THE THIRTY ALRIGHTS
Master, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
Take under your protection these fortunate children!
Now, listen without distraction
To this advice which will help you later on--alright?
The guru is like the guide who leads the blind:
Hold onto him and never let him go-- alright?
His word is like ambrosia, the supreme panacea:
Drink it to cure yourself from the illness of the obscuring emotions--alright?
Spiritual brothers and sisters are like good companions on a journey:
Accompany them as you would beloved friends--alright?
This precious human birth is like a wish-fulfilling jewel:
Don't waste it--alright?
Human life lasts no longer than the rays of the setting sun on a mountain pass:
Practice the Dharma, so as to be ready for death--alright?
The consequences of your good and evil deeds will follow like your shadow:
They accompany you even through death--alright?
Samsara is like living on a cannibal island:
Do something to escape quickly--alright?
Friends and relatives are like the snares of samsara:
Don't be so attached to them--alright?
One's homeland is like Mara's prison:
Escape! Leave it far behind--alright?
All beings are like your parents of this life:
Protect them with love and compassion-- alright?
A vicious enemy is like an autumn flower:
He will vanish all by himself, so don't get angry--alright?
Wealth and possessions are like a bee's honey:
They get consumed by someone else, so don't be attached--alright?
Your many projects are like drawings made on water:
There is no way to finish them, so just forget them--alright?
Pleasant and unpleasant words are no more than echoes:
Don't react to them with pointless joy or sadness--alright?
Happiness and suffering alternate like summer and winter:
Don't fall prey to elation or depression-- alright?
A rich person is like a hungry ghost guarding a treasure:
Have few desires and be content with what you have--alright?
To assume an air of self-importance, like an army commander--who needs it?
Keep to the lowest position--alright?.
Religious wealth misused is like poisoned water:
Don't keep wanting so many things- alright?
Husband and wife are like people who come together for a fair:
Don't take anything as permanent and don't be too attached--alright?
Anger is like a house on fire:
Extinguish it, or it will scorch your mind-- alright?
Learning is like a torch which dispels darkness:
Listen to the lama's teachings--alright?
Generosity is like making provision for the next life:
Give away all that you possess--alright?
Discipline is like a stairway to liberation:
Guard it as you would your own eyes-- alright?
Patience is like armor on the battlefield:
Abandon anger and cultivate patience-- alright?
Diligence is like riding a good horse:
It will take you along the entire path, so exert yourself--alright?
Firm inner calm is like a fortress.
Practice undistracted samadhi--alright?
Insight is like the sun illuminating darkness:
Light the torch of wisdom--alright?
The natural state of mind is like the sky:
Rest in that state--alright?
Phenomena are like rainbows appearing in space:
Regard them as insubstantial apparitions--alright?
Mystical visions are like the allure of a beautiful woman:
Don't be attached to them--alright?
The various teachings are all like the fruit of a good harvest:
See all of them as pure--alright?
Keep in mind this advice
Called Thirty Alrights--alright?
By the power of all merit, symbolized by this merit,
May all beings practice the Dharma and achieve Buddhahood.
from The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin
by Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol, Matthieu Ricard (Translator)
Published by Snow Lion, Ithaca, 2001