|The Divine Madman
The Sublime Life and Songs of Drukpa Kunley
|A compilation of anecdotes and songs (‘Gro ba’ i mgon po chos rje kun dga’ legs pa’i rnam thar rgya mtsho’i snying po mthong ba don ldan) by the Bhutanese scholar, Geshe Chaphu, in 1966; translation and introduction by Keith Dowman and Sonam Paljor; preface by Dugu Choegyal Gyamtso Tulku; introduction by the editor James Steinberg; illustrations by Lee Barslaag; cover painting by Dugu Choegyal Gyamtso Tulku. First published by Rider & Co, London, 1982, and Dawn Horse Press, 1983; second edition by Dawn Horse Press, Middletown, California, 1998. ISBN 0-913922-75-7. Translated into German as Der Heilige Narr (Barth, 1983) out of print; and into French as Le Fou Divin (Albin Michel, Paris, 1984,2013). Ten years out of print, by popular demand The Divine Madman has been reprinted in 1998 by the Dawn Horse Press. Reprinted in 2000 in Kathmandu by Pilgrim’s Publishing (<email@example.com>.|
The Tantric Buddhist Master Drukpa Kunley is one of Tibet’s foremost saints and yogis and the patron saint of Bhutan. He belongs to the Drukpa (Dragon) school of Tibetan Buddhism established by Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa and Milarepa. Well known to common Tibetans through the oral tradition of legends and songs, as well as to scholars and mystics through his biographies, he is greatly loved by all the people of Tibet as an enlightened master and an exponent of ‘crazy wisdom’. He taught through outrageous behavior and ribald humor in order to awaken the people he met to a higher awareness free from conventional morality and self-obsession. In particular he took his female friends and disciples along the path of sexual desire and relationship to free them from attachment to the illusory world and to awaken their buddha-nature. He would constantly taunt the monks with jest and insult to dissolve their hypocrisy and hidden faults. He was a Dzogchen yogi following the highest path of Yoga-tantra and his Dzogchen songs are some of the best in the Tibetan language.’
‘There is no other book translated from Tibetan that discloses the ‘secret’ life of a crazy yogi and reveals the rationale and teaching processes that modern masters such as Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche have used to such beneficial effect in America. This work reveals how Buddhist Tantra is lived on the ground through the life of a realized adept and discloses the sexual mores of a tantric society. The Divine Madman is the most potent introduction to the high teaching of tantra to date.’
‘In Thimphu I ran into a phenomena common to both India and Bhutan: reference for the wandering ascetic who combines preaching religion with sex and liquor. He takes them as they come his way. As a matter of historical fact homeless purveyors of faith and sexual delights were known to all religions: Rabelais has written about lascivious monks consorting with nuns; Islam has its mast-qalandars and pagal babas. Of the same genre were yogis of Mirabai’s hymns from whom Indian housewives sought spiritual and sexual gratification… Drukpa Kunley’s anecdotes are ribald beyond belief. Wherever he went he carried his ‘divine thunderbolt of wisdom’ (his penis) before him. It penetrated the mysteries of life as it did willing virgins. The bawdy tales of fornication and copious intake of chung wine are interspersed with words of wisdom, advice on how to square one’s karma, escape the vicious circle of samsara (birth, death and rebirth) and attain nirvana. The god-fearing but high-living Lama Drukpa Kunley sums up his philosophy: “The best chung wine lies at the bottom of the pail / And Happiness lies below the navel.” ‘ Khushwant Singh.
Note: The American rights to The Divine Madman were bought by Dawn Horse Press, the publishing arm of Da Free John, aka Adi Da Samraj, the American tantric teacher. It has an introduction by the editor James Steinberg, a scholar and devotee of Adi Da Samraj. Keith Dowman is in no way attached to the cult of Adi Da Samraj, and he disclaims all responsibility for the material presented in the editor’s introduction.
Contents of The Divine Madman
Editor’s Introduction: Drukpa Kunley and the Tradition of Crazy
List of Illustrations
Foreword by Choegyal Gyamtso Tulku
1 How Drukpa Kunley became an Ascetic Wanderer and how he
delivered the Lady Sumchokma from the Ocean of Suffering
2 How Drukpa Kunley visited Samye and Lhasa for the Sake of
3 How Drukpa Kunley visited Taklung, Yalpachen and Sakya
to give Meaning to the Lives of the People
4 How Drukpa Kunley travelled through East Tsang for the Sake
of All Beings
5 How Drukpa Kunley, the Master of Truth, went to Dakpo and
Tsari and arrived in Bhutan
6 How Drukpa Kunley bound the Demond of Bhutan and
directed the Aged of that land to the Path of Liberation
7 How Drukpa Kunley Instructed his Consorts in the Southern
8 How Drukpa Kunley returned from Bhutan to Tibet and
the Events which attended his Nirvana
DRUKPA KUNLEY’S TEACHING SONGS
DRUKPA KUNLEY’S LORE
PEMA LINGPA’S DZOGCHEN SONG
REFUGE IN SEX
SUTRA OF SEX
Drukpa Kunley’s Teaching Songs
The Lama returned to Adzomma’s chung house, to his drinking and cavorting. The girls were full of admiration.’Yesterday you killed those animals and then returned them to life and we have great faith in you’, they told him. You must certainly have been a Buddha in your past life. Please tell us about it.’
‘In the rosary of my many lives
I have taken the form of every creature;
I remember it only darkly,
Yet I feel it was something like this:
Since now I thrive on chung,
Once I must have been bee;
Since now I am so lustful
Once I must have been a cock;
Since now I am so angry,
Once I must have been a snake;
Since now I am so slothful,
Once I must have been a pig;
Since now I am so mean,
Once I must have been a rich man;
Since now I am so shameless,
Once I must have been a madman;
Since now I am such a liar,
Once I must have been an actor;
Since now my manners are so rude,
Once I must have been a monkey;
Since now I have such blood lust,
Once I must have been a wolf;
Since now I have so tight an anal sphincter,
Once I must have been a nun;
Since now I am so punctilious,
Once I must have been a barren woman;
Since now I spend my wealth on food,
Once I must have been a Lama;
Since now I am so avaricious,
Once I must have been a steward;
Since now I am so self-esteeming,
Once I must have been an officer;
Since now I enjoy cheating others,
Once I must have been a business man;
Since now I am so loquacious,
Once I must have been a woman;
But I cannot tell you if this is really true.
Consider the matter yourselves.
What is your opinion?’
‘You pretend to be telling us your past lives,’ said the girls, ‘but actually you are showing us our faults. We thank you for your teaching.’
The Lama travelled on to the Academy of Palkhor Stupa where he found the metaphysicians engaged in debate. Watching the show, his attention was held by a very beautiful woman sitting on the edge of the Stupa. But at the head of the line of monks was an old monk who said to him, ‘Your magical powers and signs of accomplishment are astonishing, but, you know, your refusal to bow to the Stupa, and to the monks, is wrong-headed and contrary to the Buddhas’ Law,’
‘I am an experienced Naljorpa who long ago completed his prostration and confession,’ said the Lama. ‘But if you wish I will prostrate now.’ And he began to perform his prostrations to the girl and the Stupa with this prayer:
‘I bow to this body of beautiful clay,
Not counted amongst the Eight Sugata Stupas;
I bow to this marvellous creation,
Not fashioned by the hand of the god of craftsmen;
I bow to these Thirteen Wheels,
Unsurpassed in the Thirteen Worlds;
I bow to the cheeks of the Gyangtse maiden,
Not regarded in the body of the Saviouress.’
‘Alala!’ exclaimed the monks. ‘How crass! This Drukpa Kunley is truly crazy!’
‘Since woman is the way that all good and evil enter the world, she has the nature of Mother Wisdom,’ the Lama told them. ‘And further, when you took your ordination and vows of discipline at the feet of your spiritual preceptor, offering gold and silver without any concern for the future, you entered the mandala between woman’s thighs. So I make no
distinction between this woman and the Stupa as my object of refuge.’
The laymen who heard him laughed, but the monks gave him black, resentful looks and turned away. ‘We are trying to maintain the peerless rules of moral discipline,’ said the Moral Guard, ‘and you come here making fun of us.’ And he took up a stick to beat him.
Drukpa Kunley sang this song:
‘Proud Kongpo stallion, matchless in style and elegance,
Black Tibetan horse, lifting high its white socks,
Both racing together on the wide open plains
Aku’s Stableboy bear witness
See which is first to pass the flag!
‘Bengali peacock, matchless in fine feathered display,
Tibetan vulture, bird-lord with the wide Wings,
Circling high in the empty sky
Snow Mountain Heights bear witness
See which bird has the bird’s eye view!
‘Blue cuckoo in the tree’s upper branches, matchless in song,
Red breasted house cock with deafening cokorico,
Both aroused by the season, stretching their lungs
Old Man of the World bear witness —
See who tells the time correctly!
‘Ferocious mountain snow lioness, matchless in pride and
Striped Indian tiger in the Sengdeng jungle,’ savage in anger,
Both in the Sengdeng jungle aroused to pitch of cunning fury —
Gomchens and nuns bear witness-
See who truly rules the jungle!
‘Palden Stupa abbots and professors of the robe, matchless
And I, Drukpa Kunley of Ralung, relaxing in the stream of events,
All examining our moral performance
Incontestable Truth bear witness —
See who finally gains Buddhahood!’
Finishing his song, his listeners were overcome with faith and devotion, and begged the Lama to protect them in this life and the next. 62
At Tsechen Monastery (below Gyangtse), where the monks were conducting the Rite of Confession, the Lama offered a handful of tea in a cymbal the size of a yak’s eye. ‘Free tea all round,’ he said, making the customary offering.
‘There’s not enough tea there for three hundred monks,’ they told him. ‘Go away!’
The Lama thought he would enlighten them in a playful manner and began running around the mountain, striding over boulders and skirting small stones.
‘Look at that madman!’ cried the monks. ‘See how he runs!’
‘This is like your type of practice!’ the Lama responded.
‘That’s nothing to do with our practice!’ shouted the monks. ‘That’s just your craziness!’
Drukpa Kunley’s Lore
…At the end of his beautiful song the monks and nuns served him tea and chung while others fell down swooning with devotion. Chenga Rimpoche, too, was very pleased:
‘Naljorpa contemplating illusion,
Wherever you stay is your Academy,
Wherever you stay is your hermitage.
In your travels throughout the country,
Who have you found the most pious?’
The Lama replied thus:
‘I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited a Kahgyu Academy,
And in that Kahgyu Academy every monk was holding a jug full
of chung –
So fearful of becoming a drunken reveller, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited a Sakya Academy,
And in that Sakya Academy the monks were splitting subtle
doctrinal hairs –
So fearful of forsaking the true path of Dharma, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited the Academy of Galden,’
And in the Galden Academy each monk was seeking a boyfriend –
So fearful of losing my semen, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited a School of Gomchens,
And in those hermitages every Gomchen wanted a lover
So fearful of becoming a father and householder, I kept to myself
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited a Nyingma Academy,
And in that Nyingma Academy each monk was aspiring to
perform in the Mask Dance
So fearful of becoming a professional dancer, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited Mountain Hermitages,
And in those hermitages the monks were gathering worldly
So fearing to break my vow to my Lama, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited a Charnel Ground
and outlying areas,
And in those deserted places the Shaman Diabolists’ were
brooding on fame
So fearful of enslaving myself to gods or demons, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited a Pilgrim Caravan,
And found the Pilgrims engaged in trading
So fearful of becoming a profit-hungry trader, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited a Retreat Centre,
And here the meditators basked in the sun
So fearing to relax in a small hut’s security, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, sat at the feet of an Incarnate Lama
Whose constant preoccupation was his religious treasures
So fearing to become a collector or miser, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, stayed with the Lama’s attendants
Who had established the Lama as their tax collector
So fearing to become a servant of the Disciples, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited the house of a rich man,
Where the slaves of wealth were complaining like Denizens of Hell
So fearful of rebirth as Lord of the Hungry Ghosts, I kept to
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited the house of poor, lowly
Who had placed their patrimony and possessions in pawn
So fearful of becoming a disgrace to my race, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, visited the Religious Centre of Lhasa,
Where the hostesses were hoping for their guests’ gifts and favours
So fearing to become a flatterer, I kept to myself.
I, an ever roaming Naljorpa, wandering throughout the land,
Found self-seeking sufferers wherever I looked
So fearful of thinking only of myself. I kept to myself.’
‘What you say is very true,’ assented Chenga Rimpoche.
The company broke up, each returning to his duty, the Lama to continue on his way to Jayul.
In Jayul the Lama stayed in the house of the Governor, and enjoyed lavish hospitality in the company of several Scholars, Gomchens, and monks. They drank chung and conversed together.
‘You don’t wear Lamas’, monks’ or sages’ apparel,’ an elderly Scholar reproved him. ‘You do whatsoever you please and set a bad example to the common people. You should find yourself a permanent home and settle down, instead of wandering around footloose and useless like a dog. You give all religious people a bad name. Why do you do it?’
‘If I became a Lama I would be the slave of my attendant disciples, and I would lose my freedom of action. If I became an ordained monk I would be obliged to keep the discipline, and who can keep their vows unbroken constantly? If I became a sage I should engage myself in discovering the Nature of Mind — as if that was not already self-evident! Whether or not I am a bad example to anyone depends totally upon the intelligence of the individual in question. Furthermore, if a man is destined to spend his time in hell, imitating a Buddha will not save him. And if a man is destined for Buddhahood, the kind of clothes he wears is irrelevant, and his activity, whatever that may be, is naturally and spontaneously pure. Wishing for a permanent home, or becoming fixated upon any single materialistic aim, deflects one from the Path because it strengthens the idea of “I” and “mine”. In so far as monks are venerated, their potential for emotional attachment is to that extent greater than the layman’s. Although it is usually true that in the first place the motivation for founding a monastery, the desire to establish a place where aspirants can meditate, is laudable, when the need for communal protection gives rise to contention within and friction without, what was originally a sacred fellowship becomes a den of thieves because everyone is overtaken by selfish motivation.’
The Scholars, impressed by this diatribe, approved of his words and thanked him. [pp.76-78]
Drukpa Kunley continued on to Jayul where he found a company of intoxicated, Small Tent People from Bhutan, singing songs and drinking chung on the roof of the Jayul fort during a Sacramental Offering to the Gods and Protectors. The Governor Chogyal Lingpa was present and enjoying himself. Kunley joined them and was offered chung. Later he was asked to sing a happy song, and he sang them this:
‘Happily I am no common ritualist Lama
Gathering followers, power and wealth,
Without time to experience the fullness of life.
Happily I am no scholarly monk
Lusting after novice lovers,
Without time to study the Sutras and Tantras.
Happily I do not stay in a Mountain Hermitage
Entranced by the smiles of the nuns,
Without time to ponder the Three Vows.
Happily I am no Black Magician
Taking the lives of other people,
Without time to cultivate Compassionate Mind.
Happily I am no Shaman of the charnel ground
Lending myself to gods and demons,
Without time to sever the root of confusion.
Happily I am no householder or father
Fighting to put food in dependants’ mouths,
Without time to wander in pleasant places.’
He was served more chung, and that night he stayed with the nun Yeshe Tsomo. After a few days he went on to Lhodrak.
Travelling through the district of Lhodrak, he met the Adept Takrepa.’ ‘I would dearly like to sing you a song of praise,’ the Adept told him, ‘but I don’t know how to begin. Please sing one yourself for me.’
‘I have no virtues to extol,’ the Lama replied, ‘but I’ll sing you a song anyway.’
‘Dancer in the indestructible stream of magical illusion,
Unifier of the welter of inconsistencies and absurdities,
Power-holder turning the Wheel of Bliss and Emptiness,
Hero perceiving all things as deception,
Nauseous Recalcitrant disgusted with temporal attachment,
Little Yogin piercing others’ illusory projections,
Vagabond selling Samsara short,
Light-traveller making his lodging his home,
Fortunate Wayfarer perceiving his Mind as the Lama,
Champion understanding all appearance as the mind,
Diviner of Relativity knowing unity as multiplicity,
Naljorpa tasting the one flavour of all things-
These are some of the masks I wear!’
Then Drukpa Kunley visited the Power Spots of Drowolung (where Marpa lived and where the Kahgyu Tradition originated), Saykhang Chutokma (the ten story tower which Milarepa built), the cave of Tanyalungpa, and other places, before climbing over from Karchu to Bumthang in Bhutan, where the Second Buddha, Orgyen Padma Sambhava, left his imprint in a rock upon which he had sat in meditation. Here he made demanding eyes at the Bhutanese girls.
‘A Tibetan NaIjorpa has arrived,’ they told each other. ‘Let’s take him chung and make love with him with body and mind.’
But while the Lama was singing and drinking with the girls, a king of the Mon Chakhar line, King Iron Staffs dynasty, heard of him and tried to poison him, albeit unsuccessfully.
Then he tried to shoot the Lama with poisoned arrows, but he missed his mark. After this second failure the king recognized him as an Adept, and paid him profound reverence.
Interpreting this event favourably the Lama had a small temple built there which was called Monsib Lhakang. He appointed a Lama to spread the Teaching, and ordained thirty monks. This was the beginning of the spread of the Drukpa Kahgyu Tradition in the eastern borderlands.
He deflowered the virgins of Bhutan, and ever since then consorts with such soft skin, and with such strength to carry loads, cannot be found elsewhere. He taught both men and women the doctrine of karma according to their varying capacities of comprehension and their levels of devotion, and gave them instruction upon recitation of the MANI and the GURU SIDDHI mantras.
In explanation of his behaviour he told them, ‘I didn’t come here to seduce the girls of Bhutan because I was sexually frustrated. Rather, although I have little power, I came to show you the little that I have; and although I have little benevolence, I came here to offer you some token of virtue. And I didn’t wander here seeking food and clothing, for as you have seen, I have refused everything offered to me. Even if you were to offer me a load of Capsicum, I would refuse it.’ The people were well-content with his words. [pp.80-82]
Padma Lingpa’s Dzogchen Song
The emptiness in the seeing which is called Vision
Transcends definition as something or nothing;
When seeing, is there nothing there?
But if there is an object of sight, there is no Vision.
The profundity that is called Meditation
Lies beyond the presence or absence of mental images;
When there is no mental image there is no object of meditation,
And when there is a point of reference there is no act of
He whose moral action is called spontaneous activity
Has gone beyond the possibility of choice;
When there is no bias or discrimination, there is no perfect action,
And when there is no accepting or rejecting, where is moral
Converting Demons with his Thunderbolt
The Lama Kunga Legpa decided to go to bind the Demon of Wong Gomsarkha (in the Thimphu district), who was threatening to exterminate the people of that area. From an inaccessible hiding place high up the valley, this venomous Serpent Demon had terrorize the inhabitants living on the terraces by the river, carrying them off at night, until only one old woman remained. Kunley entered the demon’s territory and lay down using his bow and arrows and long sword as a pillow; he placed a pot of tsampa beside him, sucked in his stomach, smeared tsampa on his behind, and gave himself an erection. Lying on his back, he relaxed and awaited the demon, who was not long in coming.
‘Adzi! Adzi! exclaimed the demon. ‘What is this? I have never seen anything like it! But perhaps it’s edible.’ He called loudly to his Elemental Slaves, who immediately descended upon the area in inconceivable numbers like flies on rotten meat. Some of them thought the body was dead, and others thought it was still living.
‘We had better not eat it if we don’t know what it is,’ said the Phuya Fiend. ‘The body is warm, so it cannot be dead; it isn’t breathing, so it is not alive; there’s tsampa in that pot, so it can’t have died of starvation; its belly is empty, so it couldn’t have died of over-eating; there are weapons under its head, so it’s unlikely it died of fear; its penis is still erect, so it must have been alive recently; it has worms in its anus, so it couldn’t have died today. Whatever it is, it looks unhealthy for us. We should leave it alone.’
‘Whatever we do,’ said the Serpent Demon, ‘we should eat the old woman today. Let’s meet at her door at nightfall.’ Agreeing upon this plan, they dispersed.
The Lama arose and went straight to the old woman’s house. ‘How are you, old lady?’ he greeted her.
‘You are welcome,’ she replied, ‘but I am desperate,’
‘What’s the matter?’ the Lama consoled her. ‘Tell me about it.’
‘Once I was wealthy,’ she told him, ‘but since no Buddha or Adept has ever set foot in this poor outlandish valley, the demons have run amuck and devoured both men and cattle. I myself do not expect to live through this coming night. You are a holy man and need not stay here. Go away while you can or you will be eaten alive. Tomorrow, if I am not here, you can take anything of value from the house to support yourself or to distribute amongst the poor.’ Thus she made her will.
‘Things aren’t as bad as they seem,’ the Lama told her. ‘I will stay with you here tonight.
‘Do you have any chung?’
‘I had a little but the petty gods and demons stole the moisture,’ she replied. ‘I don’t know whether there is any taste remaining in the grain.’
‘Bring the grain and I’ll see,’ he said.
He was drinking when night fell and the demons arrived at the door. When they began pounding upon it the old woman began screaming in paroxysms of fear.
‘You stay up here,’ the Lama directed. ‘I’ll take care of this. Down below, he took his erect penis in his hand and thrust it through the hole in the door which was big enough to take a fist, and as a Flaming Thunderbolt of Wisdom it rammed into the Serpent Demon’s gaping red mouth knocking out four teeth above and four teeth below.
‘Something hit me in the mouth!’ screamed the demon wildly, and fled down the terraces of the river valley until he came to the cave called Lion Victory-Banner, where a nun called Lotus Samadhi was sitting deep in meditation. ‘Naljorpa! Something weird hit me in the mouth,’ he stormed breathlessly.
‘Well, what was it, and where did it come from?’ she enquired.
‘It was at the old woman of Gomsarkha’s house. A strange man who was neither a layman nor a monk hit me with a flaming iron hammer,’ panted the demon.
‘You have been hit by a magical device,’ the nun told him. ‘That kind of wound never heals. If you doubt me look at this.’ She raised her skirt and opened her legs. ‘This wound was caused by the same weapon. There is no way to heal it.’
The demon put his finger to it and raised it to his nose. ‘Akha! kha! This wound has gone putrid, and I suppose mine will go the same way,’ he moaned. ‘What should I do?’
‘Listen to me and 1 will tell you,’ the nun told him. ‘Go back to the man who hit you. He will still be there. His name is Drukpa Kunley. Offer him your life, and vow never to harm living creatures again. Then perhaps you may be cured.’
The demon took this advice, and returned to the house where the Lama awaited him. He prostrated before the Lama, and said, ‘I am yours to command. I offer you my life.’
The Lama placed his Thunderbolt upon the demon’s head and ordained him as a layman, binding him with the lesser vows.’ He gave him the name Ox-Devil, and invested him as a Reality Protector. Even today he is the Master of Gomsakha, and offering’ is still made to him.
Ascending from the Lhangtso river valley, the Lama saw the terrifying form of the Lhadzong Demoness approaching him dressed in absurd, unconventional clothing. He immediately erected his Flaming Thunderbolt of Wisdom in the sky and she, unable to bear the sight of that magical tower, changed herself into a Venomous Serpent. The Lama stepped upon her head and the creature was petrified. It can still be seen today in the middle of the main road.
Finally Choje Drukpa Kunley arrived at Topa Tsewong’s house, where his arrow had fallen, and stopped to piss against the wall.
‘What an enormous cock and balls he’s got!’ shouted some watching children.’
The Lama sang them this song:
‘In blue cuckoo summertime your cock is long and your balls hang
In the purple stag wintertime the head of your penis grows long.
Throughout the year it’s a long hungry beast,
But that is the difference between summer and winter!’ [pp.95-98]
Apa’s Refuge in Sex
On his return from the Long Rong valley, the Lama entered an arid region which he named Lokthang Kyamo (Arid Land). Here he met an old man called Apa Gaypo Tenzin. The old man’s sons had left home and all but his youngest daughter had married and gone to their husbands’ homes, leaving him bored and with nothing to do except follow his devotions. He prostrated at the Lama’s feet.
‘I am most fortunate to meet you,’ he told the Lama. ‘My elder sons have established their own homes, my youngest son has entered a monastery, and my daughters have married. I am bored with life and need the teaching that will prepare me for death. Please instruct me.’
‘Yah! Yah!’ said Kunley pensively. ‘I will teach you a Refuge Prayer` which you must recite whenever you think of me. There is one stricture which accompanies it – never discuss it with anyone.’ And he taught the old man this Refuge which gives release from samsara.
‘I take refuge in an old man’s chastened penis, withered at the
root, fallen like a dead tree;
I take refuge in an old woman’s flaccid vagina, collapsed,
impenetrable, and sponge-like;
I take refuge in the virile young tiger’s Thunderbolt, rising proudly,
indifferent to death;
I take refuge in the maiden’s Lotus, filling her with rolling bliss
waves, releasing her from shame and inhibition.’
‘Remember to recite this Refuge whenever I enter your mind,’ repeated the Lama.
‘I thank you with all my heart,’ Apa Gaypo said fervently. ‘Now please teach me a prayer that will strengthen my aspiration.’
The Lama taught him this:
‘The branches of the Great Eastern Tree grow and grow,
But the foliage’s spread depends on the tree’s roots’ extent.
Drukpa Kunley’s penis head may stick, stick in a small vagina,
But tightness depends upon the size of the penis.
Apa Gaypo’s urge to gain Buddhahood is strong, so strong,
But the scale of his achievement depends upon the strength of his
‘Keep this prayer in your mind!’ Kunley directed him.
The old man returned home. ‘Did you meet the Lama?’ his daughter asked him. ‘Did you receive his instruction?’
‘He gave me a Prayer of Refuge which I learned by heart,’ he replied.
‘You are neither intelligent nor educated,’ said his daughter. ‘Was it short and concise? Please repeat it for us.’
Apa folded his palms in prayer and began, ‘I take refuge in an old man’s chastened penis. . .’ and so on, in exactly the way that the Lama had taught him. His daughter ran away in embarrassment.
‘Are you crazy!’ demanded his wife. ‘A Buddha Lama’s words are always quite pure. Either you misunderstood the Lama or you have forgotten what he told you. And even if you have remembered the words correctly, it is shameful to imitate the Lama. You must never repeat this in front of the children!’
‘The Lama told me to repeat it whenever I thought of him,’ Apa insisted, ‘and that I will do.’
Later, when the family was gathered for their evening meal, Apa folded his hands and again repeated the prayer.’The old man has gone mad,’ they whispered to each other, and taking their bowls with them they left the table, so that when Apa reopened his eyes he was alone. When his wife returned she told him that he must stay in a room apart if he persisted in his madness. Apa insisted that he would continue even at the cost of his life, so the hayloft in the roof of the house was prepared as his room of confinement, and he moved in there and continued to pray day and night.
About a month later on the evening of the full moon, strains of lute and piccolo were heard through the house. Apa’s wife, unable to hear her husband’s voice in prayer, grew apprehensive, thinking that perhaps he was crying and moaning in nervous depression. ‘Go take your father some chung,’ she told her daughter.
The girl went up to the loft with the chung and found only a heaped quilt on the bed. She threw off the quilt and found a sphere of rainbow light with the syllable AH in the centre of it, shining white and radiant.
‘Apa! Apa! Apa has gone! Come quickly!’ she screamed in superstitious dread.
When the family and neighbours had gathered, the sphere of light flew off into the western sky, trailing behind it the voice of the old man. ‘Drukpa Kunley has delivered me into the Potala Mountain Paradise of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. You prudish people must stay here! Give the Lokthang Kyamo to the Lama as an offering.’
When the Lama visited that house, he built a stupa over the spot where Apa had died and put the old man’s rosary inside as a relic. Later the abbot Ngawong Chogyal built a monastery around the stupa, and today that monastery is called the Khyimed Temple. [pp.104-106]
Drukpa Kunley’s Sutra of Sex
Then the consorts and patrons of Bhutan made a further request to the Lama. ‘Lama Rimpoche, we beseech you to bless us, the people of the Southern Ravines, with a discourse upon the Buddhas’ Teaching. We ask that you give your discourse a name in Sanskrit, that it be serious in content, but with some touches of humour. Please deliver it in the language of the common people so that everyone can understand it, but give it a profound inner meaning. Teach us the simple message of the Buddha, so that merely by hearing it we are released from the troubles of transmigratory existence.’
The Lama delivered this discourse.
‘In Sanskrit: Nga’i mje sha-ra-ra!
In Tibetan:Bu-mo’i stu-la shu-ru-ru!
This is the discourse on mundane pleasure.
‘The virgin finds pleasure in her rising desire,
The young tiger finds pleasure in his consummation,
The old man finds pleasure in his fertile memory:
That is the teaching on the Three Pleasures.
The bed is the workshop of sex,
And should be wide and comfortable;
The knee is the messenger of sex,
And should be sent up in advance;
The arm is the handle of sex,
And it should clasp her tightly;
The vagina is a glutton for sex,
And should be sated again and again:
That is the teaching upon Necessity.
It is taboo to make love to a married woman,
It is taboo to make love to a girl under ten,
It is taboo to make love to a menstruating woman
Or a woman under a vow of celibacy:
That is the teaching on the Three Taboos.
Hunger is the mark of an empty stomach,
A large penis is the mark of an idiot,
Passionate lust is the mark of a woman:
That is the teaching on the Three Marks.
The impotent man has little imagination,
Bastards have little virtue,
The rich have little generosity:
That is the teaching on the Three Deficiencies.
A Lama’s joy is a gift,
A politician’s joy is flattery,
A woman’s joy is her lover:
That is the teaching on the Three Joys.
Sinners hate the pious and devout,
The rich hate loose spendthrifts,
Wives hate their husbands’ mistresses:
That is the teaching on the Three Hates.
For blessing worship the Lama,
For power worship the Deity,
For efficiency worship the Reality Protectors:
This is the teaching on the Three Objects of Worship.
Pay no respect to mean Lamas,
Pay no respect to immoral monks,
Pay no respect to dogs, crows or women:
That is the teaching on the Three Rejects.
The Discipline’s purpose is to calm and pacify,
The Vow to serve others is to free from self-will,
The Tantra’s purpose is to teach unity of polarity:
That is the teaching on the Three Vehicles.
The starving beggar has no happiness,
The irreligious have no divinity,
The wanderer has no bonds or commitment:
That is the teaching on the Three Lacks.
He who is without honesty has a dry mouth,
He who is without spirituality makes no offering,
He who is without courage does not make a general:
That is the teaching on the Three Zeros.
The sign of a rich man is a tight fist,
The sign of an old man is a tight mind,
The sign of a nun is a tight vagina:
That is the teaching on the Three Constrictions.
The fast talker inserts himself into the centre of a crowd,
Monastic wealth inserts itself into the monks’ stomachs,
Thick penises insert themselves into young girls:
That is the teaching on the Three Insertions.
The mind of a Bodhisattva is smooth,
The talk of self-seekers is smoother,
But the thighs of a virgin are smoother than silk:
That is the teaching on the Three Smooth Things.
Immoral monks have thin skirts,
Widows and spinsters have thin stomachs and clothes,
Fields without manure bear thin crops:
That is the teaching on the Three Thin Things.
Kunley never tires of girls,
Monks never tire of wealth,
Girls never tire of sex:
That is the teaching on the Three Indefatigables.
Although mind is clear, one needs a Lama;
Although a lamp burns brightly, it still needs oil;
Although Mind is self-evident, it needs recognition:
That is the teaching on the Three Needs.’
And then the Lama continued:
‘The Lama without a disciple, the student without persistence,
The pundit without an audience, the woman without a lover,
The master without a servant, the rich man without food,
The farmer without crops, the nomad without cattle,
The monk without discipline, the Gomchen without instruction,
The nun obsessed with sex, the man unable to reach erection,
Wealth sought with the bum, and shy girls panting for sex
How ridiculous they look! What laughter they raise!’
And again he went on:
‘Although the clitoris is suitably triangular,
It is ineligible as devil-food for the local god’s worship.
Although love-juice can never dry up in the sun,
It is unsuited for tea to quench thirst.
Although a scrotum can hang very low,
It is an unsuitable bag for the hermitage’s victuals.
Although a penis has a sound shaft and a large head,
It is not a hammer to strike a nail.
Though endowed with a human body and shapely,
It is not proper to be mistress to the Lord of Death
Although your mind may be virtuous and pure,
The Buddhas’ Teaching is not accomplished by staying at home.
The teaching of the Tantric Mysteries is most profound,
But liberation cannot be gained without profound experience.
Drukpa Kunley may show you the way,
But you must traverse the path by yourself.’
After he had finished this discourse, the people cried and laughed, and crying and laughing they left that place with great faith and devotion. Through his own buoyancy and benevolence his fame spread throughout the land of Bhutan, and all men and women, monks and laymen, recognized his power and revered him. By virtue of this faith and devotionthey became ready vessels for the Buddhas’ ambrosia.
When the Lama Drukpa Kunley arrived in Shar Kunzang-ling, the inhabitants confabulated:
‘We should try and bring our demon face to face with Drukpa Kunley,’ they plotted. ‘No one give him lodging so that he has to stay up in the ruins. We’ll take him food up there.’
So, unable to find lodging in the village, the Lama went up to the ruins to sleep, and at midnight he was attacked by a demon that had nine goitres piled one above the other growing out of his neck. Kunley thrust his Flaming Thunderbolt of Wisdom up the demon’s rear and sent him fleeing up the hill. Even today near the Orgyen Rock, one can smell burnt meat and hear cries of pain. And although there used to be eighty tax payers in Kunzangling, because the people refused Drukpa Kunley hospitality, now there are only four. [pp.108-111]