The Wheel of Sharp weapons Part I Dharmaraksita

 

WHEEL OF SHARP WEAPONS

A Mahayana Training of the Mind

 

 The wheel of Sharp weapons Effectively Striking the Heart of the foe’ has been composed by the great Yogi Dharmaraksita in his retreat in the jungle where many fierce animals pray. What this great Yogi, the possessor of vast scriptural knowledge, the full powers of logic and deep profound insight, has written here is the essence of the teachings of all his holy Gurus. He always practised in accordance with this essence in his fearsome jungle retreat during the degenerate age in which he lived.

From among his many disciples, Dharmaraksita transmitted these teachings to Atisa (982–1054); and Atisa practised them wherever he traveled in order to tame those who ware most wild. When Atisa developed true insight into the two Bodhicittas through these teachings, he composed the following verses:

 

I went through much hardship abandoning royalty,

But by collecting much virtuous merit,

I met my true Guru, Dharmaraksita,

By showing me these supreme nectar like teachings,

He has granted me sovereignty over my mind;

So that now I have attained all the forceful opponents,

Having memorised fully these words he has taught.

 

Although I do not favour a partisan viewpoint-

Whenever I study the various teachings

I always make effort to broaden my wisdom

To see boundless wonders in every tradition-

Yet I have to admit that these teachings especially

Have been of great help in this age of decay.

 

From among his many unimaginably great disciples in both India and Tibet, Atisa transmitted these teachings to Upasaka hBrom-ston-pa, {22} who had been prophesied to be his most fitting disciple by many of Atisa’s meditational deities such as Tara. Atisa transmitted these teachings to hBrom-ston-pa in order to pacify the minds of the disciples of remote Tibet who ware difficult to tame.

 

 

 

WHEEL OF SHARP WEAPONS

 

 The name of this work is ‘The Wheel of Sharp Weapons

Effectively Striking the Heart of the Foe’.

I pray heartfelt homage to you, Yamantaka;

Your wrath is opposed to the Great Lord of Death.

 

1) In jungles of poisonous plants strut the peacocks,

Though medicine gardens of beauty lie near.

The masses of peacocks do not find gardens pleasant,

But thrive on the essence of poisonous plants.

 

2) In similar fashion 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 life in the march for enjoyment,

Yet tremble with fear at the mere thought 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 desire is the jungle of poisonous plants here.

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) 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,

He would probably forfeit his chance for release.

 

(6) And thus Bodhisattvas are likened to peacocks:

They live on delusions poisonous plants.

Transforming them into the essence of practice,

They thrive 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 concern 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.

But now we must banish all selfish compulsion

And gladly take hardship for all other’s 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-centred 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 how 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 end 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 upon them 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 and.

Hereafter let’s censure all thoughtless remarks.

 

(15) When we are born in oppressive and wretched condition,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have always had a negative outlook

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

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 have 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 spoil,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have 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 have led others to acts of non-virtue;

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 may 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 are 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 have been shameless, not cared about others,

We have thought that our deeds did not 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,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done

Till now we have imposed our bad habits on others;

Hereafter let’s change and show only hind ways.

 

(25) When all who are close turn against us as enemies,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have held grudges inside us with anger

With thoughts of sly methods to cause others pain;

Hereafter let’s try to have less affectation,

Not pretend to be kind while we harbour base aims.

 

(26) When we suffer from sickness and such interference

Especially when gout has swollen our legs,

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;

Hereafter let’s never take anything offered

To the Three Jewels of Refuge as if it were ours.

 

(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.

Till now we have broken our vowed words of honour;

Hereafter let’s shun such non-virtuous deeds.

 

(28) When our mind becomes clouded whenever we study,

This is the wheal of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have thought that the study of Dharma

Lacked prime importance and could be ignored;

Hereafter let’s build up the habits of wisdom

To hear and to think about whet Buddha taught.

 

(29) When sleep overwhelms us while practising virtue,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have gathered the causes for obstacles

Hindering our practice of virtuous acts.

(We have lacked all respect for the scriptural teachings;

We have sat on our books and left texts on the ground.

We have also looked down upon those with deep insight.)

Hereafter for the sake of our practice of Dharma

Let’s gladly endure all the hardships we meet.

 

(30) When our mind wanders greatly and runs towards delusion,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have neglected to meditate fully

On defects pervading this transient world;

Hereafter let’s work to renounce this existence

(And see the impermanent nature of things).

 

(31) When all our affairs, both religious and worldly,

Run into trouble and fall into ruin,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have felt cause and effect {9} could be slighted;

Hereafter let’s practise with patience and strength.

 

(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 relied on the gods of this world

Or on unskillful actions to bring us relief;

Hereafter let’s turn in another direction

And leave our non-virtuous actions behind.

 

(33) When none of the wishes we make reach fulfillment,

Although we have made prayers to the Three Precious Gems,

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;

Hereafter let’s place our exclusive reliance

On Buddha, his teachings and those in his fold.

 

(34) When prejudice, polio or strokes have us crippled

And external forces or harm rise against us,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have collected vast stores of non-virtue

By breaking, our vows and offending protectors

In our practice from Guru-devotion to tantra; {10}

Hereafter let’s banish all prejudiced views.

 

(35) When we lack all control over where we must travel

And always must wander like waifs with no home,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have disturbed holy Gurus and others

And forced them to move from their homer or their seats;

Hereafter let’s never cause others disturbance

By evicting them cruelly from where they reside.

 

(36) When the crops in our fields are continually plagued

By drought floods and hailstones, insects and frost,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have failed to honour our pledges;

Hereafter let’s keep all our moral vows pure,

 

(37) When we are poor, yet are filled with much greed and desire,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done,

Till now we have been misers, reluctant to share.

The offerings we have made to the Three Jewels were

meager;

Hereafter let’s give with a generous hart.

 

(38) When our bodies are ugly and others torment us

By mocking our flaws, never showing aspect

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have made images lacking in beauty,

By venting our anger we have made ugly scenes;

Hereafter let’s print books and make pleasing statues,

And not be short-tempered but be of good cheer.

 

(39) When attachment and anger disturb and upset us

No matter how much we may try to suppress them,

This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning

Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.

Till now we have held on to the improper outlook:

Stubbornly cherishing only ourselves,

Hereafter let’s uproot self-interest completely.

 

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