Subject: [CASonline] Special Issue: Meeting Trisur Rinpoche.

Dearest Friends @ CAS,
Our precious Root Teacher, the 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche, blessed our island state with His holy presence in His 5 visits: twice in His official capacity and thrice privately. 
One can never imagine a simpler, humbler but holier presence, all of which embedded in unmistakable wisdom and very touching compassion.
It will be a steep challenge for anyone to remember any instance of Rinpoche looking annoyed, frustrated, raising His voice or any such worldly aspects. In short, Trisur Rinpoche has consistently maintained perfect stability, equipoise, tactile kindness and so much absolute peace and loving presence ... sparking universal recognition and veneration of how PERFECT indeed this Ganden Tripa manifested Himself !!
The 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche is extraordinary in being the first Ganden Tripa to have visited Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Japan, Mexico, Nepal** and the United States**, bringing the Buddha's impeccable Teachings to the inconceivably "fortunate disciples", transforming them forever.  
[ **The latter 2 countries to the best of CAS's understanding !! ]    
The 100th Ganden Trisur is probably, too, the only Gelugpa Head to have served out His full 7 years as the Ganden Tripa ( Official Head ) and another full 7 years as the Ganden Trisur ( Official Head Emeritus ). In the universe where Tibetan Buddhism lives, the 100th Ganden Trisur is the prophesied Tsongkhapa incarnated in human guise during Tibet's darkest period.   
From CAS's Archives, we share with all Trisur Rinpoche's teachings in 2000 in Singapore, excerpted from His month-long teaching on Gampopa's "Jewel Ornament of Liberation".
Much interviewed and highlighted by the media, Rinpoche remains the solid anchor from which streams holiness and blessings .... we share here, the full-page report from Singapore's widest circulated Chinese daily.  
As the Dalai Lama's seniormost spiritual deputy, the 100th Ganden Trisur has offered and exchanged transmissions with almost every Tibetan Lineal Heads alive today**. Enlightenment, of course, never knows darkness in death or noise in clinging existence. One should rejoice that Trisur Rinpoche's emanations and inconceivable activities never end till samsara ends and thrives in the countless holy assemblies and oceans of nectar-like teachings of the Buddha transmitted through every lineage.     
[ ** The 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche deputised the Dalai Lama and bestowed initiations and teachings in the Dalai Lama's place in 2000 at Bodhigaya, to half a million Buddhists from all over the world and all the major lineage heads. ]
Infinite rejoicings at our dearest Friends @ CAS's contact with Trisur Rinpoche ---
"Namo Amituofo !!"
bb & all beings  @ CAS ..... serving Rinpoche always.  
Excerpt of Statement from the Tibetan Government In-Exile
The Central Tibetan Administration expressed its heartfelt condolences over the demise of His Eminence** Lobsang Nyima Pal Sangpo, the 100th holder of Ganden Tripa.
( bb's note: The Tibetan Government In-Exile's official designation of "His Holiness" applies only to the Dalai Lama as the supreme spiritual leader of Tibet while "His Eminence" applies to the Ganden Tripa ( Gelugpa Head ), the Sakya Trizin ( Sakya Head ), the Kagyu Head and the Nyingma Head ). 

His Eminence Lobsang Nyima - who ascended to the highest position in the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism in 1994 - .... ( His Eminence ) passed away ........ on the 14th day of seventh Tibetan lunar month; 14 September. He was 79.
As a mark of respect, the officials of the administration observed an hour-long prayer session at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, following which the departments and the offices remained close.

Expressing condolences on behalf of the CTA, the department of religion and culture and Buddhist followers in general, Kalon Ven Tsering Phuntsok described the Ganden Trisur as "one of the most accomplished masters of Tibetan Buddhism, who has offered great service to the spiritual and temporal heritage of Tibet."


HH the 100th Ganden Tri Rinpoche -
Supreme Spiritual Head of the Gelugpa Tradition

speaks on

Attaining the highest bliss of Buddhahood that we may relieve all beings of their sufferings
translated by Geshe Damdul Namgyal
[ Principal of Drepung Loseling School ]


At the outset, develop the proper motivation to listen to the Buddha's teachings, preferably, in tune with Bodhicitta, the aspiration to attain Buddhahood so that one could be of ultimate benefit to all sentient beings.
So far, we have covered the practices up to the Middle Scope level, slightly touched on the path to the Greater Scope, touched a bit on how to develop a broad-based concern for all sentient beings.
On the basis of that, on how we cultivate Universal Compassion, gradually leading up to the level of Bodhicitta.

Universal Compassion, Bodhicitta and Emptiness

In this regard, the great Indian philosopher, Nagarjuna, has said that for those who want to cultivate the highest aim for oneself and others, there is no other way but through the cultivation of Universal Compassion, Bodhicitta and the cultivation of the unmistaken view of Emptiness. He said that these three are the indispensable causes for attaining Buddhahood for oneself and others. While describing these, Nagarjuna characterizes these three indispensable causes by saying that amongst them, Universal Compassion is the indispensable cause for advancement to Bodhicitta. Universal Compassion does not know of any discrimination towards sentient beings.
On the basis of this kind of compassion, one then moves ahead to develop Bodhicitta. This Bodhcitta should be so strongly built that it cannot waver at all or be moved by any kind of wayward thought. It should be firm like Mount Meru.
Along with Universal Compassion and Bodhicitta, one should develop an unmistaken understanding of Reality - Emptiness. Emptiness should be understood in its proper perspective relative to the 2 Extremes.

Cultivation of Universal Compassion as the root cause for Buddhahood

Here, Nagarjuna very clearly specifies that amongst the three, it is the cultivation of Universal Compassion that is the root. It is from the root of Universal Compassion that one can then develop Bodhicitta and the unmistaken view of Emptiness.
In this regard, a quote has been cited from the work of Acharya Dharmakirti that Buddhahood is to be developed through familiarisation, or through development of the great Universal Compassion and it is this compassion which is the root cause and the route to advancement towards Buddhahood.
According to quotes from the Scriptures, it stated that Buddhahood is neither granted by someone else, nor is it held by someone to be requested to be given to you. It is rather dependent upon one's own efforts. One's own efforts are again referred back to the need to cultivate Universal Compassion, eventually developing Bodhicitta and then along with them, conjoining these two with the unmistaken understanding of Emptiness. Through the combination of these three, one can advance towards Buddhahood which is the Ultimate State where one can be of ultimate benefit to oneself and others.
Take the case of our own historical Buddha. He wasn't a buddha from beginningless time. He was, like us, confused at one time. But through His cultivation of Universal Compassion, Bodhicitta and the unmistaken view of Emptiness, through His efforts for so long a time, He eventually excelled all of us and attain the state of Buddhahood, being of ultimate reliable benefit to all sentient beings.
Again here, to remind ourselves, the root, the beginning effort should be to develop Universal Compassion.

How to develop Universal Compassion ??

As we discussed earlier, Universal Compassion, a genuine, spontaneous sense of concern towards all sentient beings, wishing all sentient beings to be free from all sufferings can only be generated, experienced once we have gone through the sufferings on our own and have developed a strong urge to be free from that and thus from initial concern that focuses on oneself, one extends it to all sentient beings. Genuine universal compassion, to be developed within us, then serves as the stepping stone to develop Bodhicitta. Universal Compassion, Bodhicitta, together with the understanding of Emptiness, these three, can then be a viable cause for one's eventual attainment of Buddhahood which is what great practitioners wish for the benefit of oneself and others.

How to develop Bodhicitta ??

In terms of how to go about developing Bodhicitta, we all know that we have to first begin by experiencing or understanding the suffering nature of samsara on oneself. Through such exploration, we will have gained a deep enough understanding of the suffering nature of samsara on oneself. From this will arise a strong urge to be free from the suffering for oneself.
Following, we can then extend such a concern towards others since others are equally steeped in such sufferings as oneself. Besides, others are more important then oneself on many grounds even if only from the point of view of numbers, others are more important than oneself. Also, from the point of view of how they have been kind to us from beginningless time, we can also generate a sense of closeness towards them. Thus, through such approaches, we can develop a natural sense of concern towards others when we see that they are inflicted with suffering and a sense of rejoicing towards others when we see that they are experiencing happiness.
This is the way to go about developing Bodhicitta.
First, reflect the suffering nature on oneself and then exchange that to others. From seeing the suffering nature of others, we develop a strong sense of concern in the form of compassion.
With this strong sense of compassion being familiarised again and again, developing further and further, we can then eventually see how no matter how strong our wish for others to be free from suffering, we ourselves lack that ability to effect the wish to free others from suffering. Through reflection on our own ability, we can see that we lack the ability of even making oneself fully happy and fully joyful and thus the question of making other sentient beings happy, adorned with lasting sense of happiness is completely out of question.
So, through such an understanding of one's own inability at the moment, no matter how strong our wish for others to free from suffering, we will have to come to a definite conclusive understanding of how we will be unable to do so unless we attain Buddhahood.
Buddhahood being defined where we will be completely free from the two obscurations of Liberation and Omniscience. Through the complete elimination of these two obstructions and full development of the qualities of love, compassion, skilfulness and others, we can eventually benefit all sentient beings in an ultimate sense, without any shortage of ability or insight on our part.
So, in this way, we will develop a conviction that it is by the attainment of Buddhahood that we can fulfill the aspiration to free all other sentient beings from their sufferings. Thus, we will wish to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings. This is the Bodhicitta.

Bodhicitta: transcends all, the unparalleled way to accumulate positivities and to overcome negativities

In the Bodhisattva Charya Vatara by Shantideva, it is said that once we have developed or once we have exerted to the point of developing Bodhicitta, from that point onwards, one has become a completely transformed being. One has become a being worthy of respect, not just by humans but also by celestial beings. All over samsara, one has excelled over all sentient beings in terms of one's spiritual achievements, spiritual developments.
From that point onwards, all of our activities, all of the actions issuing from our body, speech and mind will be conjoined and influenced by Bodhicitta. Thus, even in our sleep and distractions, one will also be influenced by Bodhicitta. During these occasions also, we will be accumulating nothing but positivities. We will gain such a strength of positivities to the point where it will outshine all of our past positivities.
The positivities are likened to a big inferno or big flame that is capable of burning or consuming all kinds of negativities that we may have accumulated in the past.
From the point of developing Bodhicitta, we will have become a completely transformed person as from thence, we will only be accumulating positivities and purifying all our negativites that we have accumulated in the past.
Bodhicitta becomes a pure way by which we advance towards the attainment of Buddhahood.
Again, Bodhicitta is rooted in Universal Compassion or great compassion. In terms of the accumulation of merit through the cultivation of great compassion and Bodhicitta, it is said that the amount of merit accumulated from an instance of developing genuine compassion and genuine Bodhicitta is incalculable and as vast as space.

Asanga, Maitreya, a bitch and the maggots

In this regard, we find accounts of how Acharya Asanga spent twelve years in meditation to have a vision of Buddha Maitreya. He exerted so much throughout those years but still he could not have a vision. He lost heart and came out of his meditation cave. He was walking towards town when all of a sudden, he came across a female dog totally infected by maggots on the lower part of her body. She was being eaten away by thousands and thousands of maggots. Asanga felt so much compassion towards the maggots and towards the female dog. He was wondering how to relieve both the maggots and the female dog. The maggots themselves are so delicate that to pick them up with the hand will kill them instantly. Asange was so strongly motivated by compassion. To save both the maggots and the dog, Asanga cut a piece of flesh from his own body so that the maggots can have a safe place to stay after he licked the maggots off the dog with his tongue. Under such strong compassion, he reached out his tongue with the eyes closed. No matter how much closer he went, he could not touch the dog. Asanga opened his eyes and saw Lord Maitreya there in all His glory. In shock, he slipped into saying to Lord Maitreya, "You seemed to lack compassion towards meditators. I have exerted so much effort over the past twelve years but could not get close to having a vision until now!" Lord Maireya, however, has always been close to Asanga even on the very first day of his entering retreat. It is due to the strong and thick defilements that were obscuring Acharya Asanga that he could not see Maitreya. Thus, he came to understand that the very reason why he could not get a vision was because of the defilements weighing down on his mental continuum. It is due to the strong genuine compassion towards the female dog, in actuality, the emanation of Lord Maitreya Himself, through the development of genuine compassion that he could clear out the obscurations.
This speaks of the great strength, great effectiveness and great power of genuine compassion directed towards all sentient beings without exception. Since it is developed towards all sentient beings without any discrimination, without any differentiation, even if it is developed only for a single moment, the merit accumulated is equal to the number of sentient beings which in turn is equal to limitless space.

Butcher soars the skies

We also find an account of a butcher who lives in Lhasa. The butcher used to kill so many cows and sheeps all day in his house. He killed them one by one. The demand was so great that he would kill several of them everyday. Once, he took a short break and went out to refresh himself. When he returned, he saw that his cleaver, used for killing the animals, was not to be found anywhere. When he looked around, he found out that it was hidden under the earth, dug and buried there by the animals themselves. He looked at the animals. Tears were dripping from the animals' eyes and their bodies were shivering with fear. He realised how much suffering he has been bringing to the animals even before they were subjected to the excruciating pain of getting hacked to death. The butcher developed a strong sense of compassion towards the animals and a strong sense of aversion towards his own deeds. He was so moved with compassion that he felt he would rather end his own life than to continue with what he was doing. He went up a hill and sought to kill himself. But since that was born out of a strong sense of compassion towards sentient beings, instead of falling down and crashing to death, he actually flew to the other side of the hill.
At that time, there happened to be a meditator in the same area and the meditator happened to know the person by his profession. When the meditator saw the butcher capable of flying over from one part of the hill to the other side, he thought that if even if such a sinful person can do so, then he, who has spent so many years in meditation can definitely do likewise. So he went up the same hill and threw himself down . He fell and died instantly!
This shows how powerful Universal Compassion is once it is generated purely within us in its purest aspect and how effective it is in clearing away the negativities no matter how strong the load of negativities we have in our mental continuum. Developing genuine compassion and Bodhicitta is definitely worthwhile.


HH the 100th Ganden Tri Rinpoche's first visit to Singapore


Tibetan Lama sets forth learning of foreign languages ¨C

the Dharma spreads forth a thousand miles


Quoted in full from Lianhe Zaobao ¨C the largest circulated Chinese daily in Singapore

Article by Zhang Gelin [ 30 August 2000 ]

Translated by Kunga Nyima from the Chinese


His Holiness the 100th Ganden Tripa and the Tibetan Buddhist education system

            The Cultural Revolution more than 30 years ago caused the Snow Lion to shake off snow flakes on its body, stalk out of its snowy reign, fling open the door to the western world the teachings of Lord Buddha.

            However, much as the Lion's roar has awakened the western realms, how, though, is it going to enter into the world of the common people, enlightening them?

            The key is in learning English.

            True.  In the history of the Gelugpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, it is rare indeed for its Throne-Holders to endorse or even encourage its monks' efforts to master a foreign language. The present official Head of the Gelugpa Tradition is just such a rare being.

            During the interview, His Holiness said, "Although the society has changed extremely rapidly, Buddhism has still a practical role to play. Nowadays, outside of Tibet, the Tibetan monks have an even more urgent need to improve themselves such as through learning of the English language."

            As a result, with the permission and even encouragement from Tibet's overall leader, the Dalai Lama, the Ganden Tripa, whilst holding the post of the Abbot of the Tantric College of Lower Lhasa and the Abbot of Namgyal Monastery [ the Dalai Lama's own personal monastery ], in addition to improving the monks' sutric and tantric education syllabus, the Ganden Tripa also introduced the so-called 'modern'subjects of English, Mathematics amongst others with the help of both local and western instructors. This becomes an important facilitator for the western seekers of the Buddha's teachings.

            The Ganden Tripa's introduction of these never-before changes to the Tibetan Buddhist education system exerts a significant degree of impact upon the generally-perceived veiled arena surrounding Tibetan Buddhism ¨C it is now poised and has adapted itself to the value of its own preservation.

The 100th Holder of the Throne of Tzongkhapa

the Supreme Spiritual Head of the Gelugpa Tradition

His Holiness the 100th Ganden Tripa's name is Lobsang Nyima. His Holiness is aged 72.

Since 5 years ago, He has inherited the exalted position of Tzongkhapa, the Founder of the Gelugpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. [ Tzongkhapa Himself being the first Ganden Tripa ]

This is the first time, the Ganden Tripa is in Singapore. His Holiness is here to conduct Buddhist teachings and Buddhist Initiation Ceremonies at the invitation of the Charitable Assistance Society.

Worthy of note is that although the present Ganden Tripa is not selected on the basis of his being the reincarnation of a high lama, due to the belief of a prophecy by Tzongkhapa that the 100th incumbent of His spiritual throne will be that of His own emanation, the present Ganden Tripa is greatly revered by all His followers and casted upon His identity, an unfathomable mystery.

The Ganden Tripa feels that education is very important, believing that this is the essential key to the preservation of Tibetan culture. His Holiness said that the Tibetan monks should go deep into the inner meanings of the scriptures to discover their own "inner Tibet". His Holiness feels that without internalisation of knowledge or inner awakening, the Tibetan culture will be shaky and weak just as how things tend to decay first before getting completely rotten.

"After fleeing to India, our ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture is in danger of total elimination altogether. I feel a special responsibility to take care of the younger monks' welfare, that they can have the opportunity to a complete education. From here, they can then help to preserve their own spiritual heritage."

Pacifier of man-eating tigers and wild elephants

            Compassionate gaze, loving smile, unshakable meditative posture, His Holiness is just like the gentle, warm old grandfather.

            Probably also from such compassion, it is said that while helping in the construction of the Tantric College of Lower Lhasa in south India, the ravenous tigers and trampling elephants are tamed at the sight of His Holiness.

            Of course, being the perfect Buddhist practitioner that a Ganden Tripa is, such 'miraculous' events are simply carelessly brushed aside. His Holiness, in fact, always carries Himself in a most humble manner, never allowing Himself to become the center of any discussion.

            Touching upon the subject of His escape from Tibet, the Ganden Tripa is surprisingly relaxed and undramatic, speaking as if the escape is not about Himself but about another person, "Of course there is physical hardship. However, this deepens my faith in the Buddha's teachings and makes me into a stronger person. Whatever has to happen, no one can escape"

            His Holiness is born in 1928 in a small village in Eastern Tibet. He became a monk at the age of 12 in a local monastery. At the age of 17, He entered into Drepung Monastery near Lhasa to further pursue His Buddhist studies.

             In 1959, at the age of 31, the Ganden Tripa, following the 14th Dalai Lama, fled to India where He received His Geshe degree [ equivalent to Doctorate in Buddhist philosophy ], entered the Tantric College of Lower Lhasa to pursue intensive study of Buddhist tantras, worked all the way from the lower hierarchy of monkhood up to become the Abbot many years later.

            In 1984, He became the Jangtse Choje, the next-in-line to the Ganden Tripa.

            11 years later, in 1995, He formally became the supreme spiritual leader and the Official Head of the Gelugpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism ¨C His Holiness the Ganden Tripa.

            While acting as the Abbot of the Tantric College of Lower Lhasa, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama appointed Him to also become the Abbot of His own personal monastery in Dharamsala, the prestigious Namgyal Monastery. The Ganden Tripa held this position for a full 6 years.

            Commenting on His relationship with the Dalai Lama, the Ganden Tripa said, "We enjoyed an extremely close relationship. He [ the Dalai Lama ] is a completely dedicated leader who exerts every effort for the well-being of the Tibetan people. Recollecting these years, what makes me truly satisfied is that I have never let down the Dalai Lama's expectations.¡"

Love to 'work for Lord Buddha'

            For the past 10 years, His Holiness has lived in south India's Drepung Monastery. The Ganden Tripa wakes up at 6 every morning to start teaching over 2000 monks for the next 5 hours or more, attend to administrative duties, study the scriptures, compose Buddhist commentaries, formally recognise and enthrone reincarnated high Tibetan teachers as well as to attend to other countless spiritual responsibilities.

            The Ganden Tripa has also been to the United States of America, Mexico and Japan to teach.

            Although the attendant said that owing to slight high blood pressure and diabetes, the Ganden Tripa gets tired easily, His Holiness interjected, "Not tired. I like working for Lord Buddha."

            Speaking on His personal spiritual cultivation, the Ganden Tripa said, "I cannot perform miracles. I cannot fly or disappear into the earth. I only try to remember my religious aspirations and precepts. I try to apply them in my daily life."

What is a Ganden Tripa ??

            Although a Ganden Tripa need not necessarily be a tulku or the reincarnation of a high lama, a Ganden Tripa is accorded protocol only privileged to that for a Dalai Lama or a Panchen Lama: the 'royal' parasol, the eight auspiscious symbols above which He walks over, the precious incense vases and the like.

            This underscores a significant point in Tibetan Buddhism. With its reverence for reincarnated high lamas, Tibetan Buddhism also holds in high esteem, lamas who practise hard and attain realization in the present life.

            In Tibetan, 'Ganden' here refers to the entire Gelugpa Tradition [ not to be confused with Ganden Monastery who also  carries the same name ]. 'Tripa' means the 'Throne-holder'. Hence, the 'Ganden Tripa' means "The Throne-holder of the Gelugpa Tradition" which in effect means the Official Head and supreme spiritual leader of the Gelugpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

            The precious lineage of the Ganden Tripas can be traced from 581 years ago to the founder of the Gelugpa tradition, Tzongkhapa [ the first Ganden Tripa and the Main Teacher of the first Dalai Lama ]. This holy line survives right up to the imposition of Chinese influence in Tibet ¨C the reign of the 97th Ganden Tripa [ Ling Rinpoche who is also the Main Teacher of the present Dalai Lama ]

The route to becoming a Ganden Tripa is not as fascinating or exciting an account as that of the discovery of a reincarnated lama.

A top Buddhist philosophy graduate from any of the three great Gelugpa Monasteries of Drepung, Sera or Ganden, known as Geshe Lharampa, [ translated as 'Spiritual Friend' ] may choose to enrol in either the Tantric College of Lower Lhasa [ 'Gyumey' ] or the Tantric College of Upper Lhasa [ 'Gyuto' ] - the only two main Gelugpa tantric colleges that specialise in transmitting of the tantric teachings.

From here, the monk may get promoted to become the Disciplinarian or 'Gegu' in Tibetan.

A year later, the monk may again get promoted to become the Assistant Abbot or 'Lama Umdze' in Tibetan.

Three years later, the monk may then rise to become the Abbot or 'Khenpo' in Tibetan.

Another three years later, the monk may retire to become the Abbot Emeritus or 'Khensur' in Tibetan.

[ the translator's note: each stage of 'promotion' is not necessarily automatic and the span of years dividing each 'promotion' is not definite ]

The Abbots Emeriti from both the Tantric Colleges of Lower and Upper Lhasa respectively possess the possibility of further promotion. The Abbot Emeritus from the Tantric College of Upper Lhasa [ 'Gyuto Khensur' in Tibetan ]  will occupy the next higher position of 'Sharpa Choje' while the Abbot Emeritus from the Tantric College of Lower Lhasa [ 'Gyudmed Khensur' in Tibetan ] will occupy the next higher position of 'Jangtse Choje'.

The 'Sharpa Choje' and 'Jangtse Choje' are literally known as the 'Lords of Dharma' of the Gelugpa Tradtion. These two 'Lords of Dharma' take alternate turns to occupy the highest position in Gelugpa  - the Ganden Tripa.         

All the Ganden Tripas hold their post for a full 7 years.

            A retired Ganden Tripa, known as a 'Ganden Trisur', is, by now, of highly advanced age.

            For the ordinary monk, a direct and uninterrupted elevation to the position of Ganden Tripa takes a modest estimate of at least fifty years. Indeed, most of the eligible candidates pass away to the 'Pure Realms' long before then. 

            A living Ganden Tripa is a supreme spiritual head. A reincarnated Ganden Tripa is a so-called 'living Buddha' or 'tulku' in Tibetan.

Therefore, only a Ganden Tripa can be uniquely addressed as 'Tri Rinpoche'.    


The Ganden Tripa is in Singapore from 15 August 2000 to 30 September 2000.

The web-site for HH the Ganden Tri Rinpoche¡¯s programme in Singapore: