A Remembrance of Gyatrul Rinpoche by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche on the Day of His Parinirvana, April 8th, 2023
Today a great master of the Dzogpa Chenpo Lineage passed into parinirvana. I want to take this opportunity to say how much Gyatrul Rinpoche has personally inspired me. I have known Gyatrul Rinpoche since my early twenties. He was a lama with such ease and a great sense of humor, always pulling people’s legs. In this, there were countless small teachings to reflect upon and come out with a great gift of diamonds, if one was willing. When I first moved to America with a young child, due to Elizabeth’s parents’ relationship with Gyatrul Rinpoche as their root teacher, he warmly embraced me with great kindness. From that time onward, he has been an immense inspiration.
He was always very low key and humble, never projecting an air of someone who possessed the great wisdom and knowledge that he did. He gave his life to the service of Dharma in the West 110%. With utmost devotion he served many great masters such as the 16th Karmapa, Dudjom Rinpoche, Penor Rinpoche, Yangtang Rinpoche, and Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche. With tremendous love for his Western students, he requested these great masters to turn the Wheel of Dharma, which they did.
Meanwhile, he himself taught Dharma to many students such as Sangye Khandro and Allan B. Wallace, who are, themselves, now greatly accomplished, prominent teachers. He also built temples like Tashi Choling and Orgyen Dorje Den, filling them with relics, treasures of Dharma, and volumes of precious texts. With anything and everything, Gyatrul Rinpoche engaged with great devotion and love of Dharma for the benefit of beings.
There are many teachers in my life who I have known to possess great wisdom and knowledge. One who could read others’ minds without obstruction, however, as transparently as looking at the palm of one’s hand — there are very few. Gyatrul Rinpoche was one of them. Some years ago, I went to see him at Half Moon Bay in order to discuss something that was on my mind and receive his advice. Before I could open my mouth and relay what I wanted to speak with him about, he already knew, and gave me an answer that was completely appropriate, helpful, and to the point.
He was in this world for almost a century, living into his late nineties according to the Tibetan calendar. In all his activities Gyatrul Rinpoche was exemplarily in carrying out the benefit of beings. Even in his passing he wanted his remains to be a gift of generosity to beings. This sums up who he was — not wasting a single drop of blood or an ounce of flesh in benefiting beings.
It was a great honor and privilege to be present during his last breaths in this world, and witness his parinirvana. I pray that his reincarnation blossom timely and appropriately in the lake of devotion of the students of this lineage.
I want to thank Mimi and his care team for all the love and care that they provided with great tenderness and devotion. I speak for myself and many other teachers in the gratitude felt for such service.
Thank you very much,