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The Drop of Spring: A Spontaneous Vajra Song of Definitive Meaning That Supplicates the Great Charioteers of the Luminous Mahāmudrā

A ho!

Conjoining the pristine primordial wisdom free of


With the youthfulness of luminous great bliss,

You attained union endowed with the supreme of all

aspects and bear the major and minor marks of perfect accomplishment.

Great Buddha Vajradhara, I long for you from the

center of my heart—

Bless me to realize the unborn true nature!

Vajra Queen, devourer of the three existences, with

your magical illusions

You bring the fortunate to a banquet of the two


And experientially reveal the naturally liberated

truth of the fundamental nature.

Chief of the primordial wisdom ḍākinīs, I long for

you from the center of my heart—

Bless me to accomplish the unchanging supreme


Displaying the drop of the primordially changeless nature of reality [365]

As a playful emanation of the three seats of phenomena,

You bestowed the short path of the ultimate secret yoga to the fortunate.

Tilopa Prajñābhadra,[1] I long for you from the center of my heart—

Bless me to realize the transcendent continuum!


By the marvelous chariot of eighty-two challenging deeds,

You approached the lotus feet of the presiding lord, the glorious guru,

And attained the precious qualities of the stages and paths in a single moment.

Reverend Lord Nāropa,[2] I long for you from the center of my heart—

Bless me to obtain the nectar of maturation and liberation!


The flowers of the secret tantras blossom in the ocean-like multitudes of teachings and practices;

By tapping them to extract the honey-like nectar of the essential pith instructions,

You introduced the intelligent to the restfulness of the supreme adepts.

Yogin Marpa the Translator,[3] I long for you from the center of my heart—

Bless me to realize the innate primordial wisdom!


Driven by the wind of an intense and genuine determination to be free,

You firmly secured yourself to the boat of the true nature, inner suchness,

And crossed to the other shore of the ocean of existence and peace.

Mila Zhepe Dorje,[4] I long for you from the center of my heart—

Bless me to reach the ultimate goal in one life!


Outwardly, you are a spiritual friend of the Mahāyāna fully trained in bodhicitta;

Inwardly, you are a practitioner of the Vajrayāna treading the path of maturation and liberation;

Secretly, you are the crown jewel of the doctrine holders of the essential [366] profound meaning.

Dharma King Da Ö Zhönu,[5] I long for you from the center of my heart—

Bless me so that the two benefits are accomplished spontaneously!

In short, the beacons of the aural lineage of the ultimate and swift path

Introduce all beings of the Land of Snow to the light of liberation

And guide all with whom they have connections to the greatly blissful city of the three kāyas.

Gurus of the Dagpo Kagyu of natural liberation, I long for you from the center of my heart—

Bless me to realize all that is perceived as illusory!


A ho!


Although I have obtained the difficult to attain, the free and well-favored precious human body,

I am disheartened at the way things appear to be—momentary and impermanent.

Through the realization that wherever I am born in saṃsāra is naturally suffering—

Bless me with the capacity to accept or reject cause and effect!


Recognizing abodes, friends, and possessions to be a play of illusion,

I deeply recall the revulsion toward insignificant things, come what may.

In a cave of extreme isolation, under an overhanging cliff in a pleasing environment—

Bless me to strive single-pointedly in practice!


To accept the Three Jewels as the foremost refuge,

To train in supreme bodhicitta both in aspiration and in deed,

And to utterly expel all obscurations by utilizing the four powers—

Bless me to achieve these goals and to endeavor on the path of the two accumulations!


In particular, the embodiment of all the victors of the three times,

The bodily display of [367] omniscient primordial wisdom,

The presiding lord, the glorious guru possessing the three-fold kindness—

Bless me to perfect uncontrived devotion!


By the guru’s power, the empowerment that transfers vajra wisdom

Purifies the three doors equally of all habitual tendencies of transference,[6]

And one directly perceives the ultimate and unchanging, true fundamental nature—

Bless me to liberate saṃsāra and nirvāṇa into the central channel!


The form, arisen from the essence that is the same as emptiness,

Perceiving it as the union of appearance and emptiness, the body of the deity,

Firmly binds common delusory concepts—

Bless me to cultivate the excellent path of the creation stage!


By being saturated with the nectar of the three kinds of training,

I have accomplished the union of all winds that enter, abide, and arise,

And become familiar with the outer, inner, and secret yoga of inner heat—

Bless me in my blazing, dripping, and dissolving in the central channel![7]


Resting in the actual primordial wisdom of near attainment during equipoise

And perceiving all things as the eight similes of illusion[8] during subsequent cognition

Familiarizes one with the illusory clarity-emptiness, pure and devoid of clinging—

Bless me to accomplish the level of union!


Having entered the luminosity of supreme bliss through complete or subsequent dissolution

And conjoined it [368] with the essence of the four empties in an experience of equality,

Everything is liberated into the space of the vajra mind of perfect accomplishment—

Bless me to dissolve into the dharmakāya of death!


Holding the wind and mind inseparably in the drop of the throat

And viewing daytime appearances as only the entering and emerging of dreams,

Conjoin one with the practice that recognizes derivative delusion for what it is—

Bless me to master purification, multiplication, emanation, and transformation![9]


Familiarizing myself with the view that sees all phenomena as the unreal appearances of the intermediate


The direct cause of being able to see those appearances as deity, mantra, and dharmakāya

Merges the intermediate state with the level of the saṃbhogakāya—

Bless me to achieve the supreme attainment!


Although the ultimate is beyond elaborate characteristics, such as coming and going,

Conventionally, by relying upon a messenger of yogic breath practice,

The wind, mind, and drop are ejected into the space of the dhūti[10]—

Bless me to attain the unerring Khecara![11]

The meditative absorption of calm-abiding abandons all coarse and subtle concepts.

When magnificently perfected, it is like a placid ocean.

By embracing it with the insight of the inexpressible and self-arisen true nature—

Bless me to realize their inseparable union!


One-pointedness is remaining in a state of clarity-emptiness in the yoga of visionary experiences.

Freedom from elaborations is realizing the original fundamental nature upon the path of seeing.

One taste is being free from abandoning, adopting, denying, and affirming—

Bless me to secure these along with the fourth, the stronghold of non-meditation!


Through familiarizing myself with primordially innate, unchanging great bliss—

The indivisible E and VAM, the drop of spring—

And by introducing the indicative wisdom as the uncovered, true primordial wisdom—

Bless me to perceive the definitive meaning of Mahāmudrā!


Accordingly, by relying upon the vajra yogas of the swift path

And maintaining my commitments and vows in a faultless form

During the experiences of this life, at the time of death, and in the intermediate state—

Bless me to achieve the level of the three kāyas!


If the power of karma causes me to enter existence,

Bless me to be born into the sharp-witted Vajrayāna family,

And with songs intoxicated with the nectar of maturation and liberation—

Bless me to proceed to the cities of accomplishment!


In this way, with resolute respect, a supplicating song of the definitive meaning

Was sung with a lotus-like and pleasing voice that is free of attachment

On the twenty-fifth day during the waning phase when the heroes and ḍākinīs assembled

To make an aspiration prayer to realize transcendent luminosity.


This supplication to the great masters who attained accomplishment through the path of the luminous Mahāmudrā in conjunction with aspirational prayers of the profound path was freely composed by the renunciate beggar called Tsuglak Mawé Nyima[12] on the twenty-fifth day under the light of a butter lamp near the glorious Taklung Monastery.[13]




The Drop of Spring is a vajra song that invokes the Dagpo Kagyu Mahāmudrā lineage, recounts a brief tale of each of this tradition’s earliest masters, and requests inspiration to complete the path of awakening. According to the colophon, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo composed this text spontaneously while seated near a butter lamp just outside Taklung Monastery.


The song is divided into two main sections: lineage supplications and aspirations. The lineage supplicated is comprised of the earliest Mahāmudrā masters of the Dagpo Kagyu. Each stanza contains a vignette of a master, followed by Khyentse Wangpo’s heart-filled request for that master’s blessing. The aspirations begin with the four thoughts that turn the mind to the Buddhist teachings: precious human birth, impermanence, suffering, and causality. Toward the end of the aspirations, Khyentse Wangpo sings about the foundations of the Vajrayāna path and the special practices of Mahāmudrā.

[1] te lo pa, 988–1069, BDRC P4024

[2] nA ro pa, 1012/1016–1100, BDRC P3085

[3] mar pa lo tsA ba chos kyi blo gros, 1012?–1097, BDRC P2636

[4] Milarepa (mi la bzhad pa’i rdo rje, 1040–1123, BDRC P1853)

[5] Gampopa (dwags po zla ’od gzhon nu, 1079–1153, BDRC P1844)

[6] “Habitual tendencies of transference” has a range of meaning but generally refers to the “transference of the elements during union.” For an extensive explanation, see Padmasambhava, The Light of Wisdom, Vol. 2, 281, n. 204.

[7] The “yoga of inner heat” is a reference to tummo (gtum mo) practice.

[8] The “eight similes” are that phenomena are like: (1) a dream, (2) an illusion, (3) an optical illusion, (4) a mirage, (5) a reflection of the moon in water, (6) an echo, (7) the City of the Gandharvas, and (8) a phantom. For more detail, see The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, entry on the “Eight Similes of Illusion” in the “List of Lists,” 73.

[9] This stanza alludes to the practice of dream-state illusion, a subset of the illusory-body practice of the Six Yogas. During this method, the practitioner enacts specific processes to recognize appearances have the exact nature of dreams, identify dream phenomena, stabilize the clarity of dream states, and manipulate these experiences. The final line of “purification, multiplication, emanation, and transformation” succinctly points to such skillful means. For a detailed explanation and secondary reading, see Jamgön Kongtrul, The Elements of Tantric Practice, 163 and 345, n. 51.

[10] The Sanskrit term dhūti refers to the central channel.

[11] Khecara (mkha’ spyod) is first and foremost a highly purified experience connected with spiritual accomplishments (dngos grub, siddhi) in Buddhist tantra. It is a manifestation in which one’s realization is a completely pure realm. Endowed with eight qualities, such as subtly of form, the higher classification of Khecara is an utterly pure realm where one can further train on the path. Associated with the realm of form, the god realm, and the human realm, this lesser state can be reached through meditative abilities or by yakṣī or siddha guides. For further reading on the topic, see Jamgön Kongtrul, Journey and Goal, 346–348.

[12] Academic Nyima, or Tsuglak Mawé Nyima (gtsug lag smra ba’i nyi ma), is one of the pen names of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (’jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse’i dbang po, 1820–1892), BDRC P258.

[13] Taklung Gönchen (stag lung dgon chen, BDRC G67)

[14] "Let there be success!"

Published: April 2022

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Originally published for Khyentse Vision Project

Photo credit: Himalayan Art Resources


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———. 2013. ’od gsal phyag rgya chen po’i shing rta chen po rnams la gsol ba ’debs pa’i rdo rje’i thol glu nges don dpyid kyi thig le. In mkhyen brtse'i bka' babs, vol. 2 (kha) 167.1–174.3. dkar mdzes bod rigs rang skyong khul sde dge rdzong: rdzong sar khams bye’i slob gling. BDRC MW4PD2082


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Traversed and the Consummate Fruition State. In The Treasury of Knowledge, Books Nine and Ten. Translated by Kalu Rinpoché Translation Group. Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications, 2011.


———. The Elements of Tantric Practice: A General Exposition of the Process of Meditation in the

Indestructible Way of Secret Mantra. In The Treasury of Knowledge, Book Eight, Part Three. Translated by Kalu Rinpoché Translation Group. Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications, 2008.


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of a Paṇḍita, Vol. III. Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang. Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2002.


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The Drop of Spring inspires us by supplicating the early Dagpo Kagyu lineage and making aspirational prayers on the path of the luminous Mahāmudrā.


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Marpa Kagyu


19th Century


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The Drop of Spring: A Spontaneous Vajra Song of Definitive Meaning That Supplicates the Great Charioteers of the Luminous Mahāmudrā

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