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mandala To share and promote interest in Tibetan culture, people and land

The World Before King Gesar

by Ivy Hsu
June, 1998
Chinese (BIG5) version


The following is a portion of the songs that set the stage for the arrival of Gesar, the Lion King of Ling [1]. It describes the world that he was born into. Do you find that this ancient song portraits the world that we live in today hauntingly well?


Our earth is wounded.
Her oceans and lakes are sick;
Her rivers are like running sores;
The air is filled with subtle poisons.
And the oily smoke of countless hellish fires blackens the sun.
Day has become night.
Fish are born deformed; birds fall lifeless from the sky.
Forests and plains wither.
Animals running in futile search for shelter and food
Collapse and die.
Men and women, scattered from homeland, family, friends,
Wander desolate and uncertain, scorched by a toxin sun,
Prey to empty longings, strange diseases and sudden death.
Nor is night a cooling time of moonlit rest,
But a fearful frame-lit void
Of sirens, cries and murderous phantoms.
In this desert of frightened, blind uncertainty,
Some take refuge in the pursuit of power, of knowledge and technique;
Some become manipulators of illusion and deceit;
Some take refuge in realms of self-satisfied passion;
And some build up a golden wall of simple wealth.
Men have become robots and zombies
As they have made these hopes and fears
Their ruthless demonic lords.
If goodness and bravery still dwell in this world
As other than a flickering shadow on the edge of sleep,
If wisdom and harmony still dwell in this world
As other than a dream lost in an unopened book,
They are hidden in our heartbeat.
And it is from our hearts that we cry out.
We cry out and our voices are the single voice of this wounded earth.
Our cries are a great wind across the earth.
The juniper smoke rises on this wind,
And on this bridge of longing, as we sing of him,
Gesar himself, the ever-youthful Lion King decends
Surrounded by flags and pennants snapping in the wind
To forge the weapons that cut the life force of fear and doubt,
To subdue and destroy the demonic hordes,
And to establish the kingdom of freedom, confidence and joy
That dwells eternally in the hearts of all.


References

  1. "The Warrior Song of King Gesar", by Douglas J. Penick.