’s work with pure one-pointed effort To nourish the wish to gain freedom’s far shore. Fully immersed in self-cherishing ways. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

fierce Yamantaka. Demolish this enemy lurking within! (52) Frantically running through life’s tangled jungle.His life with a sword he had fashioned himself. later killing his parents. Three times turn it round. O great Lord over Death. [13] As well as our pains of the present and future. (47) All of the sufferings that we have endured In the lives we have led in the three lower states. This sly. trample him. do not let him loose. spin round with great power The wheel of sharp weapons of good actions now. Our suffering’s the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. deadly villain – the selfishness in us. (51) Baring your fangs of the four great opponents. Our suffering’s the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. Summon this enemy. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern! Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release! (54) Hum! Hum! Show all your powers. rip out the heart Of our grasping for ego. Our suffering’s the wheel of sharp weapons returning Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done. This is the same as the case of a child. O mighty protector. Hereafter let’s always have care and awareness Never to act in nonvirtuous ways.   7   . we are out of control. [12] Hereafter let’s always have care and awareness Never to act in nonvirtuous ways. I recognize clearly my enemy now. (49) As it’s true what I’ve said about self-centered interest. Dza! Dza! Tie up this enemy. The liar who lures by pretending he’s part of me. [15] Devour the foe – our cruel selfish concern! With your powerful mantra [16] of cherishing others. batter him. Cut! Cut! Break the knot of self-interest that binds us inside. P’at! P’at! [17] Set us free by your might. bring him forth now! (53) Batter him. I recognize clearly the bandit who plunders. (48) When the troubles and worries of family life grieve us. Who was cared for with love. Deceiving ourselves and all others as well Capture him. We are chased by sharp weapons of wrongs we have done Returning upon us. Hereafter it’s fitting in all of our lifetimes For us to live purely as monks or as nuns. With your eyes blazing open for wisdom and means. Oh what relief that I’ve conquered this doubt! (50) And so Yamantaka. capture him. our love for ourselves! Trample him. [14] in your wrathful-like aspect Your legs set apart for the two grades of truth. Are the same as the case of the forger of arrows Who later was killed by an arrow he’d made.

(57) We have high expectations of speedy attainments. Trample him. we go after its cause. This sack of five poisons. Yet ruthlessly push for the things we desire. Trample him. we develop new friendships.(55) Appear Yamantaka. shirking our duty. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.   8   . (60) We are experts at flattering others for favors. trample him. Yet failing to earn them. [18] mistakes and delusion Drags us down in the quicksand of life’s daily toil Cut it off. cut it off. we are filled with conceit. ignore what they teach. Trample him. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Yet we don’t gather merit to yield this result. trample him. Yet always complaining. we steal and we scheme. rip it to shreds! (56) We are drawn to the sufferings of miserable rebirths. I have further entreaties to make of you still. (59) With comparative ease. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Trample him. Like misers we hoard it and feel we are poor. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. We have little endurance for hardship and suffering. not one of them lasts. we are sad and depressed. Yet mindless of pain. (61) We have done very little to benefit someone. We are filled with desire for food and fine clothing. Yet since we are callous. O wrathful protector. Yet always remind him how much we have done. Yet do not wish to work at the practice involved. Yet. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Trample him. boasting and bragging. (62) We have many great masters and teachers to guide us. trample him. We have many fine projects we plan to accomplish. The money we have gathered we cannot bear to part with. Yet none of them ever are done in the end. trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. We have never accomplished a thing in our lifetime Yet. trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. (58) Our wish to be happy is strong at all times. Trample him. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.

Yet should we need help. but to demons and ghosts. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. yet even the demons Don’t harbor such hatred or clinging desire Or as closed-minded an outlook as we seem to have. (63) We promise to do many glorious deeds. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. We feel we have friends in positions of power. Yet our everyday conduct is worse than a dog’s. we would never admit. we are left on our own. yet don’t ever help them. trample him. Trample him. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Yet glibly we make up and say what we like. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. We are learned. heard only a few teachings. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. dance on the head   9   . Trample him. Yet talk with authority expertly on voidness. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. trample him. We cannot be bothered to give them advice. Our spiritual fame has been spread far and wide. versed in great knowledge. Trample him. Yet without provocation we criticize others And self-righteously charge them with faults we possess. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. trample him. trample him. (65) We have many attendants and people around us. (64) We have read very little. (66) We have gained lofty status and ranks of prestige. Trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. trample him. Trample him. Our knowledge of scriptures is pitifully lacking. Yet inwardly all of our thoughts are repulsive Not only to gods. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Trample him. intelligent. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Yet no one obeys us nor heeds what we say. Yet in practice we give others minimal help. (67) We talk about theories and the most advanced teachings. (68) We have selfish desires and horrible anger Which fester inside us. We are considered great gurus.We have many disciples. trample him. Yet our knowledge is poorer than that of a ghost. Trample him. Yet cast to the wind wisdom’s ethical base.

Trample him. trample him. the teachings. And pursue further suffering. (72) We give up monks’ vows. Trample him. Trample him. (69) We wear robes of saffron. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. drawn by distractions. And yet we deceive those who give this advice. and those who live by them. trample him. Discourses we hear teach us most noble practice. Trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. (73) Discarding our practice to reach liberation. (70) Our pleasure and happiness come from the Buddhas. Yet we spend all our time telling fortunes with dice. yet seek our protection And refuge in spirits and gods of this world. We cast to the wind this rare chance to be happy. trample him. trample him. Yet use them to gain only hellish rebirths. (74) Ignoring effects that the teachings can bring us. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Leaving behind all our gurus’ wise lectures. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. more problems and woes. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. All of our guidance derives from the teachings. the true path to gain freedom. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. We have promised to keep solemn vows of strict morals. trample him. Trample him. trample him. have children and homes. We drift about searching for pleasure or trade. We travel on business for profit and gain. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. (71) We seek to have homes in monastic seclusion Yet.   10   . Yet still we make offerings to ghosts and the spirits. The gurus.Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Yet our actions accord with the demons’ foul ways. We would rather be married. we venture to town. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. We tour different places in search of some fun. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Trample him. We’ve obtained human bodies with precious endowments.

Which is for our own good. Trample him. Trample him. We locate his weak points so we can torment him. And with anger we view him as if he’s our foe. Trample him. (79) Our jealousy is strong and whatever is said We are always the skeptic. trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. We leave aside wealth from our father’s inheritance. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. but is harsh to our ears. never willing to use it. With no taste or discernment we’re kind in return. We are never obliging. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. trample him. When we have a good friend who is constantly with us. Yet run here and there in needless great haste. Yet when someone without any true feelings for us Deceitfully tells us what we like to hear. Taking from others as much as we can. (78) When others consider us close and dear friends And relate in strict confidence all they know. Trample him. trample him. We disclose their deep secrets especially to their foes. (77) Someone gives us advice from the depths of his heart. Trample him. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. and yet we pretend To have gained special powers so others are fooled.(75) We hoard what we have. (76) It’s amazing how little endurance we have To do meditation. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. bad-tempered and hard to get on with. We are fussy. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. we doubt what is meant. Inflicting obnoxious behavior on others. We do not acquiesce – we argue still more. trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.   11   . but think up instead Clever devious methods to do him some harm. And leech all our food and our clothing from friends. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. trample him. trample him. We never catch up with the paths of deep wisdom. When others concede and agree with our viewpoint. (80) When someone requests us to do something for him. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Trample him.

Trample him. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Whenever we speak we’re unsure of ourselves. we strain others’ nerves. (87) We don’t follow proper procedures of study. trample him. disclaiming their worth. (82) We always are jealous of those of great status.(81) We don’t pay attention to what others tell us. Our feelings are hurt at the slightest remark. Overwhelmed by attachment and ruled by our passions. Trample him. we must bear all complaints. trample him. yet lie. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. We feel holy gurus are threats to avoid. (83) We don’t think of friendships as long-term commitments. We treat old companions with thoughtless neglect. (84) We lack clairvoyance. Trample him. We say it is needless to read the vast texts. trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. We spend all our time lusting after young loves. Trample him. trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. dance on the head   12   . We slight oral teachings and think we know best. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. And then when proved wrong. And when we are making new friends with a stranger. We try to impress him in grandiose ways. We feel there’s no value in learning from gurus. Our learning in scriptural texts is so meager. We ascribe fruits to others. trample him. And by making a habit of jealous resentment. (85) We have poor education and limited knowledge. We’re a trial to be with. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Trample him. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. (86) By making a habit of anger and passion. And we hold grudges strongly – we never forgive. trample him. Trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. When hearing new teachings we doubt they are true. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. trample him. We come to despise everyone that we meet. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Trample him. we are quick to lash out. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. feigning powers. We have little compassion for those who are near us. Whenever they blunder.

(95) Though we have not a doubt. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. But instead dwell on theories we’ve made up ourselves. If there is still left a part of our minds that would tend To support this delusion of self that we have. come brandish your skull-headed bludgeon Of egoless wisdom of voidness and bliss. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Yamantaka.Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. The sufferings of others arise from five poisons. Trample him. We lack deep conviction and faith in the teachings. makes fools of us still. (92) O mighty destroyer of selfishness-demons. Trample him. trample him. trample him. For improper behavior takes up all our time. (89) We do not despise actions unwise and immoral. come smash this foul enemy! Burst ego-concepts with your wisdom’s great might! With your boundless compassion. (91) All the things we should do. Thus whichever delusion afflicts other beings Take it to smother delusions of self. we don’t do even once. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Only respectable deeds cause us shame. Trample him. (88) We fail to explain what the Three Baskets [19] teach. Trample him. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. Whatever we say leaves disciples confused. Instead we dispute and attempt to pick flaws In the excellent teachings and great masters’ works. against our true wishes. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. Then destroy the firm hold of this part of our minds That. protect us from suffering The miseries caused by our self-centered actions. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release. for we recognize fully The cause and the root of mistakes we all make. (93) With all of your fierceness. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. dance on the head Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern. With body of wisdom unchained from all bonds.   13   . (90) We are never embarrassed when acting disgracefully. trample him. Without any misgivings. Smother completely our selfish concern. now wield your fierce weapon And wrathfully swing it three times [20] round your head. trample him. Destroy our self-cherishing once and for all! (94) With all of the sufferings that others experience. Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher Who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

If we practice these methods. (102) Then may even hell beings develop clairvoyance And take higher rebirths as men or as gods. (100) Then for even the sake of but one sentient being May we gladly take birth in the three lower states. may they realize the non-self-existence Of worldly involvement and freedom as well. May all sentient beings reach Buddhahood soon! (99) Till the time when all motherly beings and I Gain the perfect conditions for us to be Buddhas. By developing strongly the wish to be Buddhas. (104) If we practice these methods. understand that the topics discussed here Are interdependent phenomena all. We must meditate now on the kindness of others. For things must rely on dependent arising   14   .(96) As all that is wrong can be traced to one source Our concern for ourselves whom we cherish the most. May all harm be stilled. speech and body. May the weapons of torture they hold turn to flowers. We must dedicate fully our virtues to all. we shall overcome also False concepts of ego we hold to be real. peace and happiness grow. May we always be able to help one another To keep our aim fixed on enlightenment’s shore. Buddhahood? (105) O mind. (98) As crows may be cured after swallowing poison By a powerful antidote given in time. With enlightening conduct that never grows weak May we lead all the beings in miserable rebirths Out of their sufferings and causes for pain. How can anyone not gain the causes to win A Buddha’s physical body and its fruit. (97) Thus accepting ourselves all deluded nonvirtuous Actions that others have done in the past. Accepting the suffering that they never wished for. Though the force of our actions may cause us to wander Through various realms in the six rebirth states. Just as the peacocks eat poison and thrive. May delusions of others as well as our own Be the favored conditions to gain our enlightenment. May they pay back our kindness through heeding the teachings And regard us as gurus with confident trust. That this may replenish their chances for freedom. (103) Then may all sentient beings of the three higher rebirths Perfect meditation on egolessness. (101) As soon as we’ve placed ourselves into their realm May the guards of the hells come to see us as gurus. we shall soon overcome Our true enemies: selfish concern and self-love. May they place concentration on both of these equally. In this way. In the present and future with mind. Thus by joint meditation on egolessness And on nondual wisdom of voidness and bliss. Let’s direct to all others our virtuous merit. Seeing their natures as equally void.

We nevertheless feel great terror and scream. Although this ordeal is not actually happening. they fade out of sight. So please. Thus fearing such suffering as burning alive. Our foe: our insistence on ego-identities Truly our own. Like mirages these things at a distance seem lovely. In similar fashion. The various aspects of cause and effect Appear in this relative world as reflections. For physical form is but mental appearance. How can they yield acts that exist by themselves? And then how can this cruel vicious circle of suffering. They have never been real. (108) Although they appear to be concrete and real. Although there’s no darkness. And yet we imagine they are stable and firm. As a torch whirling round seems a circle of flame. Nor should we deny them their relative truth. in this world of appearances only. they are not to be found. In similar fashion. burning with fever. be real from its core? (109) Although all things thus lack inherent existence. And yet we imagine they are real. All things are like mist or like clouds on a mountain. The fruit of these actions. anywhere. As our grasping for egos and love for ourselves Lack substantial foundations with true independence. But when we come closer. (110) When our bodies are charred in a horrible nightmare By the world-ending flames of a stellar explosion.To have an existence: they cannot stand alone. Yet just as the face of the moon can be seen In a cup of clear water reflecting its image. very real. we nevertheless   15   . (111) When our minds are delirious. (107) All things are like images found in a mirror. We must cease all these actions that yield this result. although our dark ignorance Lacks self-existence. All the things of this world are but fog-like appearance: When closely examined. And yet we can fully experience their pain. They’re not things we should burden with ultimate value. And our butcher: the selfish concern for ourselves – Like all things these appear to be truly existent. (106) There is nothing substantial to anyone’s life-force: It crumbles apart like a water-soaked log. And there is nothing substantial to anyone’s life span: It bursts in an instant like bubbles of foam. Let’s always be sure what we do is of virtue And shun all those acts that would cause us great pain. unfortunate rebirths In hells or as ghosts are not actually real. which we wish were secure. we feel we are plummeting Further and further into a black pit With the walls pressing closer the deeper we fall. anytime. Though they never have been truly existent at all. The process of change is alluring like magic.

The shunning of vice and the practice of virtue   16   . Merely letting life’s happenings flow freely on. (114) When a vase has been filled by the dripping of water. (115) It’s precisely the same when we come to experience Pleasure and pain: the results of our past. either whole or apart. Let’s always be sure what we do is of virtue And shun all those acts that would cause us great pain.Must by all means break out of its strangling constriction By putting the three kinds of wisdom [21] to use. Let’s always be sure what we do is of virtue And shun all those acts that would cause us great pain. (116) When not making formal dissections with logic. the vase and such things. Still there’s a beautiful tune to be heard. (112) When musicians are playing a beautiful melody. Although we experience feelings of pleasure. Yet there seem to exist independently rising And falling events. components and parts. And yet on the everyday operative level This seeming appearance has relative truth. We see that they both lack inherent existence: They can’t stand alone. (113) When we closely examine effects and their causes. in this world of appearances only. It was filled by an interdependent collection Of causes and forces that came all together – The water. Effects never come from the first causal actions. It is this very level on which we experience Birth and our death and whatever life brings. Nor do they arise from the last several acts. Both pleasure and pain come from interdependent Collections of forces and causes combined. are conditioned By various forces. this appearance of happiness Lacks self-existence inherently real. So please. So please. In ultimate truth. Should we examine the sound they are making We would see that it does not exist by itself. alas. the pourer. Which is merely a label on notes and on players That’s why lovely music can lighten sad hearts. The voidness of objects itself is the same. will be hard. which. (117) And now. how can we have even a feeling Of conventional truth at the very same time? Yet what can there be that has true self-existence? And what can there be that lacks relative truth? How can anyone anywhere believe in such things? (118) Just as objects of voidness are non-self-existent. in fact. The first drops themselves did not fill it alone. when we try to do close contemplation On voidness. Nor was it made full by the last several drops. in this world of appearances only. But when we’re not making our formal analysis. To understand fully this deep profound meaning For slow-minded persons.

Yet I have to admit that these teachings especially Have been of great help in this age of decay. I met my true guru. When Atisha developed true insight Into the two bodhichittas through these teachings. From among his many disciples. Although I don’t favor a partisan viewpoint: Whenever I study the various teachings I always make efforts to broaden my wisdom To see boundless wonders in every tradition. May all of us quickly attain full enlightenment Granting what we and all others have wished. He always practiced in accordance with this essence In his fearsome jungle retreat During the degenerate age in which he lived. Dharmarakshita transmitted these teachings To Atisha. the possessor of vast scriptural knowledge. Then truly we’ll come to be wondrous beings With a deep understanding of the most profound void. In fact. and Atisha practiced them wherever he traveled In order to tame those who were most wild. (119) By practicing this way the two bodhichittas Of the ultimate and the conventional truth. Having memorized fully these words he has taught. The full powers of logic and deep profound insight has written here Is the essence of the teachings of all his holy gurus. From among his many unimaginably great disciples In both India and Tibet. But.Are likewise devoid of all mental constructions That they’re independent. Epilogue The Wheel of Sharp Weapons Effectively Striking the Heart of the Foe Was composed by the great Yogi Dharmarakshita In his retreat in the jungle where many fierce animals prey. Dharmarakshita. He composed the following: I went through much hardship abandoning royalty. Atisha transmitted these teachings to Dromtonpa In order to pacify the minds of the disciples Of remote Tibet who were difficult to tame. Atisha transmitted these teachings To Upasaka Dromtonpa. by collecting much virtuous merit. who had been prophesied to be His most fitting disciple by many of Atisha’s Meditational deities such as Tara.   17   . He has granted me sovereignty over my mind. self-contained acts. By showing me these supreme nectar-like teachings. And thus by completing without interference Collections of insight and merit as well. they are lacking completely All mental projections and all preconceptions. on the whole. if we can focus our clear concentration On voidness without our mind wandering astray. What this great yogi. So that now I have attained all the forceful opponents. Thus.

we work to attain the full enlightenment of Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings. however. such as lustful desire. we must first be devoid of the self-cherishing attitude. the spiritual offspring of the Buddhas. In addition. 8. although they have no attachment to these objects. or the Triple Gem. having previously trained our mind along the lam-rim graded course. To use delusions as a path without these two prerequisites is extremely dangerous and. as a path. 6. With an advanced scope motivation. as a follower of the Mahayana path with bodhichitta motivation. In the Perfection Vehicle. that is enlightenment. or brave ones. There are three levels of training the mind according to the three scopes of motivation outlined in the lam-rim teaching of the graded course to enlightenment. Notes 1. are those beings who have the enlightening attitude (bodhichitta) to work toward the attainment of Buddhahood. however. for the sake of all beings. There are five points of similarity between bodhisattvas and peacocks. With an intermediate scope. egograsping and grasping for true independent existence. lack a truly independent manner of existence. The word here in the text indicates the immediacy of practicing the tantra path with an especially strong bodhichitta motivation. bodhisattvas shine with blissful happiness by making use of such poisonous delusions as desire and attachment for the benefit of others. bodhisattvas have the attainment of the five graded paths for enlightenment. In order to use delusions. that is the greedy attachment to our own self-interest. the delusions may only be used as a method for directly benefiting others when the circumstances demand it. The Three Jewels of Refuge are Buddha. With an advance scope. The practice of tantra requires receiving initiations. self-cherishing attitudes. By following the Tantra Vehicle ( Vajrayana). far from achieving our intended goal. 9. they accept them with pleasure to allow the donor to gain merit from his offering. his teachings (Dharma). With an initial scope motivation. and the monastic community (Sangha) of those who understand and practice these teachings. Included among them is the use as a path the normally poisonous delusions. Just as the colors of the peacocks’ feathers grow more radiantly brilliant when they eat plants that are poisonous to other animals. we may completely destroy our chance for attaining enlightenment. The Three Jewels of Refuge are also referred to in English as the Three Precious Gems. we must have a sound understanding of voidness – the fact that all things. 2. bodhisattvas never cause even the slightest harm to other sentient beings. there are two ways in which we can follow the Mahayana path. Cause and effect describes the universal law of karma whereby virtuous actions result in happiness and nonvirtuous actions in suffering. it may take many lifetimes before we reach our goal of enlightenment. 3. Just as peacocks have five crown feathers.   18   . however. Yamantaka is the wrathful or forceful aspect of Manjushri. we work to attain a better future rebirth. we work to attain liberation (nirvana) from the vicious circle of rebirth (samsara) for ourselves alone. 7. Just as peacocks live mostly on poisonous plants and never eat insects or cause others harm. These ignorant attitudes take the life of our chance to gain enlightenment. and thus Yamantaka’s wrath is opposed to the great Lord of Death. Bodhisattvas. 5. the emanation of the wisdom of the Buddhas. the Three Supreme Gems. Just as the sight of a peacock’s colorful display gives us great pleasure. Any of the delusions may be used in the tantra system as an actual path to enlightenment. when bodhisattvas are offered sensory objects. including ourselves. Yamantaka’s wrath is directed against selfishness. They may not. The word now in the text indicates the importance of practicing the teachings with an advanced scope of motivation. 4.This work has been translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan By the fatherly Atisha himself and his spiritual son Dromtonpa. By following the Perfection Vehicle (Paramitayana). the sight of a bodhisattva uplifts our mind because of his bodhichitta. we may attain enlightenment within one human lifetime. These entail the taking of vows concerning moral conduct and the giving of your sacred word of honor to follow the tantric practices in the prescribed manner. be practiced as an actual path. Just as peacocks eat poisonous plants with pleasure. The tantra system teaches many methods for the speedy attainment of enlightenment.

arrogant pride. discourses on meditation (sutra). 14. The three lower unfortunate states of rebirth are those of the hell creatures. The three higher fortunate states of rebirth are those of the gods. we collect the merit to attain the physical body of a Buddha. thinking. These four are (1) feeling regret and disgust with our nonvirtue. meditating. see note [3]. The three times he swings this bludgeon destroy (1) ego-grasping. We request Yamantaka to swing three times round his head his skull. and philosophy and metaphysics (abhidharma). The second repetition is for ultimate bodhichitta. and (3) our defiled bodies of delusion produced by these two types of ignorance. above. 17. hungry ghosts (pretas). The Three Baskets (Tripitaka) of Buddha’s teachings concern disciplined morality (vinaya). as well as the nondual wisdom of voidness and bliss. 11. They are used as meditative aids for developing single-minded concentration (samadhi). The first repetition of each is for conventional bodhichitta. and nonconceptual wisdoms. and jealousy. the opponent for our self-cherishing attitude. and animals. These three refer to (1) the conventional or relative level of truth on which conventional bodhichitta operates as the means for leading both self and others to enlightenment. and (3) these two levels or grades of truth realized together. It is never possible for us to experience the consequences of the nonvirtuous actions of others. common to both the Perfection and Tantra Vehicles. Images of Buddha and the various meditational deities representing different aspects of a Buddha’s enlightenment have an important use in both the Perfection and Tantra Vehicles.     19   . and (4) performing and dedicating the merit of virtuous actions for the benefit of all sentient beings. (2) taking refuge in the Three Jewels of Refuge and meditating on bodhichitta. 19. (2) our self-cherishing attitude. and humans. Mantras are words of power. 13. The six realms of existence are divided into the three higher and the three lower states. Hum. 20. The sack of our body is filled with the five poisonous delusions of longing desire. 15. (3) offering our promise never to commit such nonvirtue again. We request Yamantaka to turn the wheel of sharp weapons three times.10. The practice from guru-devotion to tantra defines the range of the graded course to Enlightenment. combinations of Sanskrit syllables used as invocations. fearful and angered repulsion. 16. closed-minded ignorance. By using such images as objects of devotion. 12. The three kinds of wisdom can refer either to the wisdoms of listening. 18. (2) the ultimate level of truth on which ultimate bodhichitta functions as the wisdom understanding voidness. 21. anti-gods (asuras). or to intellectual. dza and p’at are mantric seed syllables.headed bludgeon representing both the wisdom of egolessness. The four great opponents eliminate the necessity for us to experience the unfortunate consequences of our previously committed nonvirtuous actions. which destroys our ego-grasping. conceptual. Whatever suffering we have must be the result of nonvirtuous actions we ourselves have committed in the past.

it’s the case that Brave hearted (bodhisattvas). It would take the life of their liberation. The masses of peacocks don’t find (them) enjoyable. Brave ones. “The Throwing Star Weapon Striking the Vital Point of the Foe. And always are blissful through the power of their bravery. Whereas to the lives of cowards. Rather. Similarly. Although medicine gardens have been finely decked out. Transform into a nutriment the disturbing emotions -. We bring sufferings (onto ourselves) through the power of our cowardice. (2) In the case of brave (bodhisattvas) Engaging themselves in the jungles of recurring samsara.which are like the jungles of poison -And (thereby) engage themselves   20   . (Also) similar to the case of crows. The brave ones are never attracted. (4) Now here. it’s the case that. the brave-hearted thrive in the jungles of suffering. like peacocks. (1) In the case of peacocks Strutting in jungles of poisonous plants.   The Throwing Star Weapon (2006  Literal  Translation  of  The  Wheel  of  Sharp  Weapons)       (A  Mahayana  Attitude-­‐Training)     (Theg-­‐pa  chen-­‐po'i  blo-­‐sbyong  mtshon-­‐cha  'khor-­‐lo)     by  Dharmarakshita     translated  by  Alexander  Berzin. peacocks thrive on the nutriment of poisonous plants. can take it under their control. Similar to the case of crows. despite our gladly Taking on delights and pleasures.  September  2006   I make prostration to the Three Rare Supreme Gems. (3) Thus. How could those with selfish desires Take this poison under their control? (5) And if they similarly tried to apply (this method) To the other disturbing emotions. like peacocks.” I make prostration to forceful Yamantaka. longing desire is like the poisonous plant jungles. Rather. Although glorious gardens of delights and pleasures have been decked out. it would be deadly. But those brave hearted ones take sufferings on gladly. (6) Thus.

Just as. feeling. They’re able to destroy this poison. barring none. barring none. (11) At times when sufferings befall our minds. at times. Now. Now. We must turn from them and give our own pleasures And happiness to wandering beings. (7) So now. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having inflicted harms to the bodies of wandering beings. We must cast away our selfish desires. “(This is) in return for having been distracted about my ‘true self. barring none. stolen. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having deeply disturbed the mind-streams of others.’” (10) At times when unbearable sicknesses befall our bodies. (8) We must pile on top of (this) “true self” That has desires for pleasures The sufferings appropriate to each of the nine kinds of beings. our delights – these messengers of the demon of grasping at a “true self” – And gladly take on. (14) When only nasty words befall our ears. Due to the push from their karmic impulses And their habituation to disturbing emotions. for the purposes of others. let’s take on ourselves (all their) sufferings. let’s use our bodies and lives for the service of others. such as slander and the likes. powerless. (12) When we ourselves are tormented by terrible hunger and thirst. We need to compose our hearts With a sense of contentment. plundered. let’s take on ourselves (all their) sicknesses. we’re enslaved by others and are maltreated. Our desires for pleasures. if wrongs befall us from our circle. let’s take on ourselves (all their) hunger and thirst.in the jungles of recurring samsara. (9) At times if we’ve come under the enthrallment of our selfish desires. Now.   21   . while we’re circling (in samara) without control. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From our misdeeds of speech. and acted miserly (toward others). What’s difficult to do. Now. In having gladly taken it on themselves. (13) At times when. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having been hostile toward the lowly and exploited them as servants. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having taxed.

Now. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having forsaken the hallowed ones And entrusted ourselves to bad circles. let’s never cause (anyone) to withdraw from the circles of others. It never pleases our gurus. Now. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having caused interference to the hallowed ones’ deeds. Now. (20) At times when our minds are unclear and our hearts are unhappy. let’s rid ourselves of all our interference-making. (21) At times when we’re frustrated from the depths of our minds That our works are never accomplished. (17) When all hallowed ones are displeased with us. let’s give up (providing) conditions for others’ negative karmic force. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having considered of no value the necessities of others. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having belittled moral self-dignity   22   . (23) At times when people find fault with everything (we do). Now.Now. Now. let’s rid ourselves of bad friends. (22) At times when no matter how we’ve acted. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From ourselves having denigrated the hallowed ones. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having caused other people to build up negative force. Now. (16) At times when we’re parted from helpful and loving friends. let’s habituate ourselves to (seeing) appearances exclusively as pure. let’s not denigrate others (falsely) For having done or for having not done something. (19) At times when our material goods of necessity fall apart. Now. let’s help them acquire their necessities of life. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having always been habituated to (seeing) appearances as impure. (18) At times when others (falsely) accuse us of the wrongs Of having done or of having not done something. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having lured away to ourselves those in the circles of others. (15) When we’re born in lands that are completely impure. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having acted two-facedly regarding the hallowed Dharma. let’s discredit all faults in our speech. Now. let’s minimize being two-faced regarding the Dharma.

This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having made light of karma and behavioral cause and effect. never working out. all of a sudden. let’s practice what’s hard. let’s maximize disgust with recurring samsara. or dropsy. (26) At times when we’re sick with consumption. Now. let’s be shy with respect to uncivilized (behavior). let’s give up confiscating monastic property and the likes. (24) At times when. (28) At times when our intelligence becomes murky regarding everything knowable. They go astray. Delighting in disturbing emotions. Such as from listening (to teachings) and the likes. Now. (27) At times when. disagreements (arise).   23   . (30) At times when our mental wandering is great. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having harbored inside us bad thoughts (about others). let’s continually minimize our pretense and cunning. as soon as we gather a circle.And care for how our actions reflect on others. Now. let’s rid ourselves of destructive actions. tumors. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having peddled all around our bad ugly characters. Now. Now. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having made Dharma matters Into things that are fit to be left to the side. Now. let’s make effort to build up positive karmic force. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having had no morals and having commandeered religious offerings without caring. Now. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From not having meditated on impermanence and the drawbacks of samsara. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having accumulated (acts of) defilement toward the hallowed Dharma. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having committed actions causing our spiritual bonds to decline. infectious diseases strike our bodies. (31) At times when no matter how we do things. let’s habituate ourselves to discriminating awareness. for the sake of the Dharma. (25) At times when all who are close rise up as our enemies. let’s act kindly toward anyone at all as our human characters. Now. (29) At times when sleep overwhelms us while practicing the Dharma. Now.

This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From not having had confidence in the Buddhas. no matter how we try. strokes. But we’re poor in our wealth. (34) At times when superstition. Attachment and anger upset us. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having made ugly images And disturbed (others) with our anger. Now. And possession by harmful spirits befall us. Now. and the likes. let’s make (beautiful images of) deities And be long-suffering in temperament.(32) At times when the measure of our having performed rituals Is that things work out contrary (to what we had wished). Like frost. let’s keep our spiritual bonds clean and so forth. (39) At times when. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having stubbornly harbored Unseemly bad streams of (self-centered) thought. Like people not under their own control. Now. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From not having made donations or offerings to the Supreme Gems.   24   . This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having kicked out gurus and others from where they are staying. let’s destroy all our bad understandings. let’s make efforts regarding offerings and donations. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From not having safeguarded properly The morality of our spiritual bonds. let’s turn away from the side of black (magic). (38) At times when our faces and bodies are ugly. and our circle insults us. (33) At times when our requests to the Three Precious Gems Do not reach fulfillment. let’s never expel (anyone) from any place. (37) At times when our desires are huge. Now. Now. hail. (35) At times when we have to wander about. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having placed our hopes and reliance on the side of black (magic). (36) At times when unwished for things happen. Now. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having built up negative force With respect to the tantric deities and mantras. let’s entrust ourselves exclusively to the Precious Gems. Now.

Our own mind-streams are untamed.” (40) At times when no matter what we practice. let’s take care about how and with whom we make friends. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having held a bad outlook inside. no matter what we’re doing. Now. let’s make it Something for the purposes of others. Now. Now. like lightning on our heads. let’s examine (these) adverse conditions And then rid ourselves of them. let’s pull out from the root (Concepts of) a “true self” and a “true you.   25   . (46) In short. (43) At times when we ourselves have been swindled by others’ cunning. (45) When everything good that we’ve done Has elicited a bad (response). Now. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having gladly taken on grand ambitions for this life. Now. Now. let’s minimize our trying to make profit off of anyone.Now. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From not having thought about the demonic faults in our hearts. Like the murder of a sword smith by his own (fashioned) sword. We reconsider and regret it. of (disasters) never wished for Are the sharp weapons of negative karma circling back on us. let’s take care about our negative deeds. let’s take care about our negative deeds. It does not reach its aim. of sufferings in the worse rebirth states Are the sharp weapons of negative karma circling back on us. and greed having been great. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From having counterbalanced in an opposite manner All our repayments of kindness. as well. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From our selfish desire. This is the sharp weapon of negative karma circling back on us From running after those in lofty positions as our new friends. (44) At times when attachment or hostility have led us astray while listening or explaining. Now. although we’ve performed constructive actions. (47) Our experiences. no sooner do we plan (to do something). (41) At times when. Without caring how this reflects on our old ones. (42) At times when. let’s hold tightly onto the wish for liberation. the strikings. Now. arrogance. let’s accept on the crown of our heads repaying kindness. Like the murder of an arrow smith by his own (fashioned) arrow.

like lightning on our heads. Has been making us run through the jungle of samsara. you Buddha-figure! Pray burst. causing us to get struck by the sharp weapons of karma. from all our fetters! Slash! Slash! I beseech you. (49) That really is the way that it is! So. The fraud who. too. right now.” then cheated me! Aha! This is grasping at a “true self!” There is no doubt! (50) Now. without any control. a “true self. it would be fitting forever to go forth (as monastics). Who laid in ambush and deceived me.(48) And the strikings. cut the knot of our grasping! (54) Come here. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Now. O great Buddha-figure! Dzah! Dzah! Bind this enemy up tightly! Phat! Phat! Free us. Who brings to ruin ourselves and others – that vicious savage. – pow! pow! – This bag of karma and five disturbing emotions of poison. (52) Draw him out! Draw him out! Forceful Yamantaka! Batter him! Batter him! Pierce the enemy. Draw out the spoiler of our spiritual bonds. of the problems of family life Are the sharp weapons of negative karma circling back on us. I beseech you. disguised as “me.) raise over your head The sharp weapon of your actions! Circle it three times round your head in a forceful way! Plant your two feet wide apart for the two truths! Glare with your eyes wide open for method and wisdom! Bare your fangs for the four forces. (55) Though having brought on ourselves the sufferings   26   .” our foe.” right in the heart! Crash. (Yamantaka. fierce Yamantaka. and pierce the foe! (51) O King of Pure Awareness Mantras that torment the enemy. I’ve caught the enemy! I’ve caught the thieving bandit. Like the murder of parents by a son they have raised. Which keeps us stuck in the swamp of samsaric acts. (53) Hum! Hum! Produce miraculous emanations. really crash down. called “The Demon of Grasping at a ‘True Self’” – Who. a “true self.

(57) Our expectations for speedy success are high. a “true self. Yet our boasting about our hardships is great. a “true self. Crash. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. really crash down. (56) Our wish for happiness is enormous. Yet our hard work goes toward striving to plunder or steal (for it). Yet our ambitious desires and greed are great. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. really crash down. really crash down. We’re hard-working to gather and accumulate (wealth). a “true self.of the three worse rebirth states. Crash.” our foe. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. (60) What we’ve done for everyone is little. The projects we engage in are abounding. Yet we never bring any of them to their end. Our longing for food is tremendous. What we’ve been responsible for (accomplishing) is nothing. a “true self. really crash down. Crash. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.” our foe.” our foe. really crash down. We rush toward their cause.” our foe. Yet the future of our concern and sincerity in them is short. Yet the gloom of our dispositions is thick. Yet our perseverance in spiritual practice is low. (58) Our new friendships are copious. really crash down. Our tolerance for unhappiness is little. Yet we fail to build up a network of its causes.” our foe.” our foe. Crash. a “true self. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Crash.   27   . Yet our imposing posture is grand. not knowing to be alarmed. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. we stingily clutch it. Yet despite what we have. Crash. (59) We’re experts at flattery and indirect pressure. a “true self.

Yet when we need backing and support. Yet our practice of helping (others) is tiny. Our good qualities are abundant. The officials (we know) are plentiful.” our foe. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.” our foe. a “true self. Crash. The extent of our scriptural knowledge is tiny. Our disciples are abundant. Yet it being time to nurture and help them is rare. a “true self. Yet our bragging and showing off with empty words is huge. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Crash. Our spiritual renown is tremendous. (66) Our philosophical view is the highest. Yet our ability to carry the load of our spiritual bonds is minute. a “true self. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.   28   . Yet. a “true self. really crash down. (65) Our status is lofty. Crash. we (pretend that we) understand a lot. Yet our conduct is worse than that of a dog. (64) Our circle (of followers) and attendants is vast. really crash down. Crash.” our foe. We’re bereft of protectors.” our foe. Yet those who bear (in mind what we say) include none. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.” our foe. Crash. really crash down. Yet our qualifications are less than those of a ghost. really crash down. (62) Our spiritual promises are grand. a “true self. We’re (considered) great gurus. Yet when it’s examined. Yet our attachment and anger are coarser than those of a demon. (63) The extent of our listening (to teachings) is miniscule.(61) Our spiritual teachers are numerous. (even) worldly gods and demons would be ashamed. really crash down. understanding nothing.

We keep (hidden) inside us. Crash. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.Yet we cast to the wind their (ethical) base.” our foe. (68) We’ve clothed ourselves in robes of saffron.” our foe. But then sought protection and refuge from ghosts. And then run after woes. Our guidance has been fashioned by the Dharma. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.” our foe. really crash down. Crash. really crash down. a “true self. a “true self. (69) Our joy and happiness have been provided By (entrusting ourselves to) the heavenly (Buddhas). We’ve taken on vows (of ethical discipline). But then we’ve been carried away by distractions. But then made our behavior comparable to that of a demon. But then we’ve deceived the Rare Supreme Gems. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Crash.” our foe. contrary to fact. (70) We’ve entrusted ourselves to monastic seclusion forever. (67) All our innermost longings. a “true self. But then nurtured (others) with prognostications with dice. really crash down. Crash. We blame on others. a “true self.” our foe. We’ve requested hallowed Dharma and the spiritual sciences. But then we’ve made offerings to mischievous ghosts. a “true self.   29   . right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. really crash down. (71) We’ve discarded our ethical discipline (As homeless monastics) – the path to liberation – And then grasped onto a home. Crash.” our foe. We’ve thrown joy and happiness into the river. a “true self. While all our affairs that have gone crooked. really crash down. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Crash. really crash down. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.

And then (used them to) accomplish (rebirth in) the joyless hell realms. And then wandered about to the ends of the earth.” our foe. And then. We’ve set aside the Dharma schools of our gurus. right on the head   30   . really crash down. We’re befriended in goodwill. (75) Wow! Our fortitude for meditation is little. a “true self. without care for how it reflects on them. And then tried to make profit through business transactions. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Crash. We’ve found precious human bodies. Yet our legs are rushing after meaningless things. We’ve set aside the sustenance (inherited) from our parents. really crash down. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. (77) We’re trusted as intimates (by others). Crash. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Crash. (73) We’ve set aside the special (benefits) that come about through the Dharma. really crash down. (76) We’re given advice for our benefit. And then reveal their innermost secrets to their foes. a “true self. (74) We’ve set aside our own livelihood. really crash down.” our foe. We’ve not taken the first step of the spiritual path. Crash. And then robbed it from others. a “true self. take (the persons) as foes. And then wandered about the area of towns. with angry minds. Rob them of their inner strength and courage. we repay their kindness. really crash down. without a brain. really crash down.(72) We’ve discarded the ford (to cross) to liberation. And then. Crash. a “true self. And then stolen for our income. Yet (we expect) our advanced awareness to be sharp. We’re fooled by deceitful (flattery). right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Crash. And then. a “true self. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.” our foe.” our foe.” our foe.

(81) Our put-down of high ones is heavy. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Since our lust is enormous. We must readily accept deprecation for our lies. (82) Since the future duration (of our friendship) is short.” our foe. a “true self. Things that cause us offence are aplenty. And then always have difficulty in being friends. Crash.   31   . (83) Since we lack clairvoyance. a “true self. We hold holy beings to be our foes. really crash down. Crash.” our foe.” our foe. we don’t bow (and accept). right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Since our new friendships are copious. But rather distance ourselves and seek to argue on. Yet our holding on (to them) is always tight.” our foe. Yet our prejudices are coarser than those of anyone. Since we have no compassion. Crash. a “true self. Crash. a “true self.of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. When we’re agreed with. Crash. Yet we continually arouse (others’) bad characters. really crash down. really crash down. (78) Our short temper is perfect. But rather covertly try to cause (them) harm. a “true self. We eagerly take on young people (as partners). We lay out before all of them empty promises of fun. we don’t listen. really crash down. a “true self. (79) When asked to do something (for others).” our foe.” our foe. We cast off at a distance former friends. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. We snatch away the trust (in us of others) in their hearts. We have difficulty in being friends. (80) We get mentally upset at (others’) advice. really crash down. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.

really crash down. And so the gauge (for the authenticity) of our discourse Is that we speak.” our foe. reprimanding. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. We libel and discredit others. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Since we’ve habituated ourselves to jealousy. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. really crash down. (88) Toward non-Dharmic actions. And so we’re dismissive of the vast (teachings). We haven’t gained mastery through (genuine) pure visions. a “true self. (84) Since our listening (to teachings) is negligible.Crash.   32   . (89) Toward situations to be ashamed of. Crash. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher.” our foe. really crash down. (85) Since we’ve habituated ourselves to attachment and anger. a “true self. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. really crash down. We berate all our opponents. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. really crash down. We haven’t entrusted ourselves to gurus. Since the extent of our scriptural knowledge is tiny. And so we feign (teachings) that we have made up. Crash. (87) We can’t explain The Three Baskets. But toward all excellent explanations (of the Dharma). really crash down. We spout forth with insult. And so we berate their oral transmission. Crash. a “true self. We must scratch around and guess about everything. Crash. (86) We haven’t made proper studies. We don’t hold any shame. We generate distorted views about all.” our foe.” our foe. Crash.” our foe. a “true self.” our foe. a “true self. We don’t make any censure. a “true self.

through reason.” once and for all! (93) As much suffering that there is in samsaric beings. (92) We beseech you. really crash down. But what’s not fitting to be done. free us from this enemy. Endowed with a Blissfully Gone (Buddha’s) Dharmakaya. demolish that very one who’s taking it! (95) Now. with your great compassion! We beseech you. (91) (O Yamantaka). Heap it. who’s the same class! (94) Although we’ve identified. Heap it. really crash down. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. We beseech you. with your great ferocious force! We beseech you. the view of a “true self” – oh. The root of our faults. a “true self. I beseech you. definitely. (90) What’s proper to have been done. We do them all. And possessing a skull-headed bludgeon. We distortedly hold them as shameful things. with no indecision. barring none. Crash.But toward what isn’t to be ashamed of.” our foe. Let’s meditate strongly on kindness toward all beings. with your great discriminating awareness! We beseech you. Let’s dedicate to every wandering being   33   . I beseech you. wow – (O you.) with strength and force. definitely. having placed all the blame on one thing. beyond any doubt.” our foe. on this one. – the sharp weapon of your actions of no “true self” – Circle it three times round your head. smash this bad thought. demolish (this) “true self. Crash. like this. Destroyer of the demon. We don’t do even once. right on the head of (this) ruinous concept! Deal the death blow to the heart of this butcher. Having taken on our own mind-streams what others never wished for. on my grasping at a “true self!” As much of the five poisonous disturbing emotions that there are in anyone. a “true self. If you can expose (any part of us that’s) still taking its side. protect us from karma.

With there being no more harm. May they entrust themselves (to us). May the disturbing emotions be transformed into aids for enlightenment. when we’ve undertaken To enter the three worse rebirth states. like curing with medicine crows who have eaten poisonous plants. May we lead out of the sufferings of the worse rebirth states (everyone there). (102) At that time. May the guardians of the joyless hell realms Come to recognize us as their gurus. Having saved (then) the life of liberation for all beings. The kindness received from us. May they quickly attain Blissfully Gone Buddhahood. Even for the sake of a single wandering being. may all wandering beings In higher status rebirths as well. Like peacocks having radiant color through (feeding on) poisonous plants. (100) As soon as (we’ve landed there). May we mutually (help) one another to uphold but one mind (– the bodhichitta aim –) Although. May even the (rain of) sharp weapons Turn into a shower of flowers. And may peace and happiness flourish. (99) During that time. like that. And. through our karma. Never letting our great bodhisattva behavior decline. (The negative consequences) of what others have done Over the three times through their three gateways (of action). May they repay.The roots from our constructive acts. (96) By having taken on ourselves. (101) Then. when even those in the worse rebirth states Have attained advanced awareness and retention power (for the Dharma). (97) And by having given to wandering beings The roots from our constructive acts. Having taken us as their gurus. we may roam Through the six wandering states of samsara. having taken on heavenly or human bodies. And. Having meditated supremely   34   . They’ve developed bodhichitta. the Realm Beneath None. with their Dharma (practice). (98) Till the time when we and all who have been our fathers and mothers Attain enlightenment in Akanishta.

our life force has no core. while being mere appearances Hey. It’s beyond being an object that can be added or taken away. (107) This butcher. they’re things that are beautiful (just) from afar. Like a cloud or a mist on a mountain. I tell you. They seem so real. (105) Like a plantain tree. How could we not have attained the causes for the effect: a Buddha’s Form Body? (104) Hey. They are reflections that (merely) appear. Like a fog. is like that. a “true self. they’re things that disperse. lack self-establishing natures.” with nonconceptual deep awareness. They seem to stay and to stay. Changing into that over there and changing into this over here. Like a whirling firebrand. Their false appearances are an illusion.   35   . Similar to that regarding the “true self” (of persons). so real. too. Seeming like it is true and true. having descended. Having meditated on no “true self. Like a bubble. on the equal nature of compulsive samsara and tranquil nirvana. If we’ve done like that. Seeming like it exists and exists. those like me! All of those are things that dependently arise. Then meditate with absorbed concentration. Seeming like it appears and appears. Like a mirage. Yet. like this (enemy) does. our life span (too) has no core. (103) If we’ve done like that. These karmic causes and effects are assorted displays that are false. the concept (of it) will be destroyed. Nonconceptually. this enemy will be destroyed. They dawn like the reflection of the moon in a full cup of water. Although they. It’s never been experienced as true anywhere. And may they recognize themselves as being in this equal nature.on no “true self” (of all things). (106) Like reflections in a mirror. And what relies on dependently arising cannot be self-supporting. It never has existed at all. (108) Whatever sharp weapons of karma that that (butcher) possesses.” the enemy.

Although they lack self-establishing natures as being the same or as being different. and likewise Not by each (of the others) – the last one and so on. The vase wasn’t filled by the first drop. burned. has been produced And then has relieved the torment in people’s minds. And it isn’t by means of the last instance and so forth. although unawareness and so on Lack self-establishing natures. a melodious sound. long cavern and suffocating. Likewise. (112) When we thoroughly analyze karmic cause and effect. though what occurs in the joyless hell realms and the likes Lack self-establishing natures. there’s no self-establishing nature of the sound.   36   . (110) When we’re delirious with a fever. Similarly. “We must accept and reject (the appropriate actions). We must clear away their delirium with the three types of discriminating awareness. Yet when we don’t analyze. We need to abandon (their karmic cause). But rather the vase is full Through a dependently arisen accumulation. (114) When we experience any happiness or suffering as a karmic result.” (113) When a vase has been filled by drops of water. It isn’t by means of the first instance of its cause. Yet because of fear of being boiled. Even though there’s no darkness.” (109) When. Which is an accumulation. and so forth. (111) When musicians are playing a beautiful song. Though it lacks a self-establishing nature. Similarly. Yet. Hey. Likewise.“We must accept and reject (the appropriate actions). Yet we’re still terrified. We experience happiness and suffering Through a dependently arisen accumulation. Phenomena are made to arise and perish. I tell you. in the dream world. while being mere appearances. seemingly appearing and appearing. And seemingly existing and existing. (We feel like) we’re passing into a deep. Yet. And we analyze. We experience various (things) arising and perishing. there blazes an eon-ending fire.

Serenely in its primordial state. without any contriving. (116) Yet now. have no core. in order to tame the many limited beings that were difficult to tame. When he developed realization. practiced it. He conferred upon me the power of the Dharma. a great yogi (endowed with) scriptural knowledge. I committed it to memory. never just partially in this direction or that. What is there even that is definitely merely appearing? What is there that is existent (at all)? What is there that’s even nonexistent? What is there anywhere that can be asserted as existence or nonexistence? (117) But if we place our intelligence. it’s difficult for the lesser-minded to see. Fulfilling) the two aims. He imparted it to Atisha. (118) By practicing conventional bodhichitta And deepest bodhichitta like that. and then Atisha. Which doesn’t contain Objects and what have those objects (both) having actual true natures. Our buildup of the two enlightening networks. Dharmarakshita. Hey. he proclaimed these verses in fact: When I abandoned royalty and practiced difficult austerities. when we totally absorb on this (voidness). as well. having spread my intelligence out   37   . (Colophon:) In a jungle retreat where various fearsome beasts of prey roamed. composed (this text) called “ The Throwing Star Weapon.” (115) Wow! These appearances of pleasant things which. Having obtained an opponent for the present day (problems). Unexamined (seem to exist as if) all alone. And yet these things (still) appear as if truly existing! That’s profound! But. “We must accept and reject (the appropriate actions). May we attain the splendor (of enlightenment.Yet. And which is parted from all accepting and rejecting and parted from mental fabrication. Striking the Vital Point of the Foe” in accord with the words of his hallowed gurus. and realization. In showing me this nectar-like teaching. Then he practiced it in that fearsome jungle retreat during his degenerate age. I built up the positive force so that I was able to meet my superlative guru. We shall become great beings. without interruption. logic. And bringing to completion. When. I tell you. while being mere appearances.

And studied all around. such as the Vanquishing Lady Tara. Atisha imparted this teaching to Upasaka Dromtonpa – who had been prophesied by fathomless Buddha-figures. The triumphant fatherly (Atisha) and his spiritual son (Dromtonpa) themselves served as the pandit teacher and translator for it. From among the many unimaginable disciples he had in India and Tibet. Although I saw fathomless wonders (in all of them). This teaching (in particular) has brought benefit in these degenerate times.     38   . to be their most fitting vessel – so that it could tame the uncivilized disciples of remote Tibet. Without being partisan toward any system.

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