K a r m a . K a g y u . T r a d i t i o n

The encounter with Chobgye Trichen Rinpoche
In 1986 I stayed in New Delhi for some time to supervise the construction of the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute, as I am responsible for this project. At the time I received a visit from the great Sakya Lama Chobgye Trichen Rinpoche. I hold him in very high esteem as a highly qualified spiritual master. A great many people in the different schools of Tibetan Buddhism think of him as a saint. His Holiness the Dalai Lama also holds him in high regard, as did the late Karmapa. I feel great respect and devotion for Chobgye Tri Rinpoche, and he himself has shown me great affection.

Having cut short his visit to a Sakya monastery in Mussourie, he came to Delhi in order to meet me. I was told that he urgently wanted to see me. At our meeting he said the following: "Shortly before the late Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpei Dorje, passed away, I had a dream early one morning. His Holiness the Karmapa was wearing the Dharma robes while circumambulating the stupa at Boudhanath. He appeared to be sad. In my dream I too felt sad and shed tears. A very short time after my dream the Karmapa passed away."

Chobgye Rinpoche had come to tell me of another dream that he had had just a few days before coming to Delhi :
" This time His Holiness was clad in the yellow Dharma robe while again walking around a stupa. The colour of his robe was clear and radiant. He also wore the Gampopa hat, and his mood was cheerful. "

At noon the very same day, Chobgye Trichen Rinpoche had a relative from Lhasa who came to visit him.
He brought a photograph of a young child who was well known in the area that this relative came from. People there knew that the child himself had on several occasions said that he was the Karmapa. When he heard this, Chobgye Tri Rinpoche felt he must communicate it to me. He felt the matter was so urgent that he cut short his visit to the Sakya Monastery he was on his way to.

Chobgye Tri Rinpoche continued:
" You must not make a decision on the basis of what I have told you. Your judgement must be based on the instructions left behind by the late Karmapa as well as on the visions and experiences of qualified spiritual masters in the lineage. Since you're the Shamar reincarnation, I wanted to convey to you what I've just told you. Historically, in the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism the Shamarpa Lamas and the Karmapa Lamas are regarded as inseparable"

The young child about whom Rinpoche had told me seemed very young on the photograph I was shown.
I would guess he was just three years old. At the time I didn't tell anyone about what had occurred.

Lopon Tsechu's visit to Lhasa.

Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche went to Lhasa on behalf of the Nepal Buddhist Association in early 1987; I asked him to find out the details of the young child without telling anyone that I had asked him to do so.

At that time the young child was living in the Bakhor district of Lhasa with his parents. His father is the well-known Nyingma Master Mipham Rinpoche. He has two sons. Both sons were regarded as exceptional by the people in the neighbourhood.

I asked Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche to meet the family but to ensure that nobody realised his purpose. He returned with information such as the parents' names, the birthplaces of their two sons, when they were born and so on.

Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche also discovered that the father possesses religious objects and letters formerly belonging to the previous Mipham Rinpoche, a very well-known Nyingma master who was closely connected to the Karma Kagyu lineage. Among these, there is a letter which says that in his next reincarnation a son, Rigpei Yeshe Dorje, will be born to him. The Rigpei Dorje portion of the name refers to the late Karmapa's name, Rangjung Rigpei Dorje. As the father would not part with the letter, Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche contacted another Lama, who is a close friend of the father, to obtain permission to make a copy of it. This friend persuaded Mipham Rinpoche to have a hand-written copy made. This copy is now in my possession. When I asked Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche to conduct these investigations, I did not make the request on an official basis. I approached him because he is a trustworthy person and because he was travelling to Lhasa. When he returned to tell me what he had discovered, I took care not to betray any reaction.

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