Date: 11/9/2011 1:53:16 AM
Subject: [CASonline] The Masters
Dearest Disciples of Holy Teachers @ CAS
Far from exhaustive, we have managed to minuscule a sparkling droplet out of the countless oceans of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, forever striving, so long as one being remains in samsara....
"Amituofo ... !!"
bb @ CAS
Most Honourable Teacher, the Head of the Sakya-Ngor sub-sect of Tibetan Buddhism - His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche,
welcomed by all the seniormost hereditary and incarnated masters of the lineage.
"His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche is our ( Sakya tradition's ) seniormost holy Gurus .... He is not only a very great scholar, but is also a very great meditator who has obtained very high realisations. He has given so many instructions in Tibet, India and abroad. He is a very holy Guru ... so all the Sakya monasteries, everyone has become His disciples. Everyone has great devotion and faith ( to Rinpoche ) ..... "
( The Sakya Trizin: Luding Foundation - http://www.ludingfoundation.org/index.html )
The two Heads of the Nyingma Tradition -
Dilgo Khyentse and Trulshik Rinpoche
... As soon as Dilgo Khyentse would see Trulshik Rinpoche, he would immediately prostrate, and on merely hearing Trulshik's name, he would make the gesture of homage with his right hand .... Whenever one of us arrived in Nepal while Trulshik Rinpoche was in the Kathmandu Valley, Dilgo Khyentse's first question was always, "Have you gone to pay respects to Trulshik Rinpoche?"
It seems that Khyentse Rinpoche's clairvoyance was unimpeded. Once, for instance, Trulshik Rinpoche was coming to visit him in Bhutan. While approaching the queen mother's beautiful palace, Dechen Choling, Trulshik Rinpoche who is a most perfect abbot in terms of monastic discipline, remembered a verse from the monastic code that says "How can we like the king's palace?" A few moments later, while Trulshik Rinpoche was offering prostrations to Khyentse Rinpoche who was staying upstairs in the palace, he heard Khyentse Rinpoche say, "Oh, you the good monk keep on saying 'How can one like the king's palace?' but nevertheless you do come to the king's palace, don't you?"
( Shechen Rabjam & Orgyen Topgyal: "Brilliant Moon - the Autobiography of Dilgo Khyentse" )
The 100th Head of the Gelugpa Tradition -
Jetsun Lobsang Nyima
The 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche bestowed ordination and countless precious empowerments and teachings to the tens of thousands of monks in the 3 great Gelugpa monasteries of Drepung, Sera and Ganden and the 2 tantric colleges. He was not only deeply venerated by the mainstream Gelugpa establishments, Trisur Rinpoche exchanged and bestowed teachings and empowerments to some of the seniormost masters of other lineages in Tibetan Buddhism.
Once, during His tenure as the Abbot of Namgyal Monastery in Dharamsala in the 1980s, Trisur Rinpoche instructed His secretary to alert the Tsawa Hostel of Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India, a few hundred kilometres away, that a certain novie was ill and would need medical help. The hostel checked and replied that all novices were fine until later that day, that novice was indeed found to be rather critically ill from a punishment meted out by an over zealous teacher and was hiding his injuries out of shame.
Trisur Rinpoche chose to live in a humble place whenever He is in Singapore so that His students could create merit and purify obscurations despite being feted with palatial suites in some bigger monasteries in India or Nepal and despite offers of very grand, luxurious residences in Singapore.
During Rinpoche's daily afternoon walk around His residence in Singapore, some people, recognizing Rinpoche's cover and full page splash in the "Life !" section of the main Enligsh and Chinese dailies, prostrated full on the floor, others jumped from taxis to offer a "red packet" ( our local Chinese custom of making monetary offerings in red packets ) to the saintly monk of Tibet.
At restaurants, waitresses squirmed and begged for group photographs while the management ordered complimentary desserts. Even at hospitals for medical check-ups, nurses dialled each other other across different floors and departments and clamoured to fuss over Rinpoche with an extra blanket or more water.
At private consultations, we had watched as Rinpoche threw His dead-accurate "MO" ( prediction ) of Palden Lhamo, Tibet's chief protectress, and compassionately pronounced that, indeed, as was suggested, the questioner indeed suffered from black magic. This prayer and blessing, though, would heal. The senior attendants prepared, the ritual completed and the woman healed and teared torrents of gratitude as years of strange illnesses dispersed like bad clouds puffed clear. These scenes played out again and again probably hundreds of times in Singapore alone !
Other cases would involve gentle instructions to respect and honour one's parents, to not harm others and a million of such expressions of profoundest kindness and patience.
Following the Buddha's example, Rinpoche always accepts invitations, from the high, the low, the curious and sometimes even the starkly dubious. His "innocence", as His disciples all knew, are unwaveringly, one-pointedly compassionate, solely dedicated to the benefit of others. This, then, see Rinpoche being hosted with the highest honours at both splendorous mansions and humble public housings, being served in literally near-solid gold gaudy cutlery as well as with the nutriciously, painstakingly-prepared homecooked meals.
"Gen ( Teacher ) Lobsang Nyima", as some of the older students at Drepung Loseling still sometimes affectionately called Him, was the epitome of ego-less compassion who treated all with perfect equanimous compasson. Unfortunately, this is sometimes detrimental to Rinpoche as less-than-noble quarters snapped pictures and make videos of supposedly mere luncheon invitations and these media, in turn, landing into even more mischievous hands with darker agendas.
For Rinpoche, He abides, unshakeable and fearless, against the Eight Worldly Concerns: Praise or Blame / Pain or Pleasure / Gain or Loss / Fame or Obscurity, always compassionate, always smiling and always looking after His students.
Before His first bestowal of the Palden Lhamo empowerment in Singapore, a terrifying storm whipped up and tore up a few small trees while bending some of the bigger ones. The storm was so complete that traffic came to a near-total standstill. Crowds of students at the centre waited with a certain trepidation until Trisur Rinpoche finally arrived, hours later, beaitifically smiling, the storm calmed.
Trisur Rinpoche compassionately, as always, casually reminded His students to bring along extra thick clothings to Tso Pema as the weather there "could be cold". At summer time during June, our afternoons at Dharamsala could be stifling. The following days, after we arrived at Tso Pema, we bitterly regretted leaving our bulky though warmest clothings back at Dharamsala. Ice-cubes together with beautiful floral snow flakes both dropped on us at Tso Pema.
Rinpoche's holy body stayed in deepest meditation more than 20 days after clinical death. At the instructions of HH the Dalai Lama, Trisur Rinpoche's holy body was allowed access to the scientist and doctors and became the first ever "documented case" of post-death meditation. In accordance to the Dalai Lama's instructions and requests of the Dharma protectors, Rinpoche's body would be preserved whole and now stays in Drepung Loseling, at Mundgod, India.
His Eminence the Tai Situ-pa
..... One day, between empowerments, a huge throne for Tai Situ Rinpoche was made, and he was invited to perform the crown ceremony and bestow an empowerment. When Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche publicly prostrated three times, Tai Situ Rinpoche sat straight up without responding, so many Nyingma followers were displeased. Dilgo Khyentse respected Situ Rinpoche immensely and said, "Jamgon Situ is my guru not just once, but life after life. After the Karmapa, I have the greatest faith in and hope for Jamgon Situ among all the Kagyu tulkus."
( Orgyen Topgyal Rinpoche: "Brilliant Moon - the Autobiography of Dilgo Khyentse" )
The late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was the Supreme Head Emeritus of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism.
He was a main Teacher of the Dalai Lama, the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the Sakya Gongma Phuntsok Phodrang and countless luminaries of Tibet.
During the 20 years I spent with Khyentse Rinpoche, I never witnessed him become either very depressed or extremely excited; his mood was always even ....
After Rinpoche's fall shortly before he passed away, there was a blood clot on his knee that had to be removed, but the doctors couldn't give him anesthetics due to his age and heart condition. I went into the operating room with Khyentse Rinpoche; he was holding my hand and said, "Go ahead; cut it." So they started doing the operation without anesthetic and took out the blood clot, cutting the knee about three or four inches wide. I was amazed that Rinpoche's face didn't show any pain; he was just smiling all the time.
( Shechen Rabjam: "Brilliant Moon - the Autobiography of Dilgo Khyentse" )
Although Dilgo Khyentse was a great vidyadhara and extremely disciplined about keeping all his Bodhisattvayana and Vajrayana vows,not only would Khyentse Rinpoche never disregard the Pratimoksha discipline himself, he always impressed upon his students just how crucial it is to respect the vows of the Shravakayana vehicle. He had the utmost respect for the Pratimoksha tradition ( usually termed the Theravada tradition ) , and countless times I saw him raise his hands in the prostration mudra when he caught sight of saffron-robed Theravadin monks, saying things like, "How fortunate we are to still have the banner of Shakyamuni Buddha, the Lion of the Shakya, Shakya Sengge."
( Dzongsar Khyentse: "Brilliant Moon - the Autobiography of Dilgo Khyentse" )
Ajahn Sumedho with his great Teacher -
Ajahn Sumedho was the seniormost ordained Western disciple of Ajahn Chah of the ascetic "Thai Forest Tradition".
Ajahn Sumedho survived and grew with the literally countless Buddhist ascetic practices under the late Ajahn Chah, meditating with dangerous, wild beasts and creatures of the Thai tropical jungles and has meticulously maintained the most precious Bikkhu ordination for nearly half a century.
..... I also refused to wash the feet of senior monks. As an American, I was raised on egalitarian ideals, and washing another man s feet seemed outrageous. When I left Nongkhai to join Ajahn Chah, 30 monks would rush to wash his feet after he returned from trudging barefoot through paddy fields and dirt tracks.
Not me. I thought it was stupid and boosting Ajahn Chah s ego, he recalls.
The food also did not suit Ajahn Sumedo s palate, but monks, then as now, have to eat whatever the villagers offer.
The villagers brought chicken curry, fish curry and frog curry, but in those days Ajahn Chah would dump them all into one big basin and mix them up. It tasted horrible! The nuns would bring roots and stems from jungles for us to eat. I remember writing to my mother, I am living on tree leaves , and got her worried for nothing.
It was the wise Ajahn Chah who helped remove the murkiness clouding the young American s mind.
I was frustrated by the strict monastic codes of Vinaya based on the hierarchical structure of seniority. There was a selfish side in me that wanted to live a monastic life but on my own terms.
My complaints were gnawing me from inside all the whining, whinging, blaming, thinking I was right, getting fed-up, being un-cooperative, wanting to leave.
I realised that even when I led a comfortable life, I already had the habit of complaining and looking at life critically. Ajahn Chah showed me a different, positive outlook. Instead of being self-centred with the get rid of this and get more of that attitude, I began to see life as it is, filled with ups and downs.
I learned to welcome the chance to eat food I didn t like, welcome wearing three robes on a hot day and welcome discomfort. Life is like this. Sometimes it is nice, sometimes horrible and most of the time, it is neither one way or the other!
Ajahn Chah would give long dharma talks in the evening, sometimes four to five hours, and I couldn t understand a word! I was bored, cramped and upset. But at the end of one sermon, he looked at me, smiled and asked, through an interpreter, how I was doing. To my surprise, I said, Fine and suddenly all my frustration disappeared!
That was the beginning. He pushed me to the edge to make me see reality and what I was doing. I trusted him absolutely, and soon my aversion to washing his feet fell away and there were 31 monks rushing to wash his feet when he returned from alms!
( Ajahn Sumedho: "Recalling his wise ways" )
Ajahn Chah -
a formidable, impeccable Master of the Dharma
I told him that one of the ideas that some teachers gave students was that since everything is empty, there weren't really such things as attachment and suffering. You can't do it that way, Ajahn Chah said, you have to use conventions. I said that many people contend that since the mind is inherently pure, since we all have Buddha nature, it's not necessary to practice. His answer was, "You have something clean, like this tray. I come and drop some shit on it. Will you say 'This tray is originally clean, so i don't have to do anything to clean it now?'"
.... i said that i usually felt that for me, death was far in the future, i was destined to live a long time, 100 years or more. "That's the wisdon of Devadatta ( the monk who committed the 5 most heinous sins )," he replied.
... People would continually talk about the difficulties they faced as a lay practitioner. ... Ajahn compared it to sitting on an ant hill: the ants are biting, the person becomes uncomfortable but refuses to get up and move somewhere else. Or you come to the Ajahn holding something burning hot in your hand, and you complain, Uu Ajahn it is hot! The Ajahns say, 'so put it down' and you say 'I can't put it down .... but I don't want it to be hot!' So what can the Ajahn do for you?
.... An American nun said she had a problem with desire for attachment, to which Ajahn Chah replied, "Drop it". I know i should drop it, she said, but i keep holding on to it. "So drop it".
... One afternoon I accompanied Ajahn Chah on his daily walk down the driveway. There was a nursery or some other thing next to the driveway, and the babies were all crying. Ajahn pointed to where the sound came from and asked if that was what i wanted ( life of the householder ). I said no, I didn't think so, but i added, "I figure if the mind is in the right place, then there's no problem anywhere; one could go to hell and it wouldn't be hot." All Ajahn said to me was, "You just talk".
... One newly ordained novice asked what his advice for new people was. "The same as for old people." And what was that? "Keep at it".
.... The bottom line, he said, was to give up everything for Dharma. "What does everyone love most of all? Their own life.We can sacrifice everything for life; if we can give our life for Dharma, there will be no problem for us."
( Paul Breiter: "Venerable Father" )
The Sakya Trizin, pictured here at Bodhigaya with the late Ling Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama Himself, in the 1960s
We asked His Holiness the Sakya Trizin whether it is good to follow a non-sectarian approach to Dharma practice. His Holiness replied, "Of course, it is good ! I am also non-sectarian, you know !"
.... When we approached the Sakya Trizin to bless our rosary, he looked at us and said, "This is already blessed." Indeed, we had indeed offered our "malas" to Penor Rinpoche for His blessings just a few days ago in Singapore.
Geshe Tsultrim Gyltshen -
one of the seniormost disciples of the late Kyabje Lati Rinpoche
When Geshe-la met one of his students for the first time, the student asked what instructions Geshe-la has for him. Looking straight into the student eyes, Geshe-la told the student to leave "her" and to maintain pure morality. The student was speechless and later, truly, returned to the Dharma path. Through years of practice, Geshe-la has seen, clear as daylight, the whole life of the student, laid bare before him.
After passing, Geshe-la left behind his eyes, ears, tongue and heart, unscathed and untouched even in the fiery flames of cremation. In the bones were mantras of Yidams in his daily practices: Cittamani Tara, Chakrasamvara, Vajrayogini, Yamantaka and Guhyasamaja.
tELL A fRIEND
"KNOW DHARMA; SHARE DHARMA !!"
Be part of our thousand++ "Friends @ CAS" ( that belongs to Chenrezig & other holy beings )
"I wanna number my days in samsara. sUBSCRIBE mE NOW !!"
CASonline - Your Buddhist online news and teachings.
All online articles lovingly archived at http://www.casotac.