Author Topic: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST  (Read 8717 times)

Mana

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DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« on: April 05, 2011, 11:54:20 PM »
DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1st Incarnation

Geshe Ngawang Kalsang, who later became known as Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche, was born in 1866 in Emagang in the Shang district of Tsang. His birth was accompanied by various good signs observed by his mother, Bungchok Kyipa, and his father, Tsüldzin Tseten, a tantric practitioner (ngag pa), as well as others. It is said that the purpose of his birth was to tame different kinds of beings. When he was four years old, Exalted Vajra Yogini herself manifested and offered him nourishment brought from the realms of the Dakinis. At the age of eight he entered the great Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. He listened, reflected, and studied with great intensity and desire to impress the holy teachings on his mind. The name Ngawang Kalsang was offered to him by the Protector of the Western Heavenly Field, Amitabha Buddha, the all-knowing Panchen Rinpoche Tenpa'i Wangchuk, and at the hair-cutting ceremony many wondrous and glorious phenomena occurred. Later, he took full ordination from the incarnation of the great translator Lochen Rinchen Zangpo Rinpoche. Geshe Ngawang Kalsang studied at Tashi Lhunpo's Shartse College for some twenty years, where he completed the "Kachen" degree, Tashi Lhunpo's equivalent of the "Geshe" degree of Central Tibet's great monastic universities.

It is said that in the circumambulation route (ling khor) of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery an emanation of Tara advised him that it was time to go and meet his root Guru. This was the highly realized master and ascetic Lobsang Zöpa, who was staying at the time in an isolated place called Trakar Taso, far to the west of Tashi Lhunpo. It took some time to find this master, also known as Rangjung Lama Lobsang Zöpa. Geshe Ngawang Kalsang offered him, among other offerings, a seal marked by the letter Ah. Although the Guru was pleased, since "the letter Ah is the best of all letters," he did not make it easy for Geshe Rinpoche to receive teachings. In fact, he tried to send him away several times and often scolded and reproached him. But Geshe Rinpoche was persistent and eventually received teachings, especially on the root texts and commentaries of the Ngülchu tradition.

At one point the greatly accomplished Guru Rangjung Lama refused to provide Geshe Rinpoche with books. He ordered him to find his own texts if he wanted to receive further teachings. Far away from the great library of Tashi Lhunpo, he set out to find the required texts to continue his training. In the area of Nyalam, Exalted Vajra Yogini herself manifested and offered Geshe Rinpoche a text about the lineage. When the Guru conferred upon him the great empowerment of the five-deity Heruka Chakrasamvara mandala of the Ghantapada tradition (Demchog Trilbu Lha-nga) in Milarepa's temple at Lapchi, the mandala and deity actually manifested and entrusted him with the future of the Demchog tantra. In different holy places along the Himalayan snow mountain range, in caves and isolated places, Geshe Rinpoche received teachings from the Guru, practiced, and actually saw the different meditational deities (yidam) on more than one occasion, receiving their blessings, teachings, guidance, and predictions.

Going on a pilgrimage to many holy places, the Guru and several of his disciples, including Geshe Ngawang Kalsang, expended great effort to journey to Kathmandu in Nepal in the 1890s to renovate the great stupa at Svayambhu. The Guru Rangjung Lama received assistance from divine beings to complete this difficult task and several wondrous occurrences (yamtsen ngöjung) took place. It had been predicted that this magnificent deed would greatly benefit the disciples in the future. In further predictions, the Guru pointed Geshe Rinpoche to his future areas of practice and influence: the regions where the Monpäs live, Tromo, Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, Dagpo, Kongpo, and India. He also foretold that Geshe Rinpoche would build three very special Maitreya Buddha statues. Accordingly, Geshe Rinpoche went to Tawang, where the Mönpas live, and to other holy places in southern Tibet. There he practiced "Cutting" (chö) in fearful cemeteries. When he meditated in a cave at Taktsang in Pharo, Bhutan, one morning at daybreak, Exalted Vajra Yogini herself in the form of a fifteen-year-old girl aroused him from sleep and urged him to turn the wheel of Dharma. This was necessary, she admonished, because the beings in the Himalayan area from Ladakh to Assam were in danger of falling down the slope of wrong views about the holy Dharma and their minds were wrapped in darkness.

When Domo Geshe Rinpoche received Vajra Bhairava (Dorje Jigje) empowerment, he directly beheld the yidam and the thirteen deities. While meditating near Gangring in Lower Tromo, Geshe Rinpoche lived on fruits, berries, and herbs found in the deep, dense forest surrounding the cave. In southern Tibet, he had survived by the practice of "taking the essence" (chü len), taking the essence of flowers, and in Sikkim, by taking the essence of stones. In Gangring, Geshe Ngawang Kalsang had many extraordinary visions. The Thirty-five Buddhas manifested directly to him, for example, and when some evil beings there tried to interfere with his practice, he arose in the form of Demchog and subdued the obstacles.

He went to Upper Tromo and meditated in a remote cave among crystalline mountains and dense forests in an area called Chagling. Here the wild animals and yeti (mi gö) came to serve him. They helped bring firewood and water. It is said that Domo Geshe Rinpoche controlled the frightful yeti with a finger snap. Jowo Chin-karwa and Kang-dzenpa offered their vow to protect Rinpoche's life. A nomad who had lost some of his animals found Geshe Rinpoche and, in disbelief that anyone could survive on his own in this remote wilderness, was the first to offer yogurt, milk, butter, etc. It is said that Domo Geshe Rinpoche spent many years in the cave at Chagling, but nobody really knows for just how long, or how many times his yidams and other celestial beings came to visit him.

After Geshe Rinpoche left his retreat at Chagling, he fulfilled two prophecies at once when he erected a Maitreya Buddha statue at Galingkang in Tromo. Not only had his Guru Rangjung Lama Lobsang Zöpa predicted this event, but the exalted master Dromtönpa, the main disciple of glorious Atisha Dipamkara, had foretold it hundreds of years earlier. Upon request, the best artist, Ü Döndrup Wangyal, had been sent by the government in Lhasa. The statue was fashioned of clay mixed with many ground-up precious stones and holy things. Like the other Maitreya Buddha images Geshe Rinpoche would commission in the future, it was about two stories high. When it was consecrated, gods and goddesses showered down flowers. Some of those who witnessed this amazing event later told the next generation that the lotus-like fragrant celestial flowers could actually be handled but that they disappeared after about half an hour.

Geshe Rinpoche attracted the best artists and craftsmen to Tromo. The painter Trinley from Tsang and the statue maker Wangyal from Lhasa both stayed on and settled there. Domo Geshe Rinpoche, then and now, has an incomparable sense for the greatest excellence in quality and refinement of style. He only uses the very best possible materials - and most often the rarest and most unusual ones - for offerings, for building monasteries, creating statues, works of art, or presenting and preserving holy objects.

Tromo had been described by Tibetan and Western travelers alike as one of the most beautiful places in the world. With fragrant juniper, cedar, and many other trees, countless varieties of wildflowers and wildlife, it has been portrayed as a paradise by more than one writer. Tromo, the gateway between Tibet and India, is also an old place. Padma Sambhava traveled through the valley, which is still marked with several of his spontaneous manifestations (rang jön). The First Panchen Lama Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen had spent time in retreat in Upper Tromo and, with Chomo Lhari guarding the upper entrance to the valley, it has no lack of holy places.

Upon request by the people of Tromo to stay with them, Geshe Ngawang Kalsang rebuilt Dungkar Gonpa. With a white conch manifestation (rang jön) just below the monastery and another one from which issued the sound of a conch when blown into, Dungkar Gonpa has borne that name since 1662. Even before that, there was a temple there. Long before Domo Geshe Rinpoche took Dungkar Gonpa into his care, it belonged to a monastery in Sikkim. Being located not far from Rabtentse, the former summer palace of the Sikkimese kings in Tromo, there was a period in that country's history when the King of Sikkim visited Dungkar Gonpa annually. Geshe Rinpoche enlarged the main Buddha statue of the monastery and built another great Maitreya Buddha. The axial pillar (sog shing) for the Maitreya statue is said to have come from a branch of the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya that fell down and landed next to Domo Geshe Rinpoche while he was giving teachings there. Behind the monastery a spring issued forth through Geshe Rinpoche's presence and blessings. It dried up after the monastery was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Recently, when some local people, with Geshe Rinpoche's help, started to rebuild Dungkar Gonpa, the water of the spring began to flow again.

After Domo Geshe Rinpoche enlarged Dungkar Gonpa, it attracted many more monks. Discipline was strict, and practice, in time, came to cover many more subjects than was common for a monastery its size (sixty to seventy monks then and about one hundred in the 1950s). Monks memorized many different kinds of texts and learned to perform ritual dances as well as ritual chanting with special melodies, to play many different kinds of musical instruments, to construct three-dimensional mandalas as well as the two-dimensional ones made from colored powder, to make elaborate butter sculptures, and to master many other art forms that relate to religious practice. Although small, Dungkar Gonpa had some of the best dancers and artists in Tibet. Some of the monks also learned about medicine and how to collect different ingredients of medicinal value.

High above Dungkar Gonpa, where a manifestation of a double Dharma-source (chö jung) had manifested, Geshe Rinpoche built a retreat called Ganden Khachö. There, Exalted Vajra Yogini, surrounded by countless Dakinis, actually manifested to him. In that circle, and in the presence of Maitreya Buddha, Geshe Rinpoche received blessings and transmissions from the unsurpassable master Je Tsong Khapa and his sons directly. The yidam came to him many times and also took Geshe Rinpoche to her heavenly field and, on one occasion, offered him holy gems. It is said that it was in Ganden Khachö that Tashi Tseringma from Chomo Lhari appeared and offered Domo Geshe Rinpoche the precious snow-lion milk in a turquoise vessel (yu ring), a most special container, since this substance burns through ordinary materials. To benefit all living beings, the kind Lama created a pill from many different holy substances that he collected in the Buddha's sacred places in India and in pilgrimage places in the Himalayas and Tibet, from rare medicinal herbs and other famous holy pills, from relics, and from a great variety of unknown precious beneficial ingredients, including the snow-lion milk. Transformed by means of mercury, a very poisonous substance, in a process mastered by only a few, and together with many special blessings, Geshe Rinpoche's rilbus became singularly powerful. They were said to reverse the effects of life-threatening poison and terminal illnesses, to protect against many different kinds of weapons, including bullets, and to guarantee at least seven human rebirths if administered at the right moment in the death process. No other holy pills were as effective or became as famous and sought after all over Tibet as were Domo Geshe Rinpoche's. These rilbus were not only medicine and holy, but magical as well. Rinpoche himself carried a bag of rilbus that replenished themselves like relics in a holy place. He offered large bags filled with these holy pills to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to the Panchen Rinpoche, and he handed them out freely to suffering sentient beings to alleviate pain and illness and to protect from danger. His great kindness and compassion became legendary.

Tromo had been a stronghold of the Bön faith in Tibet when Geshe Rinpoche arrived there. One after another of the wealthy patrons turned to Domo Geshe Rinpoche and became Buddhist. Pembö Lama, the owner of a Bön monastery, Yungdungkang, offered it to Geshe Rinpoche. It was renamed Tashi Chöling. The Lama and his sons became patrons and they prospered. Not all saw Rinpoche as the great virtuous one that he was. Already at the end of the Younghusband expedition in 1905, when Sir Charles Bell was governor of Tromo for a year, the local Bönpos complained to him that a great oracle had come to Upper Tromo and converted everyone to the Buddhist faith. They requested the governor to stop Domo Geshe Rinpoche from taking away the wealthy Bön patrons. Bell answered that he would not interfere in the internal religious affairs of the country. When taken to the courts in Lhasa, a similar answer was given: everyone is free to practice the religion of their choice.

But there was more than one attempt on Domo Geshe Rinpoche's life. In 1918 and 1919 the Bönpos tried to cause physical harm to him repeatedly by means of black magic. Rinpoche foiled these attempts through his clairvoyance and crushed the evil by his superior powers. In one case he arose as Chenrezig Senge Tra and subdued the poisonous snake intended to kill him.

Domo Geshe Rinpoche tamed even more intractable beings. In the 1920s a Mongolian Geshe returned from pilgrimage in India and stopped at Dungkar Gonpa on his way to Lhasa. Rinpoche was away at the time and Umdze Sherab, who later became the famous abbot of Dungkar Gonpa, asked the Geshe to stay, as he had a high fever and was too sick to travel. But the Geshe did not accept the invitation. He wanted to be in Lhasa for the Great Prayer Festival (Mönlam Chenmo). On the steep road to Phari, he reached the end of his life. He sat down next to the road and the death process started. The Geshe did his practice, which was not completed when several Bönpos arrived. Well intentioned, they performed the transference of consciousness, since the dying man had stopped breathing. This interrupted the Geshe's practice on the most subtle level of consciousness and he turned into a raging spirit who killed many Bönpos in Tromo. Several Buddhist practitioners tried unsuccessfully to appease the fury of this being. When Domo Geshe Rinpoche returned, he tamed the ferocious spirit, put him under oath, and called him Namkha Bardzin. He became a special protector for the area of Tromo.

Tromo was changed completely by Domo Geshe Rinpoche's presence. The Bönpos at Pemukang sent yearly New Year offerings to him at Dungkar Gonpa, as did the Nyingmapas from nearby Kyiruntsel, where a room was kept ready in the monastery for Domo Geshe Rinpoche. Eventually, Rinpoche instituted several practices that brought the people of Tromo together in greater harmony. One of these was a yearly joint reading of twelve collected works (sung bum) at Kampu Dzong in Upper Tromo by the different religious traditions. Another practice was a special Guru Rinpoche (Padma Sambhava) ritual. Dungkar Gonpa had acquired an especially holy Guru Rinpoche statue, said to have been blessed by Padma Sambhava himself. When the owner was on his way to India with the statue, it spoke when passing Dungkar Gonpa. "Take me to where that sound is coming from," it said, as the long trumpets sounded from the monastery on the hill. The man did, and Geshe Rinpoche gave him what he needed. Not much later, it is said, Domo Geshe Rinpoche found a Guru "fulfillment of wishes" (thug drup) text near Dawa Trag, a rock not far from Dungkar Gonpa bearing a spontaneous manifestation (rang jön) of a moon. Shortly thereafter, someone came with many copies of the same text for sale. Geshe Rinpoche bought all of them and, once a year, the Dungkar Gonpa monks performed the ritual.

When His Holiness the Thirteenth Dalai Lama returned from India in 1912, he stopped in Tromo. A meeting took place between His Holiness and Domo Geshe Rinpoche at Kangyur Lhakang in Galingkang. It is said that His Holiness mentioned to his attendants that he expected a very special visitor one afternoon. Domo Geshe Rinpoche, who always looked like a simple monk, had prepared special delicacies to offer to His Holiness. He spent a long time in private talks with him that afternoon. In the evening, His Holiness asked his attendants if they had seen the very special person who had visited him in the afternoon. Surprised, they said they had only seen a simple monk in dirty, tattered robes. His Holiness replied, "That is too bad. I saw Je Tsong Khapa himself."

Since Domo Geshe Rinpoche introduced and spread the Buddhist teachings in the Himalayan regions like Je Tsong Khapa himself, His Holiness and the Panchen Rinpoche had special respect for him. Geshe Rinpoche enjoyed a close relationship with the Panchen Rinpoche Chökyi Nyima. Once a year he would send long-life offerings to the Panchen Rinpoche. From him Domo Geshe Rinpoche had received an especially holy object that was kept at Dungkar Gonpa: the mold for the famous image of Je Tsong Khapa called "Tsong-bön Geleg." With it Rinpoche fashioned many holy Je Tsong Khapa statues. Some of them have survived the Tibetan holocaust and still exist in Domo Geshe Rinpoche's monasteries in India and with some of his disciples in the Himalayan border areas.

Geshe Rinpoche had a close relationship as well with the great Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche Dechen Nyingpo, from whom he had received many transmissions, initiations, personal instructions (mä ngag), and comprehensive teachings. They also exchanged presents. People used to say that with Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche in Central Tibet, the Panchen Rinpoche in Tsang, and Domo Geshe Rinpoche at the border, the pure Buddhist tradition was safe and flourishing.

A very close and special relationship also existed between Geshe Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. Together they received teachings and initiations from Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Lamrim teachings from His Holiness the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and, together with Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, they received a very rare cycle of 108 initiations in 1921 from Tagdra Dorje Chang, who later became the Regent of Tibet. The initiations spanned the four classes of Tantra, and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche said of that event, "Thus, the traditions of past successive lineages were observed correctly without the negligence of finding easy solutions" (Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Autobiography, p. 94).

Domo Geshe Rinpoche often went to India on pilgrimage to the holy places of the Buddha. For some time he went every year. At first, he went alone across the high mountain passes from Tromo to Sikkim, through Phedong to Kalimpong, and then by train from Siliguri to Gaya. Later he took with him people from all walks of life and his monks. The Hindu Raja controlling Bodh Gaya was very impressed with Geshe Rinpoche and trusted him completely. The great stupa was locked up, since people came to steal the offerings. Whenever Rinpoche visited, the Raja handed him the keys and turned over the stupa to him for the duration of his stay there. Still today, the committee that administers the great stupa at Bodh Gaya consists of a Hindu majority. However, at the time Rinpoche went there on pilgrimage, Hindus were in complete control and Buddhist practice was not welcome at all. Only Domo Geshe Rinpoche and the Sri Lankan Anagarika Dharmapala, founder of the Mahabodhi Society, represented Buddhist interests and regularly performed Buddhist practices at the great stupa. It was because of Domo Geshe Rinpoche's help and influence that the ground for a Tibetan monastery near the stupa could be purchased by a Ladakhi monk without interference from the Hindu Raja and his militant followers.

Geshe Rinpoche's disciples cleaned the area around the stupa on their visits, washed the Bodhi tree with purifying herbs and water and offered many, many butterlamps and other offerings. On the full moon of the eighth Tibetan month in 1916, after many early morning purification rituals, Domo Geshe Rinpoche performed the ritual bath offering using milk to bathe the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha and then covered it with gold. The holy body of the Buddha emitted nectar, an event witnessed by many. Geshe Rinpoche carefully collected it and used it for the benefit of sentient beings in holy objects and rilbus, it is said.

Once, when Domo Geshe Rinpoche was in Bodh Gaya and absorbed in deep meditation, five Dakinis came to take him to a Buddha field. That instant, a red Prajnaparamita, mother of the Buddhas, arose and urged the Dakinis not to do so and told them that the time for Rinpoche to leave had not yet come. Another time, towards the end of his life, at a holy lake near Chomo Lhari the Dakinis came again to beckon him to come with them. It is said that he promised them to come, but at a later date. On one of Geshe Rinpoche's pilgrimages to the Buddha's holy places, many good omens occurred on his way to Sarnath and near the stupa before he arrived there. When he did, the whole mandala of Demchog and the sixty-two deities manifested to Rinpoche. In Kushinagara, the place of Shakyamuni Buddha's maha-parinirvana, Geshe Rinpoche made extensive offerings and offered prayers. The thousand Buddhas manifested and Rinpoche had a vision of the future. At Vulture's Peak, the eight Medicine Buddhas and sixteen Arhats manifested to him, and at Silwasel, the great protector Mahakala himself.

In the Indian Himalayan region, especially today's Himachal Pradesh - formerly the principalities and kingdoms of Khunu, Lahul-Piti, Bashar, etc. - Domo Geshe Rinpoche established Gelugpa monasteries and temples where there were none at all. In Rampur the Hindu Raja built a Gelugpa temple and a library with many collections of priceless Buddhists texts, including Kangyur and Tengyur, upon Domo Geshe Rinpoche's request. This was an expression of gratitude, since Rinpoche's practices and blessings had ensured the childless Raja a son. In Kanum, Domo Geshe Rinpoche built Lhundup Gephel Gonpa on an ancient holy site. It was adorned with exquisite wall paintings and contained statues of sandalwood and other precious materials, and an extensive library. This was in 1911, according to one Indian scholar. Rinpoche later built and consecrated another monastery in that area. In Khunu Domo Geshe Rinpoche also meditated in a cave called Sur-pug for close to a year. Not far from there, in the village of Poo near Shipki pass, Domo Geshe Rinpoche restored to life a dying young girl while the whole village bore witness. His popularity and fame knew no bounds and everywhere he went he was requested to teach and to confer empowerments and pratimoksha vows. Upon the request of the King of Piti, for example, Geshe Rinpoche gave Lamrim teachings to thousands of people who had come from near and very far away and conferred long-life and other empowerments. Domo Geshe Rinpoche is singularly credited, not only by his followers but by the Tibetan government as well, for having spread Je Tsong Khapa's teachings especially throughout the whole Himalayan region.

In a small monastery at 18,000 feet near a mountain pass from Ladakh into Tibet a disciple of Domo Geshe Rinpoche had a vision of Maitreya Buddha. Afterwards he found out that the chapel in which he had seen the vision had been consecrated by Geshe Rinpoche to the future Buddha.

At Tso Pema, Padma Sambhava's holy lake, Domo Geshe Rinpoche broke the ground for the main monastery. During the ritual, the lotus flowers growing in the lake, which had not moved in a very long time, started to move towards Rinpoche. The monastery belonged to Domo Geshe Rinpoche until the early 1960s, when its monks were persuaded that he would not return from prison in Tibet and thereupon offered it to Düdjom Rinpoche. The first time Geshe Rinpoche arrived in Tso Pema the lake's water had receded significantly. Upon request by the local people and the pilgrims, Rinpoche helped bring enough rain that year to replenish the lake. Since then, the local people recite Chenrezig's mantra as follows: "Domo Geshe Rinpoche Om Mani Padme Hung." In other Guru Rinpoche holy places, such as Sikkim for example, he is seen by many as an incarnation of Padma Sambhava. Domo Geshe Rinpoche unites in himself those qualities and actions that allow for many people to believe him to be a manifestation of Je Tsong Khapa while others believe him to be a manifestation of Guru Rinpoche.

Domo Geshe Rinpoche visited these Himalayan areas more than once and crossed the high mountain passes to Mount Kailash, to historical places built by Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo, and other holy places on both the Indian and Tibetan sides of the snow mountains. Domo Geshe Rinpoche's name even served to legitimate the work of documenting the remains from the ancient kingdom of Guge by two foreigners whose travel papers did not permit such work and who were in danger of being expelled from Tibet.

These are just some highlights of Domo Geshe Rinpoche's activities among the snow mountains of the Himalayas, where his name is known from Ladakh to Assam and deeply respected by everyone, regardless of religion or Buddhist orientation. His Holiness the Thirteenth Dalai Lama called Domo Geshe Rinpoche a "realized one who is completely tamed" (trup.pa'i dül.jug) and a "great scholar" (kä.pa chen.bo) and referred to him as someone who is "Lama to people inside and outside of Tibet and whose widespread fame resonates like the sound of a great bell."

Domo Geshe Rinpoche's accomplishments and visions were abundant. Even those known to us are too numerous to mention here individually. The most famous vision occurred on one of Geshe Rinpoche's many pilgrimages. At nineteen thousand feet on the northern slopes of Kanchenjunga, Chörten Nyima has been a very special holy place since at least the time of Padma Sambhava. It is considered the "gate" to the "hidden land," Sikkim, and one of the chörtens contains a crystal stupa that miraculously came to earth from the sky. There Domo Geshe Rinpoche manifested a vision for all to see within a radius of miles. From among white clouds first appeared a white horse leading the procession that moved from east to west and then, from among many rainbows, a great variety of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and different holy beings and signs appeared, made from light and rainbows. Only Domo Geshe Rinpoche saw the whole extent of the vision, while those in his retinue saw parts according to individual capacity and karma. Some saw Khedrup Rinpoche's five visions of Je Tsong Khapa, some Je Tsong Khapa and his two main disciples, while others saw the Medicine Buddha, Amitayus, or different pure lands. Everyone could see the eight auspicious signs. Rinpoche's cook stood watching spell-bound, spoon in hand, his mouth agape. Even the animals turned their faces towards the sky and seemed to be able to see something. The vision remained for a long time, so Rinpoche's disciples could point out to each other in minutest detail what they saw. The only other vision of that magnitude made public in the same way occurred at the time of Shakyamuni Buddha, and an account of it can be found in the Surangama Sutra.

Domo Geshe Rinpoche was offered a new retreat house at Ghoom Yiga Chöling Monastery by a patron from Darjeeling and was requested to take care of the monastery. Rinpoche enlarged it and built another famous two-story Maitreya Buddha statue with the help of Wangyal, the same artist who had fashioned the ones in Tromo. Between his eyes a huge diamond reflected the light of the many butterlamps. Humans and non-humans had offered the precious materials for it. When the Maitreya statue was consecrated, gods and goddesses showered down flowers from Tushita, and many people, even as far away as Darjeeling, said they heard very beautiful music.

In 1919 Tashi Chöling Monastery in Kurseong near Darjeeling was completed and consecrated by Geshe Rinpoche, and Tharpa Chöling Monastery in Kalimpong was finished in 1922. This monastery had been built with the support of and requests from the Maharani of Bhutan, an influential Chinese merchant and his Tibetan wife, a group of Tibetans living in Kalimpong, and many others. A beautiful Gesar Ling statue from China was offered to Rinpoche and downstairs from his residence a Gesar chapel (lha khang) was consecrated. The Chinese community came to worship there especially during their New Year's celebrations. Today, it still functions as a place for divination and people come from all over to seek answers to their questions.

By the time Tharpa Chöling was completed, Dungkar Gonpa had already built or taken under its administrative umbrella several other monasteries in Tromo and Phari. Until 1959 the Dungkar Gonpa monks took turns in administering these places as well as the monasteries across the border. In addition, there were a number of small temples and chapels in the Himalayan border area offered to and consecrated by Domo Geshe Rinpoche. Still today the only two Gelugpa temples in Sikkim were established by Domo Geshe Rinpoche during this time. The Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Guru Padma Sambhava, who offered his protection, had prophesied that Geshe Rinpoche would build all these monasteries so that the pure Dharma of the Buddha ­­- and especially of Je Tsong Khapa and his lineage - would flourish in the border areas, and that they would develop well with the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Rinpoche.

Domo Geshe Rinpoche was genuinely most humble and completely without pride of thinking that he knew anything, say those who knew him. No photograph exists of him. His humility did not let anyone take a photograph of him, which was, in those days, something reserved for famous people, like heads of state, and those of high social status. When pictures were taken without his permission, he is either not there or blurred beyond recognition. The only likeness we have of the previous Domo Geshe Rinpoche is a statue fashioned after the preserved body that was placed in his stupa.

Senior monks who knew the previous Domo Geshe Rinpoche say that he never acted as if to draw attention to himself. They say he built monasteries, gathered monks, and created the foundation for practice and that he taught most often by giving practical advice as to what to do and what not to do. This was far more effective in his prime area of influence than spending much time sitting on a throne and giving extensive teachings, they say. Many of the people in the border areas, where Geshe Rinpoche was most active, would not have understood elaborate teachings although he also gave many formal teachings, empowerments, and transmissions. He taught precisely according to the capacity of each individual, something only a highly realized master can do. Today, Geshe Rinpoche maintains the same style of teaching.

After returning from his last long pilgrimage to the Buddha's holy places in India in 1935/36, he called his close circle of disciples at Dungkar Gonpa to his room. Afraid of losing him, they did not want to listen to his last instructions. They quickly prostrated and requested him to live longer. During this time a lady wearing beautiful jewelry came to visit Geshe Rinpoche several times. His attendants did not see her enter Rinpoche's room and when one of them approached her, she vanished. It was Tsering Chenga from Chomo Lhari who requested Rinpoche again and again to come to her abode. Rinpoche's human followers requested him again to stay longer but he answered that he had already promised her to come. When it became clear to all that Geshe Rinpoche was leaving, they requested his last instructions. He told them that since they did not want to listen before, he had nothing to say now. But just before he passed away, he held up three fingers. This is said to have meant either, "You will see me in three years," or, "I will be a three-day walk away from here." Both turned out to be true. After he had passed away, two long rainbow clouds in the shape of offering scarves (kata) left his window and stretched out in the direction of Gangtok. On that day, the sky was filled with rainbows and many different colors and signs. Dungkar Gonpa was so thickly wrapped in rainbow clouds that it was hidden from view even from those approaching from the large open meadow, Lingmathang, just below the monastery. Not only Rinpoche's followers but even the Bönpos were amazed at the marvelous spectacle. The rainbow clouds continued to appear throughout the next forty-nine days, whenever the monks performed the ritual for Rinpoche's speedy return. Still today, the passing of Geshe Ngawang Kalsang is commemorated each year with butterlamp offerings in the Ganden Ngamchö style on the fourteenth night of the ninth Tibetan month at Tharpa Chöling Monastery in Kalimpong. Rainbow clouds around the full moon on that occasion have been observed as recently as 1991.

The Dungkar Gonpa administration requested the Central Tibetan government for permission to embalm the body of Domo Geshe Rinpoche, who sat absorbed in meditation for an unknown length of time. Only the bodies of Je Tsong Khapa, the Dalai Lamas, and the Panchen Lamas were customarily embalmed and sealed in large stupas. Permission was granted. The Regent Reting Rinpoche's decree read, "In Southern Tibet, including Sikkim, etc., Domo Geshe Rinpoche's activities were exactly like those of Je Tsong Khapa. In accordance, we will allow Rinpoche's body to be preserved."

People came from near and far to offer precious stones, metals and other objects for the stupa built to house the body of Domo Geshe Rinpoche. About a year before passing away, Rinpoche had told his abbot about a dream he had had of a red temple with a stupa in the west that contained relics from the time of Buddha Chenleg and from which much water was gushing forth. It took a long time to finish the red temple and Domo Geshe Rinpoche's stupa. Only upon completion did the abbot recall the dream and he was joyful in believing they had acted in accordance with Rinpoche's wishes.

The stupa was two stories high and entirely covered with silver. It was studded with diamonds, pearls, turquoise, coral, and lapis and contained many other rare and precious holy objects in addition to Domo Geshe Rinpoche's body. After receiving repeated requests to come and consecrate the stupa, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche consented and arrived in Tromo in early 1938 for this purpose. Planning to wait for the New Year to do the ceremony, he went on his first pilgrimage to the holy places in India. When performing the ceremony upon his return, many special signs occurred. Later, a "mushroom" (shamo) relic grew directly on the silver of the stupa. While these types of relics have also grown near the stupas of other similarly consecrated holy bodies, only in the case of Domo Geshe Rinpoche did the "mushroom" relic grow directly on the bare metal of the stupa.

By: Tenpa Transhimalayan Arts

(Below is mummified body of the 1st Domo Geshe Rinpoche)

LosangKhyentse

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2011, 04:33:06 AM »
Domo Geshe Rinpoche was so accomplished and was so respected that his fame spread far and wide. When he passed away, the Tibetan Govt allowed his body to be mummified, a special honour reserved for the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas. This picture is the mummified body of the First Domo Geshe Rinpoche. The current one has now been recognized again by His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche and joined Shar Gaden Monastery.

TK

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2011, 04:56:44 PM »
The Subsequent incarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche Ngawang Kelsang is equally illustrious. Both Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recognized him. He is the predecessor of the current Domo Geshe Rinpoche. He lived during the tumultuous Chinese occupation of Tibet but he chose to remain in Tibet. He was captured as a prize to be manipulated. Despite the horrific tortures, his captors could not break his mind not bend him towards their wishes. However, they did use the magical rilbus he had made to protect their soldiers from bullets.

During his imprisonment, his students petitioned the King of Sikkim at that time to secure his release as Domo Geshe Rinpoche was of Sikkimese nationality. Just after his release, Domo Geshe Rinpoche traveled all over Lhasa on bicycle, collecting precious thangkas, statues, Dharma texts and all.  He arranged for their transportation to India via over-border traders. Although many of these precious items never made it to their destination, however, the sacred texts remained intact and arrived safely. These precious texts include the very textbooks that the monasteries Gaden, Sera and Drepung use to study for their exams. Their very survival ensured that continuation of the Gaden tradition!

iloveds

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2011, 02:02:09 AM »
http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/index.php?s=domo+geshe

This is the current incarnation who @big uncle was talking about. Absolutely love the picture of the mummified body as its a reminder to me that the mind lives on. That the teachings do get us results I look forward to his coming of age as a Dharma teacher in this incarnation, and to see what he will do.

The story continues and will be just as exciting. Not just him, but the incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche, and Zong Rinpoche also.

vajrastorm

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2011, 09:16:44 AM »
The life-story of this illustrious Lama who in stature appears larger than life, is always fascinating, no matter how many times one reads it. Thank you, Mana, for this biography. It contains colorful details of many wondrous events in the first Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s life which bear the hallmark of a Buddha.

One of this is the account of the lotus flowers, growing in Padma Sambhava’s lake at Tso Pema, moving towards him when he was doing the ritual of breaking ground for the main monastery. Another amazing account is his manifestation of a vision, for all to see, of a grand procession in the sky. This procession of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and other Holy Beings, appearing in a vision of light and rainbows, were seen in parts, by each and every one present, according to their individual capacity and karma(except for Domo Geshe who saw the vision in its entirety).

These accounts point to him as unmistakably the incarnation of a great Holy Being - a Guru Rinpoche , a Lama Tsongkapa, nay Buddha Shakyamuni himself! His spreading the Dharma of Je Tsongkhapa in the isolated parts of the Himalayan region, his subjugating of the Bon worshippers and giving them the Dharma, his conversion of Namkar Barzin into a Dharma Protector, his building of many monasteries especially in the Himalayan regions, his many cave retreats in isolated uninhabited places surviving on the essence of stones and flowers, his visions and his closeness to Buddha deities like Vajrayogini, his miracles and miraculous rilbur pills, his making of two-story high Maitreya Buddha statues, these are among a never-ending list of his great Dharma accomplishments and feats.

Despite all this, Domo Geshe’s humility is legend, as the incident of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s attendant not recognizing him for who he was because of his simple clothing, shows. This as well as the fact that he refused to have pictures taken of himself. And this greatly compassionate Holy Being was a strong practitioner of supramundane Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden! The renowned oracle of Dorje Shugden resided in his famous Dungkar Monastery!

beggar

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2011, 04:17:12 PM »
Always beautiful to read the biographies of great lamas and their many enlightened accomplishments. The more these are made available to the world, the more people can see how it is illogical that Dorje Shugden is destructive or evil. Impossible! If doing his practice is harmful, then none of these lamas would be able to accomplish what they did, or benefit so many people or take controlled rebirths to be among us again in perfect conditions.

At the least, it will show people how important it is to look at the actions of lama throughout his lifetime and not judge him merely by the gossip we hear or by on little practice! Whatever a lama does in his personal space and capacity is none of our business. First, look at his teachings, benefit, results, the lives that he touches, the minds he transforms to positive, acts of kindness, compassion, what he is doing in this lifetime, his focus. All this arises out from his practices and leads back to his practices. This becomes very clear.

What we can do is to find many creative ways to share these biographies - post on other forums or share links on social media places. I am not very good with technology.... but let's try! Anyway, it is a blessing just to see these lamas' names and their pictures and hear about their great deeds.

tsangpakarpo

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 06:01:04 PM »
This is a very interesting read on the 1st Domo Geshe Rinpoche. From my understanding, Domo Geshe was the one who subdued Namkar Barzin and placed him in the entourage of Dorje Shugden. Now Namkar Barzin plays a huge role in the entourage by being the second minister to Dorje Shugden.

The reincarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche has been found and Rinpoche is currently in Shar Gaden studying as stated above. I also heard that the current Domo Geshe Rinpoche will be taking His first monk vows very soon. REJOICE!

Vajraprotector

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 06:53:52 PM »
I remember 2 mystical stories about Domo Geshe Rinpoche in "The Way of the White Clouds" by one of his students, Lama Anagarika Govinda,

Many people tried repeatedly to take pictures of Domo Geshe Rinpoche, as Rinpoche didn't allow anyone to take his picture. Films either turned into blanks, were blurred beyond recognition, or something else happened to the films. Also, Rinpoche's face was never visible. It was not because Domo Geshe Rinpoche wanted to show off his supernatural powers, but because Rinpoche detested hero-worship and did not want to be made into an object of veneration.

After a 12-year long retreat, Domo Geshe Rinpoche had ribus (pills) which he distributed freely to all those who came for his blessing. They were said to cure serious illnesses when doctors were unable to.

And now he's back again amongst us  :)

icy

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 07:31:47 AM »
Thank you Biguncle, Vajrastorm and Vajraprotector for sharing the incredible deeds of this magnificient mahasiddha.  It is truly inspiring and will benefit many. 

thor

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 04:36:40 AM »
I remember 2 mystical stories about Domo Geshe Rinpoche in "The Way of the White Clouds" by one of his students, Lama Anagarika Govinda,

Many people tried repeatedly to take pictures of Domo Geshe Rinpoche, as Rinpoche didn't allow anyone to take his picture. Films either turned into blanks, were blurred beyond recognition, or something else happened to the films. Also, Rinpoche's face was never visible. It was not because Domo Geshe Rinpoche wanted to show off his supernatural powers, but because Rinpoche detested hero-worship and did not want to be made into an object of veneration.

After a 12-year long retreat, Domo Geshe Rinpoche had ribus (pills) which he distributed freely to all those who came for his blessing. They were said to cure serious illnesses when doctors were unable to.

And now he's back again amongst us  :)

I love the stories of Domo Geshe Rinpoche's healing power, and how many from far and wide came to see him. His rilbu were particularly famous, and their effectiveness can only be attributed to his attainments. Such rare substances as snow lion milk (?) were said to be incorporated within the rilbu pills, and their healing power was miraculous and produces incredible cures.

It is said below, extracted from his biography:
"In the Indian Himalayan region he is also known as "the precious doctor of Chumbi," since he healed so many people with a variety of methods. The famous holy pills (rilbus) he made from hundreds of holy and medicinal ingredients were of unequaled power and healed many otherwise hopeless cases. The rilbus continue to multiply by themselves."

Experiences of the replicating pills have been related by those close to Domo Geshe Rinpoche, who would visit the sick with a small pouch containing just a few (maybe a dozen) of these precious rilbus. Throughout the day as he administered a constant stream of pills to the very ill, the pills would never run out and at the end of the day, there  would still be some left in his pouch.

Just as the previous Dalai Lama acknowledged Geshe Rinpoche as an emanation of Tsongkapa, it should come as no surprise that the next incarnation of Domo Rinpoche's lineage has been found, recognised and will be ordained in just a few days. He is currently in Shar Gaden monastery, continuing his previous life's practices including that of Dorje Shugden. 


Galen

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2011, 07:49:19 AM »
Thank you Mana for the detailed account on the illustrious life of the 1st Domo Geshe Rinpoche. I find it most interesting that he is the same calibre as The Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama as he has performed miraculous deeds to help people in the Sikkim area. He is a healer and a builder of great monasteries and spread buddhadharma just like Je Tsongkapa.

The fact that he managed to subdue Namkar Bardzin and made him a protector in Dorje Shugden's entourage shows how highly attained he is.

Great to hear that he is amongst us now and looking to hear more stories of him in the future.

DharmaSpace

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2011, 10:12:27 AM »
"It is said that the purpose of his birth was to tame different kinds of beings. "

This statement rings so true about Domo Geshe, it kind of speaks of his nature as being one with Yamantaka, as in the iconography of Yamantaka, he is lord over all beings in samsara. Is there any beings that he cannot subdue. And naturally the famous incident it is him bringing Namkha Barzin into the Dorje Shudgen entourage.

The story of Domo Geshe parallels a lot to Milarepa that he survived on the essence of flowers and in the wild, with tremendous courage to do practise. Well minus all the 'training that Milarepa had to do under his guru Marpa. So inspiring to read about Domo Geshe. I really like the mantra - DOMO GESHE OM MANI PADME HUNG - subduer and protector of the beings of the six realms.

 

Vajraprotector

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Re: DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE 1ST
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2012, 12:01:21 AM »
Domo Geshe Rinpoche was a very great Lama and perhaps indirectly because of Rinpoche's fame that Kopan arises.

Lama Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche's contact with Westerners began in 1965 while they were visiting Ghoom Monastery in Darjeeling (many travelling/ tourist websites said that this monastery was blessed by Domo Geshe Rinpoche).

One day, a monk came to their room and said that a friend had come looking for them. Zina Rachevsky, the daughter of a Romanov prince and an American heiress, had actually come in search of a "Domo Geshe Rinpoche", as she came across the writings of the German author Lama Govinda, who in Tibet had met the great yogi Domo Geshe Rinpoche. Because Lama Zopa Rinpoche had been known as "Domo Rinpoche" even since his stay at Dungkar, she mistakenly believed him to be the Lama she had in mind.

From this unusual first meeting, a strong friendship grew, and the lamas spent nearly a year teaching at her home before Zina had to leave Darjeeling for Ceylon.

Later, Lama Yeshe with Lama Zopa and Zina (who was ordained as a novice nun in Dharamsala by Trijang Rinpoche in 1968) went to Nepal. The three first resided near the Boudhanath stupa, and a few years later, Zina bought the king’s astronomer’s house at Kopan, on a hill outside Kathmandu.

Also, it was at Domo Geshe Rinpoche's Dungkar Monastery that Lama Zopa Rinpoche became a monk and thru its oracle, was pronounced as a true incarnation or tulku.


You can read more from:
 
the book Wisdom Energy: Basic Buddhist Teachings By Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche

How the Kopan Course Began
http://www.mandalamagazine.org/archives/mandala-issues-for-2009/april/how-the-kopan-course-began/