in Praise of the Sangha
Dynasty Emperor Shunzhi
offerings made to the monasteries everywhere pile up as high as a
monks with almsbowls can receive food as they please;
and jade in fact are not the most precious of items,
kasaya (monk’s precept robe) alone is the rarest garment one
the Emperor, am Lord of China, with its mountains and rivers,
worry over the nation, I‘m concerned for the people, I‘m always
hundred years contain more than 36,000 days;
them as Emperor can‘t compare with the comfort and ease of
a day spent living as a Sanghan.
come to this life confused, we leave it deluded,
birth and death, I‘ve come to this world as a human in vain.
I was born, who was I? At the time of my birth, who was I then?
after growing to adulthood, my identity was finally set,
when I shut both eyes at death, who have I become?
to life cannot compare to “no further coming or going,” (Nirvana)
regardless of who we are, we are happy at birth and sad at death;
and sadness, meeting and departing, cause such trouble and grief.
knows which day will we attain true purity?
if I could understand the important matter of birth and death,
even today ‘turn my head around,’ it would not be too late.
hard to compare anything in the world to the ‘left-home’ life,
its care-free, worry-free, peace of mind.
mouth savors the pure flavor of serenity,
body is forever robed in the ‘hundred-patches cloak.’
are received as a honored guest everywhere you wander
because in past lives you made the Bodhi Resolve.
Arhats always wear the Tathagata’s three robes on their bodies.
While the Golden Crow and the Jade Moon run from
East to West,
must refrain from exercising our cleverness;
affairs done over a century last no longer than a fleeting dream at
war over territory turns the earth into a game of chess.
the Great set up the
; but his descendant King Jye was expelled by King Tang;
Shr Huang swallowed the Six Nations but soon the Han overthrew him;
ages past all the great heros who have taken the world‘s center
now lie in the wilderness, beneath the dust and mud.
I exchange this yellow robe for a purple precept sash?
got the robe because I had one confused thought in the past;
used to be a monk who sought rebirth in the
did I wind up born into a royal clan?
eighteen years as ruler I have not known a day of freedom:
in the South, rebels in the North, with no end in sight.
now putting down everything and heading for the
don‘t care who succeeds me as Emperor:
the future glory of the country take care of itself.