Mongpé Lün Chö Dak Göja Puchen

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Mongpé Lün Chö Dak Göja Puchen, 'The Foolish Dharma of an Idiot Clothed in Mud and Feathers’ (Tib. རྨོངས་པའི་བླུན་ཆོས་འདག་གོས་བྱ་སྤུ་ཅན་, Wyl. rmongs pa'i blun chos 'dag gos bya spu can ) is a Dzogchen instruction text written by Dudjom Lingpa and widely used within the Dudjom Tersar lineage.

Writing

The Mongpé Lün Chö Dak Göja Puchen, 'The Foolish Dharma of an Idiot Clothed in Mud and Feathers’ was written by Dudjom Lingpa a the request of ‘the sublime guru Sönam Palden, a relative of Dodrup Rinpoche’[1].

According to Dudjom Rinpoche, who edited the text and wrote another colophon for it[2]:

This well-bestowed, unique, ultimate teaching on the vital core of the enlightened view of Buddha Samantabhadra, the essence of pith instructions concerning the effortless, supreme yana, the Ati Great Perfection, the primordial consciousness of the Dharmakaya, has been nakedly placed in your hands. In order to burst the fine, pretentious bubbles of the intellectual fabricated meditations of the fools, seize this all-sufficient, golden needle of pith instructions and dispense with the elaboration of a multiple of practices. O fortunate assembly, come to the ground of primordial liberation!

The name of the text is based on Dudjom Lingpa’s own self-deprecatingly story found at the beginning of the text[3]:

When I thought of going to a marketplace dressed up in impressive, striking clothes, but found no such attire, in the end I smeared my body with mud and stuck various twigs, grass, flowers, and feathers on it. Now I will explain the foolish meditations of one who wears mud and feathers for clothing, regarding them as if they were the finest garments and ornaments. So listen! Observe! And laugh at this!

Outline

In the introduction to its translation, Alan Wallace says that[4]:

Speaking now as an old man, Dudjom Lingpa self-deprecatingly describes himself as an idiot and his Dharma as foolish, but as one reads through this extraordinary and very personal presentation of the path, the authenticity of the author and his insights becomes radiantly clear. This brief recounting of the seminal teachings in his life describes the complete path to enlightenment as he traversed it, focusing of the key instructions at each step. In emptying his bag, he holds nothing back.’
As he traveled the Tibetan countryside with his retinue of disciples, the arrival of Dudjom Lingpa’s encampment must have been eagerly anticipated. The people who assembled to receive his teachings and empowerments would have included many who were illiterate nomads as well as hidden adepts and learned monks and nuns. The opening scene in our story depicts quite a different character from the grandiose scholar with their elegant language and erudition that were also on offer in this vibrant marketplace for spiritual instructions. It’s easy to imagine Dudjom Lingpa’s magnetism attracting the faithful with simple, clear instructions that they could easily put into practice in the course of their daily lives. The colloquial tone of this composition belies its profound content, which narrates the path from the perspective of an accomplished master who holds the unsurpassed view of Dzogchen. With sharp points and earthy humor, Dudjom Lingpa punctures each of our misconceptions and belittles each of our excuses, one by one. His grandfatherly advice powers us forward on our journey to enlightenment, bypassing all way stations. Stripped of pretense and transcending intellectual analysis, this Dharma is a flawless mirror that reveals our own primordially enlightened nature.

Translations

  • Alan Wallace, Dudjom Lingpa’s Visions of the Great Perfection, Wisdom Publications, 2015, volume 1, page 139-161.

Notes

  1. Alan Wallace, Dudjom Lingpa’s Visions of the Great Perfection, Wisdom Publications, 2015, volume 1, page 161.
  2. Alan Wallace, Dudjom Lingpa’s Visions of the Great Perfection, Wisdom Publications, 2015, volume 1, page 161.
  3. Alan Wallace, Dudjom Lingpa’s Visions of the Great Perfection, Wisdom Publications, 2015, volume 1, page 144.
  4. Alan Wallace, Dudjom Lingpa’s Visions of the Great Perfection, Wisdom Publications, 2015, volume 1, page 23.