Author Topic: Geshe Rabten Rinpoche - One of the great masters I admire  (Read 8619 times)

Tammy

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Geshe Rabten Rinpoche - One of the great masters I admire
« on: July 28, 2011, 01:30:35 PM »
Been reading up on great masters and are absolutely inspired by their work and special attributes, here's one who is not too famous but inspring non the less!!

Geshe Rabten Rinpoche

Born in 1921, Rabten Rinpoche became a monk at the age of 19. He studied in Je College of Sera Tekchenling and was given the title of the highest rank, "Geshe Lharampa" by the examiners and by HHDM.

One of his teachers was Venerable Geshe Jampa Kendrup.

He attained deep insight into the nature of the phenomena and acquired the ability to fulfill the purpose of oneself and others, Rinpoche had countless disciples in Tibet, India and in the West, including Lama Thubten Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Thomtok Rinpoche, Geshe Pemba, etc.

His outstanding qualities were also recognized by H.H. Dalai Lama and his two tutors. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang regarded him as one of his closest spiritual sons and Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, in turn, regarded Trijiang Rinpoche as his principal master or spiritual father.

In 1964, at 34, he was selected by HH Dalai Lama, together with Venerable Lati Rinpoche as his new philosophical assistants (Tsenshaps).

In 1969, he started to give teachings to Westerners in Dharamsala, under the advisement of HHDM.

In 1974, he went to Europe to give teachings in several countries, opening the great gate of the Dharma in that part of that part of the world.

In 1975, he returned to Europe as the Abbot of the Tibetan Monastic Institute in Rikon, Switzerland. He later founded many buddhist centers around Europe, including Austria, Germany and Italy. Hence he was considered the chief founder of the pure and complete Buddha-Dharma in Europe.

9 Remarkable Qualities of Geshe Rabten Rinpoche
1. Pure and strong Guru Samaya
Geshe Rabten Rinpoche preferred to stay back in India to take care of his aged Guru, Trijiang Rinpoche and he did not have interest in enjoying the comfort and money in the West. He went to Europe only because his master pointed out that his teachings would be a great blessing to the people of the West.

2. Will to renounce at young age
3. Determination
At the age of 15, Geshe Rabten Rinpoche considered the life of monks simple, pure and efficient; and his own home life was complicated and the demanding tasks were never-ending.
Two years later, he entered monastic university to undergo training in preparation to become a monk.
Geshe took a three-month journey, at the age of 18, from his home town to Lhasa, to become a monk in the monastic university of Sera.

4. Ability to deliver teachings clearly to listeners
Regardless of the origin of the listeners, they felt clearness and calmness in they minds.
The examples he raised encouraged people to adopt a sincere way of acting.
Whatever he explained, gave the pupils a feeling of hearing a description of the past, the future or hearing deepest secrets as if all these things were in Geshe's hands.

5.  High Intellectuality
He was able to integrate all of his intellectual knowledge with the practice of meditation

6. Produced countless outstanding masters
Had many disciples in Tibet, India and the West.

7. The pioneer of Buddhist Masters in the West
The first Buddhist master taught and built Buddhist Centers in and around Europe, sow the seeds of Buddhism in the West far and wide.

8. Devoted his whole life to Dharma
Geshe Rabten Rinpoche spent his whole life continuously and tirelessly turning the wheel of Dharma up to the end of his life, with the sole purpose to serve the teachings of Buddha and the sentient beings.

9. Undoubted reincarnation
His reincarnation, Rabten Tulku Rinpoche had shown the same qualities in teachings at the young age of 10, a solid proof of foundation of Buddhism, endless rebirth.
Down with the BAN!!!

vajrastorm

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Re: Geshe Rabten Rinpoche - One of the great masters I admire
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 05:50:38 AM »
Thank you for this post. Yes, here is one of the greatest Masters of our time, who has remained relatively quiet and unknown, but nonetheless, as is seen from this account of his life and the list of his qualities, a most highly attained Master and teacher. My interest and curiosity were piqued and I went to this website to read up and find out more about him.

What strikes me about him is his ability to renounce at an early age. He did so because, after observing the monks in a nearby monastery, he felt that their lives were more meaningful than his own. He liked their  simple way of living; it was to him a pure and efficient way to live one's lives, more so than any life in the mundane world. Thus he was able to renounce and become a monk.

He also impresses me because he went on to be a great teacher and number among his students such great Masters as Gonsar Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe. He tirelessly turned the wheel of Dharma especially in Europe and brought the Dharma to countless beings.This was out of great compassion. In fact his whole life was devoted to the spread of Dharma of Je Tsongkhapa and the Gelug tradition, for the benefit of all beings

He has great Guru Devotion( as is illustrated in the above post) towards Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche , who regarded him as one of his closest spiritual sons.

Above all, as I read about him on this website, i was drawn to the fact that he was a great practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Of Dorje Shugden, he has this to say:

"This manifestation of the Buddha has no equal. If you are really determined to tame your mind, he will give you his heart".   

WoselTenzin

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Re: Geshe Rabten Rinpoche - One of the great masters I admire
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2011, 01:33:02 AM »
The stories of all great masters have many similarities.  Great masters due to their strong imprint from past life practice has strong inclination to towards Dharma, monks and monasteries.  They will be attracted to practice Dharma since young in their own accord. Geshe Rabten is not exception.

Great masters cannot be swayed by difficulties in pursuit of their Dharma practice.  Their sole purpose to live is to practice Dharma so that they can be of benefit to others. Their scholastic abilities is usually outstanding due to their practice in past and current life but more importantly due to their single-pointed purpose in to be successful in their practice to be beneficial to others. They have great compassion manifested by their willingness to give up all personal comfort to train themselves so that they can be of service to sentient beings.

These are the great qualities I found similar in all great masters.  Therefore, if we have the opportunity to meet any of them, we should contemplate on how fortunate we are and think of their compassion for going through what they have gone through in order that they can bring the teachings to us and guide us from darkness to light.   We should contemplate on their kindness again and again, gain appreciation and develop great faith so that we too will be greatly inspired to follow their noble example.

kurava

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Re: Geshe Rabten Rinpoche - One of the great masters I admire
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2011, 03:28:18 PM »

What strikes me about him is his ability to renounce at an early age. He did so because, after observing the monks in a nearby monastery, he felt that their lives were more meaningful than his own. He liked their  simple way of living; it was to him a pure and efficient way to live one's lives, more so than any life in the mundane world. Thus he was able to renounce and become a monk.


Yes, that's what strikes me too. Like many other high beings, due to strong imprints from previous lives Geshe Rabten Rinpoche developed renunciation at a young age and took to monastic life like fish taken to water.

Recently, during a Lamrim Recitation Retreat  my Guru stressed the importance of planting virtuous seeds in our mind streams through visual, sound and mental imprints so that our positive potentiality will be triggered off when similar imprints are experienced.


dorjedakini

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Re: Geshe Rabten Rinpoche - One of the great masters I admire
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 11:09:20 AM »
Above all, as I read about him on this website, i was drawn to the fact that he was a great practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Of Dorje Shugden, he has this to say:

"This manifestation of the Buddha has no equal. If you are really determined to tame your mind, he will give you his heart".  

It is so true that Dorje Shugden is always ready to help us, it is us who refuse to tame our mind and accept his help. We make so much excuse not to do things. Few weeks ago, one of my friend told me that she would like to enjoy her life more before she commits herself to any Guru and Dharma practices, she felt she will lose her freedom after following a Guru. But what does she free of by being in samsara deeply?

Geshe Rabten Rinpoche renounced at a very young age, he devoted his whole life to Dharma. Great Master like him will not waste any chance to teach us and practice Dharma, every action they take is to benefit others.

Ensapa

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Re: Geshe Rabten Rinpoche - One of the great masters I admire
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 01:50:36 PM »
Here's another biography of Geshe Rabten. He passed away in 1986 but his reincarnation has been found.

Quote

Geshe Rabten Rinpoche


"From the time I was a small child, I met monks in their maroon robes returning from the great monastic universities near Lhasa. I admired them very much. I also occasionally visited the large monastery in our region; and when I watched the monks debating, I was again filled with admiration. When I was about fifteen years old I began to notice how simple, pure and efficient their lives were. I also saw how my own home life, in comparison, was so complicated and demanding of tasks that were never finished. In order to be counted as a qualified monk in the nearby Dhargye Monastery, one had to spend at least three to four years studying and training one's mind in the Buddha Dharma in one of the three monastic universities near Lhasa. With the thought of becoming such a monk in Dhargye Monastery, I decided at the age of seventeen to go to one of these monastic universities, although at that time I had no desire to become greatly learned in the Dharma".
Extract from Geshe Rabten's Biography, "Life of a Tibetan Monk", Edition Rabten
When he was eighteen Geshe Rabten went on a three month journey from his birthplace in Kham in the Eastern province of Tibet to Lhasa in central Tibet where he became a monk in the monastic university of Sera. Very soon teachers and fellow students became aware of his magnificent character traits. While studying and meditating he went through unbelievable hardship. Hence teachers and fellow students gave him the name ‘Milarepa’. Due to his clear and precise way of logical debate, people compared him to Dharmakirti, the great Buddhist logical thinker. After having studied for about twenty years, he passed the Geshe exam in front of monks from the three great monasteries. He was given the title of the highest rank, ‘Geshe Lharampa’. This is the greatest honor, which is given by the examiners and by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In 1964 Geshe Rabten was chosen to be the philosophical assistant of the H.H. Dalai Lama, whose task is to assist His Holiness when taking teachings from his two tutors as well as to engage in debate with His Holiness on philosophical subjects.
In 1969 the Dalai Lama sent the first Western students to Geshe and then later, due to the amount of Western students that had accumulated he asked Geshe to move to the Tibetan monastery in Rikon, Switzerland to become the Abbot of that monastery and propagate Dharma. At that time Geshe had many Tibetan students in the big monastic universities in India and as his root-master Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was getting old and because Geshe did not have any interest in the comfort and money of the West, he would have preferred to have stayed in India. Only when his master pointed out that his teachings would be a great blessing to the people of the West did Geshe agree to go.
Geshe was the first Tibetan Buddhist master to introduce the complete Vinaya-tradition and the study of the five major topics of Buddhism to the West. Hence Geshe became the ‘path breaker’ of the complete and complex teachings of Buddhism in the West. Many masters, who are famous in the West today, were Geshe’s students, namely: Gonsar Rinpoche, Sherpa Rinpoche, Tomthog Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Geshe Penpa, Geshe Tenzin Gonpo, Geshe Thupten Ngawang, Geshe Thubten Trinley etc.
Almost unlike any other, Geshe Rinpoche was able to bring the essence of the thoughts of Buddha close to the listeners. No matter if the listener was from the West or the East, whoever followed his words felt all the unclearness disappear and in its place a clearness and calmness started to spread in one’s mind. His examples encouraged people to adopt a sincere way of acting. Whatever he explained, gave the pupil a feeling of hearing a description of the past, the future or of hearing deepest secrets as if all these things were in Geshe’s hand.
Geshe founded the center for higher Tibetan studies, Rabten Choeling at the lake of Geneva (originally Tharpa Choeling), the Tibetan center in Hamburg, Tashi Rabten at the Letzehof, Puntsog Rabten in Munich and Gephel Ling in Milan.


And Geshe Rabten's reincarnation, Rabten Tulku Rinpoche

Quote
Rabten Tulku Rinpoche

The extraordinary signs that occured when Geshe passed away in 1986 made his pupils realise that they were confronted not only with the passing away of a great teacher but that of a truly enlightened master. During the months after his death, many students experienced an unusual closeness of Geshe during their meditations.
Three years later, Gonsar Rinpoche, Geshe’s dearest and closest disciple discovered Geshe's incarnation, and by a thorrough series of consultations to H.H.Dalai Lama and various other authorative sources out of 180 candidates Kelsang Tsering, the son of Mr. Tenzin Dargye and Mrs. Pasang Gyalmo, was confirmed as the true incarnation of Geshe Rabten Rinpoche.
In spring of 1998 the ten year old Rabten Tulku Rinpoche gave his first teaching in front of a group of two hundred people in the monastery Rabten Choeling at the lake of Geneva. Unexpectedly and unprepared the young Rinpoche gave people advice on taking refuge. He spoke in the clear manner of Geshe Rabten’s own special way. The listeners were deeply moved and many of Geshe Rabten's former students had tears in their eyes.
The memory of Geshe through his incarnation, who even in his young years already showed clear traits of a great master makes one believe that there is nothing more precious that could be given to one in this life, even if one were to meet the enlightened Buddha in person.