His Holiness reported his investigations to both of his official tutors

Button_EngHis Holiness reported his investigations on matters relating to Dolgyal to both of his official tutors, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. His Holiness also did not hide from them his successive steps of opposition to Dolgyal’s propitiation:

[Note: A part of His Holiness’ report to his tutors on the matter concerning Dolgyal is covered in the chapter, 2. His Holiness’ investigation that led to his forsaking the propitiation of Dolgyal’. As such, please read that section before you proceed from there on to the following account.]

His Holiness with his official tutors at Hydrabad House, N. Delhi India in 1951

His Holiness with his official tutors at Hyderabad House, N. Delhi India in 1951

[Excerpt from the talk given on 13th June, 1978]
Several years back when I was first warned about Shugden by Nechung, just around the same time, I had a dream in which I met Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche who appeared to advise me that I should receive the life-entrusting initiation in connection with Gyalchen [Shugden]. At that time, one of Ling Rinpoche’s attendants joined us and he also seemed to agree with Phabongkha Rinpoche. However, as I looked at Phabongkha Rinpoche’s hands, they were sore and soaked by blood, the sight of which frightened me and caused great anguish in me. Now, as I reflect back on it, [Phabongkha Rinpoche asking me to receive the initiation]I am convinced that it was an obstacle in the form of a hex.

Since whatever Nechung told me [about Phabongkha Rinpoche] really looked critical and urgent, I reported everything in detail to Yongzin [Ling] Rinpoche. He did not seem disturbed. I then reported everything to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. However, when I approached him to report the matter, it was very difficult to start with. Keeping quiet about it and not reporting to him did not seem proper either. However, when I was in front of him to report it, it was difficult to muster the courage to speak. Despite that, I reported everything to him and spoke thus:

“Until now, your divine activities and life have been perfectly successful. However, it is important for you to reincarnate as long as the Buddha Dharma thrives in Tibet; I am sure you have a very strong determination in this regard. It is something that we must all pray and hope for. It will not be good if anything in this regard fails. Although you are propitiating Gyalchen, it is not something which you have newly acquired in this life; your predecessor also had a connection with this. There is no need for you to stop it. However, Kali Devi’s status as a divine protector is beyond issue. After her come the Five King Protectors. Even speaking in terms of status in a family, we should recognise them as key financial managers in charge, while Shugden should be treated as the person in charge of the kitchen who works beneath them. In short, by recognising him as one’s local-birth god or land-god, offering libation to him may not be inappropriate. However, treating Shugden as if he were even more important than the Five King Protectors might invite their rancor: Although Kyabje Phabongkha was a remarkable Lama and unfathomable, there have been unfortunate tragedies [that he and his reincarnations faced]. Therefore, I request you to keep them in your mind”.

Thus, I clearly reported everything to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. My suggestion appealed to him and he replied that he would do as requested.

As far as Yongzin Ling Rinpoche is concerned, from the beginning he was a very staunch Geshe from Drepung, and as such, he did not have any problem with it. All these developments were reported in their entirety to my two tutors and they were well aware of everything.

[On 18th June, 1980, His Holiness gave a talk to an audience that consisted of the abbots, ex-abbots, staff members, and senior monks of Sera Jey and Mey, along with some active members of the Tibetan Youth Congress at Bylakuppe. The following is an excerpt from that talk.]

Some who did not know about it properly accuse me of straining my commitments towards my tutors, pointing out that I have revolted against my tutors. Whatever they say does not really bother me. As it is said, ‘consider yourself as your true witness’, so long as what I do is proper, it is all that truly matters. Some might wonder what my response might be to such accusations. Not just this, even as far as Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche is concerned, as he is the principle student of Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche and continuing the legacy of the latter, he has prioritised the propitiation of Gyalchen. Furthermore, his own predecessor was also connected with Gyalchen and his association with Gyalchen is not something that got newly adopted [in his present life]. So, I have told him that I wasn’t expecting him to forsake his practice, but that he should have a proper recognition of the degree of importance attributed to Dolgyal in comparison to other protectors. I also requested him that although his activity and life had been successful so far, he should also give thoughts to his future reincarnations as things could be very unpredictable. Unlike others who would speak when they could and backmouth if they couldn’t talk to the face, my character is not like that. I am not one who presses when it is easy and back off when it is hard. This is how I am.

[On 27th Aug. 1998, His Holiness gave a talk at the 10th General Body Meeting of the Tibetan Youth Congress. The following is an excerpt from that.]

Kyabje Phabongkha was a genuine yogi of Heruka, beyond comparison and well known. He was also a great custodian of the doctrine of Lamrim and mind training instructions, again exceptional and beyond comparison. Such yogis of his calibre would only propitiate a wrathful being by first developing properly the pride of a Tantric deity, and then by enslaving the being. So, this way of propitiation is totally a different matter. For example, in the Mind Training Practice of applying the four attributes [engagements], we seek the swift supportive actions of humans and non-humans. In such cases, the wrathful being is forced to submit his life to the practitioner who arises as a Tantric deity and generates a strong pride of being that deity. However, nowadays, it’s the other way around: people submit themselves and their lives to these [mundane] wrathful beings, and their practice does not entail enslaving the wrathful beings. As far as Kyabje Phabongkha and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche are concerned, both of them were qualified masters. They would only enslave a wrathful being and would not consider them as objects of refuge: they would never confuse these two. This is something I definitely know about them very clearly.

[On 2nd August, 2001, His Holiness also touched the issue of Dolgyal during his teaching there. The following is an excerpt from that talk.]

Some advocates of the practice of Dolgyal accuse me of being disrespectful to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, and that I have breached the teacher-student bond between us. This is something really pathetic! They are only talking about such things out of bewilderment. Since the age of six, I came to be associated with Kyabje Trijang until the very end of his life. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche is one of my Lamas [spiritual masters], and had shown me immense kindness. Of all the people, I would be probably the one who knows the most about his thoughts; he would also be the one who knew my thoughts and positions on issues that no one else would. However, most of those who are criticising me are people who have never met or heard from Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche in person. Those people are being used by others, and are ignorantly bluffing about things [they have no idea about].

On 2nd June, 2008, His Holiness spoke the following points to some selected people who have approached him through a private audience, requesting His Holiness’ intervention in getting Geshe Thupten Samphel of Sera Mey re-admitted back to his monastery.

Yongzin [Ling] Rinpoche was never associated with Dolgyal. When I totally gave up the propitiation of Dolgyal and reported my decision to him, he said that I had done the right thing and that he was very relieved and happy with my decision. Yongzin [Ling] Rinpoche told me thus:

“Although I had received many teachings from Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche, luckily for me, those teaching occasions never coincided with the life-entrusting initiation of Dolgyal. Had it been the case, it would have been very difficult for me to either attend or not attend them. Perhaps I may have received the oral transmission of Phabongkha Rinpoche’s works on ‘Dolgyal’s Retreat, Accomplishment and Activity’, but I have never been associated with Dolgyal”.

On the day I forsook the propitiation of Dolgyal, Yongzin [Ling] Rinpoche related many new things to me. Until then, although I was falling down the precipice, he did not say anything to me. One of the many things that he shared with me is this:

“I once asked Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche if there was any truth in the hearsay of Drepung’s senior monks that the propitiation of Dolgyal would incur the wrath of Nechung. To that, Phabongkha Rinpoche replied that since Nechung was the one who motivated Tulku Dakpa Gyaltsen to arise as a wrathful protector, it could not be true. However, I was not really convinced with the answer. Usually, whenever Phabongkha Rinpoche clarified my doubts, I would always be deeply convinced by his answers. However, at that time, my doubts were not really clarified.”