A Sacred Lineage

21 July 2010 - 1:33pm Comments Off

There was a bit of a stir when an invitation came to spend a Sunday afternoon with two of the most eminent Lamas in our tradition – H.H. Trijang Rinpoche and his guru H.H. Pabongka Rinpoche. It turned out that they were not there physically but spiritually, as Liaison Jamie Khoo presented to Manjushri Class who they were and why they are so renowned.

Jamie shared with the class articles about these two Lamas, which were on HE Tsem Rinpoche’s blog. Rinpoche had painstakingly consolidated each Lama’s distinguished biographies and photos and presented them in an easy-to-read format, so that his students and others may have the opportunity to get to know them in order to realise the blessings of our lineage masters.

Pabongka Rinpoche

Pabongka Rinpoche Dechen Nyingpo Jampa Tenzin Trinlay Gyatso was one of the greatest masters of the 20th century and one of the most influential teachers in Tibet. Pabongka Rinpoche was found to be an incarnation from the renowned Changkya line; in particuar, the scholar Changkya Rolpay Dorje, who was a tutor to the Chinese Emperor. However, due to politics, he was not recognised as Changkya Rolpay Dorje but instead was known as the low ranking Pabongka. Because of this, he was impoverished in his early days. Despite this, he became extremely popular and respected.

At the beginning of his spiritual career, Pabongka was not known for being very smart in the monasteries. People would often tease him and call him “dull.” It was when he met his root Guru Dagpo Rinpoche and studied the Lamrim extensively under him that he gained complete mastery over both Sutra and Tantra teachings. He soon emerged to be one of the most highly realized teachers of the time and widely sought after for teachings.

Pabongka was said to be “well known for using his humour to elucidate the teachings. As some teachings could go on for ten hours, he would intersperse his teachings with jokes and amusing stories laced with moral values to keep his audience ‘awake’.” Jamie said that this sounded very much like our own Rinpoche!

Pabongka gave so many teachings that in his lifetime there was hardly a significant figure of the Gaden tradition who had not been his disciple. The central text that Kechara House uses – Liberation in the Palm of Your Hands – was based on Lamrim teachings given by Pabongka so his teachings are still very much alive among all of us.

Read the full biography here: http://www.kechara.com/about/our-lineage/lineage-masters-h-h-kyabje-pabongka-rinpoche/

Trijang Rinpoche

When many Tibetans left Tibet in the late 1950’s, Pabongka Rinpoche knew he was unable to leave and so transmitted all his teachings to his closest disciple, HH Trijang Rinpoche, who brought them to India and the monasteries there. He became the holder of the Gaden, or Geden, Oral Tradition that was passed to him in its entirety by his root Guru Pabongka Rinpoche.

HH Trijang Rinpoche was instrumental in almost singlehandedly spreading the Gaden Oral tradition. It is said that ninety percent of the great lamas throughout the world today disseminating Dharma are either disciples of Trijang Rinpoche or of his students. It was through HH Trijang Rinpoche’s commitment that the major practices and lineages of Kalachakra, Yamantaka, Lamrim, Mind Training, Guhyasamaja, Heruka and Vajrayogini remain pure. In this way, Trijang Rinpoche is the lineage guru for all these practices and many more too numerous to mention.

Pabongka Rinpoche was known to be Heruka himself while Trijang Rinpoche had achieved Vajrayogini. These two Lamas have shaped the Gelugpa tradition as we know it.

HE Tsem Rinpoche’s root guru, HH Zong Rinpoche, is a student of HH Trijang Rinpoche so Tsem Rinpoche’s relationship to these esteemed Lamas is very direct.

Read the full biography here: http://www.kechara.com/about/our-lineage/lineage-masters-h-h-kyabje-pabongka-rinpoche/

Do also read Rinpoche’s blog – blog.tsemtulku.com -  on the biographies of these and other Lamas so that you can learn more about them, appreciate just how special they are and understand their role in our school of Buddhism, which is the pure lineage of Gaden Monastery, as founded by the great Master Lama Tsongkhapa.

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