Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The guru with the huge smile

His Holiness Dagyab Rinpoche has been with us in Singapore for about 7 weeks. He has given us precious teachings and much blessings. And it was sad when it was time to bid good bye again. Dagyab Rinpoche is one of the most endearing, modern and humble guru I know. 
At the airport to send him off, when we offered khata to him, he refused to accept our ang pows (money offering), but he obliged with plenty of photo-taking, signing autograph with huge smiles and hugs. If it was a midnight flight, Dagyab Rinpoche would usually rush to check in quickly (as early as 8pm), not because he wanted to rest, but because he wanted all his entourage of monks who were there to send him off to go back early to rest (since the monks need to get up very early each morning). How very kind is that? He is such a special highly realised being if we ever get to know him, if we go beyond gross physical appearance and if we go beyond our own gross mental perception. And if we have the good karma to have met him and be his student.  

Every time I send a guru off at the airport, I would recall what a venerable used to tell me, that during the Buddha Shakyamuni's time, all his disciples would travel far and wide, days and months just to receive the Buddha's teachings. In these degenerated times, it is the gurus who travel from far away to us in order to give us teaching. How very fortunate we are. How blessed is that? 

Below is a precious picture of Dagyab Rinpoche's previous reincarnations from a book which detailed each of his reincarnations.  Rinpoche is the 9th Kyabgoen of Dagyab (Dagyab is the third largest county of Tibet, and Kyabgoen is "Lord of Protection') and he holds the title of 'Hothogthu Nomonhan' which means outstanding and highest-ranking lamas who are reincarnations of the Regent of Tibet. His line of lineage even before the 9 reincarnations can be traced back all the way to Buddha Shakyamuni's time. Rinpoche is known as Loden Sherab Dagyab Kyabgoen Rinpoche. 

Loden Sherab Dagyan Kyabgoen Rinpoche and previous reincarnations 
Dagyab Rinpoche always gives very clear and concise teachings, very much to the point and in English. Below I transcribed and summarised an excerpt of one of Dagyab Rinpoche's teachings here.

First we need to contemplate on our precious human life, what is our motivation, and we must want to be liberated from samsara. Then, from there, the most important is to achieve Buddhahood.  We need strong will power to achieve this great goal. To make our life useful, we should not wait, we must be useful, we must use our daily life to be useful, not to harm others, and to create harmony.  To be a good person, we must be mindful of what we do, for what we do is action, and this creates the imprint and results. This seed of imprint will ripen as karma ripens.  We have collected so much bad karma from many lifetimes. Do not wait any longer. 
Many hesitate to die, we are afraid of dying. Actually, to die is not so serious. What is dreadful is what comes after death.  Think of the cause and condition.  However we have the power to change karma. We can determine our karma. Our karma is in our own hands. Dealing with karma is like taking refuge.  It is not just saying prayers to the Three Jewels but we need to go for refuge from our heart.  This was correctly taught by the Buddha. He taught karma, cause and condition. If we do not heed the Buddha's word/teaching, even if we make offerings to him, it is useless.  Dharma practice needs to be done from our heart. We have the freedom to determine the results. Therefore we need to understand the Four Noble Truths, and to learn to deal with karma the proper way.  If we know this well, we will practice and be strong. By being disciplined and to concentrate, this will destroy our ignorance, and from that realisation of emptiness will arise. 

It is not safe to just liberate ourselves from samsara. We also need to reach Buddhahood.  This is the root goal, and the cause of our ultimate happiness. We need to know the importance of benefiting others, because from that, we can then understand bodhicitta.  Our main aim should not be lost. In order to achieve Buddhahood, we need to apply a good method. Because we see problems, and we communicate wrongly with others,  mind training is important. We should completely change, rid of our mental obstacles, and transform. Then we can accept and know that everything comes from emptiness.  

Dagyab Rinpoche says, "Whether the guru's blessing is big or small depends on you. If we do not understand guru-disciple relationship, even if Shakyamuni Buddha is in front of us, we would not be impressed".

I also quote Gampopa:
"The kind teacher is the Buddha in person and if you have uncontrived faith and devotion, it is impossible that the power of blessings will not arise. If you are not a suitable object of blessings, you will not receive experience and realization, like a seed that does not sprout. Enlightenment is the result of inner experience, not dry intellectual understanding. In brief, if your mind stream and dharma are separate, you are merely the semblance of a dharma practitioner and you will not achieve your aim."


Now to put to practice what Rinpoche has taught us. 
May Dagyab Rinpoche be in great health and have a stable long life. May we see you again very soon, Rinpoche!  _/|\_ 



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