Place - Bodhgaya, Varanasi & Tsopema
Time - January - May, 2016
This year is an auspicious year – the year of Guru Padmasambhava, affectionately called “Guru Rinpoche” by the Tibetan people, is the Mahaguru who brought the Buddha’s teaching to Tibet, and is therefore known as Sangyé Nyipa, ‘the second Buddha’. His birth was foretold in both sutras and tantras as taking place eight or twelve years after the parinirvāna of the Buddha.
Simdha Getul Namdak Choying Rinpoche started the year ‘2016’ at Bodhgaya where he took the pilgrimage of all the holy places around, those blessed by great beings and especially by Guru Rinpoche himself. It is said that at ‘the Vajra Seat’ in Bodhgaya, Guru Rinpoche displayed miracles, and then went to the land of Zahor. At Bodhgaya, Guru Rinpoche challenged and defeated five hundred upholders of wrong views in debate, reversing their magic with the aid of wrathful mantra given to him by the lion-faced dākinī. Thereafter, Guru Rinpoche was given the name Sengé Dradok, ‘Lion’s Roar’.
Simdha Getul Rinpoche stayed there for two months and did prostrations, retreat, pilgrimage and Guru Yoga Tsog Offering at Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya by the end.
At Bodhgaya, Simdha Getul Rinpoche took the blessing of Precious kudung, ‘Relic Stupa of the Supreme head of the Nyingmapa _ His Holiness the Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche.
It was a two meaningful month stay at Bodhgaya after which he proceeded towards Varanasi, Ganges River.
It was said that after defeating various anti- Buddhist rulers, Guru Rinpoche was poisoned, but remained unharmed, and he was thrown in the Ganges, but made the river flow upstream and danced in the air after which he was known for Khyeu Khanding Tsal, ‘Mighty Youth, Soaring in the sky like Garuda’.
After Ganges River, Simdha Getul Rinpoche continued his pilgrimage towards ‘Tsopema’. After returning to Zahor, Guru Rinpoche took Princess Mandārāva as his consort, and they practiced the sādhana of longevity in the Maratika Cave, where they were blessed by Buddha Amitāyus and accomplished the level of ‘vidyādhara with mastery over life’.
The king and ministers of Zahor arrested Guru Rinpoche for taking princess Mandārāva and burned him alive, but he transformed the pyre into a lake, and was found sitting, cool and fresh, on lotus in its center. This lake is considered to be ‘Tso Pema’, Rewalsar Lake in Himachal Pradesh in India. After finishing his pilgrimage to Tso Pema, Simdha Getul Rinpoche headed towards the holy cave of Maratika where Guru Rinpoche attained the ‘vidyādhara with mastery over life’.
Later in May 2016, Simdha Getul Rinpoche headed towards Yangleshö, present day known for Pharping in Nepal. It is the place where Guru Rinpoche practiced the sādhana of Yangdak Heruka with the consort Shakyadevi, a princess of Nepal. When powerful spirits caused drought, famine and disease, Guru Rinpoche sent for the Vajrakīlaya tantras, the moments they were brought, all obstacles were pacified. Here, Guru Rinpoche and Shakyadevi attained the level of ‘vidyādhara of the great seal, or mahamudra’.
At Pharping, Simdha Getul Rinpoche took the blessing of Precious kudung, ‘Relic Stupa’ of Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche and has the opportunity to participate and lead the Vajrasattva Puja and meet Semo Sarasvati la, the daughter of Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche. The loss of the two great Nyingmapa Vajra Masters is indescribable and excruciating.
Vajrayana text state that for one who seeks enlightment, a guru is more important than all the buddhas of three times put together. His job is not only to teach but also to lead us. In Vajrayana, the Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the dharma and the Guru is the sangha. On the most profound level, the guru is not only our teacher but also our entire spiritual path.
The cause and condition for meeting and being accepted by a guru is crucial and we are truly lucky to have found such humble yet firm guru like yourself.
May all yours aspirations be fulfilled, May you continue to spread the Buddha Dharma around the world like the wind with no boundary to it and May the samaya between you and us never be broken and stay as pure as the driven snow.
May the lives of glorious masters be secure, and may all beings enjoy happiness and peace; May we all accumulate merit and wisdom, purifying all our negative karma, and swiftly reach enlightment!