The Horse Race – I

As commanded by the gongmen Queen,

Joru disguised as a raven did go

Before Trothung, the chief of Tagrong

And the need for a horse race predicted.


And then after sometime had passed, it occurred in the thoughts of the Lotus born master from Orgyan that the time had approached for the men, property and retinue of Kyalo to be handed over to the divine prince Joru. Therefore a prediction regarding the need for a horse race was now required to be put into action. So he sent paternal aunt Nene – Nammen Karmo as the messenger.

She sang this song of predictions to the divine prince Joru:

Lu ala lamo ala len;
Lu thala lamo thala len.

One, an offering of song, to omniscient White Tara;
Two, an offering of song to omniscient Green Tara;
Three, an offering of song to the omniscient ‘Lord of Three families.’

If me a maiden you do not recognise;
I am paternal aunt Nene – Nammen Karmo.
Dear nephew, divine prince Joru,
Do not be distracted, but to me direct your awareness.
Listen for I have these predictions for you:

Now do not remain, but to Ling proceed.
Kyalo of Ling’s men, property and retinue
And the task-instruments – the seven gems and so forth;
This year, it’s time to receive them as gifts.
Gazelle hat, calf skin dress and the horse boots
And the lucky charmed stick – it’s time to leave them.

It’s time to wear the white helmet on your head;
It’s time to wear the white armour on your body;
It’s time to wear blue leather boots on your feet;
It’s time to ride astride on the steed Kyang Goe;
It’s time to experience the contents of turquoise tent;
It’s time to occupy the lands of the ruler
And it’s time to sit on the golden throne.

The essential and real meaning is that,
To the ruler who is Aku Trothung;
In the manner of the essence of Red Tamdrin
And the emanated form of a Black raven,
You must prophecy the need for a horse race;
Say that Aku will win and acquire his place;
What else required with your thoughts examine.

As regards me, the Nene – Nammen Karmo;
Like mouth and hands, we are inseparable;
Like a shadow that follows a body, I follow you.
Like a clothes collar, I will always protect;
Son of deities, do not have any doubts;
Hold on to these words, in your mind Joru dear.

After she had spoken these words she went forth like a rainbow disappearing in the sky.

Then the ‘Wish fulfilling gem’ – the divine prince awoke from his sleep and got up. He felt that the dream of the night had been extremely amazing and so he related an account of the dream in detail to his mother Gogmo.

He finally said, “Now I will go to Ling, create an emotional effect on the ruler Trothung and get him to start the Horse race. Then after winning over the seat of the ruler I must defeat the ‘Four enemies’ in the four directions.”

In answer, Gogmo replied, “I wonder if you remember boy, that in the recent past the great and middle lineages of Ling rendered the two of us mother and son powerless to remain and pushed us, from the high grounds of Ling into the land of Lower Ma. There my boy, you relied on abra and droma for sustenance. Sometimes you almost killed the abra and at other times the abra almost killed you, my boy.

Even I your mother was accused of being polluted by the sin of killing abra and it was broadcast throughout the realm.

Now it depresses me to hear of you talking about subduing the enemies and hindrances of the four directions. Moreover although you were the son of Senglon no one had compassion. Although you were Gyatsa’s younger brother, you were excluded. Since you have been cut off from Mukpo Dong, no one high or low trusts you.

Son, there is no hope for you to have the widespread regard that a chief of Ling requires, the merits of gobbling up Kyalo’s property, the birth horoscope of attracting Drugmo, the emanations to subdue Lutsen and the strength and power to obliterate and destroy the Hor family.

I don’t know if the predictions of last night’s dream are true. What’s there to investigate in a dream? In the adages of the ancient people it’s said:

‘The poor dream of eating tasty meals;
The lama dreams of a rich man’s death;
The girl dreams of wearing turquoise and corals;’

Isn’t it so. For you it means that you should please stop telling meaningless stories that will not bear fruit.”

Joru was exasperated and uttered, “Alright, mother dear. Now it seems there is no use in giving credibility to what you say, mother. Last night’s predictions of paternal aunt Nene are unmistaken.

As for me, although I have descended as the clear light emanation of the ‘Lords of the three families’, yet as a result of the ignorance of sentient beings I appear to them as a harmful spirit. Although even the instruments for the tasks of this worldly planet seem presently to be owned by Kyalo, they have been placed in his care only temporarily. In truth, the real owners are the two of us, mother and son. There is no need to have any doubts whatsoever regarding this. I will not stay but set forth to upper Lingkar. Now, even if you tie me with a rope I will not be stopped,” he added confidently and then he left for the land of Ling.

That evening, as twilight descended, Happy Joru, a real buddha arrived in upper Ling at a place called Sipa Khokmo Rokdzong – the ‘Dark fortress of Worldly entrails’ that was the palace of the chief Trothung Gyalpo or Trogyal in short. On the roof of the castle landed a raven, whose upper body was yellow and produced from gold. Its lower body was white and created from silver. Its perfect brown wings were the result of practicing jumps and dives and its black claws were made of iron. Emanating this creature, Joru chanted this song as if it was a prophecy:

Lu ala lamo ala len;
Lu thala lamo thala len.

At the feet of the ocean of conquerors I bow;
Song’s opening, guided by the Five conqueror families
And escorted by dakas and dakinis;
Welcoming party in front are Guardian protectors.
O Chief Trogyal, listen towards me,
For I have important predictions for you.

If you do not recognise who I am;
From beyond the pure expanse of phenomena,
The state of emptiness and compassion itself,
Is the form of the Wrathful compassionate one –
In essence the Red form of Tamdrin,
Perfectly emanated in a Black raven’s body.

This day, between the two of us in secret I say,
It’s three years I have missed prayers for protectors;
In the adages of the ancient people of Tibet:

A lama without meditation and Dharma is miserable;
A tantric without mantra and power is miserable;
A yidam without worship and praise is miserable.

A lama with a mind of pretence, that’s one;
A disciple whose is hesitant, that’s two;
Hard it is for them to work for sentient beings;

Wonder if you know these sayings, Chief Trogyal.

Now no need for hesitancy of two minds;
The mistaken karma and ignorance of the morning,
Into certainty has descended by the evening;
Hold this in mind: don’t forget worship and praise;
The work of beings will be gradually accomplished.
If you aim, your own wealth for others,
The wealth of others will be in your palms;
For the white deity race of Lingkar,
It’s been three years, wondering about a horse race;
It’s been three years, without talk of a horse race;
Now this year, make sure that you have a race.

The day after, when dawn clears the darkness,
Cook grains for chang, that are not black rum;
Send down for slaughter, black dogs not in decline;
All those below the Chipon ruler on high
And all those above the flat-mouthed being, of the barren mountains below;
Invite as guests, all of deity race Ling without remainder.

Invite Lingkar and explain the need for the Horse race;
The Race ribbons, chief Trogyal must cut;
The distance of the contest, race course of Ling be;
As gift place, the common property of Ling;
Proclaim, the swiftest will claim the prize;
Proclaim, the others will be left bereft of a claim.

In reality, the prized pennant will be in Aku’s hands;
Kyalo’s men, property and attendants
And the tools for task – the seven pairs of gems,
Owner of these, except for chief Trogyal, there is none;
Except for Turquoise bird, capable are none.

Son of a father, no need for any hesitancy of mind;
Glorious Tamdrin’s prophecy are unmistaken;
Now be quick and swiftly perform your task;
Chief Trogyal, hold these in your mind.

After these words were spoken, chief Trothung of the ‘Four mothers’ developed a firm belief in the prophecy and was convinced from deep within. He then straightened the right sleeve of his large wide cloak dress followed by the left one. From the precious heap of his treasury he took gold of about the size of the sun; silver of about the size of the moon; a dre measure of gold powder and two dre measures of silver powder.

He confessed that he had not made offerings in the past and took an oath giving his word that from that day onwards he would not forget his worship. Then he flung all the gold and silver on top of his castle which made a crackling sound and offered them to the glorious Red Tamdrin and his chorus of deities.

Shortly thereafter, Joru broke the spell of his emanation and picked up all the gold and silver with his hands and then went away.

In the meanwhile chief Trothung got down from his golden throne and attracted by his wife Sertso Kharak – the ‘Golden lake of Kharak’, told her, “Oh my wife, Sertso Kharak; don’t let your ears be distracted. Listen to this song of Trogyal. I have some important matters like these” and then he chanted this song to the tune of the ‘Short and hurried’ melody:

Lu ala lamo ala len;
Lu thala lamo thala len.

If you do not recognise this site;
It’s the site – ‘Fortress of Dark Worldly Entrails’;
If me, you do not recognise me;
I am the chief, Trogyal of Dong.
Listen to me, Sertso Kharak my wife;
Do not sleep, but quickly get up.

Prepare to invite Lingkar as guests,
For I have received Red Tamdrin’s prophecy.
Said it’s time to throw leftovers of old foods;
Said it’s time to serve with new plates;
Said it’s time to get rid of old wife from Den;
Said it’s time to acquire Drugmo – the new one.

Among the words, that which was emphasised;
From this day henceforth, I was told,
In the right corner of the golden throne,
A sparkling stationary tea maiden, you may not remain.
From the immeasurable winds above the pass,
Be a shepherd that’s ready with sling at waist;
Whether things are right or amiss, you must watch over.

Tomorrow, when the sun is fully overhead,
With white, yellow, red and green zahog brocades
And various silks, set up a camp of tents;
With gold, silver and delicate silks,
Swiftly spread out layered cushions on the throne.

All below the world conquerors on high,
To those above the vagrant beggars below;
Invite all deity race Ling as guests without remainder.
Pile on chemar offerings like mountains peaks;
Arrange butter and thue like stone heaps on passes;
Tea and chang aplenty like water channels brew.

Serve tasty parts of flesh of sheep and yaks;
Offer delicately arranged piles of sweets and fruits;
Pleased must be the lord lamas with the offerings;
Overjoyed must be the chiefs with the wealth;
Close relations too, satiated with the rich enjoyments.
Contented with the generosity should be dogs and beggars;
To gain the admiration of the market’s populace,
Exhibit entertainments of every, imaginable kind;
This introduction to my story
You shall not forget; wife of Den heed my words.

After these words were spoken, Sertso of Kharak thought, “This is not a prophecy from Tamdrin. It is really the evil portents of Joru. Unless I ask Trogyal to delay and postpone the proceedings, it will be a cause for regret later and at that time it will be too late.”

So she took a ceremonial scarf as a gift for making a request and offered it to the deities and chanted this song:

Lu ala lamo ala len;
Lu thala lamo thala len.

If I a maiden were to relate my roots;
I am not from close by but from a distance;
Far away from the middle of Den I am;
The princess of the ruler of Trikar, I am;

The day I was ushered into happiness;
The day old mother was full of youth;
The day both my parents were present together.

Then I was the cherished child of two parents;
Was the high female chief of a large tribe;
Was addressed as Sertso of Kharak then;
That was the way things were, O ruler Trothung.

The sword of meteor metal – paternal dharma of Ling;
In reality, sustaining and maintaining it, is difficult;
The thirty courageous brothers of Ling,
For them to listen to whatever is said, is difficult.

The property and possessions of father Kyalo;
To win as prize for the swiftest horse is difficult;
The fine physique and birth of Sengcham Dugmo;
When you are in her presence, to please her is difficult.

The recent predictions that you have received;
How could they be from the deity Tamdrin?
They truly are the evil omens of the boy Joru;
O Trogyal la, please do not have a horse race.

The foodstuffs and wealth of your parents Trogyal,
For your son Aten’s sustenance, are required;
Do not waste them, O chief Trogyal;
Do not have a grand banquet; better to let things be.

To regret later after it’s done – there’s no point in it;
Though it’s not appropriate for me to talk to you,
Being in a desperate situation, there was no other way;
Chief Trogyal, hold these words in your mind.

After she had spoken these words Trothung was annoyed and disgusted from deep within and remarked at her, “Ignorant wife from Den with a yellow belly, you aren’t satiated by a khel of tsampa. So with your own share your large intestines are not full. You refuse to nourish the desires of your life partner. Your perceptions are higher than the heavens. Your self-esteem seems to be above the goats on mountain tops. Your large stomach’s similar to a village pig.

You don’t trust the Jewels of refuge. You cannot recognise the law of Cause and Effect. When you have the planet, you want a place for yourself. When you have a home, you want the planet. You talk about being happier in your own place. Now, if there is a happier and more lovable place, there’s no one whatsoever grasping at you and holding you back. You may have the liberty to go wherever it is more blissful and more enjoyable for yourself.”

Then he went about rolling up his nose and raising his shoulders; shaking his fists and posturing his upper back like a lion at play and saying,

“I won’t let the tongue move food that’s beside my mouth; I won’t tremble in the calves when about to gain the gem;

I won’t hesitate when about to acquire attainments.” So having made up his mind he ranted on and on and there was no way in which he could be corrected.

The wife from Den thought, “Alright. Now, I guess it is better to fulfil the task that chases a person who has been destined by fate for there is no way out and it must eventually be done at some period of time” so she went about setting up the tents.

She laid out the mats and rugs. On the throne she put on layers of cushions. She got all the kitchen articles, tea and chang completely prepared without a hitch. She managed well the thirty serf-servants such as the most reliable servant Tagyal and most efficient maid Numril or ‘Spic and span’ and so in this manner she got all the preparations in excellent order and with complete authority.

Then the chief of Tagrong, Trogyal ordered Zorna of Akhoh Tharwa to be the messenger to convey the message to all the three – great, Middle and Lesser lineages of Ling. He began by going to ‘Arrangement of nine’ in the Upper Ma region and beat the Great drum that sounded like the simultaneous roar of a thousand thunders. He blew the White conch of the law that broadcasts like the sounds of a mad elephant. He played the Pleasant sounding cymbals like the musical piece of five sections.

Then up in the direction of upper Ling he yelled “Ki”; down in the opposite direction “So”; in the middle a “Ho”. He produced a ‘personal piece’ for the chief of Tagrong and then added a ‘separate section’ for Gyatsa Shelkar of Bumpa.

At Lungrih Drukhar – the ‘Landscape of six castles,’ maternal uncle Denma heard the summons and said, “Oh! A round of beats from the Drum of the law; a round of sounds from the Cymbals and a round of White conch of the law has been blown. If one were to investigate them, it is certain that of these two one must have occurred – either the water head of disputes has burst open or else the sleeping foe has awoken.”

Denma then simultaneously placed a saddle and put on the bridle of his dhowa steed ‘Graceful attainments’. He put down the flap of his white helmet. He pulled on the lace strings of his coat of mail. He raised the mouth of the scabbard of his grey sword. Next he was about to cross his heel over the great stirrup and he was about to break the gold saddle with his massive thighs when they arrived like boulders rolling down a precipice.

They were Gyatsa Shelkar, Tagrong, Gade, Darphen; Sengtak, Nyibum and others like the Chipon. The other fearless braves too had their armours on and carried their weapons. With their apprehensive expressions they appeared, sweeping over the landscape like shooting stars.

The first on the scene being maternal uncle Denma, he spoke up, “Alright Akhoh, this morning you took up the task-instruments of Ling and did the three with them – blew, beat and played them. What may we know is the reason for your calling on Tagrong and Gyatsa Shelkar from such a distance?

The Drum of the law with light that makes clear is the accomplishment drum of the Lotus Born one. Let alone a hopeless servant beating it, even the lord lama is not allowed an audience.

The White conch of the law that broadcasts is the Dharma conch of the Buddha Sakyamuni. Let alone you servants blowing on it, even the yellow bendhe monk’s mouth vapours have not been near it.

The Pleasant sounding cymbals have been the support charms of good fortune since the time the Ling divisions came into being. Leave alone you servants playing them, even the fearless heroes of Ling have not touched it with their bare hands.

This Zigphen – The chief of Tagrong, let alone calling out to him ‘Tagrong’; he doesn’t even give audiences for white ceremonial scarves.

This fair Shellu of Bumpa Dong, is the nephew of the Chen ruler of the Chinese. He is the accomplished one, who guards the northern gate. What cause was there to call him with a ‘Ki’? What words have you to say for all of this?” and in this way he intimidated and threatened.

Akhoh too, was not happy with Denma’s words and in reply answered, “Alright. Great minister, Denma Jangtra la, there is little need for such intimidation and threats. Regarding me Zorna of Akhoh Tharwa, if I were to relate how Zorna was attached to my name, it’s like this. In the bottom of the sands hills that follow Ling, I refused to place the flesh on the ground but attached it to the sky. I did not grasp it with my hands but held it with my teeth. I did not cut it with my knife but with my sickle. The sickle missed the flesh and it hit my nose. That is the way Zorna or ‘Sickle Nose’ was attached to my name.

The Drum of the law with light that makes clear, I thought it was an object to be drummed so I beat it. The White conch of the law that broadcasts, I thought it was an object to be blown, so I blew on it. The Pleasant sounding cymbals, I thought they were objects to be played, so I played them. If big people are not called by their names, what is the use of attaching such names to them? I was told by the chief Trogyal,

‘Men ordered about and shafts that are shot;
The men, property and retinue of Kyalo
And those such as Sengcham Drugmo
Are to be placed as a wager for the brothers of Ling.
The swiftest horse will acquire the prize.
All those lower than the Chipon on high
And all those above the goatherd below;
Now come to the banquet of chief Trogyal.’

That’s about all” Zorna explained.

“Now what’s there to go to or to stay here for?” the members of the Ling divisions thought.

“There’s no need for Minister Denma to be annoyed at this little disturbance” they said and smiled at each other.

They continued and said, “The reason for not dividing the common property of Ling and leaving it as it was, was the fact that it was the lucky charm of good fortune for the existence of the world and not for contesting and offering it as the private property of the most capable warrior or as the silk trophy for the swiftest steed. This contest was just the boastful words to show others that one possessed the horse ‘Turquoise Bird’.

But shouldn’t we call Joru from Lower Ma and place the Lesser lineage in the line up. What do you say about searching for Kyang Goe and placing the steed among the deity horses for the race? The two of you – Lhadar of Zuwa Werma and Wangchen Darlu give some thought to this.”

At this Zuwa Werma replied, “If the common property of Ling is left in place, there is no certainty that it will not one day change into a cause for delusions.

Therefore as suggested by our own older generation of Aku and the Chipon, tomorrow we should gather at the banquet of Trothung and take part in the Race. We should call Joru to Ling. We should catch Kyang Goe from the mountains. We must have the Lesser lineage at the starting point. To line up the fearless braves in the Race etc. is in general part of the teachings of the Buddha and it is for the welfare of sentient beings.

Specifically, it is for the overall considerations of the Ling people to clarify by means of melting with red charcoal fire the difference between lead and white silver. Fearless heroes, do examine with your minds which is better.”

All of them agreed to this and proclaimed, “Tomorrow at the break of dawn let’s gather at the banquet of Aku Trothung” and then that evening each of them went his own way.

to continue …


Published on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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