Poem to awaken the world – Part 6

Continuing from previous article…..


The sixth part goes like this.


and it can be roughly translated as follows;

榮華原是三更夢 – prosperity and power are like midnight dreams

富貴還同九月霜 – wealth and social status are like autumn frost.


The master reminds us that success in life is temporal in nature. It is easy for us to be intoxicated with the dizzying effect of success or lose sight of life while chasing after material success.

Master DeQing is cautioning us to take stock of life and prioritise what really matters.

For many of us who are busy with career or business, we may find ourselves sacrificing all our time and energy on work; to the extent of not being part of our family anymore.

In a flash, our parents grow old and our kids are adults. Our closest of kins become strangers in our life.

In a flash, time had passed and we had aged. We regret not taking the opportunity to pursue our interest, hobby or religion.

Understanding that material success is not everything in life, we equip ourselves with wisdom to re-evaluate how we wish to spend our precious time as a human.

For a Buddhist, precious time should be allocated to enable mind training.

老病死生誰替得 – nobody can take over the suffering of old age, sickness, death and rebirth

This is a stark reminder of what is in store for everyone of us. Many people like to avoid this topic of life and pretend that it will only happen to others.

However, in reality no one can escape them and no one can help us bear them.

酸甜苦辣自承當-  the ups and downs of life is our own


This is again a reminder that life has its ups and downs. Such experience in life is unique to each and everyone. In Buddhism , we believe that the ups and downs in life is a result of our previous karma (actions)

Thus whatever we do now affect our future. As long as we are unenlightened, we continue to be reborn. Do we want to be reborn in a future where this world had became a nightmare? If the answer is no, then shouldn’t everyone be actively trying their best to build a better future by being eco and social responsible? Shouldn’t we be promoting love instead of hatred?

More importantly, we have to create the karma that enable us to continue our spiritual quest for enlightenment in our future rebirth. This is the reason why Buddhist are taught to

  1. Keep Buddhist precepts and make them second nature to your way of living
  2. Practice meditations and chanting, engage in Buddhist spiritual practice
  3. show respect towards Buddhist articles and books, put them on high places, do not step over them, venerate them
  4. Participate in charity of supporting the monastic orders

In summary, this prose is advising us to re-evaluate and reprioritise our life. Should we invest all our time pursuing temporal achievement or should we spend time pursuing enlightenment?

That’s my limited translation and interpretation of the 6th prose. (to be continued…..)

醒世歌 (poem of awakening)


Categories: Articles

Tagged as:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.