Chatral Rinpoche, Sangye Dorje

The revered Tibetan Buddhist Master Teacher, Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, passed away on January 5, 2015.

Thomas Merton referred to him as the greatest man he had ever met. In his most movingly glowing homage Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse spoke about the accomplishments of so many others, and yet how “… [They] have achieved next to nothing compared to this man who appears never to have done anything except for keeping his meditation mat from ever getting cold.”

I am contemplating how in a world where such things as doing demonstrably great things, garnering incredible wealth, doing wonderful works of charity, loudly decrying the atrocities being perpetrated, earnestly going about making the world a better place, making that significant difference … that these values go without saying, unquestioned and unexamined, and … how all that stacks up to the kind of greatness which is merely to “… keep[ing] his meditation mat from ever getting cold”.

One wonders whether, on the passing of such a man, the platitude “He’s in a better place” is applicable, or even comprehensible. Or, whether to use the term “RIP” …  should it not be considered woefully inappropriate?

Words of Advice from Chatral Rinpoche

The world lost one of its greatest Tibetan meditation masters and teachers in the past few days, Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, at the age of 103 or 104. Chatral Rinpoche was a teacher’s teacher — a bridge between the great teachers [of] the 19th and early 20th centuries to the teachers of today. His list of students is a Who’s Who of some of the most brilliant and accomplished teachers, mostly in the Tibetan tradition, but beyond it as well — it was he who Thomas Merton referred to as the greatest man he had ever met.

Announced on January 5, 2015:

Another sad news: Chatral Rinpoche, Sangye Dorje has passed away. He lived for over 100 years and was one of the last living disciples of Khenpo Ngawang Palzang, Vimalamitra in human form.

He was a Dzogchen master and a reclusive yogi known for his great realization and strict discipline. In addition to his relationship with Khenpo Ngagchung, Chatral Rinpoche also studied with some of the last century's most renowned masters, including Dudjom Rinpoche, Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, and the famed dakini Sera Khandro. Rinpoche was one of the primary lineage holders of the Longchen Nyingthig, and in particular the lineage that descends through Jigme Lingpa's heart son Jigme Gyalwe Nyugu and then on to Patrul Rinpoche.

He advocated vegetarianism and had a yearly practice of ransoming the lives of thousands of animals in India. In addition to his emphasis on the union of view and conduct, Rinpoche also stressed the practice of retreat. He has established numerous retreat centers throughout the Himalayas, including in Pharping, Yolmo, and Darjeeling.

The highest tribute.

Source: Nyingma Teachings Facebook

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