Date: 22/12/2013 9:51:03 AM
[CASonline] The Jowo Je - Palden Lama Atisha
Dearest Frens @ Phuntsok Cho Ling (CAS),
We had just returned from the Golden Isles, now-called Indonesia, where we dispensed several many hundreds of medicinal items, toothbrushes, books, pens, colour pencils, thousands of chocolates, candies and so many tsogs from Ontrul Rinpoche's programme ( this time, slightly lesser in bulk due to pressing time ! ) for the impoverished almost uniformly Muslim communities around Borobudur at Yogjakarta.
We are sure, somehow, due to the Buddha's infinite love for the world and its beings therein, the mighty throngs of Muslim students, teachers, tourists and so forth who flocked to Borobudur to snap cute shots with the thousands of stupas and Buddhas there, all shall ( eventually ) be liberated from samsara.
At least, the Lotus Sutra speaks like this. There is this saga of the clueless insect which created the cause to become an Arahant under Buddha Shakyamuni because it landed on a lily pad which, blown by the wind, happened to circumambulate the half-broken stupa of a previous Buddha so many aeons ago !
So, we found another reason to rejoice !
Borobudur - Indonesia, at dawn.
Remebering the sole "red-hatted" Lama amongst the towering "yellow-hatted" Spiritual Giants in Tibet in-exile's Three Great Seats of Drepung, Sera and Ganden monasteries, we left immediately almost for this formerly legendary Buddhist land, especially renowned for its teachings on precious Bodhicitta, right after our marathon programmes with Most Venerable Drikung Ontrul Rinpoche and His Eminence Kyabje Tsona Gontse Rinpoche.
Lama Atisha met His main teacher, Lama Serlingpa, His Indonesian Guru, and received the highest teachings, that of the precious Bodhicitta, at Indonesia.
A holy, ancient statue of Lama Atisha in Tibet which had escaped the Chinese communist destruction.
Since deliberately pushing aside the organisation of Dharma programmes for some years, in favour of mission welfare trips to some of the most desperately poorest corners of the world ( Laos, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, Vietnam ) .... the proliferation of programmes abound here anyway ( ! ) .....
we never fail to avoid uncovering treasures at the most unexpected places !
At Indonesia, amidst the slabs and chunks of books on Islamic theologies and exciting Christian evangelist manuals, a Batman @ CAS found a sole Buddhist voice - that of the Dalai Lama, transformed into Bahasa Indonesian.
Dalai Lama in Bahasa Indonesian
Last year we hosted the Sera Je Abbot - Geshe Lobsang Delek .... this year, we had at CAS's Malacca centre ( Phuntsok Cho Ling ), Most Venerable Drikung Ontrul Rinpoche and His Eminence Kyabje Tsona Gontse Rinpoche.
The Drikung Yangzab Sangha under the guidance of Most Venerable Drikung Ontrul Rinpoche at Phuntsok Cho Ling (CAS - Malacca)
The 150 plus fortunate beings in Singapore now under the care and protection of wrathful Padmasambhava, Dorje Drollo.
350 kilograms or more than 2,200 big, huge fishes liberated from chopping boards and human intestinal acid into Malacca's huge reservoir.
His Eminence Kyabje Tsona Gontse Rinpoche, in informal session, post-programme at Phuntsok Cho Ling ( CAS - Malacca ).
The 100th Ganden Trisur
Our precious Root Guru, His Holiness the 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche and the 100th incumbent of Lama Tsongkhapa's spiritual throne had personally offered the precious, gigantic statue of Lord Atisha in the great new hall of Drepung Loseling Monastery in India. Rinpoche has also many times expressed His unparalleled admiration and love for Lama Atisha, citing His "unequaled kindness to the Dharma and to Tibet".
So, these, all these, as with so many other things, are for You, Rinpoche !
We have quite decisively shifted CASonline/s to our Facebook ( CASOTAC Singapore ) .... so, if you want to hear from us frequently on the Dharma and other matters, "befriend" us there !
( maybe ) a batman & some other beings @ Phuntsok Cho Ling (CAS)
After Atisha’s return to India, he protected and upheld the Triumphant One’s hallowed Dharma by three times defeating in formal debate non-Buddhist extremists. Within the Buddhist fold, he established many institutes of learning wherever he traveled, and whenever he saw signs of degenerate or misinformed practices, he would immediately reform them. His fame spread throughout India. Because of his compassion and insight, he was revered as the crowning jewel of the erudite masters. He conferred the greatest benefit, however, on the people of Tibet, the Land of Snow.
Although the Buddha Dharma had been brought to Tibet several centuries earlier through the efforts primarily of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava (Gu-ru Rin-po-che Pad-ma ‘byung-gnas) and several others, this early flowering suffered a great setback due to repression by King Langdarma (Glang-dar-ma) (863 – 906 CE). Few practitioners were left and afterwards many points were no longer properly understood. Many felt that the practices of ethical self-discipline and tantra were mutually exclusive and that enlightenment could be achieved through intoxication and various forms of sexual misconduct. Others believed that likewise contradictory were the teachings of Hinayana and Mahayana, leading respectively to liberation and enlightenment.
Saddened by this degenerate condition, the Tibetan king Yeshey-wo (Ye-shes ‘od) wished very strongly to invite a learned master from one of the great monastic centers of India to come to Tibet and clarify the confusion. Not knowing specifically of Atisha, he sent twenty-one young men to study Sanskrit and locate a suitable master. All but two died of the heat. Unable to invite anyone, but having learned the language, the new translatorsRinchen-zangpo (Rin-chen bzang-po) (958 – 1051 CE) and Legshay (Legs-bshad) returned to the king and informed him about Atisha.
As soon as he heard his name, the king decided that this Atisha was the person who was needed. Wasting no time, he sent a second party of nine, headed by Gyatsonseng (rGya brtson-‘grus seng-ge), with much gold to invite this master. But the eight companions died as well and, unable to bring Atisha, Gyatsonseng stayed on in India. When news of this second failure reached Yeshey-wo, he decided to lead an expedition himself to collect more gold for yet another party. But on this mission, he was captured on the Nepalese border by the rival King of Garlog (Gar-log, Qarluq), who wished to prevent the further spread of Buddhism in Tibet.
King Yeshey-wo’s nephew, Jangchub-wo, was informed either to give up this mission to India or to raise an amount of gold equal to the size of his uncle in order to secure the hostage’s release. The nephew traveled about the kingdom, but was only able to collect gold equal to the King’s torso and limbs. He could not raise the additional gold for his head. When the Garlog ruler demanded the full measure of ransom, the nephew requested permission to see his uncle.
He was taken to a dark prison cell enclosed by iron bars. There he explained the situation to his uncle, who was in chains and very frail, and said he would continue to search for the remaining gold. "Do not give up hope," he told his uncle, "for I shall raise the ransom. I could wage war with this Garlog king, but many would be killed. Buying your freedom seems best."
"My dear nephew," the aged King replied, "I never expected you to have such compassion and wisdom. I am pleased that you understand the evils of violence, but now you must forget about me. Instead, use all the gold you have collected to invite to Tibet the great master Atisha. I have died countless times in previous lives, but I am sure I have never before sacrificed myself for the Triumphant One’s Dharma. Now I am very happy to do so. Whomever you send to India, please have him tell Atisha that I have given my life for the welfare of my subjects and the Dharma so that he could be brought to Tibet. Although I have not had the fortune to meet him this lifetime, I have fervent hopes that I can in the future." The nephew submitted to his uncle’s command and departed, nearly overcome by grief.
For full account of Lama Atisha' life, see the Buddhist Teacher, Alexander Berzin's website: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/teachers/lineage_masters/life_atisha.html
An unworthy after-thought, we returned from Indonesia to a cheeky invitation from a mischievous self-invented "Head of Kadampa Buddhism", and "Head of the Green Sect" ( their "ordained" followers wore green sleeves strapped vertically down their left breast ). Not wanting to be rude and mustering the best possible motivation from our hearts, we are left with little choice but to drop the provocative little paper into the bin, where, sadly, it belongs.
Although tantra involves generating pure views even about the darkest aspetcs of samsara, we stopped short of it when we come to what we sincerely and decisively concluded to be fake relics and fake teachers.
A timely reminder -
a) "Really Ugly Stuff": http://www.casotac.com/CASonline%20Articles/26032010.html
b) "Khensur Rinpoche clarifies": http://www.casotac.com/CASonline%20Articles/23122009_2.html
c) "Desecrating the holy Dharma": http://www.casotac.com/CASonline%20Articles/23122009.html
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