A Poem That I Like

When I visited the Newport Soto Zen Group the other week Val, one of the group’s members, offered a reading from an English rendering of the Satapañcasatka otherwise known as Matrceta’s Hymn to the Buddha. The translation is by Ven. S. Dhammika……

 

In Praise of Benefits Conferred
 
Just to hear you brings joy; 
just to look upon you calms the heart; 
your speech refreshes and your teaching frees. 
 
People rejoice at your birth, 
they celebrate as you grow, 
they benefit from your presence 
and sorrow in your absence. 
 
To praise you removes faults, 
to recollect you brings joy, 
to follow you gives understanding, 
to know you purifies the heart. 
 
To approach you brings good fortune, 
to serve you gives wisdom, 
to worship you dispels fear, 
to wait upon you bestows prosperity . 
 
You are a great lake of goodness, 
with waters purified by virtue, 
surface calmed by meditation 
and depths stilled by wisdom. 
 
Your form is a jewel to see, 
your speech is a jewel to hear, 
your teachings are a jewel to reflect upon. 
Truly, you are a mine bearing the jewels of goodness. 
 
You are an island for those swept along by the flood, 
a shelter for the stricken, 
a refuge for those in fear of becoming, 
a resort for those who aspire to liberation. 
 
To, all living beings 
you are a useful vessel because of your virtue, 
a fertile field because of your perfect fruit, 
a true friend because of the benefits you confer. 
 
You are admired for your altruism, 
charming for your tenderness, 
beloved for your gentleness 
and honoured for your many virtues. 
 
You are cherished because of your flawlessness, 
delightful because of the goodness of your form and speech, 
opulent because you promote the good of all, 
and blessed because you are the abode of virtues. 

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