Poems and Verses by Hafiz & Sakya Pandita

The Diamond Takes Shape

Some parrots
Have become so skilled with
The human voice
They could give a brilliant discourse
About freedom and God
And an unsighted man nearby might
Even begin applauding with
The thought:
I just heard jewels fall from a
Great saint’s mouth,
Though my Master used to say,
“The diamond takes shape slowly
With integrity’s great force,
And from
The profound courage to never relinquish love.”
Some parrots have become so skilled
With words,
The blind turn over their gold
And live to caged

– Hafiz

Act Great

What is the key
To untie the knot of your mind’s suffering?

Is the esoteric secret
To slay the crazed one whom each of us
Did wed

And who can ruin
Our heart’s and eye’s exquisite tender

Hafiz has found
Two emerald words that

That I now cling to as I would sacred
Tresses of my Beloved’s

Act great.
My dear, always act great.

What is the key
To untie the knot of the mind’s suffering?

Benevolent thought, sound
And movement.

– Hafiz

Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen Pal Zangpo wrote in his »Dom gsum rab dbye«

I have love for all beings
and I do not speak ill of anyone.

If, perchance, I have lost my composure
and disparaged another, I renounce and confess that misdeed.

Whether the Noble Doctrine
has been misunderstood or correctly understood
is a theme that affects our long-term future destinations,
so if someone calls the positive and negative assessment of these
›hostility‹, he is himself at fault.

Does one label as ›hostily‹
all the refutations of all false doctrines –
held by non-Buddhists and Buddhists alike –
that were made by all the wise men such Nagarjuna,
Vasubandhu, Dignaga and Dharmakirti?

Were all the Fully Enlightened Ones
merely jealous when they refuted
demons and non-Buddhist sectarians?

The wise are guides for blind fools,
and if you call it ›hostily‹ to lead them
well in matters of correct or mistaken teachings,
how, then, is Buddhism to be henceforth preserved?

A guide holds back the blind
from stepping over precipices
and leads them along a safe path.
Is that jealousy? If so, then how else
are the blind to be led?

If you say that it is due to a physician’s hostility
or jealousy that he urges,
‘Stop eating the foods that hurt your body
and eat only those that help’
then how else are the ill to be healed?

If to distinguish between true
and false teachings is to be called
›hostility‹ and ›jealousy‹, then just how else are beings to be rescued
from the ocean of Samsara?

Examination of Bad Conduct

Deceivers, well-mannered and smooth talking;
Should not be trusted until scrutinized.
Peacocks have lovely forms and pleasing calls,
But their food is extremely poisonous.

• Commentary: The beautiful, well-groomed appearance of those who deceive others is pleasing simply to behold. One is enchanted upon hearing their suave words.

But they are not to be trusted until they have been thoroughly investigated; they must be identified as cunning, bad-natured people, always sizing up others.

The peacock possesses a beautiful rainbow-hued body and a very sweet voice, but its food is a powerful poison found in dangerous, precipitous places.

Sakya Pandita

Verse 152 • Ordinary Wisdom • Sakya Pandita’s Treasury of Good Advice • Translated by John T. Davenport • Foreword by His Holiness Sakya Trizin • Wisdom Publications • 2000 • Boston