The following is a recounting of His Holiness the 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche's short exchanges with some of his students in CAS.....
The topics are disparate, a delightful mixture on the world and beyond......
It results not from a rigid interview session but from an evening of so much open-hearts, so much sincere love and definitely so much longing and infinite devotion to our precious Teacher ..........
Trisur Rinpoche, far from the stereotyped illusion of a pompous Grand Lama, is the visible embodiment of endless streams of amazingly inexhaustible compassion, startling simplicity, genuine and sincere understanding and consideration for others, infinite humility, perpetual cherishing of others....
In actual fact, a TANGIBLE paragon of the successful, ultimate fruition of Buddhist training.......
Not merely paying giddy worship to one's Teacher as studiously outlined in the Guru-Yoga texts, we actually see for ourselves, this holy and divine being's greatness...... from His choosing to stay with CAS more than 5 times, throughout a span of half a decade, averaging one month at least, of His many stays in Singapore -
His Holiness, forever placing others above Himself, struggling to hurry across a road junction with aid of His walking stick so that He will not take the time of the long line of cars, surprisingly, quietly and almost you can feel, reverentially, awaiting this old Tibetan monk across Singapore's formidable highways, whilst the rest of His Singapore pupils trudged behind, confident of their right of way with the "Green Man" still beaming strong.
Again, His Holiness, attempting to down His cup of hot, unsweetened milk tea fast, so that the fortunate bb, that afternoon, in-charge of collecting His lunch plates amongst others, can carry out his duty soonest, not wanting to trouble, as always, anyone..... demonstrating, as always, scrupulous application of the holy Teachings He has been teaching and learning His entire life, truly abiding in the holy Teaching and truly embodying the holy Teachings .......
We have watched, too, how Rinpoche handed over a wooden elephant souvenir He acquired from His Thailand pilgrimage tour to the Minister of Culture of India when the latter paid homage to and visited Him this time in Singapore ..... the souvenir complete with the price-tack attached !!
Again, how else, do we ever expect our precious, Teacher to ...... always such unspeakable purity in His total and complete "innocence" and "genuineness" but his overlooking of the tiny speck of paper.....
One definitely is lost for any other words for Trisur Rinpoche ......... what else but our "Perfect Teacher" !!
[ On Livelihood ]
Your Holiness, my sister has been without stable employment for more than 14 years. Due to the economy, some friends are also facing the problem of unemployment. Can Your Holiness please do a "MO" [ ie a Tibetan form of divination ] and tell us what we can do ??
There is no need to do a "MO" about this.
Please pray to Green Tara* at morning and at night . Tara is the embodiment of the holy Activities of all the Buddhas. Do the Twenty-One Praises to Tara**. If it is a bit long, you can also do the mantra of Green Tara: "Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha". If you have a statue, even if it is just a small one, do prostrations to it. If you are only able to do the prayers in the morning, it will also be beneficial.
Even if our prayers sometimes does not appear to be successful, do not lose faith or even to place blame on the Buddhas, The Teachings and the Noble Assembly of Disciples.
Worldly matters are only superficial and temporary. Do not be too attached to temporary, worldly affairs but to keep in mind more, the ultimate objectives of [ attaining Buddhahood for the good of others ].
[ His Holiness, perceiving the difficulties, agitated, mental anguish of some of the friends who are unemployed, spontaneously offered the following advice even though it wasn't explicitly asked to Him ....... ]
The solution to feeling down and depressed is to rejoice that at the very least, you have a precious rebirth as a human being. When you have a problem, at least you are able to voice it out and look for solution to it. For animals, they are not even able to express themselves to others as thoroughly or even to look for viable solutions to their sufferings.
Karma is definite: whatever that has been committed, will invariably reap a reciprocal, corresponding result.
Do remember that whatever that happens now is due entirely to our past karma. Our problems are signs of our past bad karma acting up and getting purified in the process. Think that the problems you are facing are actually purifying the negative karma that has been committed in the past.
Contemplating the two above points will help to alleviate feeling worthless and down.
I, on my part, will try my best to pray always for all of you.
* Tara is the female aspect of Avalokiteshvara and is normally taken as the Tibetan equivalent of the Chinese "Guan Yin Pu Sa".
** Friends who will want a copy of this Twenty-One Praises to Tara, please email bb and bb will try to send over !!
[ On Wrong Actions ]
We will like to seek confession from Your Holiness for all the negative actions that we have committed [ since beginningless time ].
All sufferings comes from the Self-Cherishing Attitude [ i.e.cherishing oneself over others ] and all happiness comes from cherishing others over oneself. Whatever happens, it is never the fault of sentient beings but only the unskillful actions arising from their Self-Cherishing Attitude. I, myself, always try to practise patience.
[ Our precious Teacher ........ ]
All the friends in CAS are so grateful and elated when Your Holiness, at the advice of HH the Dalai Lama, chose to come to Singapore so frequently, even if just for Your annual routine medical check-up. However, we always feel so sad when the time comes for Your Holiness to return to India.
I will never forget all my students' kindness and help to me.
Your Holiness, please do not thank us. It is the responsibility and honour of students to host, serve and assist their precious Teachers. This is what even the Buddha Himself as taught.
This is a Teacher-Disciple relationship and i, on my part, do accept all of you as my students.
i will like to offer the Long-Life Prayer written for Your Holiness by the Dalai Lama tomorrow. Please kindly accept them.
My students may want to do it but please don't exert too much effort at doing it. Just offer the prayers as and when they can.
We do not know whether we will be able to see Your Holiness again this time after You leave for Dharamsala.
This is true. Whatever will happen in the future, we will not know. All my students' kindnesses will forever remain in my heart.
[ The Nyingmapa's Dzogchen and the Kagyupa's Mahamudra ]
Despite clear validation, treatment and acceptance, detailed and comprehensive exposition on the Nyingmapa's Dzogchen view and the Mahamudra view as interpreted by some of the Kagyu schools by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a small number of Geshes* who have been to Singapore, have persisted in saying that the above views are falsified and "heretical" in relation to their interpretation of the Buddha's Teachings on the Madhyamika philosophy. What does Your Holiness, as the Official Head Emeritus of these Geshes' very own Gelugpa Order, feel about this ??
The Dzogchen view of the Nyingma Order and the Mahamudra view of the Kagyu Orders are definitely valid, true and authentic. I do not personally practise well** Teachings of the above orders. However, the Dzogchen view of the Nyingma Order and the Mahamudra view of the Kagyu Orders are definitely valid, true and authentic.
* Title offered to Buddhist philosophy graduates, loosely corresponding to a Doctor of Divinity, especially in the Gelugpa and Sakya Orders
** His Holiness, having been a retired Abbot of the present Dalai Lama's personal monastery, the Namgyal Tratsang, is, in fact, a seasoned Master of all the major Nyingma practices, extensively practised in the monastery.
We will like to offer our sincerest prayers that Your Holiness please accept our request to live-long and healthy and to continue to teach and guide all Your students all around the world.
Thank you for your good thoughts and intentions. I, myself, hope to continue to teach and guide my students.
The essence of the Buddha's Teachings is to have good motivation and intentions. A good motivation determines whether the subsequent actions are virtuous. With good motivation, all subsequent actions arising from it becomes virtuous and in fact, a form of Dharma practice.
If there is good heart, good motivation, there is no difference whether the Teacher is close or faraway.
This is all i have to say. I have nothing else to add. You have to keep this in your mind and act accordingly.
What CAS has been doing up to now, is very beneficial and well. Please continue with what you have been doing. I will pray always for the continued success of all students and all beings, both Dharma and others.
His Holiness pressed His palms together in prayers..... the students bowed their heads and shed little drops of gratitude .......
His Holiness the 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche was in Singapore, in November and December 2004, for more than one and a half months, at the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, for His annual, routine medical check-up.
The beings of CAS - with due gratitude to our loyal and indulgent Sponsors - have been unbelievably honoured to be the host of many holy, precious Teachers, especially, the 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche, during His relatively frequent trips to our humid and heated Lion City.
The Ganden Trisur Rinpoche has formally retired, after serving His full term of 7 years as the Ganden Tripa, from all official duties as the head of the Gelugpa Order that the Dalai Lamas are principally affiliated to.
Trisur Rinpoche, is one of the very few Ganden Tripas [ the title given to the present, serving Heads of the Gelug Order ], to have completed His full term as the official head...... hence His extremely rare and precious title of the "Ganden Trisur".
The 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche, one the present Dalai Lama's most trusted and closest friends and students, wields tremendous spiritual influence and is one of Tibet's highest ranking religious leaders.
Je Tzongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa Order, is the first Ganden Tripa and the Dalai Lamas are frequently students of the presiding Ganden Tripas.
All subsequent successors to the spiritual "Throne" of Je Tzongkhapa, the Ganden Tripas - literally Holder of the Throne of Ganden[ another name for Gelug and not to be confused with Ganden monastery ], are official heads of Gelugpa.
The above short exchanges of His Holiness the 100th Ganden Trisur Rinpoche with the beings of CAS is ably interpreted by Thupten Loden, His Holiness's personal attendant, at His Holiness's private residence in Singapore, December, 2004.
The Ganden Tri