If from parsimony one cannot free oneself,
What is the use of discussing charity?
If one does not forswear hypocrisy and pretence,
What is the use of keeping discipline?
If one abjures not malicious revilings,
What is the use of exercising
If one abandons not indifference and inertness,
What is the use of swearing to be Moral?
If one conquers not the errant thoughts within,
What is the use of toiling in meditation?
If one does not see all forms as helpful,
What is the use of practising the Wisdom
If one knows not the profound teaching
Of forbidding and allowing,
What is the use of learning?
If one knows not the art of taking and rejecting,
What is the use of speaking on Karma-causation?
If one's mind does not accord with the Dharma,
What is the use of joining the Order?
If the poisonous snake of Klesa is not killed,
The yearning for wisdom only leads to fallacy.
If venomous jealousy is not overcome,
One's yearning for the Bodhi-mind will be an illusion.
If one refrains not from hurting people,
One's longing for respect and honour
Is merely wishful thinking.
If one cannot conquer ego-clinging and prejudice,
One's craving for the Equality of Dharma
Only brings wrong views.
If one cannot subdue the demon, clinging-ego,
One's Klesas will be great and his Yoga bound to fail.
If one’s actions conform not with the Dharma.
One will always hinder the good deeds of others.
If one has not yet absorbed one's mind in Dharma,
One's babbling and prattling will only disturb others' minds.
Therefore, do not waste your life in words and chatter
But try to gain the assurance of no-regret
And the confidence of facing death!
Realizing not the Truth of many-in-one,
If you are meditating in the great light,
You have only kept the cling-view on.
Realizing not the unity of void and bliss,
Even though you may meditate on void,
You could only practice like the nihilist.
If you can't keep meditation
At anywhere and in any time
You are still in delusion.
If you realize not the plain-mind,
Your practice is not of non-duality,
And non-effort you will not find.
Knowing not that self mind has no existence,
Even if you practice non-discernment,
Your effort is still not in transcendence.
If your renunciation could not be found,
Your actionless-state of meditation
By the worldly hopes & fears is still bound.
Knowing not how to refuse & hold,
All doing surely will enmesh
In the toils & molts of the world.
If there be obstacles, it is not space,
If there be numbers, it is not stars,
If there is a deep mountain
Without shake it should maintain
If there is the great ocean,
No different drops should be mentioned.
If one needs a bridge to pass,
Not a true swimmer he is,
If it is a rainbow,
To grasp it, who and how?
Translated by Garma C.C. Chang