‘SIGHT FOR SORE EYES’: FROM YOGI FATHER’S INTRODUCTION TO THE NATURE OF MIND TO SIDDHA CHIMEY DORJE’S UNBEARABLE DEVOTION, MIRACULOUS ROCK FOOTPRINTS AND COURAGE IN A CHINESE PRISON: GURU STORIES (Part 2) by 8th Garchen Rinpoche

8th Garchen RInpoche with the current incarnation of Siddha Chime Dorje (bottom left).

Happy to offer a raw transcript (as in not heavily edited) of Part 2 of the Guru Stories teachings by 8th Garchen Rinpoche (video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws8FNm3Onjc), based on the oral translation of Ina Bieler and the original Tibetan.

This teaching continued from Part 1 in explaining the powerful and profound impact Garchen Rinpoche’s yogi father had on him as his first teacher. Explaining how his father was descended from the family lineage of Mase Mahasiddha Lodro Rinchen, founder of Zurmang Kagyu, Garchen Rinpoche spoke about how his own family from the side of his father, were mostly Dharma practitioners. His father was the first to introduce him to the nature of mind in the context of the Vajrakīlaya practice and the four kīlas, particularly the primordial awareness kīla. So even though his father was wrathful and not ‘nice and gentle’, Garchen Rinpoche has complete devotion to him as a great teacher.

The rest of the teaching was on the life of the Drikung Siddha, Chime Dorje, the next teacher of Garchen Rinpoche. First, Rinpoche explained Chime Dorje’s close relationship to the former 7th Garchen Rinpoche, Trinley Yongkhyab, and how they had done long retreat together and were very close. He then shared a ‘hilarious’ and inspiring story (well it made me laugh out loud) about how Chime Dorje came to spontaneously leave some footprints in a rock, out of desperate, unbearable devotion, after he had been suddenly and inexplicably kicked out of the monastery by the previous Garchen. The image of these footprints is truly a sight for sore eyes too! Then, Garchen Rinpoche shared some other stories of Chime Dorje’s miraculous signs and displays of inner realizations and qualities.

Finally, Garchen Rinpoche spoke about the both tragic and inspiring demise of Chime Dorje due to gross maltreatment and abuse in a Chinese communist prison; and how even some blood he left on the ropes, which they had tied him very tightly with, and caused him to pass away, developed into precious relics.
 
As Garchen Rinpoche spoke about this rope, and how he found out about how his precious lama passed away, a deep sadness and love for Chime Dorje’s special qualities arose and it was impossible not to weep profusely at the tragic and heartbreaking nature of samsara and how even such great beings are subject to cruelty and karma.
 
One can only wonder if that ‘harsh, heartbreaking’ teaching given to Chime Dorje by the former 7th Garchen Rinpoche, was not only to reveal Chime’s incredible inner qualities and devotion, but also to prepare him for patience and compassion in such harsh circumstances. Or perhaps it was premonitory advice to Chime Dorje to leave Tibet when told to do so, something he did not do when the Chinese communists took over Tibet, which led to his tragic death. One can only wonder and weep at it all.

These Guru Stories are a source of laughter, tears and inspiration indeed! May we all meet with such inspiring lamas! There is also a wonderful movie about Garchen Rinpoche’s life story, For the Benefit of All Beings, which can be freely watched here on a donation basis.

Music? Guru devotion in the face of an intense scolding? ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’ by Ray Charles or ‘Love is Stronger than Pride’ by Sade……’I still really, really love you, love is stronger than pride.’

Written and compiled by Adele Tomlin, 17th October 2021.

GURU STORIES (PART II) BY GARCHEN RINPOCHE

TRANSCRIPT

“Today, am going to tell you more stories, maybe it is a waste of time, but as people like to listen, I will also share it. Before I speak about Chime Dorje Rinpoche, I will speak more about my father. Before I went to the monastery, when I was a young child, my father, was actually my first teacher, I stayed at home with him and he taught me to read and write and so on. 

Garchen Rinpoche’s Father’s Lineage – descended from the great mahasiddha and Zurmang Kagyu founder, Mase Lodro Rinchen

“I will tell you some history about my father that I have previously not explained before, as it is perhaps unsuitable to tell stories that highly praise one’s own father. However, as you are all my Dharma friends, I will tell you more about him. 

My father was inconceivable and incredible. His history and family line, goes back to a mahasiddha called Mase Lodro Rinchen [Drung Mase Lodro Rinchen (1386-1423 [P1008]), founder of the Zurmang Kagyu tradition, a sub-school of the Karma Kagyu (Karma Kamtsang)] from the Mase family clan. He was a great siddha and some also called him Chokyi Lodro. The history goes back quite far. Mase Lodro Rinchen lived in the Golok area, called Mase Thang, the Mase plain in Golok. That is where the name Mase comes from. 

Mase Lodro Rinchen, Founder of Zurmang Kagyu. Source: HAR

“At that time, there were many different divisions of the Kagyu lineages, two smaller divisions: the small one and even smaller ones: Nyendo kagyu  and the Zurmang Kagyu, the smaller Kagyu lineages. These are not smaller in terms of being better or greater. In Mahamudra, there is no division between high and low, good and bad and so on. Greater and lesser means the extent of the activities of that particular lama.

When these people from the Mase Plain area migrated to our area, they asked them where they came from and they said Mase, so they were called the Mase clan. My family is from the Golok area of Tibet. So from this mahasiddha, up until this day, this family line remains unbroken.

This Mase family line were distant and for most part, over the generations, the lineage of the Dharma practitioners was uninterrupted and an excellent lineage of practitioners. However,  some descendants like Mase Sogam Norbu, was like a criminal/bandit and was well-known for that. That is important to know in this story. Most descendants formed this excellent line, but some of them were a little criminal.”

8th Garchen Rinpoche’s Uncles

“As for the present day generation of my family line, for the most part they became excellent practitioners. There were five brothers including my father, only one of those five became someone who lived just a worldly life, who didn’t engage in any practice. Four of them became really good Dharma practitioners. One of them was my father who abandoned worldly life and spent a long time in retreat completely sealed, without ever coming out. Also, the three other brothers were doing retreat. One of my brothers was practicing near Mount Kailash are in a place called Nyingsham, Nepal, where now one relative Ani Dudrul now stays. So one brother was there.

The brother who pursued a worldly life is called Mase Zador. So, four of the brothers spent their life in retreat. I was born and I was a secret child and then he had to end his retreat. When I was recognised as a tulku that compelled him to give up his retreat, and enter more worldly life.

 The other brother, after he was released from prison. Mase Sogam Norbu had a wife, Dekyi Drolma, in the area where he stayed it turned out that Mase Sogam Norbu,then became a great practitioner, and a lot of people in that town developed faith in him.

Then, another of my uncles, one of the retreatants, Mase Kanyen, he traveled to Orissa in India, which was the same Tibetan settlement of Nedon Chagme(?).  He became a great, well-known practitioner there and passed away in Orissa.”

Father’s Introduction to the Nature of Mind and Vajrakīlaya

“When I was very young, I stayed with my father as my teacher, and there was a time when he told me to go to a monastery, but before that he told me to do the Vajrakīlaya Secret Accomplishment retreat which is the one am practicing now. In the context of that retreat, he introduced me to the four kīlas [daggers], mainly  the wisdom awareness kīla. In that way, through that kīla he introduced me to  the nature of mind. Then I completed the mantra accumulations of Vajrakīlaya in retreat. So he really introduced me to the nature of mind.  It was through him I felt I really understood the nature of the mind at that time. 

Normallly, people might say that one needs a really famous or high lama to introduce one to the nature of mind, but actually it was my father who did that first for me.  That is why I have faith and devotion to him as a lama. There is no difference. I supplicated him and have faith in him without any doubts. 

I really think that the first time of understanding the nature of the mind was through the kindness of my father. By giving me the Vajrakīlaya practice and specifically of the four kīlas, the fourth wisdom awareness kīla, which we also find in the lineage supplication that I have explained quite a lot before. Due to this connection I have with the Vajrakīlaya practice that is why many disciples like to engage in the practice. 

So, that was when I was very young. I did the retreat and mantra accumulation and my father gave me the pointing out on the nature of mind and understood that from him. Actually aside from that, my father was not very nice or gentle to me, but when I understood the nature of mind he showed some approval and said ‘you understand the nature of mind, so you are doing well’.

In the context of Vajrakīlaya, he called that kīla of all-pervasive primordial awareness. In that context, he said ‘look at your mind; look at the thought-free mind, when you look at the thought-free mind, there is nothing there. It is experienced just like space.  In that moment, you should see, is there any difference between the outer space and the mind space? Then you will experience that there is no distinction, and no real difference’. That is all he said, but that is when I really saw and understood the nature of the mind and how I then explained it myself in the future. That is all he said when he introduced me to it. When you know the nature of mind, you will know everything. When you see the nature of mind you see there is no self and no other. All you need to do is look at your mind. You have to continuously look at the mind. If you stop looking, then it is lost. At that time, I really gained some certainty and understood that I just need to watch my mind. That is what I explain to others and some like to listen to what I say on that.”

Meeting Chime Dorje and his pith instructions to 8th Garchen Rinpoche
Siddha Chime Dorje (sgar dgon sgrub thob ‘chi med rdo rje, ?-ca. 1959)- former lama of 8th Garchen Rinpoche. The photo is part of a large mural in the shrine hall of the Gar Nunnery known as Gargön Ne Dechen Tsal (mgar dgon gnas bde chen tshal), which has been established at the sacred place of an ancient Meditation Cave of the Masters, Ne Lama Phug (gnas bla ma phug) (source: FB Naljor)

“I was still very young at that time, and my father was my teacher and I would go to different places with my father and go to the monastery. That was when I met the siddha Chime Dorje, when I first saw him, I liked him very much and wanted to hug him. He said to me, it seems like you really like me, and I said ‘I really like you so much and you are my lama’. So I probably recognized and knew at that time he would be my teacher. He did not give me a lot of instructions, he did not say that much. He did tell me to memorize the Ganges Mahamudra, and gave only once the reading transmission of it. After that, he didn’t say much. Also, mostly, he did not stay at the monastery. He would only come there sometimes.

So, he mainly gave the Ganges Mahamudra and repeatedly said ‘the mind is like space’. When I heard that, I also remembered my father’s words and it was very similar to what my father said. So even though I did not understand all these words but I did understand that this is exactly what my father taught. “

Chime Dorje thirteen years retreat with 7th Garchen Rinpoche at the cave of Gar Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
7th Garchen Rinpoche, Trinley Yonkhyab (mgar chen sku phreng bdun pa dkon mchog bstan ‘dzin ‘phrin las yongs khyab, ca, 1880-1935)

“Lama Chime Dorje, was a disciple of the previous Garchen Rinpoche, Trinley Yonkhyab (mgar chen sku phreng bdun pa dkon mchog bstan ‘dzin ‘phrin las yongs khyab, ca, 1880-1935 – see image above), and was a monk at the Gar monastery. He had different positions at the monastery, he was a disciplinarian, a chant-master and so on,  and he really protected the monastery with his life. So, Chime Dorje and Trinley Yongkhyab[i] spent thirteen years doing retreat together. The place where they did that retreat was behind the nunnery of Gar Monastery at Nelama phug   – a cave called Nelama. That was the cave where the previous 4th Gar Chokyi Nyima [Konchog Tenzin Chokyi Nyima (mgar chen sku phreng bzhi pa dkon mchog bstan ‘dzin chos kyi nyi ma)], did thirteen years of Chakrasamvara retreat and accumulated hundreds of millions of Chakrasamvara mantras there. At the end of Chokyi Nyima’s retreat, it was said he was able to fly in the sky. There are many stories about that too.”

[Author’s note: See images below of the cave where the 4th Garchen Rinpoche was said to have done thirteen years retreat and left handprints. Below the upper meditation cave is the Gar Nunnery known as Gargon Ne Dechen Tsal (mgar dgon gnas bde chen tshal), Groove of Great Bliss of the Power Place of the Gar Clan. This spacious rock cavern is closed with a wall in the style of a three-story façade (gsum brtsegs) and enshrines a large statue of an Eleven Faced Avolokiteshvara (spyan ras gzigs bcu gzig zhal/Ekadashamukha) together with many old statues and two body prints left in solid rock.]  

“So the 7th Garchen Rinpoche and Lama Chime Dorje, spent thirteen years in retreat together there. After it finished, then Chime Dorje came back to the monastery and did some retreat there.

The 7th Garchen Rinpoche and Chime Dorje both stayed at the lower monastery, of which there is an upper and lower place. So Gar Trinley Yongkhyab stayed in the upper part, where there is the temple of the lower monastery. Chime Dorje’s retreat cabin was behind and below that. They could both see each other, as it was very close.”

7th Garchen Rinpoche. The photo is part of a large ‘mural’ in the shrine hall of the Gar Nunnery known as Gargön Ne Dechen Tsal (mgar dgon gnas bde chen tshal), which has been established at the sacred place of an ancient Meditation Cave of the Masters, Ne Lama Phug (gnas bla ma phug). (Source FB Naldjor).
7th Garchen RInpoche’s wrathful kicking out of Chime Dorje from the monastery and miraculous footprints in rock due to intense devotion

“Normally, Gar Trinley Yongkhyab would treat Chime Dorje nicely, but all of sudden, one day he started to scold and yell at him and insult him and came to his cabin and said,’ you don’t know how to practice, or recite mantras, you have no meditation experience, go and stay somewhere else’, and told him to leave the monastery. Chime Dorje was very heartbroken by it and wondered why he had treated him like that as he had cared for him with so much kindness.

Previously Gar Trinley had said to other monks that Chime Dorje  was Garcho Dringpa’s emanation. When actually, it was Garchen RInpoche who was, but he had so much regard for him, that he said you are Chodringpa’s incarnation and ‘I take refuge in you’ and so on. 

So he always had so much admiration for Chime Dorje, he didn’t say that directly to Chime Dorje but said that to the other monks. So he was very sad about it and wondered what happened.

So then he left the monastery and Gar Trinley kept scolding him until he could no longer hear him.  He was still scolding Chime Dorje when he arrived back at his upper area and Chime Dorje could still see his head but  the rest he could not see anymore, but he could still hear him putting him down as to how awful he was. Then, eventually he  could not see his lama’s face anymore but could still hear his voice scolding him. However, as he had so much devotion to the lama, he felt that ‘I can hear his voice but I still want to see him’. So, as he desperately wanted to see him out of devotion, he went outside and there was a huge rock in the courtyard, the size of a table, and he climbed onto it so he could see him. He stretched himself on the rock to get a glimpse of him, and when he did that, his feet sank into the rock and left two footprints. So when he came down from the rock, he  saw those two huge footprints and  he worried that if the lama sees that, he will scold me again. 

Later on, some Japanese examined their authenticity and concluded that they are true human footprints and are still at the monastery and we have images of them. So he, left these footprints on the rock but was worried that if the lama came and saw them, maybe he will be upset with him about it. So he turned the huge rock around, so he wouldn’t see the rock. Later, the lama came there and still scolded him. He picked up the rock and turned it around and saw the footprints and did not say anything, other than  HA HA and clapped his hands laughing and then turned around and left. So then Chime Dorje thought, well he saw the footprints but maybe he gave me his great blessing, and burst into tears out of great devotion.

The reason for mentioning those footprints are also because they are really authentic and are still at the Gar Monastery and have photos of that we can pass around to others. So that is one of the stories of Chime Dorje.”

[According to another online source: “This stone has been excavated and enshrined in the shrine hall of the Lion’s Sky Fortress of the Gar Clan’s Monastery, Gargon Senge Namdzong, aka Gargon Changchub Choling, the Pure and Perfect Dharma Abode of the Gar Clan’s Monastery (mgar dgon seng+ge rnam rdzong’am mgar dgon byang chub chos gling), which has been established at the upper rock cliff some miles upwards the narrow valley of the Dza river.” Naldjor Facebook page].

Footprints left in rock by Siddha Chime Dorje when desperately trying to maintain a glimpse of his teacher, 7th Garchen Rinpoche, who had suddenly kicked him out of the monastery. Image from ‘For the Benefit of All Beings’ movie.

“I also received from Chime Dorje,  and had to memorize the Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva as well as the Ganges Mahamudra, and some short teachings on those. At that time, I was very young and did not want to go to all these teachings and transmissions and just wanted to play outside. At that time, Chime Dorje was staying in the previous Garchen’s chambers and so  he asked me to come and gave me some candy and locked the door. I wanted to go but he gave me some teachings and transmissions but the door was locked so I had to stay. So he gave some teachings and transmissions, and  this one quote from the Jigten Sumgon text Gong Chig, which says: ‘Karma, cause and effect is the natural manifestation of moment to moment thoughts.’ 

He said this is all you really need to understand as a practitioner. At that time, I was not able to understand that much and not that interested. He said as a lama you have to understand karma, if you do not understand karma, you will not become a Dharma practitioner. If you understand karma you will know the Dharma. If you do not understand karma, you will not know the Dharma. You might be able to speak about it but you do not understand the true meaning. Because of that quote on karma, I always thought about it again and again. For example, when I saw small animals, I thought ‘our mind is one and the same’. So I was able to develop some love for different animals that stopped me from killing them. If I didn’t do that maybe I would kill flies and insects so on, but because of reflecting on that quote, I didn’t kill them.”

Chime Dorje’s footprints
More miraculous activities of Chime Dorje – rain of coloured grains and a Buddha statue of exact proportions
Upper part of Gar Monastery, Tibet.

“Chime Dorje would travel to different villages and monasteries and he always stayed in a yak hair tent and not in a house. In the villages, people had a lot of devotion to him. In terms of practice, he held the one million Mani accumulation retreats, wherever he went just staying in these yak hair tents. People saw him as a very precious and special  lama. 

One time, he travelled to Mahog, which is a place quite far away in the Golog, Amdo area and there is a holy pilgrimage mountain and people would go there for circumambulation  of it. People went there because they had great devotion for him and whenever people met him, they would bow down to him and even the horse would also lower its head to him. So, on the kora route around the mountain, at some point, the horse jumped up and down and left hoof prints on the rock there too. Hundreds of people saw it and it is probably still there today. It became quite famous for leaving a footprint there.

There was a lama in this Mahog area, called Mahog Jetsun Rinpoche, who started a retreat area there and he regarded Chime Dorje as extremely precious. When they met, Jigme Dorje said: ‘you are my lama’ and the other  yogi also said: ‘you are my lama’. So they both mutually admired and praised each other. Then Chime Dorje left again, so Jetsun Rinpoche started a monastery and retreat centre there. After that was completed Chime Dorje had arrived back in Nangchen, which is quite far away from that away in Amdo and then Jetsun Rinpoche invited him to come for the consecration of the new retreat village. It was very far away and if one had to go on horseback it would normally take 15 days to get there. At that time, Chime Dorje was staying at the Drubgyu Monastery which is in the Yushu area, which is the monastery where Tulku Jigme Rinpoche stays. That is very far away from Amdo, so Chime Dorje was unable to go there.

However, he told Jetsun Rinpoche that I am going to perform a consecration from afar at that particular time. As Jetsun Rinpoche had great devotion for Chime Dorje and gathered all the people in the area and told them that on that particular day Chime Dorje will perform the consecration, and gathered all the people together at the retreat area at that time. So they made a date and time for when the consecration would be performed.

There was a monk called Konchok Tsering  who accompanied Chime Dorje who told him that ‘today we are going to go up the mountain and perform the consecration ceremony for Jetsun Rinpoche in Amdo because I cannot got here’. So they gathered the grains that were coloured, white, red, green and so on. When they performed the ceremony they would cast/throw those grains. At the same time,  the people in the retreat area in Amdo had all assembled knowing he was performing the ceremony. Even though it was very far away, at the same time Chime Dorje was casting the grains, like  rain falling down from the sky there were colours falling down like the grains in the ceremony and everyone saw it. That became quite a well known story. 

So Chime Dorje didn’t come to Gar monastery for a few years, and when he was going to come back, we arranged for a large Buddha statue, the size of a house wall to be constructed . So we had to build a structure for it, and to build such a structure at Gar Monastery is not an easy task. We were wondering how to do it and where to put it and so on. At the small temple where the 7th Garchen Rinpoche stayed, there were all kinds of different statues arranged, and there was an empty spot. Some of the old monks used to say: ‘maybe it’s possible that he wants to put the statue there because there is this empty spot’. However, the statue itself was constructed a long distance away and had already been arranged with measurements. 

Despite that, when the statue arrived, it fit exactly this empty spot next to the 7th Garchen Rinpoche’s small temple and that is where it was placed. Everyone was really amazed by that. Chime Dorje knew that the previous Garchen RInpoche had all these statues arranged like that, and he knew that it would fit that spot exactly. It was seen as clairvoyance between the guru and disciple. So that story became quite famous. 

That was the statue offered by Chime Dorje when he returned to Gar Monastery. Then, he performed the ordination ceremonies for the Getsul and Gelong monks. Then he started the Summer Retreat, which they held for one and a half months, and for that he offered exactly one hundred female yaks, as like an endowment fund for the summer retreat, because during the summer retreat they are not allowed to eat meat and only consuming  butter and milk. So, he offered these female yaks so they could milk the yaks during the summer retreat.”

Chime Dorje and the Drubchen of the Eight Herukas
Image of the Eight Great Herukas

“The temple where they held the summer retreat was called the summer retreat house and things started to improve at the monastery, more things were taking place there. He also started the Drubchen of the eight Herukas, which he considered to be very precious. He gave all the empowerments and transmissions of the eight Herukas and said he would give the great empowerment of the eight Herukas and that would take one whole month to complete together with the Drubchen. That is because he considered the eight Herukas to be very precious and he also said in the future, you have to uphold this lineage and it must spread and not be broken. This is the Drikung eight Herukas which is more extensive than the Nyingma one. The Nyingma tradition great accomplishment practice takes about one week but in Drikung Kagyu, it takes one month. This tradition comes from the Drikung Rinchen Phuntshog (and also Chodrug) and it comes from their vision. From that meditative vision, appeared the Cham dancing together with the eight Herukas. That would take around a month to complete. During the time of the 5th Dalai Lama in Tibet, Cham dancing was not really allowed. However, when the 5th Dalai Lama was staying in Lhasa, he said he accepted the transmission of the Drikung eight Herukas and allowed them to perform that Cham from the Rinchen Phuntsog.

So, Chime Dorje started that eight Herukas Accomplishment Practice. He gave the great empowerment of all the eight Heruka deities, which is a total of 725 deities. Normally, when one confers an empowerment one needs an image of the deity. However, there was no image of those 725 deities, so the way he conferred the empowerment was he had a thangka painting of each of these deities and would go around holding each of those thangkas to their heads. That is how he conferred the empowerment of the eight Great Herukas [2] and he told people the lineage must not be broken in the future.

There are many more stories which I do not have time to explain today, Chime Dorje was accepted as a great mahasiddha by everyone, just by looking at his activities.”

‘One cannot escape one’s karma’ – Chime Dorje’s refusal to escape from the Chinese and miraculous stories of escape in prison and relics from bloody ropes used to bind him
“The Trap-chi prison regiment.” Trap-chi (Drapchi), Tibet. Chime Dorje passed away in a similar prison to this in Chamdo.

“Then later, when the turmoil and troubles broke out in Tibet, at that time everyone was staying in the monastery in the mountains, everyone was about to run away to escape the communists, and he told them don’t escape like that. If you have the karma to experience difficulty you cannot escape it. So he stayed and did not escape, and he was then was imprisoned and later passed away in the Chamdo prison. There are some stories about the time he was in prison too. 

There was a time when they put shackles on his ankles and handcuffed him and he miraculously released himself, and sometimes left his locked cabin in the early morning and went outside for a little while. The police then would catch him  and bring him back inside. This happened several times.

As they kept putting him in shackles and cuffs and he kept releasing himself, so they tried to find another way to restrain him. So they then bound rope really tightly on his wrists and legs, so tightly that blood came from them. That was how he passed away.  An official, one of the prison guards, who was actually a Tibetan, considered Chime Dorje as a very precious lama, after he had passed away, there was the rope that was still left behind that had all his stains of blood on it. When they cut off the rope from him, he secretly kept a piece of rope that had the blood on it and hid it because he saw the lama as very precious.

Later, that prison guard travelled to Bemo Drang prison in another area, where he became the leader of the Bemo prison in that area. This official then met with  an acquaintance called Ture Tsenam, who was the one who had produced the precious pills, and who was friends with Zhingjang who was my friend, and he told Ture Tsenam about this great lama [Chime Dorje] who had been imprisoned and  how he had kept the rope with some blood on it. Then from the blood on the rope some relic pills appeared, and he was so amazed by that, he shared that story with his friend, who was also amazed by it. Later, Tsure Tsenam told my friend, Zhingjang. So when I had leave from prison, and was travelling with Zhingjang (who knew Chinese very well)  and going to meet my mother I found out about that the bloody rope; as he told me about it. That was when I heard that Chime Dorje had passed away in the Chamdo prison.

Chime Dorje’s main monastery was Gar monastery but wherever he went he held Mani retreats and if there were girls, he would make them nuns and start a retreat place for them. In the different areas, they might have different lineages, for example, if  the area was Sakya he would leave it like that and just build retreat places and advise them to follow that tradition. He built 113 retreat places but he mainly looked after Gar Monastery. In 1979, when I was released from to meet my mother, that is when I heard about the prison guard, whom I also knew, because I had to get a letter from him to go to Thangtang. That official was the one who issued the letter of permission, so I could cross the border to meet my mother. That is the life-story of Chime Dorje.”

Current Chime Dorje Rinpoche

Seeing our gurus as Buddha and protection

“When we hear the stories of a guru, outwardly they seem like an ordinary human being, just like us but inwardly they are different,  their activities, knowledge and enlightened intent, wisdom and so on is different. So when I think about my guru’s life story, my devotion and pure perception increases and that really helps my practice. So, every time you feel a pure view and devotion towards a higher being like your guru, your mind becomes purified. That is why it is so beneficial for the practice. When devotion arise, the mind become purified. What need to be purified? The dualistic perception and  thinking needs to be  purified, and that happens when we cultivate compassion for sentient beings, then the obscurations become purified. The obscurations will not become purified if we try to wash them with water. Although water is actually the deity. Here we are talking about the inner obscurations of the mind and these can only be purified when we cultivate compassion and devotion. So, I have seen my gurus as actual Buddhas. For example, when I saw those footprints of Chime Dorje and signs of his accomplishment like that (which have been examined and confirmed by Japanese scientists). they are still present at Gar Monastery and we have shared many photos of these footprints.  It really inspired me with devotion.

So, when I think about my gurus it really benefits my practice. If I can understand one guru like that, then I can understand all gurus are like that. They are really one and the same. What they speak is the same, the holy Dharma and so therefore, their body is the sangha, their speech is the Dharma and their sacred mind is the Buddha. Actually, on the ultimate level Buddhas and sentient beings are all one, they have a single basis, but the unique mind of those gurus is they possess bodhicitta for all beings and possess immeasurable love. So they are the main gurus, from the one who gave me the refuge vow, up until all those gurus who gave empowerments, transmissions and instructions. 

We say, the guru is endowed with the threefold kindness, the transmissions, empowerments and instructions. Dharma friends, you should also see your own gurus like that, from the refuge up until the one who gave you empowerments and so on. If you see those Gurus like the actual Buddha, then in this lifetime and all future lifetimes, they are your true protection and there is no greater protection than that.

Now I have offered you another story of one of my gurus, it is a brief account of Chime Dorje but there is so much more that could be said about him. His activities, accomplishments and miracles are countless and limitless and as I do not want to waste your time Dharma friends, I just gave a brief summary of his great activities.”

Transcribed and edited by Adele Tomlin, 17th October 2021. If re- publishing or sharing, please cite this source.


ENDNOTES

[i] “The seventh incarnation, Garchen Trinlé Yongkhyab, was recognized by the 32nd throne holder in the Drikung succession, Kyabgön Chökyi Lodrö. From Hlo Bongtrül Nüden Dorje he received most of the empowerments and teachings of the Drikung lineage, as well as empowerments and transmissions of several of the tertön’s terma teachings. From Gar Ajin he received the Fivefold Path of Mahāmudrā and the Six Yogas of Naropa. He practiced and mastered them and attained the state of accomplishment. He took Karzang Chödrön as his consort. His main disciple was the Siddha Chime Dorje, and many other disciples from various places who also attained accomplishments, such as Palmé Khyentrül Künzang Drodül, Rathro Tertön Tashi Namgyal, and Drubwang Gejung. Because he took another consort it became troublesome to stay at the monastery, and thus he had to move elsewhere. However, two years later, he was invited back to live at the monastery again.”Source: https://www.garchenrinpoche.net/biography-gargon/

[ii] “The Eight Great Vidyadharas who passed the Mahayoga or Means of Attainment Tantras to Padmasambhava

“Here is a list of the eight Mahayoga teachers: Vidyadhara Manjusrimitra came from Suvarnadwipa and was proficient in the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Manjusri, called Destroyer of Death (Yamantaka). Vidyadhara Nagarjuna-garbha came from Bengal and was proficient in the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, called Hayagriva. Vidyadhara Vajra Humkara, who came from Nepal, was proficient in the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Vajrapani, called Sri Samyak Heruka. Vidyadhara Vimalamitra came from Hastivana in the West and was proficient in the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, called Vajramrita. Vidyadhara Prabhahasti came from Zahor (modern Mandi south of the Kulu Valley at the foot of the Himalayas) and was proficient in the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Nivaranavishkambin, called Vajrakilaya. Vidyadhara Dhanasamskrita came from Gandhara and was proficient in the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Akasagarbha, called Matarah, or Controller of the Matrikas. Vidyadhara Guhyacandra came from Mount Kailash and was proficient in the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, called Lokastotrapuja-natha, or Lord of Mundane Sacrifice. Vidyadhara Santigarbha came from Khotan and was proficient in the secret practice of the wrathful Bodhisattva Maitreya, called Vajramantrabhiru, or the Curse-pronouncing Diamond.

Of the eight Vidyadharas whom Lord Padmasambhava studied under in the Sitavana grove, it should be noted that initially the chief guru was Vajra Humkara, the guru of his teacher and abbot Prabhahasti. We have already described how Humkara met with Sri Simha in a forest and received from the latter the fundamental instructions for the Sadhana of the Lord, Vajrasattva. It was after practicing for six months with his yogini-wife in the cave of Lang-le-sho in Nepal that Humkara gained the final Great Seal of Buddhahood and beheld the Divine Being (Vajrasattva) face to face.”

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