Archive for the 'Keith Dowman' Category

The Divine Madman: “My friend …”

(excerpted from “The Divine Madman: The Sublime Life and Songs of Drukpa Kunley “, translated by Geshey Chapu, Sonam Paljor & Keith Dowman).Drukpa Kunley - My friend with a good voice.One day Drukpa Kunley visited the monastery of Drepung. Sitting with the monks he thought he should play a joke on the Moral Guard.

‘I would like to become a novice,’ he told them.
‘Where do you come from?’ he was asked.
‘I am a Drukpa,’ he said.
‘Do the Drukpas have good voices?’
‘I don’t have such a good voice,’ he told them innocently, but I have a friend who is an excellent chanter.’
‘Bring your friend with you tomorrow,’ they told him. The next day when the monks had assembled, the Lama brought a donkey by the ear, covered him with a red robe and sat him down at the end of the line of monks.
‘What is this!’ exclaimed the Moral Guard in wrath.
‘This is my friend with the good voice,’ Kunley told them, kicking the donkey to make it bray. The Guard chased him away with sticks, with the Lama shouting over his shoulder to them, ‘You people care more about chanting than meditation!’
While returning to Lhasa, two monks from the assembly caught up with him and asked him where he was bound.
‘Drukpa Kunley has no home and no destination,’ he replied. ‘I have no place at Drepung and no place in hell.’
‘What crime did you commit that hell wasn’t deep enough for you?’ they asked, laughing.
‘In this human world,’ said the Lama, ‘I did whatever came into my mind, but I came into conflict with other men’s desires, so I thought that I should spend a couple of days in hell. But the road was blocked by monks from Sera Monastery.’ Then I returned and decided to become a monk at Drepung, but the monastery was filled with Jealousy, Lust, and Anger, and I could find no place.’ And so saying, he returned to Lhasa.

Share