The Pleasant Melody of the Right Turning Conch

Om Swasti.

From the state of peace, in nature an expanse of profundity and clarity,

The vast space of dharmakaya, all-pervading absolute truth,

Resounds graceful music, connate magic,

The pleasant melody of myriads of excellent virtues.

At the sunset of Shakyamuni's doctrine,

The approach of the waning of the youthful rays,

Appears a torch smiling like the moon's face,

Three secrets that gracefully ornament the sky of the victor's doctrine.(1)

In the vast park of endless existence,

Bloom poisonous leaves, the appearances of bewilderment.

The suffering of these appearances, their taste and potency,

Is this really worthy of praise as a true medicine? (2)

On the vast face of the luminous sky

Clouds of merit play, delighting all.

Through the cooling, honeyed rain of camphor, bodhicitta,

May all enjoy the nutriment of the definitively secret result. (3)

On the calyx, a thousand varieties of discernment,

Rests sweet dew, the full potency of virtues long established.

Upon its being drunk by the bee, the clear intellect,

Songs are sung, accompanied by the dance of great bliss. (4)

In evil times of the full five-fold degeneration, the obscuration of youth,

The behavior of beings is the dance of madness,

Uncertain and without trust.

May it be bound by the light of altruistic morality. (5)

Dedicate the sun of virtues, that goddess resplendent

With the ornaments of complete joy,

Arising from the slopes of the eastern mountain, genuine altruism,

To all beings including myself. (6)

The youth of mundane joy and well-being is impermanent.

One cannot know when it will be destroyed.

I aspire, through unending, peaceful conduct without aggression,

To the achievement of splendid happiness for all beings. (7)

Finally, in the garden of dharmadhatu, akanishta,

In unity beyond elaboration, the nature of liberation,

May you and I enjoy the taste of dharma, profound and lucid,

In the state of vast purity and equality. (8)


While I was escaping to India, this was said to me in Mustang by the great Tsongkhapa, the victor of the east.

This was dictated by His Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa to Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Translated by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe Gyamtso. Translation copyright © 2000 by the translators.