Tribute to H.E. the 13th Kundeling Rinpoche

The 13th Kundeling Rinpoche Tagtsha Jetung Rinpoche

By: Harry Nephew

Since the Dorje Shugden controversy struck the Tibetan community, there has been no peace for those affected by the ban. The ban has had far reaching effects, not sparing high lamas who are Dorje Shugden worshippers nor even the recognition of lama incarnates. However, although there was considerable pressure from the Dalai Lama’s office, the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan community for Shugden lamas to cease the practice, a mark of a true incarnation of a highly attained lama is that he would remain firm in his oath to preserve the lineage practice in its purest form.

One clear example of such a lama is His Eminence Lobsang Yeshi Rinpoche, an incumbent of Drepung Gomang monastery, who at the young age of 16 and by the force of his imprints made his way to Dharamsala. Through the divination of many high lamas including Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche, it was said that this particular boy would develop qualities that would be of great benefit to sentient beings. Speculation that this boy might be the incarnation of the late 12th Kundeling Rinpoche piqued considerable interest and discussion amongst the Gelugpas.

After some waiting, Rinpoche was recognized as the speech emanation of the late 12th Kundeling Rinpoche and was duly enthroned as the 13th Kundeling Rinpoche by H.E. Gangchen Rinpoche. The young Rinpoche then set off on a multitude of teaching expeditions to disseminate the Dharma far and wide. From Europe to Asia, Rinpoche’s charisma and strong command of the English language served him well and bridged barriers that previously separated people from the Buddha’s teachings.

Rinpoche’s gurus include some of the most influential teachers within the Gelugpa school, including His Holiness the 99th Gaden Tripa Yeshi Dondrup Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche and the great Geshe Lobsang Tendar. From these illustrious teachers, Kundeling Rinpoche inherited similar traits such as the refusal to betray the Protector that the highest of the Gelug lineage lamas had complete faith in.

Rinpoche’s influence is extremely strong in the local Indian community as he had made valuable and constructive connections with them, and to many, Rinpoche gave refuge under the Three Jewels, thus establishing a precious guru-disciple relationship. His position of respect within the Indian community has helped smooth over Tibetan-Indian relations on more than one occasion. One such instance was when Rinpoche resolved a dispute between some local Indians and representatives of the Dalai Lama during a Kalachakra teaching and by that, successfully removed the threat of the Dalai Lama losing some standing within the local community.

1997 was a significant year for Kundeling Rinpoche when he was awarded a Fellowship in Polipathy for Social Services and the propagation of the Buddhist Arts of Healing which was presented in Delhi. Rinpoche also received Doctorate in Philosophy, presented in Sri Lanka by the Open International University of Colombo. It was evident that Rinpoche’s works were receiving recognition from both the country and its people. Rinpoche’s altruistic and visionary intention of giving back to the country, which has been a gracious host of his own people in exile, made a positive impact and this has paved the way for Buddhism to spread.

For the Buddhadharma to endure the test of time in this world, Rinpoche has worked tirelessly to set up monastic institutions, reaching out to the people and offering them the precious Dharma. Though lean on sponsorship due to his dissenting stance against the Dalai Lama’s religious ban, Rinpoche has nevertheless sponsored initiations of the highest yoga Tantras so that the lineage may continue to thrive and be passed on to younger generations. For instance, it was through Rinpoche’s commitment to the spread of Dharma that Geshe Tendar Rinpoche was able to transmit many exoteric teachings on 13-deity Yamantaka, Heruka and Vajrayogini to the younger Sangha members.

Kundeling Rinpoche maintains a close connection with fellow compatriots of the Dorje Shugden lineage such as Zawa Tulku Rinpoche

Once the Dorje Shugden ban was brought into force, Kundeling Rinpoche became one of the forerunners to defend the holy Protector practice, voicing his resistance and articulating sound reasons why the ban was wrong both by common as well as spiritual definitions, and Rinpoche did much to bring attention and awareness of the ban to the media, local and abroad. He has arisen as a fearless figure within the Tibetan community – one of the few who would speak openly against the ban – and his efforts to highlight the religious suppression within the Tibetan Shugden community have been successful.

Unlike the ban which was illegal by the provisions both of the Tibetan and Indian Constitutions, Rinpoche sought legal redress and took the matter to the Indian courts. In addition, he compiled information and proof of the suppression against Shugden practitioners within the Tibetan community. Rinpoche’s fluency in English enabled him to speak openly and articulate the sufferings of Shugden monks and laypeople as the result of ban, to the media. All this hard work was not without cost and in fact, has placed Rinpoche’s life at risk from anti-Shugden hardliners. It is by Rinpoche’s readiness to defend what is right and put his life and standing within the Gelugpa hierarchy at risk that he has earned great respect from many quarters from within and without the Tibetan monastic community. Kundeling Rinpoche is listed as one of the top ten people wanted by the CTA.

In spite of earning the ire of the Dalai Lama’s office and anti-Shugden proponents, Rinpoche continues to stick by his Gurus and refuses to forsake the practice of Dorje Shugden. His being safe and having succesfully rebuilt his ladrang after the original Kundeling Ladrang was confiscated is living proof that with proper Guru devotion, one cannot be harmed by external forces. His unwavering faith and devotion to his Guru is what keeps Rinpoche going in the work he does for the Buddhadharma and community. It is, therefore, not surprising that Kundeling Rinpoche is living symbol of hope for a community of Buddhist practitioners persecuted as the result of the Dorje Shugden ban and they look to him as a beacon of light, showing the way for the ban to be dissolved.

There is no other Lama within the Tibetan community who has been so vocal about the ban and who makes so much effort to bring the attention of the masses to this injustice. All of us at DorjeShugden.com make this virtual offering of a thousand butterlamps to the incomparable master, His Eminence Kundeling Rinpoche, requesting him to remain for countless years to continue turning the wheel of Dharma and benefiting all sentient beings.

 

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Biography

The 1st Kundeling Tagtsa Jetung Rinpoche was a great being who was considered to be an emanation of the master Baso Je Chokyi Gyaltsen. Baso Chokyi Gyaltsen was known to be one amongst the seven emanations of Manjushri prophesied to appear during Tsongkhapa’s lifetime, the second lineage holder of the ‘Ganden Ensapa Ear-whispered Lineage’ and owner of the ‘miraculously emanated scriptures’ of the Ganden Close Lineage.

This was the set of Teachings which was said to be the quintessence of the Sutras and the Tantras, transmitted to Tsongkhapa directly by Manjushri. It was in the form of a miraculous scripture, visible only to the one worthy of receiving it, and was passed first to Togden Jampel Gyatso, the holder of Tsongkhapa’s close lineage teachings, and eventually to Baso Je Chokyi Gyaltsen.

He became the fourth successor to the Golden Throne of Tsongkhapa, and reached Enlightenment during one lifetime. Baso Je Chokyi Gyaltsen’s reincarnations, however, continued to appear in Tibet in twelve successive lives. These successive reincarnations served as great masters of the Ganden Lineage, some as Kings or ruling Regents, while others were tutors to successive Dalai Lamas.

The 12th Kundeling Rinpoche

The 12th Kundeling Rinpoche, Lobsang Thupten Jigme Gyaltsen, was a very famous personality in Tibet, with an unusual, very lively character. He encouraged the monks of the Kundeling monastery in Lhasa (the main monastery was in the Pagshod area of Kham) to learn the Tibetan opera dances and songs, and was a Chod practitioner.

Late in his life, when he became ill, he traveled to India, first to Kalimpong and then to the city of Calcutta, which he used as a base for pilgrimages to Holy Places in India, and to receive treatment.

It is said that while crossing the Tibetan border via Sikkim through the Nathula Pass, looking back towards Tibet he remarked that he would never return there in that lifetime. He further added that, if reborn, he would like to take birth in India, the land of the Aryas.

In Calcutta he took up residence in a small hotel run by a Tibetan/Chinese couple. He gave his own photograph to the lady proprietor, predicting that they would meet again. By a strange series of circumstances, this lady, Drayang, was to become the foster mother of H.H the 13th Kundeling Rinpoche Lobsang Yeshi.

The 12th Kundeling Rinpoche passed away in Calcutta in the year 1957.

An Unusual Boy

On January 13th 1959, an unusual boy was born to a Tibetan couple living in Calcutta. He was called Norbu Tsering. His father, from Amdo, was named Jamyang Samten, and his mother, a native Sherpa, was called Ani Dolma. Both had also met briefly the 12th Kundeling Rinpoche.

During her pregnancy Ani Dolma dreamt of a pristine pond full of blossoming lotuses. Although seriously ill in the seventh month, she recovered completely during delivery, giving birth with little effort. Norbu Tsering came into this world in the early dawn, on the auspicious day of ‘Makar Sankranti’. This is a day when millions of people in India and Nepal bathe in the Holy Rivers to purify negativities. It was also the day of a lunar eclipse. Norbu’s parents, however, were very poor, so they decided to hand him over to foster parents.

Brought up by these foster parents, he was raised and sent to a Roman Catholic school. Already demonstrating unusual qualities in his childhood, Norbu generated a strong wish to renounce lay life and enter the spiritual path. He felt particularly attracted to Tibetan monks, wherever he came across them, and as a small child walked alone or with a little friend many miles to visit Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries.

At the age of 13, though not yet familiar with the Tibetan language, he wrote out the ‘Praises to the Twenty-one Taras’ and later drew pictures of Tara and Palden Lhamo (one of these is now in the possession of Khaga Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche).

On his own initiative, at the age of 16 he ran away from home to go to Dharamsala. The monks of the Gungru section of the Drepung Gomang Monastic University consulted the ‘Yudoma’ oracle about the reincarnation of the 12th Kundeling, and the Goddess, without giving an answer, made a mandala offering and respectful gestures towards Norbu. The monks later reported this to His Holiness Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, who through a divination prophesied that Norbu Tsering would be beneficial to the Ganden tradition.

His Holiness Dagom Rinpoche was asked to perform a divination, and he answered that the young man would be of great benefit to the Teachings. Ling Rinpoche, like the Goddess Yudoma, further stated that Norbu was special and that he should be left to develop his unique capacities on his own.

Under the guidance of the 99th Ganden Throne Holder Yeshi Dondup Rinpoche, Norbu received his novitiate vows into monkhood. He was given the name of Lobsang Yeshi Jampal Gyatso. The Ganden Tripa, who was then the Sharpa Choje (Lord of the East) said to Rinpoche that he would bring spiritual and temporal benefit to others. Lobsang Yeshi engaged in the study and debate curriculum and for 12 years received teachings and oral instructions from great masters such as Their Holinesses Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche and the venerable Geshe Lobsang Tendar.

For various reasons and circumstances, Lobsang Yeshi was not officially recognised as a reincarnation of Kundeling. He was, however, offered the title of ‘Datsang Tulku’ by the authorities of the Gomang College. Asked in 1997 about whether he would personally give the title of the 13th Kundeling Rinpoche to Lobsang Yeshi Rinpoche, the oracle of the Protector Dorje Shugden, Vinaya Dhara Dharma Raja, replied with the following verse:

HRI
From within the embodiment of the sphere of all-pervasive Great Bliss (*1)
Appears the dance of the various forms of Nirmanakaya As body, speech and mind emanations (*2), like magical apparitions.
It is true that this manifestation (*3) is one of these, Since the emanations work for the Teachings and beings, as deeds are important.
So, even if I were to offer the name of the person mentioned, I don’t necessarily feel that benefit to the Teachings and beings will increase. (*4)
The respected Ralo and Galo (*5) had clearly perceived this and therefore did not consider the issue to be of any significance (*6)
For continuing to uphold ‘listening, contemplating and meditating’ as was their wish.
Today, I also, basing myself on their policy, abide by it,
Since benefit in the work for the Teachings and for beings would not necessarily increase.
Although not offering the name, however, through the six periods and even through moments,
As my responsibility for the service of ‘activities’, without wavering,
I offer the request that the ‘deeds’ for the Teachings and Beings continue.

Note:

(*1) Heruka
(*2) There can be separate (*3) emanations or one form containing two or all three emanations.
(*4) The reference is to Lobsang Yeshi Rinpoche
(*5) Two renowned Tibetan lineage masters of the 12″‘ century
(*6) Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, emanations of Ralo and Galo, both recognized in Lobsang Yeshi Rinpoche the emanation of the 12th Kundeling Rinpoche but did not think that the title should be offered at that time.

The great Dharmapala, in humility, merely stated the lack of ulterior benefit to the Teachings and beings if he were to personally offer the title of Kundeling as requested by others. By referring to the neutral stand of Kyabje Ling and Kyabje Zong Rinpoches and preferring to abide by it, the Dharmapala thus was subtly speaking about the controversy involved if he himself were to come onto the scene of recognition. The Dharmapala never the less referred clearly to the pure origin of Rinpoche, requesting him to continue benefiting the Teachings and beings.

There have been numerous cases of authentic incarnations never being recognized, while others have assumed titles different from those of their predecessors. His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo, was a true emanation of the famous master Changkya Rolpai Dorje. However, someone else was officially given the title. Such controversies often result from the political and bureaucratic intrigues within Tibetan society. The recognition of a reincarnation is not the exclusive prerogative of a particular authority, person or oracle. Reincarnations come for sentient beings – they do not need a ‘green light’ or official stamp to go about their jobs. True reincarnations are recognized by their contribution towards Dharma and the benefit towards sentient beings.

Lobsang Yeshi continued his training and even served in administrative capacities in Gomang College. Despite his difficult conditions, during his stay in the monastery Rinpoche made many offerings to the College of Gomang, and in 1993, before leaving, he offered 1000 robes to Gomang and to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s household. He also sponsored many teachings and initiations in Drepung and particularly in Ganden.

At around 1982 an unfortunate incident took place, when the disciplinarian of the monastic college beat him up on false charges. Many monks were upset, and His Holiness Gangchen Rinpoche, who visited Kyabje Zong Rinpoche at that time, remembers that he was visibly upset and that he said to Gangchen Rinpoche that “the Kundeling Lama has been unjustly beaten for no fault of his own”.

Zong Rinpoche was engaged in the rites of the White Umbrella Goddess, one of his last acts two months before passing away. He abruptly stopped the ceremony and started speaking at length about the false and corrupt functioning and injustice of those in power. Recalling incidences of great Gelugpa Lamas like H.H. Reting Rinpoche and finally H.H. Pabongka Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche remarked “It seems that people are bent on even harming the very descendants of the lineage of Pabongka.”

Zong Rinpoche perceived this incidence as a portent of future harm coming to Pabongka’s lineage: such were the deep feelings that Zong Rinpoche had for Rinpoche. Because of this scandal, the Dalai Lama himself stopped the tradition of appointing the disciplinarians of various monastic colleges. The circumstances, however, turned to the benefit of Lobsang Yeshi Rinpoche.

The Venerable Lama Zopa Rinpoche was convinced that Lama Lobsang Yeshi had practiced ‘exchanging self for others’. Seeing his spiritual qualities, he requested him to teach in Bodhgaya.

From 1984 onwards, Lobsang Yeshi Rinpoche reached out to more and more Indian and Western people, teaching in the open-air near the great Stupa at Bodhgaya. There he gave Refuge to 100 Indians (it is one of his great wishes to make Dharma strong in the country of its origins).

After the Dalai Lama performed the Kalachakra Initiation in Bodhgaya in 1985, because of the mishandling by some of his close associates, the local Indians turned antagonistically against him and rallied together, shouting slogans. The Temple of Kalachakra was ransacked. On his own initiative, Rinpoche went to the Indians and succeeded in pacifying them and restoring their respectful behavior towards the Dalai Lama.

In Bombay and in Karnataka State he also gave Refuge to hundreds more Indians, and worked tirelessly to help the wishes of the Dalai Lama. In 1992, on an historic occasion, he arranged for Indians to meet the Dalai Lama on the outskirts of Mundgod, translating the Dalai Lama’s words into fluent Hindi.

Later in 1994 there was another incident of unrest in Mundgod. Local Indians had set out to ransack the settlement and beat up Tibetans. Had it not been for the intervention of Rinpoche, a riot would definitely have occurred. He supplicated Dorje Shugden on many occasions to help the work of others, such as Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and was instrumental in the founding of the Prajna Vihara School for Indians in Bodh Gaya. In a Naxalite area near Rajgir, he laid the first stone for the Ambedkar School and Library. Rinpoche also gave Tara initiation to Indians in 1993 in Bodhgaya.

He felt very strongly that Tibetans were too closed in their communities, and needed to repay the kindness of their host country, thereby creating more goodwill towards Tibetans. He tried to convince the Monastic authorities to take part in activities involving the lay communities near the monasteries, and persuaded the Supreme Abbot of Drepung, Khensur Tempa Tenzing Rinpoche, to give the blessing at a mass Hindu marriage ceremony on Ambedkar day in Mundgod, the nearest town to the great monastic seats of Drepung and Ganden.

H.H. Gangchen Rinpoche says: “To my knowledge, no single Lama has taken such direct initiatives towards the spiritual and material concerns of the Indians. He is the first Lama to give Refuge and Precepts and spiritual instructions in the Hindi language to Indians.”

In Drepung monastery, Rinpoche met an eccentric old Tibetan nun, thought by many people to be crazy, who often walked many miles in the settlement, visiting lamas and circumambulating the main prayer halls. She often visited Rinpoche in his Gomang house, making him tiny offerings from the bundles she carried on her back, and singing praises and sometimes even dancing. It was during this period that Rinpoche became attracted to the practices of Heruka and Vajrayogini. After the death of Zong Rinpoche she disappeared, to where no one knows.

In Bodhgaya, too, there was another strange lady, dressed in many draped cloths, who was always to be found near the main Stupa. Often her talk was incomprehensible, but when Rinpoche taught, she would instruct the students very severely to pay great attention to his words and to behave with much respect towards him. She referred to him clearly as an emanation of the 12th Kundeling Rinpoche and made many auspicious predictions for his future. Although sometimes behaving playfully with them, Rinpoche was drawn to these two ‘Dakinis’ and took their presence and their words seriously.

With his unique background and qualities of compassion, communication and openness (and of course his fluent grasp of the English language) it became clear that Lobsang Yeshi Rinpoche had great capacity as a teacher. The supreme head of Gomang, Khensur Tenpa Tenzing, and the late Mongolian master Khensur Ngawang Nyima, requested him to visit the United States of America.

In 1991 he traveled throughout the northeastern states, benefiting many people there. In the same year he made his first visit to the European countries of Holland, Germany and Italy, where in the succeeding years he founded the Atisha Serlingpa Centre in Sicily and the Atisha Kirti Danza Group in Holland.

Wherever he went in these countries, Rinpoche immediately established contact with the people, showing a lively interest towards the culture and the traditions of the lands, and the particular problems of those who lived there. He encouraged interfaith dialogues, preaching on the Bible in a Catholic Church in Holland, and participating in open discussion with a Catholic priest in Sicily.

Apart from extensive Guru Yoga and Lam Rim teachings, Rinpoche taught healing practices for beings and the environment, gave blessings to animals and to the land, and gave long life and tantric practice empowerments. Many people followed the advice that Rinpoche gave them for their own lives and received benefits, and everywhere a particular energy surrounded his presence.

His method of teaching provoked and stimulated an immediate response in all those who followed his teachings. In Sicily, the auspicious signs of his blessings have characterized Rinpoche’s visits. At the news of his impending first visit, a huge and complete rainbow filled the cloudless sky. During the consecration of the place to Dharma, in broad daylight Rinpoche himself noticed a light ‘star’ high in the sky which passed directly over the Centre.

When a three months long drought threatened the crops, Rinpoche supplicated the Dharmapala Dorje Shugden to bring relief, and after only a few hours, in the middle of Guru Yoga teachings, thunder and lightning filled the air, and to the amazement of all the students, heavy rain fell.

On several occasions, fire, an annual summer hazard on the island, has threatened the beautiful land on which the Atisha Serlingpa Centre lies. But each time the efforts of the fire fighters seem to have been helped, and the fires miraculously turn in another direction. Water has increased from the natural springs on the land, and the harvest of olives is always bountiful, even when the whole area around produces little. Even the dogs seem to live more harmoniously together since they received the blessings of Rinpoche!

In order to further accomplish his objectives, Lobsang Yeshi Rinpoche moved to the city of Bangalore in South India and with the untiring help of a Dutch nun, Ani Lobsang Phagma, founded The Atisha Charitable Trust in 1994. In Drepung monastery, the Oracle of the Dharmapala Dorje Shugden had foreseen a flourishing of the Teachings and wellbeing to sentient beings, coming from a move to Bangalore, and in time this benefit would come also to the Indians.

Inspired by the life of the 10th century Indian scholar and teacher, Atisha Dipamkara Shri Gyana, the Trust’s purpose is to carry out social and spiritual activities for the benefit of others. Under the ‘umbrella’ organization, various units have been formed, including in particular The Atisha Monastic Community, The Atisha Mahayana Buddhist Centres and The Atisha Schools Project.

In the small monastic community, monks are trained in the Mahayana Vajrayana philosophy as well as in modern technical skills, English Language and general knowledge and behavior. The objective is to actively integrate specially trained monks into the social mainstream where they can use their skills in social development works and projects to aid the poor and underprivileged.

The Atisha Schools Project has founded two kindergarten schools, one primary school and a ladies’ Tailoring School and Workshop, all in Indian villages near the large Tibetan settlements in Karnataka. The Trust also tries to find sponsors for the educational and health necessities of poor Indian and Tibetan children and for needy and elderly monks.

Every year, at its headquarters in Bangalore, the Trust organizes a month-long residential course in Mahayana Vajrayana practice, attended by students of Rinpoche from all over the world, and a Thangka master comes each year also to teach the techniques of this important Tibetan Buddhist art form. While emphasizing the importance of precision and detail in the practice and ritual of Vajrayana, Rinpoche also encourages his monastic and lay students to study Indian culture and art forms, and their relationship to early Buddhist Tantras.

And not forgetting the younger generation of monks in the great monastic seats, Rinpoche sponsored commentaries there, by Ven. Geshe Lobsang Tendar Rinpoche on Thirteen Deity Yamantaka, Heruka Body Mandala (the first time in 33 years) and Vajrayogini (using three famous commentary texts whose lineage had almost died out). It was the first (and last) opportunity most of the monks would have to follow the inspiration of these rare teachings.

Meanwhile, another candidate was recognized by the Dalai Lama and enthroned on January 13th 1995 (Rinpoche’s birthday!) in Drepung Monastery. In what H.H. Gangchen Rinpoche refers to as “truly the sign of humility and selflessness, qualities of a Holy Being”, Lobsang Yeshi Rinpoche went straight to pay his respects to the young incarnation. But many still considered him to be a true emanation of the 12th Kundeling Rinpoche.

The Yogi Geshe Nyima, consulted on more than one occasion by students, declared Rinpoche to be the emanation not only of the 12th Kundeling Rinpoche, but also of Kyabje Khangsar Dorje Chang (an erudite and saintly scholar, who had in his turn been a candidate for the title of 12th Kundeling). It was not, however, until Lobsang Yeshe Rinpoche felt convinced that the title could be of some purpose and benefit, that he accepted to use it. In December 1997, on the advice of H.H.Serkong Tritul Rinpoche, H.H. Gangchen Rinpoche and others, he accepted the title.

H.H. Gangchen Rinpoche, in his recognition letter, says: “As confirmed by the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden himself, I wish to proclaim and state that Lama Lobsang Yeshi is the ‘Speech Manifestation’ of the 12th Kundeling Rinpoche, Lobsang Thupten Jigme Gyaltsen. I therefore proclaim him to be His Holiness the 13th Kundeling Tagtsha Jetung Thongshan Ho Thuktu, Lobsang Yeshi Jampel Gyatso, from today…….. It will be interesting to reveal further that the Holy Lama was born on 13th January, brought up in an area called Calcutta 13, in a house also numbered 13. The Kundeling recognised by the Dalai Lama was also enthroned on January 13th. The Lama Lobsang Yeshi is also now himself the 13th Kundeling. These facts are incredibly interesting. (Editor’s note: the number 13 is generally considered to be an auspicious number within the divination text of Palden Lhamo and there are many stories referring to the special protection by Palden Lhamo towards various Kundeling Rinpoches.) I am therefore praying sincerely for his long life and his success in all his holy activities. I further hope that he will fulfil the spiritual and temporal needs of all beings, especially in connection with India. In doing this, I believe that I have fulfilled an important task today towards the Dharma”.

In 1997, for the first time, H.H. Kundeling Rinpoche was invited to teach in the Far East. He visited Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore and again returned in 1998, giving numerous teachings and empowerments to ever-increasing groups of students.

In Singapore, Kundeling Rinpoche gave the first ever empowerments of Yamantaka and Vajrayogini tantras. More and more students attended, struck by his very open and provocative style. No other Lama they had seen had been so direct in his approach. In the difficult times in Indonesia, through Rinpoche’s advice to rely on the Dharmapala Dorje Shugden, one young Chinese businessman sailed through the monetary and social upheavals, not only paying off his debts and coming out unscathed from the attacks on his fellow countrymen, but actually making successful progress.

In 1997, Kundeling Rinpoche received two important honorary awards, that of a Fellowship in Polipathy for Social Services and the propagation of the Buddhist Arts of Healing, presented in Delhi, and a Doctorate in Philosophy, presented in Sri Lanka by the Open International University of Colombo.

Rinpoche’s first visits to the Far East were a direct result of the difficulties he faced after the ban by the Dalai Lama on the practice of the Protector Dorje Shugden, issued in 1996. Faithful to his own Gurus’ instructions and determined to do what he could to protect the lineage of Tsongkhapa’s Teachings, Rinpoche was in the forefront in the peaceful resistance to what was shown to be a completely unwarranted attack on a pure religious practice.

Thrown into intense confusion by the consequences of the ban and suffering all kinds of oppressive actions by the more fanatical elements in Tibetan society, both monks and lay people from all over the world turned to Kundeling Rinpoche for advice, hope and sustenance. Untiringly, facing all manner of threats, abuse and libel with a cheerful face, he worked day and night to help all those in difficulty, giving them courage to fight for their religious and human rights. On several occasions he had to flee for his life, and many times was given police protection, but, like the peacock living on poison, he seemed to thrive on the difficulties, and selflessly dedicated himself once again to others.

Every year, H.H. 13th Kundeling Rinpoche’s engagements increase, but he unhesitatingly turns his attention wherever he can be of benefit to sentient beings. His teachings are thorough, rigorous, provocative and interspersed with details, experiences and stories to inspire the listeners to actively practice Dharma. But it is more than anything the personal example of his humility, cheerfulness and equanimity, his tireless dedication to the needs of others, which inspire the devotion of his students. May he live long and continue his holy deeds in all the ten directions.

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5 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. It is always compelling moving to learn Shugden Lamas like Kundeling Rinpoche risking their life at all cost to protect the lineage from destruction and working tirelessly to spread the doctrine. He is so apt to be recognised as the speech incarnation of the 12th Kundeling Rinpoche for he has great ability in many different languages and is a brave and precious vocalist so appropriate and beneficial during this challenging time. It is rejoicing to see that with his flamboyant personality Rinpoche has touched many nationalities and continues to swiftly spread Je Tsongkhapa’s doctrine in different languages around the world while remaining a Shugden activist to uplift the ban.

    May Kundeling Rinpoche continues to live a thousand years to turn the wheel of Dharma to bring great benefits to all living beings and may all his holy wishes come swiftly to fruition.

  2. Kundeling Rinpoche is very admirable in re-instating Buddhism in its land of origin. It is one of his greatest wish to make Dharma strong in India, translating the Dalai Lama’s words into fluent Hindi (he is fluent in English, Hindi and Tibetan). Rinpoche also gave Tara initiation to Indians in 1993 in Bodhgaya. His position of respect within the Indian community has helped smooth over Tibetan-Indian relations, giving back to the country, which has been a gracious to host of his own people in exile. This has paved the way for Buddhism to spread.
    The above and many more other achievements of Kundeling Rinpoche was a result of his Great attainments and the help and blessing from his protector Dorje Shugden who was always there to remove all obstacles. The results have been positive and beneficial to many. Hence, it is not right to ban this great Protector, Dorje Shugden.

  3. If Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit – a Gyalpo who brings harm to Tibet and its practitioners, this is clear evidence that the supplication of Dorje Shugden contributes significantly to the growth and spread of the Buddha – Dharma. It is interesting to observe that HH The Dalai Lama himself failed to create peace and harmony between the Tibetans in exile and the Indians. And more crucial is the fact that it takes a Shugden lama to anchor back Buddhism in India, its country of birth. Need we say more?

  4. My greatest respect to The 13th Kundeling Rinpoche Tagtsha Jetung Rinpoche in demonstrating his guru devotion and speaking out logically and spiritually against the ban on Dorje Shugden practice. He and other high incarnate lamas are pillars of strength during this difficult times for faithful followers and practitioners of Dorje Shugden.
    May His Eminence and other lamas live long to teach dharma and the practices of Dorje Shugden.

  5. bullying,
    Fuck you shugden pratictioner

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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