Advice for the World
Life in this world is as the mayfly;
Hair full and black
fades in an instant to grey.
The Yellow River’s rolling waves
Have washed callously over
Countless people, countless things.
A century of life,
Its wealth and glory,
But wisps of smoke;
The years drowned in inane babble,
Gone in a finger’s snap.
Flowers bloom and flowers wilt;
The mighty years of the Tang,
Where are they now?
Liu and Cao, heroes of old
Have long been laid to rest;
Where are the Wu River
And Warlord Xiang now?
Many suns has the stream,
Running still across white rocks and green hills,
Watched fall behind the mountain peaks.
Seeing the black billows and yellow grime,
Cherish this fortunate life.
The affairs of this world,
All end and vanish,
Even the noble swallows that dwelt once
In the family courtyards of Wang and Xie.
Indeed, in whose home
Did they ever dwell?
So do the seasons pass,
Burning like a head aflame.
The rooster’s crow follows fast
The red setting sun;
Pay good attention to people around us.
Another year heaps
Dirt over fresh graves;
Be content with three meals
And a full stomach.
Needless are plans, arduously wrought;
Karma heeds no invitation.
Enmity squashed beats
Life’s bitterness brings
The sweetest of tastes.
A retreating step
Falls to the top.
Venture deep in the mountains for tea;
Drink not in degenerate company.
Stay close in those ethical and upright,
Decline quickly those without heart.
How do we become free?
Look at the fish that forgets it swims.
How do we become liberated?
Look upon the Earth’s mountains and rivers.
This is a reflection that I, Shang Longrik Gyatso, had on those preoccupied by fame and wealth, on the world turned upside down, and on those who can't distinguish between virtue and vice and only continue to create more karma.