Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Beryl of Perfect Learning

The beryl of perfect learning
Ornaments a precious banner.
My dear one, noble and gentle
Ornaments a loving mind.

The sky is bright and clear,
Its luminous colors shining.
My dear one, full of kindness
Is the focus of my thoughts.

The powerful and golden world
Brings forth many types of garden.
My dear one, so delicate,
Takes pleasure in things of peace.

From the overcast mountains
Rain falls in sheets.
My dear one, straight and true,
Brings forth the noble things.

In the smiling sunlight
The waterlily drifts and sways.
My dear one, my friend,
Discovers me in life.

It is more elegant and skilled
Than soft, rippling water.
My mind continually longs
For an equal beauty.

In brilliance, melody, scent, shape, and taste
It is exquisite.
But who, in truth, is the knower
Of these five great senses?

Mount Malaya is perfumed
By gorgeous sandalwood.
May this scent be borne towards us,
Continually, on the wind.

Though the great moon
Is truly far away,
With the grant of good fortune
We shall follow its example.

The rainbow was gifted
With its bright colors.
But who has painted it,
So clearly to be seen?

Though the deep ocean and
The waters of many rivers
are called to act out special circumstance,
The quality of the water remains the same.

Near and far
Exemplify duality
But, where they meet in air
No two exists.

The nature of vanished things
Is universal, everywhere.
There is pleasure in magic:
Let us enjoy sweet equanimity.

The vast riches
Of a long life
Resound throughout the world,
Close by your noble family.

From now, together,
Until peaceful enlightenment,
May good fortune
Bring us eternal happiness.

Your kindly face
In the shining, pure mirror:
May we enjoy forever
Unobscured clarity.


This remarkable work was composed long ago by somebody who understood the heart of others as no separate from his own; yet, alas, others do not always share the same understanding quite so easily.

If there is anyone, anywhere in the world, who can clearly perceive this song, please cast aside your reticence and let there no longer be any hesitation.

These old words we send to you across the centuries take but brief form before they burst upon the bright air like cold, crisp autumn morning.

Winter is coming.

We long to spend the winter with you in the place not so very far from here that only you will know.

We long to show you precisely how the seasons appear to change.

(translated from the Mongolian by Simon Wickham-Smith, with added commentary by somebody I used to know)

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