Chatral Rimpoche by Padmakara

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Slides that go with a talk about Chetul Sanghe Dorje given by Padmakara at the Manchester Buddhist Centre on Monday 28th January 2008.

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Chatral Rimpoche by Padmakara

  1. 1. Chatral Sangye Dorje <ul><li>Connections & Interconnections </li></ul>
  2. 2. Chatral Sangye Dorje
  3. 3. <ul><li>Chatrul : One who has abandoned all mundane activities </li></ul><ul><li>Sangye : Buddha </li></ul><ul><li>Dorje : Vajra: Thunderbolt or Diamond </li></ul>
  4. 4. Gompa (Shrine-room) at Chatral Rimpoche’s Siliguri Monastery
  5. 5. Kusho Kamala <ul><li>Rimpoche’s Wife </li></ul><ul><li>They have two daughters: </li></ul><ul><li>Saraswati </li></ul><ul><li>& Tara Devi </li></ul>
  6. 6. Suvajra questioning Kusho Kamala <ul><li>(Note the lovely old car in the background)‏ </li></ul>
  7. 7. “ The next day we rose and duly arrived early. Although I had met Chatral Sangye Dorje twice before this was to be Amarajyoti and Padmakara’s first time and they looked forward to it very much. We readied our gifts and offering scarves and incense. We were ushered up the steep stairs of the corrugated iron roofed house at the far end of the compound into Rimpoche’s room. There sat the grand figure of Chatral Sangye Dorje, his intense eyes and large fleshy nose splayed across his weather-beaten, walnut-coloured face. A huge bushy beard framed the face in a silver aura and a russet coloured knitted woolly cap sat like a tea cozy atop his head. He was just as I remembered him two years previously. He looked more than ever like an old sea-dog than a guru. He wasn’t wearing the maroon robe of the monk but an ochre patterned Tibetan chubba lined with unspun sheep’s wool tied at the waist with a belt of orange cords. Round his neck hung a dark beaded mala with white bone beads marking the quarters and bell and dorje markers hanging on orange threads. Over his lap a broad checked fawn and brown traveling rug kept him warm.” Suvajra
  8. 8. Chatral Rimpoche <ul><li>with his daughter </li></ul>
  9. 9. Rimpoche in his quarters
  10. 10. Enjoying the photos of Sangharakshita’s teachers
  11. 11. “ Rimpoche put questions to us through his young and beautiful daughter. It was established that we were disciples of Sangharakshita and we passed on Bhante’s best wishes and respects. Padmakara gave Rimpoche a photograph of Bhante to look at but seeing his obvious delight Padmakara decided to let him keep it. We also showed Rimpoche a copy of Bhante with all his eight main teachers. This excited a lot of interest in Rimpoche, his family and his attendants. ‘Ya, ya! Dudjom Tulku,’ Rimpoche called out in recognition. ‘Jamyang Khyentse Rimpoche. Ya, ya! Dingo Khyentse. Dhando Rimpoche. Ya, ya! Kachoed Rimpoche. Ya!’ But who was the Chinese man? We told him but he hadn’t heard of him. The same with Jagdish Kashyap-ji. But, then, who was the other one on the second row. ‘It’s you!’ we chorused. He peered even closer at the picture of himself as he must have looked 35 years ago. He looked up at everybody in surprise, looked back to check and then laughed heartily at himself for not recognising the photograph. ‘Ya, ya! Ya, ya,’ he rumbled over and over to himself in his deep bass voice. We all chuckled to ourselves.” Suvajra
  12. 12. ....but who is that?
  13. 13. With attendants & his daughter, who acts as his translator
  14. 15. Stupa / Kusho Kamala
  15. 16. Younger Rimpoche
  16. 17. In his 80s
  17. 18. Chatral Rinpoche was born in Eastern Tibet in 1913 (i.e. now 95 yrs old)‏ <ul><li>Rinpoche's main teacher was the abbot of Kathok monastery, Ngawang Palzang, who bestowed the Longchen Nyinthig &quot;heart drop&quot; teachings on the essential point concerning the mind's nature. </li></ul><ul><li>Chatral is considered one of the heart disciples of Dudjom Rinpoche. </li></ul><ul><li>For many years in Tibet, Chatral Rinpoche meditated alone in caves and was renown as a realized yogi. </li></ul><ul><li>Rinpoche would always walk on foot, refusing to use a horse. He would only live in a tent, never wishing to accept the invitation of wealthy patrons to stay in the their house. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Still a wanderer! <ul><li>“ I’m sorry, there is nothing special about me and I have nothing to teach you. Please go elsewhere for teachings!” </li></ul>
  19. 20. Rimpoche is widely respected. Munisha took this photo in a private house in Bhutan
  20. 21. Sangharakshita speaks about Chatral Rimpoche
  21. 22. Triyana Vardana Vihara around 1956 “ It was also he who named the Triyana Vardana Vihara, which I acquired shortly afterwards. He actually named it before I got it, before I knew I was going to get it. He told me 'you're going to have a vihara, and I shall give it a name'. At that stage I didn't know I was going to have a vihara, certainly didn't have the money for a vihara, but he said 'you're going to have a vihara, and this is what you should call it, ‘Triyana Vardhana Vihara'”
  22. 23. “ There was no doubt that I would establish a permanent monastic centre in Kalimpong, he assured me. In fact I would establish it quite soon, and I should call it `The Vihara Where the Three Yanas Flourish (or Blossom)'. Having given the as yet non-existent monastery its name in what I afterwards described as a mood of high spiritual inspiration, Chattrul Rimpoche addressed to me the Tibetan original of the following stanzas:” “ There was no doubt that I would establish a permanent monastic centre in Kalimpong, he assured me. In fact I would establish it quite soon, and I should call it `The Vihara Where the Three Yanas Flourish (or Blossom)'. Having given the as yet non-existent monastery its name in what I afterwards described as a mood of high spiritual inspiration, Chattrul Rimpoche addressed to me the Tibetan original of the following stanzas:” In the sky devoid of limits, the teaching of the Muni isThe sun, spreading the thousand rays of the three sikshas[i.e. morality, meditation, and wisdom];Continually shining in the radiance of the impartial disciples,May this Jambudvipa region of the Triyana be fair!In accordance with his request, [made] in the Fire-Monkey YearOn the ninth day of the first month by the Maha Sthavira Sangharakshita,This was written by the Shakya-upasaka, the VidyadharaBodhivajra: [may there be] happiness and blessings!
  23. 24. Bamboo Grove below Vihara “ The fact that Chattrul Rimpoche had named my future monastery of his own accord greatly impressed my Tibetan friends, especially those of the Nyingma persuasion. According to Kachu Rimpoche, who came to see me shortly afterwards, it was exceptionally auspicious, as whatever Rimpoche Chattrul Sangye Dorje named was sure to prosper.”
  24. 25. Vihara Shrine
  25. 26. Sangharakshita and monks at Vihara
  26. 27. Triyana Vardana Vihara
  27. 28. Back of Vihara
  28. 29. View from Vihara
  29. 30. View from Vihara
  30. 31. In 1956 Chattrul Sangye Dorje Rimpoche gave Sangharakshita the initiation of Green Tara, the sadhana of which he says he faithfully performed every day for seven years
  31. 32. FWBO Refuge Tree <ul><li>With Sangharakshita </li></ul><ul><li>and his teachers below Shakyamuni Buddha </li></ul>
  32. 33. Sangharakshita & his main 8 teachers Chatral Rimpoche
  33. 34. Chatral & Thomas Merton 1968
  34. 35. “ He said he had meditated in solitude for thirty years or more and had not attained perfect emptiness and I said I hadn't either. The unspoken or half-spoken message of the talk was our complete understanding of each other as people who were somehow on the edge of great realization and knew it and were trying, somehow or other, to go out and get lost in it—and that it was a grace for us to meet one another. I wish I could see more of Chatral. He burst out and called me a Rangjung Sangay (which apparently means a &quot;natural Buddha&quot;) and said that he had been named a Sangay Dorje. He wrote &quot;Rangjung Sangay&quot; for me in Tibetan and said that when I entered the &quot;great kingdom&quot; and &quot;the palace,&quot; then America and all that was in it would seem like nothing” Thomas Merton
  35. 36. “ He told me, seriously, that perhaps he and I would attain complete Buddhahood in our next lives, perhaps even in this life, and the parting note was a kind of compact that we would both do our best to make it in this life. I was profoundly moved, because he is so obviously a great man, the true practitioner of Dzogchen, the best of the Nyingmapa lamas, marked by complete simplicity and freedom . . .” <ul><li>“ If I were going to settle down with a Tibetan guru, I think Chatral would be the one I'd choose. &quot; </li></ul>
  36. 37. Kanchenjunga Last night I had a curious dream about Kanchenjunga. I was looking at the Mountain and it was pure white, absolutely pure, especially the peaks that lie to the west and I saw the pure beauty of their shape and outline, all in white. And I heard a voice saying or got the clear idea of .. &quot;There is another side to the mountain &quot;. I realized that it was turned around and everything was lined up differently; I was seeing from the Tibetan side. This morning my quarrel with the mountain is ended. Not that it is a big love affair but why get mad at a mountain? It is beautiful, chastely white in the morning sun and right in view of the bungalow window. There is another side of Kanchenjunga and of every mountain the side that has never been photographed and turned into postcards. That is the only side worth seeing. Thomas Merton
  37. 38. Kanchenjunga
  38. 39. Kanchenjunga
  39. 40. Donald Grayston follows in Thomas Merton’s footsteps 2000 <ul><li>I approached Chadral early the next morning. He sat cross-legged on a square cushion on a dais under a canopy covered by the branches of a large peepul tree, grown from a slip taken from the tree in Bodh Gaya, under which the historical Buddha had experienced enlightenment. After the opening protocols, which for my benefit included a warm handshake, I presented him with the gift I had brought from Canada: a genuine Thomas Merton fridge magnet. He held it at arm's length, and after a moment's squinting, said in an emotional voice, &quot;Oh, it is my friend.&quot; I do not know why, but I had been in tears since the first moment I stood in front of Chadral -- not crying, not sobbing, just quietly weeping. </li></ul><ul><li>I managed to get out my first question about what he remembered about his conversations with Merton, and he gave a brief answer; but I then decided to junk the rest of the questions, and go straight to the one that had been suggested to me: &quot;Do you have a teaching for me?&quot; &quot;Yes,&quot; he said immediately: &quot;just decide what is the most important thing Jesus ever said, and then take it as far as you can.&quot; Unworthy Christian that I am, this finished me. Weeping became sobbing, I bowed respectfully in farewell, and was taken by my young Canadian friend to be rehabilitated with Kleenex and tea. </li></ul>
  40. 41. “ Since meat-eating is not approved for anyone - not for monks, nuns or lay people - thouse who are committed Buddhist practitioners should never eat meat” <ul><li>“ Knowing all the faults of meat and alcohol, I have made a commitment to give them up in front of the great Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya with the Buddhas & Bodhisatvas of the 10 directions as my witness. I have also declared this moral to all my monasteries.” </li></ul>
  41. 42. Rimpoche’s Monastery sign at Pharping in the Kathmandu valley
  42. 43. May all beings be happy!

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