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Humans have become robots and zombies relying on the demons, hope and fear — says one of the poetic lines. Gesar grows up with his mother, both banished to the desert plains. After he wins the horse race and the kingdom he reveals his true enlightened form which awes the people.

Then he draws his sword, cuts a vein in his palm, and declares that the root of world aggression is cut through. Curiously, his new wife, Sechan Dugmo, then draws the blood out with her lips and thus becomes one with the lineage of Dralas. Gesar is often guided by visions of deities and enlightened beings.

Padmasambhava appears. Another is the goddess Manene, his sister. Gesar practices meditation in retreat — the wrathful deity practices of Vajra Kilaya and four-armed Mahakala. During one description of his meditation it is said that his body becomes the tent pole of the world.

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Early in the tales, Gesar obtains the treasure of Magyel Pomra, or black rock mountain. He battles demons in animal forms. He overtakes a Tirthika described here as cruel and deluded non-Buddhists fortress as his first military victory. During his meditation Gesar sings a song to the Great Rock Demoness, the legendary mother of his people and she who presides over the Mother Lineage of Dralas.

Ling Gesar song by Riga

This seems to be a realization song in the tradition of Mahasiddhas yet with a paradoxical invocatory element of the inevitability of both death and the destructive power of nature. As in the Kalachakra Tantra one goal is to manifest the fabled enlightened and just Kingdom of Shambhala. But the four dignities of the Rigden kings must ever be renewed as his sister, the moon goddess Manene states:.

There is no place in which great exertion is not required. She also describes to him the demonic kings and their realms along the four borders of Ling that he must conquer. As to what it is that is actually being subdued, she says this:. As an experience, as power, intelligence, lust or wealth.

They are the rapacious struggle of the deluded mind. To expand the domain of its own projections. Thus they undermine the true merit of men and nations,. Which is confidence in the power of egoless action. The blazing sun of unbiased wakefulness. Becomes the shifting half-light of craving. As you entered their terrain when you accepted human birth,.

They will enter you; they will erupt and slide into your thoughts. With their array of fears, arguments, enticements and promises.

Do not accept their conditions and do not ally yourself with them;. Remember your true allegiance, the unconditional confidence. Of the vast, clear midday sky.

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Gesar must rely on cunning, wit, and his magical powers rather than mere might in order to vanquish the demon foes. His first foe is Lutzen, the twelve-headed demon king of the North. He is awakened from his spell one day by a headless falcon who tells him sad news from Ling. The falcon is an incarnation of a warrior of Ling decapitated by Kurkar, the white demon king of Hor. His severed head is at the gate of the palace as a warning and talisman and until it is buried he cannot incarnate in human form.

Gesar then sets out to vanquish the demon king of Hor and return Sechen Dugmo, who was taken to be his wife. For aid he invokes the great Nyen, or Lord of Nyen, the great Drala protector Magyel Pomra — as he does several times in the story. Gesar eventually transforms himself into a five-year old boy and becomes apprenticed to a smith.

He excels and eventually dazzles the demon king. Interestingly, he later sends a dream to the demon king. Dream sending is a mythic motif of many tales as are the many interpretations of dreams and situations as omens. Gesar often appears in magical forms to these demons and gives them false omens. All the demons of Hor are killed except Kurnag, the black demon of anger. Legend has it that the leaders of the Sakya sect keep him imprisoned in a rock.

Gesar, his original wife Sechen Dugmo, and the warriors of Ling return now to Ling. Uncle Todong is released from his prison of three years when he sings a curious song of his cunning, strategic, greedy, lustful, deluded nature which he has accepted that he cannot escape. Gesar replies with a teaching about the futility of selfishness and the virtue of considering others.

All forms of experience, of feeling, of knowing,. Are never separate from ever-present naked awareness. Awareness cannot be bound and does not come or go. It is like the cosmic mirror where all reflections arise. Because awareness rests only in itself, there is peace. Whether we struggle or rejoice, this is so. The source of fearlessness that opens every instant,. We must abandon our struggle. To possess and be possessed,. On the spot. Next on the foe list is Satham, demon king of Jang from the west.


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Satham is absorbed in bliss and his beautiful wife and wants to protect his situation so plans to invade Ling. The prince vows not to oppose Gesar. Gesar becomes an iron bee and invades the body of the demon king. Gesar transforms his consciousness to a red fly and the consciousness of the king to a black fly and they escape through the aperture at the crown of the head. Kyang Go Karkar saves Gesar and this is not the first time. After ten years of solitary retreat Gesar is stirred again by the goddess Manene and must confront Shingti, the demon lord of the south.

The warriors of Hor and Jang must join those of Ling for this conquest. While the other demons were sustained by ancestral gods and talismans, Shingti is sustained only by his own accumulations and of course his powerful army. The warrior song of King Gesar. In the tradition of the Arthurian legends and Homer's Iliad, this is an epic tale of the legendary Tibetan warrior king, Gesar of Ling.

The saga of Gesar's life - from the harsh circumstances of his youth to his climactic days of battle against the enemies of the four directions - is an interweaving of scenes ranging from the gritty and human to the mystical and wondrous. Some of Central Asia's most inspiring and sacred teachings have to do with courage: the bravery to face and conquer the inner and outer obstacles that prevent us from finding true freedom. The Gesar cycle has been recreated and amended by visionary bards in Central Asia for centuries.

In this modern rendition, Douglas Penick brings us the unbroken heritage of spiritual warriorship embodied by the life of the enlightened warrior-sage Gesar, King of Ling. Gesar's unique teaching lies in showing us ways to use the very energy of drama and adventure to attain lasting peace. Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video.

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