MINGYUR RINPOCHE’S TEACHING AT THE END OF ORAL TRANSMISSION (2-2)
October 11, 2006
At Palpung Sherab Ling
Edited by Thögapa Song Editing & Translation Team
(Sorry, but some portions of the audio recording were not clear enough for us to transcribe. However, we have tried our best to present the essential points. )
詠給明就仁波切 大寶伏藏口傳圓滿日開示錄 (下)
The second is about our root guru, His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche. As I mentioned before, he is not an ordinary being. He is a living Buddha in the world. Why? He has a lot of qualities of enlightenment as you know, even when he was very young in Tibet. Around six or seven years old, when the Communist Chinese government invaded Tibet, there was a big decision for the Palpung monastery to make – leave or stay.
And the young Tai Situ Rinpoche said we had to leave. People were not quite sure because he was so young, so little then, though he was Tai Situpa. It was kind of difficult to make such a decision – leave or stay. According to the tradition, they put paper written with a letter “leave" or “stay" inside a bowl. From outside people couldn’t see the words in the paper. And they prayed. Then he took out the one “leave, leave now!”
Then they decided to leave for Bhutan, then from Bhutan to Sikkim.
He had compassion, wisdom and knowledge, even when he was young. He memorized the dictionaries, books, very big ones. He memorized each word, each syllable. He learnt from the 16th Karmapa for many years. He had learnt all the five volumes of texts of Buddhist philosophy, such as Madhyamika, Prajnaparamita, logic, Abhidharma, vinaya, etc.
He received many teachings of Mahamudra, including all the oral pith instructions from the 16th Karmapa. It was passed through direct experience instead of using texts. The most important is to recognize the nature of mind.
As Tai Situ mentioned, when he was young, he liked to play with kites, made of paper. Then his teacher, Khenpo Khedup Rinpoche didn’t like him to play with kites. He thought Rinpoche should spend time in studying. Once he asked the Rinpoche, “Why all the time you are like that?" Rinpoche said, “When I play the kite, first I see it in the sky. Then through that tiny thread, from the top all the way down to the end which is at the level of my heart, I look at the mind and see the nature of mind."
Khenpo Khedup Rinpoche was so surprised and happy. He said, “OK OK, you go ahead."
Even when he was very young, he already recognized the nature of mind.
For most people, even they are already 30 years old, 40 years old, they still cannot recognize the nature of mind.
And also he was teaching a lot. When he was young in Rumtek, at the end of the Yarney (summer retreat), traditionally monks had to teach. At that time people requested Tai Situ Rinpoche to give teaching. And no one expected him to give long teaching. But he continued to give teachings over the whole night. This happened even when he was very young. Everybody was very surprised.
And now here, during empowerments, Tai Situ gives teachings, very very profound teachings, very great teachings but we can understand very easily. Any one of the sessions actually contains all the essence of teachings of the Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. But that teaching – it’s not that he used very complicated terminology and cannot explain easily. It’s not like that. He can explain very easily. Everybody can understand. No matter highly-learned Khenpos, or beginners who do not have any background or education of Buddhism can understand his teaching. That’s one of the best signs of inner quality, inner realization.
Sometimes, high Khenpos, Geshes and lamas who have learnt for 15 years, 18 years, many many years, they have learnt very great teachings. However, their teachings are difficult for people to understand. At the beginning, there are many people sitting in the hall, after a while, maybe only ten more people stay there.
That’s why the Buddha said: You can really recognize the teacher is great or not by listening to his teachings – That’s one way to know.
And the second way to recognize the teacher…but how can we know?
A great teacher never says: “I have realization." “I have achieved the first bhumi, you know." They never talk like that.
His Eminence Tai Situ always said: “I don’t have any qualities" “I have no miracles" “I have nothing, just like most of you."
Some people say: “I think he has nothing. He said he has nothing."
Sometimes we can see some teachers who do not have much quality; they pretend to have lots of quality. For those teachers who know anything, then they are not afraid to say “I have nothing." They have no grasping for that; they have no fear about that. That’s one of the best signs of wonderful teachers.
I have one story. The Dalai Lama has been to Taiwan. There are many media. They had an interview with him. They asked two questions. You know, (Mingyur Rinpoche scratches his face at this point to imitate the Dalai Lama.)
So they asked: “What does that mean? There must be some great meanings behind that."
我要說個故事：尊者 達賴喇嘛曾經去台灣，那兒有許多的媒體。有次媒體訪問他，問了二個問題。你們知道達賴喇嘛常常(明就仁波切做樣──在臉上這兒抓抓，那兒抓抓…) 他們問他：「那當中有些什麼涵意？當中必然隱藏了某些深奧的道理！」
Another question they asked: “You must have a lot of miraculous powers. Please show us." The Dalai Lama said: “I have nothing, no miracles, no powers, nothing." “Why I am doing that (scratching)? just because I get itchy. If I have powers, if I have miracles, then I will never be like that."
OK, even though Rinpoche is so humble, he does have qualities of enlightenment. Let me give you one example. So far he has recognized more than 250 tulkus (reincarnated lamas). That’s the number we have noted, but some more than that have not been noted, so we don’t know exactly how many tulkus have been recognized by him. It should be more than 300.
When he recognized, he would write down about location; how far from monastery of that tulku, what kind of lifestyle of the parents, what are the names of father and mother, how many children they have, what age that tulku is at? and how does he look like?
I tell you one story. Once, Tai Situ Rinpoche gave a recognition letter about the tulku whose monastery was in Tibet, near Kham to the followers. They found the reincarnated tulku and everything exactly matched the recognition letter: House, location, lifestyle, direction, everything. The mother’s name was right, but the father’s name didn’t quite match. In that letter, it wrote the name of the real father of that child. But no one knew that and felt a little confused. And then they asked the mother. The mother had to confess that she had an affair with her husband’s brother at that time…
There is another story:
Sometimes Tai Situ Rinpoche gave letter about Tulku recognition, but he said: “Don’t open the letter now. You have to open it after four years. You have to do pujas now." They did pujas. And after four years, when they opened the letter, that little tulku had already reincarnated for one year. At that time when Tai Situ Rinpoche gave that letter, the Tulku hadn’t been born yet.
That’s why we are now very very fortunate because we have such a wonderful teacher. We receive these Rinchen Terzod empowerments from a great teacher, not like a normal teacher. He’s a real living Buddha. And these empowerments we can’t get even once in one lifetime. We have to appreciate that. And you have to keep samaya.
What is the main samaya? The main samaya comes from devotion. If you have devotion, you can keep samaya, then you will be liberated within 16 lives. If you have not broken samaya, you will become Buddha eventually. But if you practice very hard, you will become Buddha even within one life.
That’s why samaya is very important. The root of samaya is devotion.
Now we still have around one month of empowerments to go. We have to try and receive empowerments. And be relaxed; don’t worry too much.
Thank you everybody.