I’ll tell you a story.

A young scholar once came to the Land of Snows from the steppes of Mongolia, bearing a load on his back. When he set off, his mother had entrusted him with a statue of the Buddha Green Tara. Some twenty years of studying later, the scholar returned home. When he was outside his the ger where he had been raised, he realised that he had forgotten that which his mother had entrusted to him. Nonetheless, he found a white stone, wrapped it in an offering scarf, and gave it to his mother. There you are, mother, you should never unwrap this Buddha. Now, throughout her life, hi mother had prayed to Green Tara, recited mantras to her and made the best offerings to her, and when she was dying she prepared to go to the land of the Buddhas. Then she asked her son, During her life, your mother has thought to cultivate the Buddha Green Tara in her heart, has spoken her name, has prayed to her with mantras. Before I finally close my eyes, I would like finally to see her. Her son resisted, but it was his mother’s earnest request, and he unwrapped the stone, a golden smiling, shining image of Green Tara. Such is the power of mantra, of a good heart, and of faith.

WORDS manifest the waves of power which have been absorbed within a person they are the horses of sound which continue to bear this power even to the edges of time. Because he have form and color, because they have their own momentum, because the havemanifest light and shade, words are material. A growing tree has its brabches, the branches have their leaves, the leaves have their veins, and similarly in the mind and the qualities of a person are eternally stored in their words.

As a person’s mind is expressed in the words they use, so the covering of their shining body of light absorbs and thus reveals their thoughts. This physical image is never destroyed, its appearance seems good to the world.

Good power shines forth from good words. Bad power shines forth from bad words. This being the case, the words people speak influence and determine their future actions. The Mongols say:

Butter on the tip of prayer
Blood on the tip of insults.

Our Mongol people say, You shouldn’t flay with words those who cause death, nor should you praise those who have killed. Bad wors are poisoned darts aimed a fragile heart. The bad words used by the media in recent years have greatly sullied the world’s purity of thought.

To read curses sharpens and hones the world’s worst words with the power of diabolic invective. Otherwise it is to fire, without any concern for injury, word-darts into a fragile and pure heart. 

In Buddhist texts, where there are curses of insults (for instance referring to a tiger as an old man), this is t illustrate weak eyes, stretched sinews and flowing tears. Such things have an effect upon the liver, which as we know is an important organ.

It is said that mantras are protective. But to be involved with verbal cruelty issomething quite different. Unkindness does not affect a person who is not disputatious, who does not insult others, who does not use bad words, and who guards the mind’s seclusion. That is because that person has protected himself with the power of good.

Mongol nomadic herders regard every body of water and every hill and mountain as having a genius loci. Although this spirit cannot be perceived with regular sight, they regard it as having a hidden form which the mind can apprehend. Thus there are customs ascribed to hills and mountains, and poems of praise. By directing praise, invocation and worship towards the hills, natural phenomena apprae, such as rainbows and rainfall. 

There is a noble hill named Altan Ovoo (Golden Hill )n the wild western steppe of Mongolia, in the homeland of Dariganga. For many centuries the people of our region have worshipped and made offerings to this hill. In the thirteenth century, these were made according to shamanic tradition, while from the eighteenth century, they were made according to the Buddhist religion.   There are poems of Buddhism and shamansm . They recite poems of meditation and offerings and praise of the mountains and the rivers are requests for water in the homeland, for protection from Heaven, for rain and for ajoy in life. The people offer up great faith and devotion, and when they make offerings of pure white milk products to the gods, they speak these words of honor and supplication:

Oh my Altan Ovoo
Oh my Altan Ovoo
Oh my Altan Ovoo

When the pure power of many people is concentrated, the words used in recitation increase in power. There is an accumulation of extraordinary charge in such words. When a horse stumbles, a herder will call on Altan Ovoo. The nomads know of the powerful influence exerted by words, and they honor poetry as being truly divine. 

The power of genuine poets brings forth their words, it establishes a secret world.    Poetry discovers its form through a collection of fine words, it stores the power of meaning which suits the form. This inner power which creates mental form manifests outside, and expands pure thought like atomic power. In poetry, words and rhtyhm and melody, at the time of production, hold in themselves a myriad of magical possibilities, and it opens up a power to move the mind of different types of reader, at different times and in different places. A genuinely peaceful poetry increases an invisible physical power, it is a magical sphere of meaning, which stimulates as much as it provokes.

The clearest path to education is found in poetry. Poetry, in fact, purifies the human mind, and to shine light upon the world’s darkness, this light brings us closerr to human civilisation, and it clears away lack of faith, and time and space, and boundaries and walls.

Through the bright power of love and compassion which springs from the pure human mind beautifully creates all that which has the charge of poetry.

at Standord University, USA
Feb, 2011