Today is the 200th anniversary of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, which is being celebrated by his third incarnation, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and the Khyentse Foundation with a new e-book, a new project to translate all of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s works (which I have been asked to contribute as an established translator), and an online recitation of the famous text Chanting the Names of Mañjuśrī (Mañjuśrī-Nāma-Saṃgīti: ‘jam dpal mtshan brjod).
For this anniversary, I also offer the first translation of a short text Gushing Flood of Melodious Laughing Praise: Explanation of the Root Mantra of Lion of Speech, Manjushri, by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. There are various forms of Mañjuśrī and this is one of them. The title I have translated as ‘Gushing Flood’ uses the Tibetan mtsho byung, which literally means ‘spring/source/emergence of water/ocean’. This could also be referring to Saraswati, the consort of Manjusrhi whose name in Sanskrit is said to be a fusion word of saras (सरस्) meaning “pooling water”, but also sometimes translated as “speech”; and vati (वती) meaning “she who possesses”. Originally associated with the river or rivers known as Saraswati, this combination, therefore, means “she who has ponds, lakes, and pooling water” or occasionally “she who possesses speech”. The translated text can be downloaded here for free here.
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and his incarnations are considered to be emanations of Mañjuśrī. For an article about that see here. This text gives a poetic, syllable-by-syllable explanation of the root mantra of the mother-father Mañjuśrī, Lion of Speech. In it, Khyentse Wangpo also refers to the different sections of the Mañjuśrī-Nāma-Saṃgīti, when he pays homage to the different names of Mañjuśrī. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (student of the 2nd Khyentse Wangpo, Chokyi Lodro) explains how important this text was in his own education in Brilliant Moon: The Autobiography of Dilgo Khyentse , he says:
[Shechen] Gyaltsap Rinpoche was in the process of establishing a monastic school at Shechen, and on one astrologically favorable day, he said they should hold the opening ceremony. For a few days Khyentse Chökyi Lodro gave elaborate teachings based on a commentary written by Khyentse Wangpo on Chanting the Names of Mañjuśrī, and together with Shechen Kongtrül, Gontoe Chöktrul, Gyaltsap Rinpoche’s nephew Khenchen Lodro Rabsel, and Khenpo Phakang, it was attended by all the participants of the Treasury of Spiritual Instructions. Later they all became unrivaled practitioners of sutra, tantra, and science, endowed with learning, discipline, and goodness.
And another instance:
Next I went to Dzongsar to study with the omniscient Jamgön Chökyi Lodro, and got the great pandita Vimalamitra’s commentary on Chanting the Names of Mañjuśrī.
The Tibetan text is in Khyentse Wangpo’s Collected Works[i]. I have also produced a brief catalogue of his compositions on Mañjuśrī that are in those Works. Other Praises and Prayers to Mañjuśrī by Khyentse Wangpo and Khyentse Chokyi Lodro can be found at the Lotsawa House website here. They include a Prayer to Mañjuśrī, the Lion of Speech by Karma Chagme, who also wrote a sadhana text on that particular form of Mañjuśrī. There is also a translation of text called A Way to Accumulate the Recitation of the Tantra Chanting the Names of Mañjuśrī, Mañjuśrī Nāma Saṃgīti a concise recitation text by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
I received the oral transmission of Khyentse Wangpo’s works from HE Schechen Rabjam Rinpoche, January 2020. I also took the empowerment for this form (and others) during the Knowing One Liberates All empowerments of HE Gyalstab Rinpoche at Ralang monastery, October 2019. I have also received Mañjuśrī empowerment from HH 14th Dalai Lama. In 2015, my root lama, HH the 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje also gave an empowerment of this particular form of Mañjuśrī, he said:
“In sum I would interpret it in this way: Mañjuśrī embodies the wisdom of all the Buddhas, so the commitment is to cultivate wisdom, which is the essence or spirit of Mañjuśrī. This means to look beyond mere appearances, to analyze and see the actual situation. For example, we may think of ourselves as independent, but we are actually interdependent—everything we consume and everything we use down to the air we breathe comes through the work and existence of others. So the commitment is to understand our interdependence and take responsibility based on that understanding.”
I translated and compiled this text in two days, so please forgive any errors. May it be of benefit and may all beings attain the state of Mañjuśrī!
EMA: single embodiment of the excellent knowledge of guides of all ten directions.
Lion of Speech, Mañjuśrī, blazingly renowned throughout the three worlds,
Here and now, out of loving compassion for me, with vajra body, speech, mind and secret
directly bestows blessings of sweet nectar, expanding the happiness and bliss of the lotus.
Seeing ultimate nature itself, and invincible, infinite knowledge, the way of profound understanding.
From dharma clouds of courage and strength, a shower of peaceful, calm nectar descends.
Chief of billions of victors and siblings, whom seeing, hearing, recalling and touching establishes enlightenment.
May all beings continually enter into the liberating oceans of primordial-awareness beings!
—Excerpt from Gushing Flood of Melodious Laughing Praise, by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Adele Tomlin, 25th July 2020.
[i] ‘jam dpal smra ba’i seng ge la rtsa sngags kyi sgo nas bstod pa mtsho byung bzhad pa’i dbyangs snyan – 1: 68-70, TBRC W21807, ff. 4v-5v. (pp. 66-68).
BRIEF CATALOGUE OF WORKS
- jam dpal smra ba’i seng ge la bstod pa ut+pala dmar po’i do shel 1: 62-65, W21807 ff. 1v-3r (pp. 60-63)
Colophon: de ltar ‘jam dpal dmar po smra ba’i seng ge la bstod pa’i rab byed nyung du ‘di’ang gzhon nu a b+hA yas gang shar du gsol btab pa’o
- ‘jam dpal gzhon nu la bstod pa blo mchog gur gum gsar pa’i phreng mdzes, 1: 65-68, W21807 , ff. 3r-4v (pp. 63-66)
Colophon: de ltar byang chub sems dpa’ ‘jam dpal gzhon nur gyur pa la bstod pa’i rab byed ‘di’am mi phyed pa’i dad pas mtshams sbyar te gzhon nu a b+hA yas khyu mchog can gyi zla ba’i rgyal ba gnyis pa’i gral tshes dge bar gang shar gsol ba btab pa dza yan+tu
Note : composed on the twenty-third day of the eighth month of an unidentified year
- ‘jam dpal smra ba’i seng ge la rtsa sngags kyi sgo nas bstod pa mtsho byung bzhad pa’i dbyangs snyan – 1: 68-70, W21807, ff. 4v-5v. (pp. 66-68)
Colophon: rje btsun ‘jam pa’i dbyangs smra ba’i seng ge la rtsa sngags kyi nges pa dang / ‘jam dpal sgyu ‘phrul drwa ba’i rgyud kyi rgyal po chen po’i bstod pa’i bstod pa’i le’u’i nges don ‘grel chen dri ma med pa’i ‘od kyi dgongs pa dang mthun par zung du ‘brel ba’i sgo nas cung zad ba sngags pa’i tshigs su bcad pa ‘di yang grub pa mchog gi ded dpon dam pa sangs rgyas kyi gzhung la brten nas bsnyen sgrub kyi mthar dngos grub blang pa’i ched thugs dam bskul ba’i tshul du shAkya’i dge slong ‘jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse’i dbang pos gsol ba btab pas sid+d+hi ra stu
- ‘jam dpal dkar po la bstod pa blo gros snang ster 1: 70-71, W21807. ff. 5v-6r (pp. 68-69)
- ‘jam dpal rdo rje bstod cing smon lam gdab pa’i rim pa blo gros dpal sbyin nor bu’i ‘khri shing – 1: 69-76, W21807. ff. 6r-8v (pp.69-74)
supplication to manjusri composed when the author was sixteen years old
Colophon: de ltar bcom dlan ‘das mgon po ‘jam pa’i dbangs la bstod pa’i rab byed yan lag bdun pa dang ‘brel ba’i tshigs su bcad pa nyung du ‘di yang gzhon nu ya b+hA yas ran lo bcu drug par gsol ba btab pa de kho na nyid du ‘grub par gyur cig
- bla ma ‘jam pa’i dbyangs la bya dka’ ba’i rgyan dang yi ge’i ma mo spel ba’i bstod pa rab bsngags nor bu’i rgyud mang – 1: 151-152, W21807. ff. 46r-46v (pp. 149-150).
Colophon: ‘jam dbyangs bla ma dgyes pa’i ‘bangs mkhyen brtse’i dbang pos gsol ba btags pa dge legs su gyur cig
- sgra dbyangs lha mo dbyangs can ma dmar po la bstod cing gsol ba ‘debs pa blo gros mchog stsol 1: 121-122, W21807.
- rje btsun smra ba’i seng ge’i sgom bzlas blo gros kha ‘byed/ – 4: 397-400 TBRC W23723, 2 ff. (pp. 387-390).
method for contemplative practice focussing upon a form of manjusri; written at the behest of bstan pa phun tshogs