What Does Enlightenment Mean?

Dear Friends Near and Far,

Today, I am thinking of you and I hope you all have the benefit of sentient beings in mind. I am finishing a series of talks and teachings in New Orleans, Louisiana. This will mark the end of my time in the USA. Soon, I will be visiting our dharma brothers and sisters in Asia.

For this Guru Rinpoche Day, I would like to share a clip from my recent teaching at the Drepung Loseling Temple in Atlanta, Georgia. The first main topic of the clip covers the meaning of the word “enlightenment” because this word is often too abstract for us. The second main topic of the clip covers the basic teachings of bodhicitta how to practice them with mindfulness.

In order to avoid forgetting what you have learned from the Buddha’s teachings, please practice diligently! And please be clear about how to practice well.

With constant prayers,

Sarva Mangalam,


Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

Advertisements

Four Points & Dusum Sangye Supplication

Dear Friends Near and Far,
I hope today’s message finds you all happy and healthy. I am in the car at the moment on the way from New York City to Martha’s Vineyard. There are four points I would like to remind you of on this Guru Rinpoche Day.

  1. Bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment. This is so important, and I have talked about this many times already. The motivation of bodhicitta is indispensable.
  2. Secondly, it is very important that we remind ourselves regularly, because most of us are very lazy. So we need to remind ourselves. Of what? Of the dharma, to practice and apply the dharma, impermanence, bodhicitta. Remind yourself again and again of these things.
  3. Thirdly, we need to know how to practice the dharma. It is not just enough to do dharma; we each need to know how to practice correctly. Knowing that, our dharma practice will become truly effective and beneficial. On the other hand, if you practice without knowing how, the practice itself can become a basis for pride, jealousy, showing off, and all sort of things. So in addition to cultivating the motivation of bodhicitta and reminding yourself of the crucial points, you really need to know how to practice the dharma. Knowing how to practice includes knowing how to apply and integrate the dharma throughout all your activities, whether you are talking to people, eating, lying down, moving about, whatever you are doing. The dharma is so important, so please keep this in mind.
  4. Fourthly, you need to be able to look at and see your own good qualities and likewise your faults. But don’t get discouraged when you see your faults and think that they make you a lousy person. And don’t get proud when you see your good qualities. If you react like this it will become an obstacle for practice. And in fact getting proud when seeing your good qualities and getting discouraged when seeing your faults shows that you don’t know how to correctly practice the dharma. So all of you, please keep this in mind when you see your faults and good qualities; do not react by getting discouraged or proud. Please remember this.

These four points are what I would like to share today. In this month of the calendar, over the past years many sacred masters have passed away and we are now approaching their anniversaries. For example, the late Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche. As a result of these great beings passing away from this world, many people are suffering with grief and loss. During such times it is especially beneficial to practice the sublime dharma.

This being so, please recite the Vajra Guru mantra and the Düsum Sangye supplication as much as you can. This supplication was revealed by the great treasure revealer Chokgyur Lingpa and is one of the most precious and important prayers for this present time, the degenerate age.

The Vajra Guru mantra:

om ah hung bendza guru pema siddhi hung

The Düsum Sangye (Buddha of the Three Times) Supplication:

dü sum sangye guru rinpoché
Buddha of the three times, Guru Rinpoche,
ngödrub kün dak dewa chenpö shyab
Lord of all siddhis, Great Bliss,
barché kün sel düdül drakpo tsal
Dispeller of all obstacles, Wrathful Tamer of Māra.
solwa deb so jin gyi lab tu sol
I supplicate you, bestow your blessings.
chi nang sangwé barché shyiwa dang
Pacify the outer, inner, and secret obstacles
sampa lhün gyi drubpar jin gyi lob
And spontaneously fulfill all wishes.

With constant prayers,

Sarva Mangalam,

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

Five Dear Friends

Dear Friends Near and Far,

Firstly on this Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to share a short video in which I talk about the five dear friends that everybody should have.

Next, I would like to talk about motivation. These days when we talk about enlightenment, many people, including sometimes myself, don’t have a full understanding of what enlightenment really is. As a result, they end up thinking that it’s not of much benefit or relevance to them and then lose the wish to reach enlightenment. And this can happen to us whether we be practicing dharma or involved in the mundane world.

But if you can do what you do—whether it be the dharma or ordinary activities—with the ‘mind of enlightenment’, meaning the motivation to help free all sentient beings from suffering and the cause of suffering and establish them at the precious state of enlightenment, it has a really positive effect. From one’s own side, when you have this motivation you become free from personal, selfish desires and free of anger and aversion towards others. And when you are free of both selfish desires and aversion then you don’t make many mistakes; you are free of ignorance. On the other hand, when you have selfish desires and this kind of self-importance you might regard yourself as having many good qualities and others as being lower than you, and then you easily criticize others and can end up making many problems. So this motivation, the mind of enlightenment (bodhicitta) is so important and beneficial.

For example, in the morning when I recite prayers and make the sang (smoke) offering and so on then I do it focusing on all of our monks and nuns, the Rinpoches, our students, sponsors, the people working in our Foundation, and all the people I know with the wish to benefit them through these prayers. But at the same time we also need the mind of enlightenment that focuses on all sentient beings. And sometimes I forget that. My motivation is indeed very positive—to benefit everyone I know, meaning the lamas and monastics, and all our students and friends—but we need to have the motivation of the mind of enlightenment that keeps in mind all sentient beings and sometimes we can forget that. So in this case the motivation I have is not perfect. There is attachment to others and aversion or indifference towards others. Even if you don’t have any evident aversion to others, if you fail to include all sentient beings in your motivation and think, “Well, I don’t know those other sentient beings, they are strangers to me, I have no real reason to focus on them or think of them” this is actually an aspect of aversion and ignorance. We need to include all sentient beings with the wish that we can help all of them attain perfect enlightenment, understanding that we have been connected to them from beginningless time up until now through the relationships we’ve had with them throughout our past lifetimes—as mothers, fathers, friends, relatives.

If you can really think about this, engender this motivation, and take it to heart you will feel quite differently towards other sentient beings. How so? Immediately your anger and aversion will decrease. Likewise, your self-interest and selfishness will decrease. Your mind will become more open, relaxed, and joyful, and also kinder.

This being so, today I would like to remind you all about this precious motivation of bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment. Whether you are practicing the dharma or doing ordinary things, do it with this motivation seeing that all sentient beings without a single exception have been your parents and dear friends in the past and that you are connected with them in that way and wishing all of them to be free from their suffering and its causes and attain the precious state of enlightenment.

What is enlightenment? The state free of all negative emotions and suffering and endowed with primordial wisdom. This motivation is so important.

So today on this precious occasion of Guru Rinpoche Day, please make some prayers, practice generosity, perhaps give your parents a gift, be loving to your children and others, and speak kindly to people. If you are a practitioner, then do some practice. Do some meditation, some recitation, make prayers, and if you know how then make a gathering (feast) offering to Guru Rinpoche.  And throughout please keep all sentient beings in your heart and think of them. Work on developing this motivation that thinks of all sentient beings.

I am sending this short message from Heathrow airport in England where I am in transit on my way back to the United States. As always, with many prayers and aspirations for you all,

Sarva Mangalam,

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

6 Vajra Verses and 3 Points of Practice

Dear Friends Near and Far,

First of all, on this very auspicious Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to share with you this short video in which I give some advice on how to solve our problems in daily life. I also explain the meaning and significance of supplication to Padmasambhava by means of the six vajra verses.

The supplication I mention in the video is as follows:

དུས་གསུམ་སངས་རྒྱས་གུ་རུ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ༔
dü sum sangye guru rinpoche
Guru Rinpoche, the Buddha of past, present and future,

དངོས་གྲུབ་ཀུན་བདག་བདེ་བ་ཆེན་པོའི་ཞབས༔
ngödrub kün dak dewa chenpö shyab
‘Dewa Chenpo’—Guru of Great Bliss—the source of all siddhis,

བར་ཆད་ཀུན་སེལ་བདུད་འདུལ་དྲག་པོ་རྩལ༔
barché kün sel düdul drakpo tsal
‘Düdul Drakpo Tsal’—Wrathful One that Subdues Negativity—who removes all obstacles,

གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་བྱིན་གྱིས་བརླབ་ཏུ་གསོལ༔
solwa deb so jingyi lab tu sol
Grant your blessings, we pray!

ཕྱི་ནང་གསང་བའི་བར་ཆད་ཞི་བ་དང༌༔
chi nang sangwé barché shyiwa dang
Through them, may all obstacles—outer, inner and secret—

བསམ་པ་ལྷུན་གྱིས་འགྲུབ་པར་བྱིན་གྱིས་རློབས༔
sampa lhün gyi drubpar jingyi lob
Be quelled, and may all our aspirations be fulfilled.

Secondly, I’d like to quickly remind you to reflect on three important aspects of your practice:

Motivation, which is the way of clearing and showing our path
Aspiration, which is the way to fulfill our path
Dedication, which is the complete accomplishment of motivation and aspiration
Lastly, I’d like to know what I can do to help you in your practice. Please complete this simple form to let me know what you need and what obstacles I can help you overcome. I’ll try to fulfill your wishes in the coming months.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rcdzDJc8slIcdGb4QfQgF7ZUPsDeGZuPYoIKbFIWFh4/viewform

With constant aspirations for you all,

Sarva Mangalam

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

Four Qualities of Compassion

Dear Friends Near and Far,

These days we often mistake what it’s meant to be a dharma practitioner. The heart of the buddhadharma is to tame one’s own mind, so a dharma practitioner is someone who is able to do this, who can see their own faults, address them, and tame and transform their minds. Someone who is unable to do this is not a dharma practitioner. Secondly, a dharma practitioner should be sincere and honest. So if you wish to practice the buddhadharma authentically this you need these qualities.

In terms of our motivation for practice, we need to have compassion and our compassion should have four qualities.

To generate compassion means to see sentient beings’ suffering and the causes of their suffering and to wish to free them from it. You also need to be able to see your own suffering and its causes, to see and experience this directly for yourself. If you can, it will not be difficult to generate compassion for others. Likewise, if you can understand that you have been connected to all sentient beings from beginningless time until now as parents and children that will make generating compassion easier, and will also help you to have more equanimity.

You need to contemplate compassion in this way and when you see someone else suffering put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine what it would be like to be going through what they are going through. If you can put yourself in their position and really understand their suffering, you’ll develop some compassion. Having developed this initial compassion then you need to improve it. Don’t leave compassion as a mere thought; apply it in your behaviour and actions. When you do this you will be able to see whether your compassion is genuine or not, whether it is pure, strong, and constant or not. This is the first quality our compassion should have: application.

Since compassion is the wish to free oneself and others from suffering and its causes the second quality our compassion needs to have is dignity. Dignity here means you see and acknowledge your suffering and the suffering of others, and you have the confidence that you can dispel it and its causes, that you have the means and methods to do that. Where does this dignity arise from? It arises from genuine practice of the dharma. It is through practice that you will develop this confidence that you can bring about change. And therefore, someone who has this dignity is a practitioner. Someone who lacks this dignity, who lacks the confidence that they can change, is not a practitioner.

The third quality is aspiration, the sincere and heart-felt aspiration to benefit other beings. We need to have this genuine aspiration and wish.

But it’s not enough to leave it there, as an aspiration. To make our compassion pure, we need wisdom, prajna.

So to reiterate, whatever we do we should do it with compassion – we need to apply compassion in all of our actions. Secondly, our compassion needs to be accompanied by dignity, a confidence that we can change. Thirdly we need aspiration and fourthly wisdom. If our compassion has these four qualities, it will be pure, genuine, and strong.

Since, as you all know, we need to develop this kind of genuine compassion then while thinking of you all on this Guru Rinpoche Day I am sharing these few points on compassion with you. But in addition to generating compassion ourselves we also need to teach our family and friends about compassion, to talk about it calmly and nicely with them while continuing to practice it ourselves.

Finally, here is a short video message with some advice on motivation and conduct.

With constant aspirations for you all,

Sarva Mangalam

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

The Four Dharmas of Gampopa

Dear Friends Near and Far,

Firstly, on this Guru Rinpoche Day, I would like to share a personal video message from myself.

Secondly, I would also like to share some points on The Four Dharmas of Gampopa, also known as The Four Dharmas of Longchenpa:
Grant your blessings that my mind may follow the dharma.
Grant your blessings that dharma may become the path.
Grant your blessings that the path may dispel delusion.
Grant your blessings that delusion may dawn as wisdom.

Grant your blessings that my mind may follow the dharma.
For this first point, to turn our minds to the dharma, we need to have interest in the dharma and in practicing. We need to make ourselves like practicing dharma.

Grant your blessings that dharma may become the path.
To make the dharma—our practice—become the path, we need a genuinely positive motivation, the wish to benefit others. A compassionate, kind, and selfless motivation, free of self-importance or self-interest.

Grant your blessings that the path may dispel delusion.
To help dispel our delusion and confusion, we need to cultivate mindfulness. Whether it be during a meditation session or in post-meditation, and whatever practice we may be doing—the four foundations (ngondro), shamata, compassion, emptiness—we need to maintain a stable mindfulness and awareness of the practice at all times. This will help to dispel confusion.

Grant your blessings that delusion may dawn as wisdom.
If you have realized the nature of mind, then through mindfulness maintain that state, the natural state of mind. This mindfulness, maintaining this state, is called the mindfulness of dharmata.

So to summarize, to put into practice the first of these four dharmas we need to develop interest in the dharma. For the second, we need to have a compassionate motivation, for the third to rely on mindfulness, and for the fourth—delusion dawning as wisdom—to maintain the natural state of mind.

These four lines are the essence and heart of the practice, explained here according to the experience I have gained through practicing them. These are very crucial points.

I am now in Manhattan, New York, and wrote this at midnight last night while making my daily prayers and aspirations for you all, wishing that you may all be well, that your aims may be accomplished, that you may be able to practice the dharma well, become good people and benefit others, and live healthy and long lives.

With aspirations,

Sarva Mangalam (May all be auspicious)

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

 

Four Points

 

80895666

Dear Friends Near and Far,

I hope this finds you all well and happy. I recently finished two months of retreat and have been keeping you all in mind and heart.

At the moment at our monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche and Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche are presiding over the annual Ngakso (Ocean of Amrita) puja which runs twenty-four hours a day for nine days dedicated to the health and happiness of all beings and the fostering of world peace. Likewise, Gyari Rinpoche, my father-in-law, has been performing 100,000 recitations of Leu Dunma, The Supplication to Guru Rinpoche in Seven Chapters in Sikkim, India. They will complete the 100,000 recitations today.

What I’d like to mention in today’s message are a few points that apply both to the mundane world and the spiritual path.

1. Whatever the circumstance may be there is such a difference between people who gather merit (or positivity) and those who do not. What’s meant by ‘accumulating merit’? Firstly, to be able to cultivate compassion. To have an altruistic motivation and to do things to benefit others. To help people in an appropriate way such as giving advice, and likewise to be generous, disciplined, to develop patience—to develop these kinds of qualities and do things with a pure, sincere wish to help.

Moreover, someone who regards themselves as a Buddhist should ‘make offerings upwards and practice generosity downwards’ meaning that one should make offerings ‘upwardly’ to our objects of refuge, the buddhas, our spiritual teachers, and the sangha, the community of practitioners. Similarly, you should give ‘downwardly’ to sentient beings. So make offerings and practice generosity like this on a regular basis.

It is through these kinds of actions (done with a pure motivation) that one gathers merit, and the result of this is that you will encounter fewer obstacles and hindrances in this life (whether they be outer, inner, or secret), your aims will be fulfilled, and things will go smoothly for you.

2. In addition to gathering merit, we also need good role models to follow. It has been more than 2500 years since Buddha Shakyamuni passed into parinirvana, yet the transmission of his teachings remains up till today embodied and upheld in the present genuine and qualified dharma teachers. These teachers are excellent role models for us. To follow their example and teachings is excellent. They really are one of the best examples we can find.

In my case my role models are my meditation teachers, for example Kyabjé Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Kyabjé Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. Both of these teachers were extraordinarily kind-hearted, generous, caring, and patient, and outstanding meditators. They were amazing people. So you likewise need to find this kind of role model, someone with truly excellent qualities, to look up to and try to emulate. As Buddhists, our shared role model is of course Buddha Shakyamuni himself.

By relying on such role models, we will be able to mould and transform our character and behaviour into something much more positive, and as a result we will encounter fewer difficulties.

This is particularly important for dharma practitioners since as practitioners we need to unravel the true intent and meaning of Buddha’s teaching: the innate, natural state. We need to understand this and know how to train in it. And to take a genuine dharma teacher as your example and follow their teachings will booster and enhance your understanding and practice of the natural state.

3. Whatever activity it is you are involved in, whether mundane or spiritual, you need to approach it with intelligence. You need to ask yourself, “Okay, what qualities are needed to fulfill this role? How should this job be done? What information is needed?” You need to acquire the necessary skills and qualities, to listen to and learn from others, and to change yourself. As for learning, you all know how to do this. It can sometimes be difficult to listen to and learn from others but we need to do it. And thirdly, change—we need to mould and transform ourselves: if you are lacking certain needed qualities, then learn to develop them. If you see you have some faults, then slowly work on transforming these faults; don’t just leave them as they are. Otherwise you will never improve.

In terms of the dharma, we need the intelligence of knowing the natural state and never parting from the motivation of bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment. These days many practitioners are losing bodhicitta. Sometimes I also find myself thinking, “Can I really reach enlightenment? Is it really possible? And in any case, will it really be of benefit to others and to myself?” The state of enlightenment, buddhahood, is the ultimate benefit, the ultimate bliss, the ultimate peace, and the ultimate, unsurpassable method to benefit oneself and others. This being so, we need to develop the wish and determination to attain enlightenment. This is bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment. So as a practitioner, with intelligence we should receive genuine dharma teachings from a genuine teacher, reflect upon them genuinely, and put them into practice genuinely.

4. Dignity. Sometimes we encounter problems and challenges in our mundane lives, or we experience failure. In these cases, we shouldn’t let the setback rob us of our dignity and confidence. We should approach the situation in a constructive way: think, “Okay, I didn’t succeed here. Why not? What was I missing? What did I do wrong?” And take it all as experience. Then set out to remove the faults and flaws that caused the problem so you’ll be able to succeed in the future. You should feel confident that, yes, I can attain enlightenment, I can benefit beings. Here in samsara I can help my family, I can support the sangha and benefit sentient beings. I can do it. I can achieve things, and I can live a joyful, meaningful life. In this way, we need to nurture inner dignity and confidence, even in the face of challenges.

This kind of dignity is such an important quality, and for practitioners it is simply indispensable. Kyabjé Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche would say that without dignity you cannot succeed in dharma practice, and in particular in meditation. This dignity is a kind of courage, a decisive, unwavering confidence. It is not a shaky or hesitant state of mind, like thinking, “Oh, I am not sure if meditation will really be beneficial or not… I wonder if my meditation is okay or not…” Nothing like that.

Some people know the dharma, they understand, but still ask questions. This is a clear sign of lack of confidence and doubt. Of course if you don’t understand something or don’t know something then you need to ask and should ask, but when you find yourself asking questions and feeling doubt about things you already know that is a sign of lack of dignity. So what is the remedy for this? How can practitioners develop this dignity? Supplicate the buddhas and Supreme Ones (buddha, dharma, and sangha). This is the general approach common for all Buddhists. If you are a Vajrayana practitioner, also supplicate your gurus and supreme yidam deity and train in developing divine dignity. Whichever approach you follow, make supplications that they bless you with inner dignity.

Since some of you reading this email are probably not practitioners and some of you are, I am sending you these four points since they are relevant to both. I am well and I hope you are all healthy and happy too.

With aspirations,

Sarva Mangalam (May all be auspicious)

rinpoche_signature

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

Sunshine

Rinpoche

Dear Friends Near and Far,

I have been thinking of all of you, my dharma brothers and sisters. In our lives, we need the spiritual path, meaning we need to practice. So please, be happy in whatever it is that you’re doing; don’t always look at others and get caught up in comparison. Mind is very skilled at searching out things to be unhappy about. This being so, I feel it’s extremely important to remind yourself everyday of how fortunate and happy you are.

Today I would like to send you two poems, one about compassion and the other about the negative emotions.

Compassion

Compassion is the essence of human beings.
Compassion can remove our faults.
Compassion is the jewel heart of courageous ones.
Compassion is the root of buddha.
Compassion can improve our worldly lives.
Compassion can benefit ourselves and others.
To practice compassion is very important.

Negative Emotions

Negative emotions are like a light for human beings.
For without negative emotions we do not see our faults.
Negative emotions are like camphor; medicine for some, poison for others.
Negative emotions are the root of benefitting beings.
When you know negative emotions, happiness begins.
When you do not see the negative emotions, suffering begins.
The essence of negative emotions is wisdom.
I wrote these two poems in my simple retreat in USA while looking out of the window one morning. There was a very beautiful purple orchid, seven flowers blooming in
one pot, and looking at these flowers I wrote these poems for everybody.

Practitioners should be like sunshine that shines constantly without thinking.

Happiness should be like sunshine that shines without doubt day and night in different places throughout the world.

Practitioners should be diligent like sunshine, which comes at the right time without any delays.

Our wisdom should be like sunshine, unobstructed by any negative emotions, shining throughout the world.

Compassion should be like sunshine benefitting the entire world—different people in different times with their different needs—bringing about happiness.

In this way, sunshine has many different meanings for practitioners.

With aspirations, 
Sarva Mangalam (May all be auspicious)

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

Are You on the True Path?

Dear Friends Near and Far:
I hope you’ve all been happy and healthy. I’m well and at the moment in Kathmandu performing the annual Tsekar or White Amitayus (Buddha of Longevity) Drupchen, a nine day puja based on a collection of liturgies belonging to the “Great Accomplishment Group Sadhana of White Amitayus”. This drupchen beginning on the 8th day of the first lunar month of the Tibetan New Year brings forth auspicious circumstances for the practioner’s two fold attainment of longevity and primordial wisdom.
In the past few evenings of the drupchen, I have been re-reading some of the great texts of Shechen Gyaltsab, Pema Namgyal and in particular, the “Advice from Old Vijaya” which never fails to inspire me. I have taken few lines from the text to remind you of the basic elements of the path which in a way is also an interesting analysis to check whether if you are actually on the true path.
1. Make sure the topics of:
 – Precious Human Birth
 – Death and Impermanence
 – Karma: Consequences of Action
 – The Defects of Samsara
Do not become mere words and ideas, but reflect upon them from the core of your heart.
Once you are well acquainted with them, your mind will have turned away from samsara and towards the sublime Dharma.
Once you feel this way, you have already covered half of Dharma practice!
2. Constantly keep reminding yourself of the excellent qualities of your Guru and the Three Jewels. Having trained in
this, you will seek no other refuge than your Guru and the Three Jewels, no matter what joys or sorrows befall you.
Once that happens, you will have become one of the Buddha’s followers.
3. Once when you are on the path, train in accepting all sentient being as your parents, and maintaining this attitude uninterruptedly, cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, and awakened mind.
Once when you have become accustomed to benefiting others and freed from the chain of selfishness, you deserve the name “child of conquerors.”
The merit and benefits of this are beyond measure. 
These are the ways in which you avoid going astray from the True Path. And once on it, I hope that you are constantly showered with blessings and have unwavering trust and devotion.
Sarva Mangalam,
Phakchok Rinpoche

Padmasambhava comes to Tibet

Dear Friends Near and Far,

I hope you have all been happy and healthy. I have been well and at the moment at the Nagi Gonpa Hermitage performing the Ngakso Drupchen (Ocean of Amrita), a vajrayana mending and purification puja.

From the hagiography, The Wishfulfilling Tree, Padmasambhava himself says, “People of the future who have not met me, read and see my story”.  It is said that merely hearing the name Padmasambhava brings immense blessing.

On this last Guru Rinpoche day of the Water Dragon Year of 2139 and with an understanding of these words of Padmasambhava to be a prophecy, I bring to you all with much joy the news of the unfolding and unfurling of the story of The Lotus Born into a pictorial depiction of moving images.

Neten Chokling Rinpoche, one of the incarnations of the Great Treasure revealer; Terchen Chokgyur Lingpa is once again coming out with a true gem and this time none other than the story of the Lotus Born Guru. Rinpoche has previously made a film on the life of Milarepa and Brilliant Moon: Glimpses of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Glimpses into scenes from the life story of Padmasambhava– the Enlightened Hero of our time.

Ext. Samye courtyard, Tibet

Under the shade of the peacock feather parasols, the priest Padmasambhava, the abbot Shantarakshita and the king Trisong Duetsen, circumambulate the temple.  Suddenly a shower of arura fruit falls from the skies.  The king’s attendant holding the peacock-feathered parasol exclaims, holding an arura fruit in his hand.

UMBRELLA ATTENDANT

                                          Your Majesty, it is an arura! This medicinal fruit

is obtained only in India.

The king looks extremely joyous.

Int. King’s chamber, Samye

PADMASAMBHAVA

                 Since the temple is now established, the Abbot

            and I ask your permission to leave for India.

Trisong Duetsen is taken aback. The king clasps his hands at his chest and

sorrowfully speaks to the two masters.

TRISONG DUETSEN

Compassionate Masters, please listen. Tibet

  is a land of fiends where the sound of the holy

Dharma is not even heard. Although your

kindness has already been great I humbly

supplicate that you postpone such an exit!

The King sheds tears. The two foreign masters feel compassion for the Tibetan King.

PADMASAMBHAVA

Your Majesty, the three of us have come

together in Tibet through the ripening of

karma from the aspirations of our three

lives. Since we, the three brothers, again

have this connection as we had in past

lives, I shall not turn back your request.

ABBOT

Very good, I will do likewise.

 Upper cave at Chimpu Hermitage

A young girl of 16 sits on the floor of the hermitage facing Padmasambhava who is sitting on a cushioned platform.

PADMASAMBHAVA

                                         Tsogyal, when practicing the Dharma, you must

first tame your own mind.

YESHE TSOGYAL

                                          What does that mean?

PADMASAMBHAVA

                                        You must extinguish the scorching flames

of anger, cross the river of desire, crumble

the mountain of pride, overcome the storm

of envy and light the torch of discriminating knowledge

in the darkness of ignorance.

Yeshe Tsogyal looks to Padmasambhava with full attention.

PADMASAMBHAVA (CONT’D)

                                   These five poisons of anger, desire, pride, envy

and delusion will ruin your being in samsara if

you uninhibitedly indulge in them.  Do not let

them run wild.  There is a danger in that.

Yeshe Tsogyal nods her head.

Int. Upper cave at Chimpu Hermitage

Yeshe Tsogyal is writing down something on a yellow parchment.

YESHE TSOGYAL

                                             I, Tsogyal, have been serving the master

for a while now.  On different occasions,

he gave advice on Dharma practice that I

persistently retained in my perfect recall,

collected, and wrote down for the sake of

future generations. This is committed to

writing in the Upper Cave at Chimpu on

the twenty fifth day of the second month

of fall in the Year of the Sow.

She rolls the small parchment and puts it in a small leather box.  She exits her cave hermitage with it.

Standing in front of a big odd shaped boulder, Yeshe Tsogyal presses the small leather box onto the rock surface.  After a gentle push the small box gently sinks into the hard surface of the boulder and disappears from sight.

PADMASAMBHAVA (O.S.)

                                Since they are not meant to be spread at the

present time conceal them as a precious treasure.

Outside Samye Gate

An old woman waits by the road near the gate of Samye.  Padmasambhava passes through the gate.  On seeing him, she bows down and joins her palms before him.

OLD WOMAN

                                   Great Master, you are about to leave for your

hermitage and I am about to die.  Please give an

instruction that requires little hardship, that is

simple to grasp, easy to apply and very effective.

PADMASAMBHAVA

                                                   Old lady, who are you?

OLD WOMAN

                                    I am the one who has been sending

the bowl of curd.

Padmasambhava acknowledges her kindness with a smile.

PADMASAMBHAVA

                                      Old lady, take the cross-legged position

and keep your body upright.

The old woman sits down as instructed.

PADMASAMBHAVA (CONT’D)

                                        For a short while, simply remain with

totally relaxed attention.

Gungthang Pass, Tibet

YESHE TSOGYAL

(Despondently)

                                           The sun is setting in our hearts.  Since you are

leaving for Chamara we are left without a guide.

From the king to the pauper we all rely on you.

What will we do after you leave.  What will happen to us?

Who do we turn to for advice?

Padmasambhava looks to Yeshe Tsogyal.

PADMASAMBHAVA

                                         For the moment you should not worry

because the Dharma is like the sun at noon

in Tibet.  Therefore it makes no difference

whether I am here or not.

He looks down to the Tibetans.  Some of the older ones cry.

PADMASAMBHAVA

                                     To those who have faith in me, I have never

departed – I sleep on the threshold of their homes.

From those with erring views I am concealed,

though yet I stand before them.

Through this film, may the wisdom and compassion of Padmasambhava’s life act as a soothing balm to quell the miseries afflicted out of ignorance.

Sarva Mangalam,

Phakchok Rinpoche