Verses from "Admonishments to Physician Yang Nge"
Translated by Garma C.C. Chang
In the realm of the Great Unborn
He shines with the four Infinities --
To my wish-granting Jetsun Guru,
The Guide to the Path of Greatest Joy,
I pay my heart-felt praise.
Please listen to these words,
Dear friends here assembled.
When you are young and vigorous,
You ne'er think of old age coming,
But it approaches slow and sure,
Like a seed growing underground.
When you are strong and healthy,
You ne'er think of death's approach.
Quick it comes like thunder
Crashing around your head.
Sickness, old age and death,
Ever meet each other
As do hands and mouths.
Waiting for his prey in ambush,
Yama is ready for his victim
When disaster catches him.
Sparrows fly in single file. Like them, life
Death, and Bardo follow one another.
Never apart from you
Are these three "visitors."
Thus thinking, fear you
Not your sinful deeds?
Like strong arrows in ambush waiting,
Rebirth in Hell, as hungry ghost, or beast
is [the destiny] waiting to catch you.
If once into their traps you fall,
Hard will you find it to escape.
Do you not fear the miseries
You experienced in the past?
Surely you will feel much pain
If misfortunes attack you?
The woes of life succeed one another
Like the sea's incessant waves --
One has barely passed, before
The next one takes its place.
Until you are liberated, pain
And pleasure come and go at random
Like passers-by encountered in the street.
Pleasures are precarious,
Like bathing in the sun;
Transient, too, as snow storms
Which come without warning.
Remembering these things,
Why not practice the Dharma?